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Sami 10-17-2007 02:50 PM

Adobe Illustrator CS3 Basics Tutorial
 
This tutorial will go over the basic aspects of Adobe Illustrator. Within the immediate viewing area of the user a list of buttons and features are available to use on your Adobe Illustrator document. I will be going over the basic uses of these features and how you can implement them.

The first Adobe Illustrator tutorial is the Selection Tool. The Selection Tool is used to select projects on the screen that you may be working on. Usually, a large amount of these can start to form when you are managing a project. You can move the files around to be easily viewed. However, there are limitations to this tool. Adobe has come up with two other Selection Tools that will solve these space issues.

The second Adobe Illustrator tutorials are bundled. They are related to the Selection Tool in terms of operation. They are the Direct Selection Tool and the Group Selection Tool. The Direct Selection Tool is used to reshape an object or image by using its anchor points. It can change the width and height of a segment of an object or change the way it shaped by moving anchor points in a certain direction. The Group Selection Tool allows you to select one object on the first click and if you select again it will target all of the objects that are within its field. This tool helps to organized all the objects so you can select them easily.

Next up is the Adobe Illustrator Magic Wand Tool. The Magic Wand Tool lets you select objects that are similar in stature. You can do this by just selecting one of the targets and the Magic Wand Tool will attach to the others that are similar. You can make the tool look for anything that you can think of within each object to connect the two.

The Lasso Tool
is the next feature within Adobe Illustrator’s long list of incredible features. The Lasso Tool allows you to select objects by drawing around them. You don’t have to complete the connection all the way around the objects. Adobe Illustrator will make an educated guess of what you were thinking if you did not finish. Sometimes this is a better way than using the other tools to select objects.

The features listed next are within the Pen Tool family. Most of them are Point Tools that help you manipulate objects. The Pen Tool is probably the most important tool that Adobe Illustrator CS3 has to offer. Anchor Points are used to define the way an object is and can be shaped. You can make very artistic shapes with this single tool. Many professional swear by it.

The Add Anchor Point Tool allows you to add anchor points to an existing object. This feature will change the shape of the object indefinitely. It gives you more choices in the way you will your object to look. The Delete Anchor Point Tool deletes any anchor points on an object. This will also drastically change the way the object looks when displayed. The Convert Anchor Point Tool helps you shape objects very cleanly and precisely, so that you can get the most accurate shapes and transformations when you use anchor points.

The Type Tool has a wide assortment of features. The Type Tool makes different types and formats to put them in. You are able to edit these however you like. The Area Type Tool allows you to open up paths that were once areas you could type in to edit it yourself. The Type on a Path Tool allows you to manipulate the path in which the text will take. You can often use it to type around an object. I am sure you have seen typing that is in a spiral shape. The Vertical Type Tool makes it possible for you to type vertically. It is just like what you saw when you watched the matrix. Except those weren’t real language characters. The Vertical Area Type Tool changes paths that were closed to vertical type. You are also given the freedom to edit the type as well. The Vertical Type on a Path Tool makes the path that you chose for the text write in a vertical fashion rather than making the text lay on the line as normal.

The next set of tools provides the user with the ability to make lines in all types of fashions. The Line Segment Tool lets you draw a simple straight line. The Arc Tool is pretty self-explanatory within itself. The Spiral Tool allows you to draw spiral shapes near perfectly and manipulate by using its preset anchor points. It can be a handy tool if you have a reason to make a spiral. The Rectangular Grid Tool allows you to make what looks like a spreadsheet. Like the Rectangular Grid Tool the Polar Grid Tool gives you the ability to make a grid; however, this grid is circular in shape. It is fully configurable using the anchor points.

The next tools are one of my favorites in of the Adobe CS3 Series. These tools are the shape tools. They allow me to make shapes easily and without much attention to detail. I have saved many hours of headache by resorting to these tools. The first one is the Rectangle Tool, which makes a box shape or a rectangle shape. You can manipulate the width and height of the box to your liking. The Rounded Rectangle Tool allows you to make the edges of the box like structure rounded for a more smooth feeling. If you look at my website you can see that I used them a lot. I believe it adds a bit of flavor to the website. Of course, I am always trying new things. When you check again you may find that my website looks totally different. The Ellipse Tool allows you to make seemingly perfect circles. If you have ever tried to freehand draw a perfect circle you know the headaches that I have gotten trying to do it myself. The Polygon Tool lets you make a six-sided object that is configurable for the user. The Star Tool does exactly what it says. It makes stars! The Flare Tool makes objects that look like they have blown up or if you saw a supernova in the sky. So you will see a circle with a lot of lines poking out of it and it will be bright in the center. It is a pretty cool effect to use in many situations.

The Paintbrush Tool is a very old tool in the Adobe and Macromedia line of products. In reality, it is probably one of the first features in the first paint program ever made. It is very simple to use and only does what it says. It paints like a brush in different sizes and tones.

