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2.1 Workspace and Document Setup

In this lesson we will be looking at the Illustrator workspace and how to set up up a new document. Although we are working with the latest version of Adobe Illustrator CC, you can work with any version—just keep in mind that some features are new to Adobe Illustrator CC only.

2.1 Workspace and Document Setup

Hi, my name is Simona and welcome to Tuts+. You are watching the course, the Fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator. And this is lesson, Workspace and Document Setup. In this lesson we will be looking at Adobe Illustrator CC workspace and how to set up a new document. We are working with the latest version of Adobe Illustrator CC. And you can work with any version of Adobe Illustrator, but keep in mind that some features are new to Adobe Illustrator CC only. So let's get started by opening up Illustrator. When you look at the interface, tool bars, and tool panels, it can be a bit overwhelming. But, if you are familiar with Photoshop, some of the tools are not so new to you. And things like layers, the Pen tool, Selection tools look pretty much the same. As you can see, we can find the Tool panel on the left, the Menu Bar on the top, and the panels on the right. On the right, you have tool panels grouped in a work space, and you can expand the panels, collapse them, open each singly. You can drag them out, put them back in, and you can close them. Most of those panels are grouped into a workspace which we can find here on the top-right. A workspace is nothing else, but a group of panels that are useful in regards to what you are working on. For example, the Typography workspace can be useful if you work with a lot of text, or the Painting workspace, Printing and Proofing workspace, and the Web workspace, and so forth. It is totally up to you to choose what workspace is useful for your project. Right now we have the workspace Essentials activated, and you can tell by the name that is shown here and the tick in the drop down. Most of the tool panels are grouped. You can drag them out, close them by clicking on the small X here. Or even drag them back into the panel group. Watch the blue border around. This means it will be placed back, and snaps right next to it. You can also pull out a whole group, expand it or collapse it. And drag it back and place it in another order. See the blue line? This means it will snap below another group of the panels. In case you want to go back, you can just go to Essentials, click the small arrow, and choose Reset Essentials, and all will be reset. You can also add extra tools. For example, the Align tool. You can find the tool by going to Window and in the drop-down, select Align. This will open the Align tool, which is grouped with the Pathfinder tool and the Transform tool. Those three are the most common one used for transforming objects. So let's add this one to the panel on the right. Just like this. We automatically change the workspace Essentials. And if you were to reset it, the just added tools would disappear. But Illustrator lets us save our own workspace. Just go up to Essentials and the drop-down, choose New Workspace. In the pop-up window, we will give it a name, for example, I will call mine Simona, but you can call it, of course, whatever you feel is suited for you. After you hit OK, we will select Essentials, reset it, and then switch back to the new created workspace. See. The Aligned, Pathfinder, and Transform tools are still here. Now let's look at the document setup. In order to create an artwork, we need a document. Just like Photoshop, if you click on File > New, a pop-up window will appear that let's us set up what kind of document we would like to work with. The new document window comes with quite a few options. First, we can give it a name. The preset is Untitled-1. You can add a name and it is totally up to you what to call the document. I will choose the name test for now. Illustrator has some profiles that we can choose from. Those presets will automatically give you the according units like points or pixels and you can change those settings anytime you like. Let's choose Print for now and let's switch the units to inches here. Then we can choose how many artboards we want. I will talk about artboards later, so let's stick with one for now. For the size of our document, let's keep letter size and then orientation of portrait. Next is the Bleed, but for our project we won't be needing a document bleed. So let's leave it as it is. In the Advanced settings, the Color Mode is set to CMYK. You can switch to RGB, but let's assume you want to print your artwork, let's leave it at CMYK. The Raster Effects is set to high, which means 300 pixels per inch. We will keep this as well. The preview mode is set to default, and we can either select pixel or overprint. Preview modes are used to give us an idea what our artwork will look like for different mediums. Pixel is usually used to tell what it would look like on a screen and Overprint for simulating print effects. In our case, we keep the Default setting, which is the regular preview mode. So let's click OK. Now we have created a new document. We have one artboard, the tools, and panels, and we can still switch workspaces. Let's talk about one more thing before jumping to the next lesson. In older versions, the interface color looked a bit different. Illustrator lets you choose your own look of the interface. You can adjust the interface by going to Edit > Preferences > User Interface for Windows users, or Illustrator > Preferences > User Interface on a Mac OS to display the new interface options. From the Brightness drop-down menu, you can choose from following options, Dark, Medium Dark, Medium Light, or Light. You can also drag the slider to which color is your preference. Then you can choose if the canvas color is matched or is white. It's all up to you. For our project, I will keep the interface as is for now. And this is it for the quick overview of Adobe Illustrator CC workspace and document setup. We have created a new document in letter size. We have the Illustrator control panel on the top. The workspace with panels on the right and a newly created workspace which is now part of the workspaces available in the drop-down. So let's move on to the next lesson and learn more about the Adobe Illustrator tools and new features in version CC.

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