Where is My Gradient Annotator?

Gradient Annotator

The Gradient Annotator is an essential part of Illustrator’s Gradient tool (G). That’s why it’s such a pain when it seemingly disappears! I get emails about this all the time so I think it justifies a quick post. If you don’t see your annotator when using the Gradient tool (G) then choose View > Show Gradient Annotator (Command-Option-G/Ctrl-Alt-G). I tend to sometimes turn it off and on by accident when I’m using the keyboard shortcuts for grouping and ungrouping objects.

Organize Script

John Wundes has created another awesome script called Organize. With Organize, you can quickly sort selected items by a given attribute. Items can be sorted on height, width, area, x-axis, y-axis, opacity, and order. The sort direction are small-to-large, large-to-small, and random. It’s a pretty handy script for organizing icon sets, logo comps, and a bunch more. What would you use it for? Go download it now!

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Quick Tip: Drawing with Appearances

I love the the Appearance panel and one setting I use a bunch is New Art Has Basic Appearance (Appearance panel pop-up menu).  If selected, you’ll draw with only the current Stroke, Fill, Opacity and other attributes from the last object you drew will be ignored. If this option is not selected (which is how I use it the most), the new art will have the exact same Appearance as your last object. Pretty handy when creating a bunch of object that use the same Appearance attributes.

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Did You Know: One Text Block From Many

Did you know you can combine separate Area text boxes and Point type objects by selecting all of them with the Selection tool, copying them, drawing a new Area text box and pasting? This might seem obvious or basic but it’s a really handy tip if you didn’t know about it. The text will flow into the box in the stacking order in which it had appeared. You also don’t have to worry about selecting other non-text elements because they won’t be pasted.

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Did You Know: Constrain Angle

Did you know you can adjust the X and Y axes in Illustrator? Chose Preferences > General > Constrain Angle. The value you enter will affect all tools and modifier keys in Illustrator. This can be great for creating isometric objects or working on a project that requires alignment to objects at certain angles. Do you change your Constrain Angle much? If you do, what do you use it for?

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Split Into Grid

split into grid

When I think about the features I use most in Illustrator I was kind of surprised that one of the top functions was Illustrator’s Split Into Grid. I only use it for a couple specific things, but I do these things all the time. If you are not using the Split Into Grid feature or don’t know much about it, I think you will like these tips. Let me know if you use the Split Into Grid for anything else.

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