The Pencil Tool
like the Paintbrush Tool only does what it says it does. It writes like a pencil in different sizes and tones. The Smooth Tool allows you to straighten out kinks in your drawings by erasing extra anchor points that may be messing up the path that an object would regularly make. If you use the Path Eraser Tool you can erase part of an object by erasing part of its path. If you just erased an anchor point with the Delete Anchor Point tool the object would just reshape into another form; however, with the Path Eraser Tool the object will act like that section doesn’t exist anymore and it will seem as if somebody erased it with an actual eraser!

The Rotate Tool is a simple feature that allows you to rotate any object on the Adobe Illustrator field. Many another Adobe design products have this feature as well. I believe even Macromedia products had it as well. The Reflect Tool allows you to copy the reflection of an object and move it however you like.

The Scaling Tool makes an object increase or decrease in size along the x and y axis. The Shear Tool allows you move an object around on its x and y axis. Like if you set a point in the center of an object and spun the object around it like it was a compact disc. The Reshape Tool allows you to move certain anchor points while keeping the overall integrity of the object.

The Warp Tool allows you to shape objects with your freehand abilities by moving pixels around independently. The Twirl Tool makes an object perform a swirling motion within itself. The Pucker Tool makes it seem that the object is getting the air poked out of it. I would say it’s like the object is imploding on itself. You can do this by simply using the cursor around the edges of the object. The Bloat Tool increases the air in an object and makes it looks like it will explode. The Scallop Tool makes the object looks like it is becoming spiky in nature. If you have seen a blowfish before its transformation from skinny fish to prickly prey is a good interpretation of this. The Crystallize Tool does the same thing as the scallop tool, except it only does it too the outside of the object. The Wrinkle Tool makes an object look like it is wrinkled. You can easily see this if you are using a grid or a line that is straight in nature to start.

The Free Transform Tool is used if you want change the shape of an object freehand. It is pretty simple and it reminds me of a couple other features I have used.

The Symbol Sprayer Tool lies under the symbolism options section of Adobe Illustrator. It has a series of options that you can pick from. The Symbol Sprayer Tool places a series of objects on the screen. The Symbol Shifter Tool is able to move symbol objects around. The Symbol Scruncher Tool moves objects closer to each other or further apart as a group. The Symbol Sizer Tool is able to change the size of the symbol objects. The Symbol Spinner Tool is able to move the symbol object around in a circular fashion. The Symbol Stainer Tool is able to change the color of each individual symbol object. The Symbol Screener Tool gives the symbol object the additional effect of a change in opacity that you are able to control. The Symbol Styler Tool is able to change the style that the object is shown in.

The next sets of tools are graph tools. The Column Graph Tool is just like your standard graph, which has vertical graphs. The Stack Column Graph Tool is similar to the Column Graph Tool except the fact that it can show similarities in certain things by stacking the graphs upon each other. The Bar Graph Tool makes graphs that are horizontal in direction. The Stack Bar Graph Tool is like the other stacked graph except it is horizontal in position. The Line Graph Tool uses a simple line over a period of some type of measurement to show progress. The Area Graph Tool is similar to the Line Graph Tool except fills in the area below it until it reaches the outline of another calculation. The Scatter Graph Tool is a graph that only uses the dots to show pivotal changes in the graph at regular intervals. The Pie Graph Tool is a very popular graph. It is a circular graph that shows the different options in different colors. The Radar Graph Tool makes graphs that take different graph sets and puts them categories that are displayed in a circular fashion.

The Mesh Tool
makes meshes and allows you to edit them accordingly.
The Gradient Tool allows you to fully customize the start and ending spots of each gradient that you use.

The Eyedropper Tool
is able to take color from one area from an image or an object and apply it somewhere else. The Measure Tool is able to see the length between two objects.

The Blend Tool
makes one object into a series of objects. It also makes it look like they are transforming into something else. It is a pretty cool feature that can have some uses with my website now that I think about it.

The Live Paint Bucket Tool
is similar to the regular Paint Bucket. The difference is you can fill in areas with the memory from other similar areas.

The Live Paint Selection Tool
lets you paint, but it also lets you fill in live areas that are grouped together. The different options are great for painting.

The Crop Area Tool
simply lets you cut out and area of an object with fine detail. The Slice Tool allows you to cut images into different sections so they can be put back together on the web. This helps with web downloads most of the time. The Slice Selection Tool allows you to select the slices that you have cut for the web.

The Eraser Tool is exactly what it says it is. It erases everything that it touches. The Scissor Tool will make cuts in an image and allow you to pull that section out. Then you are able to do whatever with the new anchor points that it makes on the object and the cut segment of the object. The Knife Tool cuts object as if you cut them with a knife. Once you do this you are able to pull the objects apart and reform them.

The Hand Tool allows you to move the window that the objects are stored in with the Adobe Illustrator CS3 program. The Page Tool allows you to change how the printed version of the output looks by manipulating the viewing screen.

The Zoom Tool allows you to zoom in on objects within the program.
I hope that you have learned the basics of the Adobe Illustrator CS3 program with this short tutorial. In the near future, I will have picture illustrations of the uses of each option so that you will further grasp what you can do with the program. Of course, this is only a few of the things that you can possibly do with the program. It takes a lot of imagination and hard work to get your thoughts on paper. If you visit my webpage you will be able to see this tutorial with appropriate pictures added. Remember that you can be an Adobe Guru if you try!


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