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

Knowhow Thumb

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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Easily Close Pencil and Brush Paths

Easily Close Pencil and Brush Paths

The Pencil and Brush tools are useful, but sometimes frustrating. I always found the open paths it creates particularly annoying. A simple solution is to press the Option/Alt key when you are ready to close a path. Once pressed, it will join the first and last anchor points with a straight line. Holding down the Option/Alt key and drawing a little past the starting anchor will close the path automatically.

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