Chapter 2. Understanding Illustrator's Desktop


  • Launching and using Illustrator

  • Using shortcut keys

  • Working with Illustrator's interface

  • Moving around in Illustrator

  • Using Outline and Preview modes

  • Understanding the Edit functions

Not too long ago, commercial artists and illustrators worked by hand, not on computers. You might find it hard to believe, but they spent hours and hours with T-squares, rulers, French curves, and type galleys from their local typesetters.

Now, of course, most artists and artist wannabes spend hours and hours with their computers, mice, digitizing tablets, monitors, and on-screen type that they set themselves. A few traditional artists are still out there, but more and more make the transition to the digital world every day.

After that transition, computer artists usually come face to face with Illustrator, the industry-standard, graphics-creation software for both print and the Web. The following is a typical example of how people get to know Illustrator.

Picasso Meets Illustrator: Getting Started

Illustrator arrives, and the enthusiastic artist-to-be — I'll call him Picasso — opens the box, pops in the DVD, and installs the product. A few minutes later, Picasso launches Illustrator, opens a new file, and is faced with a clean, brand-new, empty document. A world of possibilities awaits — just a few mouse clicks away. But Picasso is a little intimidated by all that white space, just as many budding young writers wince at a new word-processing document ...

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