Before you start working in any application, give some thought to setting up your preferences. Each Adobe application gives you numerous preference options that control the way the application performs specific actions or reacts in specific situations. Access the Illustrator Preferences window by selecting Edit, Preferences in Windows environments, and Illustrator, Preferences on your Mac.

The Preferences window contains several panes. You can select a specific pane from the Preferences submenu, or use the pop-up menu at the top of the Preferences window to choose the set of preferences you want to see. Use the Next and Previous buttons to move from set to set. In the following sections, you explore the different options in the Preferences window. In many cases you may choose to stay with Illustrator's default preferences, but it's good to become familiar with these because there might be certain options that are very meaningful to you and the way you work.

General Preferences

Figure 13.6 shows the General pane of the Illustrator Preferences window. The following options are available:

  • Keyboard Increment refers to the amount a selected object moves when one of the arrow keys on the keyboard is pressed.

  • Constrain Angle enables you to change the angle of the x and y axes. They are horizontal and vertical by default; enter another degree in these text fields to rotate the axes. A positive number moves the rotation angle counterclockwise, and a negative number moves it clockwise.

  • Corner Radius refers to the corner appearance when rounded rectangles are drawn.

Figure 13.6. Illustrator's General Preferences.

The following check box options enable you to turn the features on or off:

  • Object Selection by Path Only: When this option is checked, you can select an object only by clicking on the path or an anchor point. When it is not selected, you can click the fill of an object and select it.

  • Use Precise Cursors: This turns on an option that gives you a very precise pointer when you are working with the tools in the Toolbox. The precise cursors help your accuracy when you're dealing with detailed artwork.

  • Show Tool Tips: Uncheck this option if you do not want to display the name of a tool when you hover your mouse over it.

  • Anti-Aliased Artwork: Turn on anti-aliasing, which displays your vector artwork much smoother than is usually possible on a monitor, giving you a more precise view of how it will be printed.

  • Select Same Tint %: The Select, Same menu commands in Illustrator enable you to select all objects that have the same fill and/or stroke color. When this box is checked, these commands will select only those objects that have the same tint percentage of the given colors.

  • Append [Converted] Upon Opening Legacy Files: If you are opening files from previous versions of Illustrator, text in those files is not editable until you update it. When you update text, Illustrator will automatically add the word [Converted] to the end of your filename. Deselect this option if you do not want to add [Converted] to your filename.

  • Disable Auto Add/Delete: When you are working with a path using the Pen tool, by default the tool automatically changes to the Add Anchor Point tool or Delete Anchor point tool, depending on where you position it on the path. Check this box to turn that feature off.

  • Use Japanese Crop Marks: This turns on the double crop marks common in Japanese printing environments.

  • Transform Pattern Tiles: If you are transforming an object with a patterned fill, checking this box also automatically applies the transformation to the fill. When this option is disabled, the default will be to leave patterns unchanged when the object is transformed.

  • Scale Strokes and Effects: When this option is selected, an object's stroke and any effect applied to it, such as a drop shadow, will be scaled when the object is scaled. Uncheck it to scale the object only, leaving the stroke and effect the same.

  • Use Preview Bounds: This selection determines how the dimensions of any object are displayed in the Info palette. When this box is checked, the stroke width and any other parts of the element are included in the measurement; when this option is not enabled, only the vector path is measured.

Click the Reset All Warning Dialogs button to reset any warning dialogs you might have turned off or changed in the application.

Type Preferences

Figure 13.7 shows the Type pane of the Illustrator Preferences window.

Figure 13.7. Illustrator's Type Preferences.

Keyboard shortcuts exist to help you automatically enlarge or reduce type and type characteristics incrementally. The numbers in the Size/Leading, Tracking, and Baseline Shift fields are the default increments when you use these keyboard shortcuts.

The Greeking field refers to the size type has to be to avoid being greeked, or displayed as a gray bar, when you are looking at your artboard. The point size is relative to the zoom level of the artboard. For example, with the default setting, type below 6 points is greeked at 100%. With that same setting, type below 12 points is greeked at 50% zoom.

The following options are available:

  • Type Object Selection by Path Only: When this is checked, you must click on a type path to select the type. When it is deselected, you can click anywhere in the type bounding box to select the type.

  • Show Asian Options: Determine whether different letter forms are visible in the Glyphs palette for Asian fonts. The term glyph refers to a single character in a font family. The Glyphs palette displays all available characters or letterforms in a font.

  • Show Font Names in English: When this is selected, all font names display in English. When unchecked, the font names display in the native language.

  • Number of Recent Fonts: This pop-up menu specifies the number of fonts you want to see in the Type, Recent Fonts menu.

When the Font Preview option is checked, fonts will be displayed with previews in the Type menu and all other places where fonts are selected. You can also choose a general size at which the font should display.

Units & Display Performance Preferences

Figure 13.8 shows the Units & Display Performance pane of the Illustrator Preferences window.

Figure 13.8. Units & Display Performance Preferences.

