Zoom Tool (Z)

Select in toolbox for zoom in & zoom out.

for zoom in :

  1. click on image, or
  2. click (hold) & drag over the image

  1. fast shortcut for zoom in without deselecting other tools, (with other tool active), keyboard Ctrl + Spacebar hold & zoom in then release keyboard.

for zoom out :

  1. click on image
  2. fast shortcut for zoom out without deselecting other tools, (with other tool active), keyboard Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar hold & zoom out then release keyboard.
  3. zoom 100% = double click or keyboard Ctrl+1
  4. zoom all = double click or keyboard Ctrl+0

Hand Tool (H)

To scroll the artboard around without using vertical / horizontal scrollbar.

    1. Toolbar - select
    2. Click on any area & drag to move the document around.
    3. Fast shortcut for hand without deselecting other tools, (with other tool active), keyboard Spacebar (hold), cursor will change to , click (mouse) & drag document.

      Previous - 02 Getting Started | Next - Drawing Basic Shape →

      This tutorial, we will look at the Illustrator Work Space, the Tools and Palette that commonly used in working with Illustrator. So first, create a new document, study the environment - the Tools on the left, Palette on the right and Control Panel on the top. But most important are the Tools (left) & Palette (right).


      Create New Document

      Go to File > New Document to create your first document. Type in a Name for the document and click Advanced to select RGB for Color Mode as we will be working for the screen. Click Ok after that.

      Note :
      • CMYK Color Mode - for printing job purpose (i.e. brochure, letterhead, name card, etc.)
      • RGB Color Mode - for jobs to be displayed on screen (i.e. for website design, video editing)
      • Size document (A4 as shown above) will be the artboard size for the new document
      • Set the Units – points / inches / mm / cm, etc.
      • Orientation either portrait or landscape
      • Size, Units & Orientation can be changed at anytime in the middle of your works, go to File > Document Setup

      Illustrator Workspace


      You’re advised to familiarize the Illustrator Workspace, there are 4 main features of the workspace besides the canvas itself.

      1. Toolbox - the tools that we will used

      2. Menu - the standard features for any applications

      3. Control Panel - display the properties of selected tools & artworks

      4. Palette - Holds the properties of the artworks - to modified, change colors, stroke, etc.


      This is the handy toolbox which we will use most often. By default, it comes in one single column (collapse) as shown in the screenshot above. To switch it back to the old style 2 columns toolbox, simply click the top left mini arrow >> to toggle it into 2 columns. Some of the tools like Rectangle have more tools hidden. To expand, just click and hold the icon to reveal all the similar tools under that group.

      Expandable Tools indicated with small arrow

      Click & hold the selected tool to expand the extra tools

      Toolbox with 2 columns view, the functions & the shortcuts indicated in bracket.

      Floating Palette

      This is the floating palette which contains properties for our artworks. It is commonly used for changing colors, stroke width, artworks size, effect, etc.

      SVG or Scalable Vector Graphic is the only vector graphic or vector image that has the ability to appears on screen, online. Unlike other vector graphics format sucah as Ai, CDR, EPS that unable to be appear live onscreen in the internet, just a link instead. Except SWF or flash format, but the different is SVG is 'static vector image' and SWF (flash) format are normally video or animation and the good point is SVG image that shown online are downloadable. Here is one of SVG editor project by a SVG-edit group using free Google code service, an open source for developer.

      This open source SVG-edit project was driven by javascript (JS), HTML5, CSS and SVG.. yes sounds so internet because this is an online version of SVG-edit. just make sure you're using modern web browser to launch the site. You can find the download version via their Project Home. Since I'm an Adobe Illustrator user, I don't use it for my vector edit, so I prefer you try it yourself. Still it's a good program for fast and light editing for web vector.

