Archive for May, 2009

May 19, 2009

Startup Profiles – A Great tool to Customize your New Documents

Contributed by Rohit Guglani, Illustrator Team
A lot of time we hear from our users to have the default settings of a new document changed to suit their requirements. Document Startup Profiles – control the properties of new document. Following settings can be controlled using the startup profiles:

1. Swatches
2. Brushes
3. Symbols
4. Character Styles
5. Paragraph Styles
6. Graphic Styles
7. Page Size
8. Units
9. Orientation
10. Language
11. Highlight options
12. View Settings
13. Transparency Flattener Settings
14. Preview vs Pixel vs Overprint preview
15. Page Tiling
16. Edges
17. Guides
18. Grid
19. Transparency Grid
20. Rulers
21. Smart Guides
22. Document Raster Settings (resolution, preserve spot)

So, next time you want to customize your default profile just create a new document and customize the various settings and save the file to any of these locations:

Mac : {user}:Library:Application Support:Adobe:Adobe Illustrator CS4:{lang}:New Document Profiles
Win : {drive}\Documents and Settings\{user}\Application Data\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS4 Settings\{lang}\New Document Profiles

and the new profile starts appearing in the new document dialog.


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Multiple Artboards–Tips and Tricks Part 3

This section of Multiple Artboards Tips and Tricks is about page tiling.

Q: Since Save As PDF dialog doesn’t have the functionality of creating page tiles, how would I create Multipage PDF for tiled output from Illustrator?

A: You can create a tiled multi-page PDF more easily and precisely from Illustrator CS4 using Multiple Artboards. In fact you’ll probably save a lot of time and effort this way. Suppose you are planning to create a poster of size 2000pts X 2000pts and want to create a PDF that will have the whole artwork spread over 4 pages. You need to create 4 Artboards each of size 1000pts X 1000 pts with some no space between them. Use the following steps for easy discoverability, do file->New and in the new document dialog enter “4 “ as Number of Artboards, enter “0” as Spacing, Width and Height value 1000pts each and press Ok, this operation will create four Artboards each of size 1000pts X 1000pts placed side by side. Now if you want to have 4 pages in PDF each of size 1000pts by 1000pts, choose File->Save As choose file format as PDF and press “Save”, you will have a PDF consisting of 4 pages


Picture:showing how to save all your Artboards to Multipage PDF

You can also take complete control of overlap between tiles by setting the “space” between artboards as negative. For example you could create 4 artboards of 1010 x 1010 points and -20 points spacing.

But if you are a fan of page tiling and still want to follow the old route of going to the Print dialog, setting the Page Tiling on and so on, you can still print to PostScript file and distill the PostScript in Acrobat Distiller to obtain multipage PDF. Please remember that the Page Tiling option has been moved to General pane of Print dialog.

In case you have a large number of legacy files created from Illustrator and have Page Tiling enabled in those documents, we have provided a smart way to convert these Page Tiles to Artboards. Once these Page Tiles have been converted into Artboards, they can be easily saved to a Multipage PDF or printed using the Print dialog.
Whenever you will open a legacy file that has page tiling enabled you will receive “Convert to Artboard” dialog as shown.


Picture: showing how to convert the page tiles of legacy documents to Artboards in Illustrator CS4.

This dialog will help you to convert your old legacy tiled document to Multiple Artboards. To do this, just uncheck the “Legacy Artboard” option and check the “Page Tiles” option. You will get as many Artboards in the document as there were page tiles. These artboards would be of equal size & in sequence.

If you don’t want to use Multiple Artboards and want all of your tiles be present in the document, always check the “Legacy Artboard” option ON, and all other options off in the “Convert to Artboards” dialog.

Please comment if you still have doubts and need more information regarding these work flows.

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May 13, 2009

Live Paint — Making things out of thin air

Contributed by Brenda Sutherland, Illustrator Team Geologist
Isn’t it a great feeling when you set out to do something and find that it’s already been done? I’ve got that feeling now thanks to Mordy Golding’s instructional video’s currently being offered for FREE on

You see today was the day I was planning on wrapping up my series on Pathfinder and all the great features that use it with an article on Live Paint. But it turns out Mordy has just completed a series of 10 videos that go into depth describing the benefits of Live Paint and how to use it. Whew, my job is done!

Well, almost. . .

While I don’t want to spend too much time covering the nuts and bolts of Live Paint, as you can get that from watching the video’s, I’ll spend a little time talking about the development of the feature, since many of you have told us that you enjoy hearing the behind the scenes stories of how features evolve.