The Units pop-up menus enable you to select the units of measurement in which general items (page objects, tabs and rulers), strokes, type, and Asian type (if you selected Show Asian Options in the Type Preferences pane) are displayed.

The following options are available:

  • Numbers Without Units Are Points: When this check box is checked, Illustrator assumes that any number you enter in a palette without specifying a unit of measurement is a point. Otherwise, the default unit of measurement will be used.

  • Identify Objects By: This setting determines how object names are displayed in the Variables palette. Object Name is the standard setting; XML ID refers to the XML name that Illustrator assigns to every object you create.

  • Display Performance: This setting determines the quality of display when you move the artboard with the Hand tool. The closer you are to Full Quality, the better the display will look, but the slower you will move. The closer you are to Faster Updates, the faster you will move, but your display will not look as good.

Guides & Grid Preferences

The Guides & Grid pane of the Preferences window enables you to set the style and color of grids and guides on your artboard (see Figure 13.9). Enter a number to indicate how often a gridline should appear when grids are turned on and how many subdivisions are between each gridline. For example, if you were working in picas (a unit of measurement common in printing) and wanted a gridline every inch, you would put a gridline every 6p0 (6 picas equal 1 inch), with six subdivisions to represent the individual picas. The check box enables you to place grids behind page objects.

Figure 13.9. Guides & Grid Preferences.

Smart Guides & Slices Preferences

Figure 13.10 shows the Smart Guides & Slices pane of the Illustrator Preferences window. The following options are available:

  • Text Label Hints: Display labels similar to ToolTips indicating where the cursor will snap as you move the mouse. For example, if you move an object with Smart Guides turned on, the text label hints tell you what you are aligning to.

  • Construction Guides: Display guidelines when you use Smart Guides.

  • Transform Tools: Display information when you transform items by scaling, rotating, and shearing them.

  • Object Highlighting: Highlight the object below the pointer while you drag around it.

Figure 13.10. Smart Guides & Slices Preferences.

The Angles area enables you to set how Smart Guides appear to help you position other objects near existing objects. Choose from the predefined angles in the pop-up menu or enter your own angles, which automatically changes the default to Custom. The preview square shows how the Smart Guide angles display. The Snapping Tolerance option refers to the number of points within which an object automatically snaps to a Smart Guide.

The Slices options define the boundaries of elements on a web page based on object type. In these preferences, you can set to show the slice number on the page and what color the boundary line for the slice should be.

Hyphenation Preferences

Choose your default language for hyphenation on the Hyphenation pane of the Preferences window (see Figure 13.11). If there are words you do not want to hyphenate automatically, like company names or proper names, enter them in the New Entry field and click Add to include them in the Exceptions list. You can also delete from the Exceptions list here.

Figure 13.11. Hyphenation Preferences.

Plug-ins & Scratch Disks Preferences

If you are using Illustrator plug-ins, you can choose their default location on the Plug-ins & Scratch Disks pane of the Preferences window (see Figure 13.12). Use this pane if you want all plug-ins to be stored in a certain location.

Figure 13.12. Plug-ins & Scratch Disk Preferences.

Certain Adobe programs ask you to specify a scratch disk to help handle the memory requirements of the program. When you are working with certain types of effects, Illustrator needs to store a lot of temporary information about the effects. If you have a partitioned drive or other hard drives you can use for the temporary storage of this information, choose your primary and secondary scratch disks here if necessary.

File Handling & Clipboard Preferences

Figure 13.13 shows the File Handling & Clipboard pane of the Illustrator Preferences window. The following options are available:

  • Enable Version Cue: Turn Version Cue on for the application.

  • Use Low Resolution Proxy for Linked EPS: Help cut down on file memory requirements by displaying only a low-res version of any placed EPS.

  • Update Links: When a link has changed, you can choose to have it updated in your file automatically or manually, or have Illustrator ask whether you want to update when it has modified.

  • Copy As: For those applications that support the pasting of PDFs or AICBs, use this option to specify how to paste. A PDF preserves any transparency. If you choose the AICB option, the Preserve Paths radio button discards transparency in the copied item. The Preserve Appearance and Overprints radio button flattens transparency, maintains the appearance of the artwork, and preserves overprints. You can select PDF, AICB, or both.

Figure 13.13. File Handling & Clipboard Preferences.

Appearance of Black Preferences

The Appearance of Black pane in the Preferences window (see Figure 13.14) enables you to set how Rich Black and Pure Black (K = 100) appear onscreen and when they are printed/exported to RGB and Grayscale devices. Pure black tends to appear onscreen as a dark gray; rich black displays as more of a true black. If you select the Output All Blacks Accurately option, files that are printed on RGB or grayscale devices print blacks as they are defined. If all blacks are not created in the same way, you could have a difference between black elements on your page. If you select the Output All Blacks as Rich Black option, files that are printed on RGB or grayscale devices print the black as 100K, so it appears as dark as possible.

Figure 13.14. Appearance of Black Preferences.

Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
ISBN: 0789733676
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 426
Authors: Michael Smick

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