      Let see the features it offered:
      • Free-hand drawing
      • Lines, Polylines
      • Rectangles / Squares
      • Ellipses / Circles
      • Polygons / Curved Paths
      • Stylable Text
      • Raster Images
      • Select / Move / Resize / Rotate
      • Undo / Redo
      • Color / Gradient picker
      • Group / Ungroup
      • Align
      • Zoom
      • Layers
      • Convert Shapes to Path
      • Wireframe Mode
      • Save drawing to SVG
      • Linear Gradient Picking
      • View and Edit SVG Source
      • UI Localization
      • Resizable Canvas
      • Change Background
      • Draggable Dialogs
      • Resizable UI (SVG icons)
      • Open Local Files
      • Import SVG into Drawing
      • Connector lines and Arrows
      • Plugin Architecture
      • Smoother freehand paths
      • Editing outside the canvas
      • Increased support for SVG elements
      • Add / Edit Sub-paths
      • Multiple path segment selection
      • Support for foreign markup (MathML)
      • Radial Gradients
      • Configurable Options
      • Eye-dropper tool
      • Stroke linejoin and linecap
      • Export to PNG

      Well not bad, though the program interface seems very basic. I intended to compare it with some of other free Vector Editor available online. Perhaps next time I'll try to make some basic comparison in features, let me collect some other free vector editor first. Anyway go to their Project Home SVG-edit and for Short Introduction to learn more.

      credit: ehmdunque.altervista.org
        Have you ever wonder which vector file format is the good option to save for public sharing..?

        As we may see on some websites that giving free vector files, they provide a few types of format for the vector file to download. The options just for different software users normally Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, PDF, EPS, etc. Here I show the comparison between saving as Ai vs EPS file formats as image shown below. Why Ai & EPS.. well I'm talking about saving vector files using Adobe Illustrator.. and which format is better, Ai or EPS. CorelDraw don't have to worry they normally accept Ai file, but not vice versa.

        Look at the image above, the first file in the image shown is Ai file and the 3 EPS was saved differently (using Illustrator CS5) with EPS - CS3, CS5 & v.10 settings. They're not much differ among the 3 EPS files with different settings when saving it. But saving the same file as Ai format reduced the file to much smaller in size. Therefore I always prefer to sharing vector files in Ai file format.

        Why EPS file format is bigger than Ai..?

        In term of file size, I can't really tell specifically, perhaps EPS file format saved more information technically, due to widely supported vector file format to be read or open by most graphic software. So it takes more bytes with EPS, (I guess). But in the other hand, Ai file format is specific and it doesn't need 'extra bytes' (my assumption, lol).

        Why Ai file format is better..?

        These are the points I want to share about the advantages Ai vector file format:
        • Ai is smaller in size.
        • Ai is supported by many popular graphic software, paid version & free open source.
        • Ai is the industry standard in design & printing (any design firm will have the application).

          Tips to make the Ai file smaller.

          Ok here is the saving setting normally I used to keep Ai files small in bytes, near 10 times smaller..!!

          Whenever you want to save vector file in Adobe Illustrator, make sure the save option setting:
          • File > Save As > Save > Illustrator Options (as image shown above)
            > Disable the 'Embed ICC Profiles' > Ok
          This will reduce your file size significantly, compared to 'Embed ICC Profile' enable, when saving.
          For normal use, enable 'Embed ICC Profiles' just wasting the file capacity, imagine you deal with 100mb of Ai artworks, you might reduce +/- 90mb of the size probably. (Unless you really deal with ICC Profiles for the jobs).

          Choosing legacy version when saving the file for sharing to public or to output for printing is recommended. These will make sure no version conflict when the other machine using different Illustrator version.

          Am I missing something, share some tips that you know with us ;)

          Brush is one of the important element in Digital Illustration's artwork using Adobe Illustrator. We might be familiar with those ready made Brushes available in the software since the previous versions of Illustrator. But are they enough for variety of artworks or creativity..? Sure we will always love to download free Brushes available on the net. But there are plenty of it and most of them not suites our needs, some we don't have the time to preview or to know the results. Then the idea to customise our own Brushes for specific artworks is a good decision.

          Here are one of the comprehensive tutorial explained how to create Brushes profile width to be use in any Illustrator CS versions. The Brushes profiles shown as below..

