Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

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I am a Keyboard Shortcut junkie because Keyboard Shortcuts save a tremendous amount of time! The great thing about Illustrator CS3 is you can customize your shortcuts. Some of you probably know this already, but it’s worth mentioning for you that don’t. Now you can create shortcuts for Illustrator’s Tools and Menu Commands and set multiple profiles!

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Type On A Path Options

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Creating type on a path is a great feature of Illustrator and is quite handy when sprucing up your typography or experimenting. Annoyingly, the Path Type object always seem to have inconsistent spacing and just doesn’t look right. Luckily, Illustrator has some Text On A Path Options! With these options, you can change the Effect, Alignment, Spacing, and Flip.

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Set Object’s Actual Size

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If you are ever needed an object with a stroke to have exact dimensions, you probably got frustrated very quick. By default, Illustrator doesn’t take into account the dimensions of a stroke. You can easily change this by going Illustrator > Preferences > General and check the Use Preview Bound box. Now, Illustrator will take into account the dimensions of strokes, brushes, effects, and so on.

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Hide Layers

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Here is another quick, but usefully tip. To isolate a layer in a complicated file, Option-click (Alt-click) the Visibility Icon on a certain layer to hide all other layers. Option-click (Alt-click) the Visibility Icon again to reveal all the layers. You can also Option-click (Alt-click) and drag across multiple layers to isolate more than one layer at a time.

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Illustrator Knowhow

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I believe a great way to learn a program is to just play around with it. Illustrator is no exception, but sometimes you don’t know things exist or don’t know what certain tools can do. Vectips helps with some tips and tricks but sometimes you need answers quick or want to explore on your own. That is were the Illustrator Knowhow panel in Illustrator CS3 comes in handy!

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New Resource Page

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I finally added a resource page with a listing of blogs, tutorial aggregators, freebies, books, magazines and plug-ins that I find helpful. You can access the Resources from the top navigation bar.  I know I have missed some, so if you have a suggestion for a resource, feel free to contact me. I will review the resource and see if it fits with the rest of the resources.

Cleaning Up Files

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The other week, I had a file that kept getting corrupted when I would send it to a printer. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and spent forever sending emails, zipping files, examining outlines and so on. I came to realize, it was an obscure brush I was experimenting with early along in the project. I didn’t even use it in the final version! After that fiasco, I will always clean up my files!

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