The motivation behind Live Paint was to create a more intuitive drawing and coloring environment in Illustrator. While Ai is the industry leader in vector graphic programs, the learning curve is pretty high, and it pains us to see new users create shapes by overlapping strokes then struggle to find a way to fill the object they’ve created with color. This is something that is easy for them to do in pixel based painting programs, even the educational software for children makes it easy to draw and paint this way, so it’s understandable that new users would expect to find a method of working like this in Illustrator.


But vector paths don’t work that way. The paint attributes are part of the geometry of the original objects. Spaces between these objects are just that, spaces, empty spaces, negative space . . . It’s kind of like holding your hands up and making a rectangle with your fingers. You can see the shape of the rectangle, but you know it’s not a real object, it’s more of an optical illusion. Well that’s the problem we had to solve in Illustrator. Objects can be close together and the spaces between them can look like objects, but there is no object there. So how can a user fill it with paint?


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May 12, 2009

Illustrator CS4 — Service Compris

Contributed by Terry Hemphill, Illustrator Product Marketing Manager

Illustrator CS4 includes three free online services: Adobe Kuler, Community Help and Share My Screen.

Kuler lets you explore, create and share color themes, and is available through the Kuler website; via an Adobe AIR application; through ColorSlide, an IPhone application; and directly within a panel in Illustrator CS4. To access the Kuler panel in Illustrator CS4, just go to Windows>Extentions>Kuler. The English versions of Illustrator CS3 also offer access to Kuler; go to Windows>Adobe Labs>Kuler.

Community Help provides instruction, inspiration, and support and lets you find them via Custom Search, a Google enterprise tool that delivers indexed content chosen by experts at Adobe and others in the design and developer communities, meaning you find the answers you need faster than with any standard web search.

But my favorite is one of the least known of the new services: Share My Screen, which gives you direct access to the Acrobat ConnectNow web conferencing service for you and up to two other users.

Original image in Illustrator being shared

Image seen as shared through Share My Screen (ConnectNow)

ConnectNow isn’t your father’s web conferencing service, but delivers the conferencing via a sleek interface for screen sharing, video and audio conferencing, a chat pod, whiteboard tools and even remote control, letting you take over another participant’s screen, with their permission, of course. To access Share My Screen, from the Illustrator CS4 main menu, go to File>Share My Screen.

We use Acrobat Connect constantly here at Adobe. It might be used to formally deliver a presentation, but more often it’s to jump into a Connect “room” to visually share information, review work in progress, or to get feedback on a shared project. And of course, our own IT support loves Connect to take over the user’s computer and directly deliver the tech support needed.

All it takes to access any of the new services is an Adobe ID, which is free, and is used for all kinds of access to everything Adobe—the Adobe Store, Adobe Labs,, and many more.

These three free services are available in many CS4 design and web products, including Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Flash, Fireworks, and Dreamweaver. You can get more info on these and other online services in Creative Suite 4 here.

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May 10, 2009

Multiple Artboards–Tips and Tricks Part 2

This section of Multiple Artboards Tips and Tricks is about use of crop marks.

Q: In Illustrator CS3, if you choose Object>Crop Area>Make, you get a Crop Area and Crop Marks at a distance of 9pt by 9pt from edges of the Crop Area. Now that Crop Area is not present in Illustrator CS4, can we still get crop marks in an EPS or PDF file without any offset error?

A: Yes we can still get the crop marks in an EPS or PDF file without any offset error by leveraging the Crop Marks Effect functionality.

In Illustrator CS4, create two rectangles, both these rectangles should have “No Fill” and “No stroke.”
The dimensions of first rectangle are equal to that of crop area you want. The dimensions of the second rectangle are less than the first rectangle by 18 pt by 18 pt. Both are placed concentrically, i.e., have the same center point. Select the first rectangle and choose Object >Convert to Artboards to create a new artboard. Then select the second rectangle and apply crop marks effect using Effect>Crop Marks. Crop marks will be created at a distance of 18pt by 18pt from the corners of the second rectangle and 9pt by 9pt from first rectangle, which you originally wanted for a crop area.

If you want to move these crop marks to a custom distance from second artboard, select the second rectangle and choose Object>Expand Appearance, or after drawing the first rectangle, use the attached action (Download file).

The Crop Marks Effect will be expanded, and using the Direct Selection Tool, you can move them wherever you want. The new artboard you created will work as a crop area (please refer to the previous section of Multiple Artboard Tips and Tricks) and the crop area effect will be used as crop marks. Caution: the length/width of crop marks created using the Crop Mark effect will be slightly more than what one would get in CS3 using Object>Crop Area>Make.

Please watch out for our next edition of Multiple Artboards Tips and Tricks to learn interesting ways of emulating Page Tiling in Illustrator CS4.

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