Using Graphic Styles
You probably already have a sense of how powerful
A graphic style is a saved set of attributes, much like a swatch. When you apply a style to an object, that object takes on the attributes that are defined in the style. At any time, you can redefine the attributes of a particular style, and when you do, any objects in your file that already have that style applied are updated as well. The best part about Graphic Styles is how easy they are to use. And you'll never guess which palette plays an integral part in creating graphic stylesthat's right, the Appearance palette.
Defining a Graphic Style
As we mentioned earlier, a graphic style is a saved set of attributes. You know that the Appearance palette lists all attributes, so you already understand the first step in creating a graphic stylespecifying the attributes you want defined in the style. Once you've specified stroke and fill settings and added Live Effects, click the New Graphic Style button in the Graphic Styles palette (
). Alternatively, you can drag the target thumbnail from the Appearance palette and drop it into the Graphic Styles palette. Double-click a style in the Graphic Styles palette to give it a name (which is always helpful). If you Option-click (Alt-click) the New Graphic Style button, you can define a new style and give it a unique
Figure 3.16. Once you've specified your attributes in the Appearance palette, you can use the Graphic Styles palette to create a new graphic style.
Notice that when you apply a graphic style to an object in your file, the Appearance palette identifies the target and the style that is applied. This makes it easy to quickly see which style is applied to an object ( Figure 3.17 ).
Figure 3.17. When a graphic style is applied, the Appearance palette helps you easily identify the target and the applied style.
Figure 3.18. To simulate a multi-ink color, combine two fills and use the Overprint command. The result is a single editable
As we mentioned back in Chapter 1, Illustrator ships with many libraries, including a variety of graphic styles. It's a good idea to load some of these and use the Appearance palette to see how they were created. Not only does this give you some ideas on the kinds of styles you can create, it allows you to better understand how powerful both appearances and Graphic Styles can be.
Loading Attributes with the Eyedropper Tool
You can use Illustrator's Eyedropper tool to load the attributes of existing objects quickly. This can be useful in two ways. First, if you already have an object selected when you click another object with the Eyedropper tool, your selected object changes to match the object you clicked. Second, you can click once with the Eyedropper to sample the attributes of an object, and you can then Option-click (Alt-click) to apply those attributes to other objects in your file without actually having to select them.
You can configure the Eyedropper tool to sample just the basic appearance of an object (the topmost fill and stroke) or complete complex appearances. To control what the Eye-dropper tool can sample, double-click the tool in the Toolbox ( Figure 3.21 ).
Figure 3.21. Double-click the Eyedropper tool in the Toolbox to control what specific attributes the tool uses for sampling.
Shift-click with the Eyedropper tool to sample colors from the pixels of raster images. In this way, the Eyedropper tool works much like the one found in Photoshop.