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Quick Tip: Create a Simple Pagination Bar using the Appearance Panel

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In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a simple pagination bar. You will learn how to use the Appearance Panel, Gradients and Transform Effects, to style a pagination bar. Let's begin!


Step 1

Open Illustrator and press Command + N to create a new document. Enter 600 in the width box and 300 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the "Align New Objects to Pixel Grid" box is unchecked before your click OK. Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid).

Next, you'll need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You can also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to replace the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. Al these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 215 by 25px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 3

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px. Reselect the rounded rectangle created in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Move to the Layers panel, select the top copy and move it 1px down using the down arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both copies, open the Pathfinder panel and click on the Minus Front button. Fill the resulting shape with black and lower its opacity to 5%.


Step 4

Reselect the rounded rectangle made in the second step and focus on the Appearance. Add a 3pt stroke and select it. Align it to inside, make it black and lower its opacity to 5%. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel, make sure that the stroke is still selected and click twice on the Duplicate Selected Item button (pointed by the little, blue arrow). This will add two copies of your black stroke. Select the bottom copy and make it 2pt wide then select the top copy and make it 1pt wide. In the end your rounded rectangle should look like in the following image.


Step 5

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For the following steps you will need a grid every 1px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Focus on the right side of the existing shapes and grab the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a 19px square, fill it with the linear gradient shown below, place it as shown in the following image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 6

Reselect the rounded square created in the previous step and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK then hit Control + Shift + E. This will add a second, identical effect. Make sure that your square is still selected and move to the Appearance panel. Add a 2pt, white stroke, align it to inside and lower its opacity to 50%. Make a copy of this stroke, select it and decrease its size to 1pt.


Step 7

Reselect the rounded square, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, drag it in the bottom of the Appearance panel, make it black, lower its opacity to 7% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 2px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 8

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 5px square and fill it with R=156 G=156 B=156. Focus on this new shape, grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the right anchor points and go to Object > Path > Average (Alt + Control + J). Check the Both button and click OK. This will turn your square into a triangle. Select it and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 1px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 9

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the shape created in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down using the down arrow. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=105 G=105 B=105. Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 10

Reselect the two shapes created in the previous two steps, group them (Control + G) and open the Align panel. Select this new group along with the rounded square, click on the border of the rounded square (it should get emphasized) then click on the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel. This will center your little arrow. Reselect the group created in the beginning of the step along with the rounded square and group them (Control + G).


Step 11

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 105 by 19px shape. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, place it as shown in the following image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 12

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it, remove the linear gradient from the fill and add a black stroke. Make it 1pt wide, align it to inside and go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Fill the resulting path with the linear gradient shown in the final image.


Step 13

Reselect the rounded rectangle created in the eleventh step and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK and move to the Appearance panel. Add a 2pt stroke, make it white and align it to inside.


Step 14

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 1 by 17px shape. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the left window, click OK then go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the right window and click OK.


Step 15

Reselect the thin rectangle created in the previous step and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 16

Reselect the group created in the tenth step and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical button and click on the Copy button. This will create a horizontally flipped copy of your group. Select this new group, drag it to the right and place it as shown in the third image.


Step 17

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Grab the Type Tool (T) and add the text shown in the following image. Use the Calibri font with the size set at 10pt and the color at R=105 G=105 B=105. Select all your text, group it (Control + G) and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 18

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create an 18 by 15px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the following image. Move to the Layers panel, select this new rectangle and drag it below the group with the text. This is how the active page will look like.


Step 19

Finally, let's add a simple background. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a shape the size of your artboard and send it to back (Shift + Control + Left Square Bracket ). Fill it with the radial gradient shown below then focus on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill for this shape and select it. Make it black, lower its opacity to 2%, change the blending mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 20

Reselect the rounded rectangle created in the second step and focus on the Appearance panel. Make sure that no fill or stroke is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the left window, click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the right window, click OK and you're done.


Conclusion

Now your work is done. Here is how it should look.

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