          View from the source

          credit: vector.tutsplus.com | img brush: zcool.com.cn

          Converting a Pantone color to CMYK in Adobe Illustrator is just a click away.. but how to convert CMYK to Pantone color..? Before that, why we need to convert CMYK to Pantone color, you asked..? As designer, sometimes we need to have only spot color(s) in our artwork. Or perhaps a design that needs a specific color other than CMYK it self, so the extra spot color is needed in the artworks. Yes it means the artwork holds more than 4 colors, CMYK + Pantone.

          So here is the Tips on How To Convert CMYK To Pantone in Illustrator the easy way in this video tutorial.

          An another guide on How To Convert CMYK To Pantone clearly explained in text & images tutorial below..

          View the Tutorial..

          credit: vector.tutsplus.com & 4networking.biz
          Happy 25th Anniversary Adobe Illustrator ☺. Since 19 March 1987 it was shipped and being in the market, as the first software application for a 5 years old company. Well I just knew that Illustrator is the first software by Adobe.. and it was change the way designers and artist do their jobs. The Vector Application then conquer the industry. Read the story more from adobelife blog.
          Here are all the Adobe Illustrator's Splash Screen since the 1st version of the software till now. The woman image is a painting - 'The Birth of Venus' by Sandro Botticelli.

          The Birth of Venus (Illustrator must be female) lol..

          1987: Adobe Illustrator 1.1

          1988: Adobe Illustrator 88

          1991: Adobe Illustrator 3

          1993: Adobe Illustrator 5.0

          1996: Adobe Illustrator 6.0

          1997: Adobe Illustrator 7.0

          1998: Adobe Illustrator 8.0

          2000: Adobe Illustrator 9.0

          2002: Adobe Illustrator 10

          With new optimized software's engine & the new name, CS (Creative Suite)
          2003: Adobe Illustrator CS

          2005: Adobe Illustrator CS2

          Re-branding looks great
          2007: Adobe Illustrator CS3

          2008: Adobe Illustrator CS4

          extra dimension - perspective included
          2010: Adobe Illustrator CS5
          what next.. Ai CS6 on the way.. let see ; )

          src & img credit:
          • https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150625558263226.394954.64138473225&type=1
          • http://blogs.adobe.com/adobelife/2012/03/21/happy-25th-adobe-illustrator/
          A good artworks or visual designs need both combination of Vector & Raster graphic editor. That is the purpose and the differ between Adobe Illustrator & Adobe Photoshop, that many users still don't really understand 'why Adobe creates (and Designers using) both of it. Every time (non designer) asked me about these two graphic design software related and their purpose, I replied; "It's something like, why God creates woman when man can handle this world themselves". (Do we..?)

          Illustrator & Photoshop is like male & female (doesn't matter who's male & who's female in this case)☺ Sometimes we need to use Photoshop to completes Illustrator works and vice versa. Same goes to female that completes male, right..♥ Anyway, I'm talking about the 'communication' it should goes between these 2 software 'in action'.

          Ok lets say we done doing some (unfinished) artworks with Illustrator and there are some Layers in the Ai files, we need to transfer the job to Photoshop, with all the Layers and Texts editable in Photoshop. Simply Export the files from Illustrator to Photoshop.

          File > Export > Photoshop (psd)

          Well, I'm sharing this simple Illustrator Tips on how to do it.. please read from the source

          via: twitter.com/wegraphics
          src & img credit: http://wegraphics.net/blog/tutorials/illustrator-quick-tip-exporting-files-to-photoshop


          Here another Tips on working with..

          Ps to Ai & Ai to Ps

          Read from the source: Illustrator files in Photoshop & Photoshop file in Illustrator

          src & img credit: http://creativefan.com/photoshop-illustrator-integration-tips/

          Today we showcase some of Typography related in Poster Design by designers mostly by typeface designers and they're called Typographers. Also some topic and infos about Typography and the anatomy. Checkout some of their Typography artworks.

          Here are some Free eBooks specifically for Typography you can read and study the use of it in designs and for web.. enjoy..

          http:// flickr.com

          Here are 50 Illustrator Tutorials dated 21 March 2009, it must be Illustrator CS3 tutorials because the collections should be before of the date it was published in Think Design as 50 links to take a look.

          Personally Illustrator CS3 is the best choice to be start with if you wanna learn the basic of Adobe Illustrator, simply because Ai CS3 don't have (and you don't need those) some new fancy tools and features such as the bristol brush, perspective tools, etc.. and it will not confusing you with multiple artboards introduced. The best features in Illustrator CS3 for me is the simple but powerful 'Smart Guide' compared to CS4, CS5 (or new coming perhaps) which the new 'Smart Guide' seems too much in 'snap' abilities, and it's not possible to configure it as the previous.

          Anyway here are the topics covered in the collections of 50 tutorials:
          1. Basic Shading and Lighting
          2. Tutorial: Transform, Style, Blend
          3. Tutorial: make texture without leaving Illustrator
          4. Some Cool Introduction to Illustrator Videos
          5. Basic Drawing with Adobe Illustrator’s Paths & Pen tool
          6. Creating gradations with Adobe Illustrator’s Gradients & Blends
          7. Basic & Advanced Illustrator Drawing Techniques for Technical Illustrations
          8. Using the Pathfinder and Align tool in Illustrator
          9. Illustrator Pucker and Bloat Effect and more
          10. Tutorial: The Flare Tool
          11. Creating a 3D Gear
          12. Illustrator full spectrum spirograph
          13. Create a Vector RSS Icon with Illustrator
          14. Creating seamless patterns in Illustrator
          15. BMX Illustration
          16. Symmetric Illustration
          17. Soaring Vectors
          18. Creating Road Maps in Adobe Illustrator
          19. Realistic Photo Vector Tutorial
          20. Tropical Transparency Effect
          21. Ornate Lettering Process
          22. How to Design a Font From Start to Finish
          23. Live Color in Illustrator CS3
          24. Create 3D Can of Beans
          25. Blueprint-Style Text in Adobe Illustrator
          26. Logo Design Project Step by Step Walkthrough
          27. How to Create a Trendy Retro Type Treatment
          28. Design a Print-Ready Beer Label in Adobe Illustrator
          29. Tips for Working with the Gradient Mesh Tool In Illustrator
          30. How to Design a Classic Heraldic Figure
          31. 10 Free and Extremely Useful Illustrator Scripts
          32. Creating Sketchy-Style Vectors
          33. Creating A Wood Grain texture
          34. Creating Brushed Metal Texture
          35. How to Create a Stylized Vector Grasshopper
          36. Make 3D Yet Flat Looking Shopping Basket Icons
          37. Make a Torn Vector Desktop Wallpaper with Angled Text
          38. How to Create Colorful Abstract Artwork in Illustrator
          39. Use the power of Illustrator to create cool 3D infographics
          40. Master painting in Illustrator
          41. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial #1 - Adding Texture
          42. Adobe Illustrator Tutorial - Cutaway Technical Illustration
          43. Creating Vector Hair
          44. Create an envelpe icon with a satin feel
          45. How to Create a Vector Safari Compass in Illustrator
          46. Create camouflage patterns
          47. Create a Themed Repeating Pattern in Illustrator
          48. Creating geometric patterns in Illustrator
          49. Illustrator: The Tilde Trick
          50. From Sketch to Vector Illustration
          see all the collections via Think Design

          don't have the player..? tryout the Illustrator CS5

          img credit: Think Design

          An Illustrator script named Organize was created by demand of a user to designer and scripter, John Wundes. He is a scripts writer for Adobe Illustrator as in his website.

          Well this Organize script purpose is to organize (of course) Arrangements by size:
          • small to large
          • large to small
          • vertical axis
          • horizontal axis
          • left ↔ right
          • right ↔ left
          • random

          More info & download in http://js4ai.blogspot.com/2012/02/organize.html.
          Make sure to saved it in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Illustrator CS\Presets\Scripts or your default illustrator Scripts' folder.
          I've download it and will give it a try and will give my personal feedback perhaps ; )
          You can find all of his Adobe Illustrator Script's listing in his scripts archives.
          designer, illustrator, founder of vectorise.net