After your preferences are set, you're ready to start working with documents. To create a file, select File, New. Name your document in the New dialog that opens and choose your artboard size from the Size pop-up menu (see Figure 13.15). If you want to set up a custom document size, enter the measurements in the Width and Height fields. Choose your paper orientation.
Figure 13.15. Set these options for new files you create.
Select whether you want the color mode of the document to be CMYK or RGB. RGB is generally used for documents that are displayed only onscreen; CMYK is usually chosen for documents that print in full color.
Choose File, Document Setup to see the Document Setup dialog, which gives you more options for how your document is set up. Choose the panel you want to display at the top of the dialog.
The Artboard Panel
The Artboard panel of the Document Setup dialog provides the same page size options as does the new Document dialog (see Figure 13.16). To speed up document display, select the Show Images in Outline check box. This option displays any linked files as an outlined box with an X through it. It displays artwork as paths only, without any paint attributes.
Figure 13.16. Artboard options in the Document Setup dialog.
The Type Panel
Figure 13.17 shows the Type panel of the Document Setup dialog. Enable the Highlight Substituted Fonts and Highlight Substituted Glyphs options to show you the type that is affected when you open a document that uses a font you do not have installed.
Figure 13.17. Type options in the Document Setup dialog.
From the Language pop-up menu, select the one you will be working in. Choose how double and single quotes are displayed. If the Use Typographer's Quotes option is checked, "curly" quotes, as opposed to straight quotes, are automatically used.
In the Options area, you can customize the size and/or position of superscript type, subscript type, and small caps. You can also choose how text should be handled when your Illustrator files are exportedwhether you want to preserve editability or appearance.
The Transparency Panel
It's important to know when you are using transparency in your document, so Illustrator has a transparency grid that you can display on your artboard (View, Show Transparency Grid). The Transparency panel of the Document Setup dialog determines how the grid is displayed (see Figure 13.18).
Figure 13.18. Transparency options in the Document Setup dialog.
You can also choose the transparency preset here, which determines how transparency is handled when you export your document. Choose low, medium, or high resolution. To create custom settings, click the Custom button. The following options are available in the Custom Transparency Flattener Options dialog:
Note that you also have other places where you can set up transparency flattening within Illustrator, including in the PDF saving options, which are covered in Chapter 20, "Working with Placed Graphics and Filters in Illustrator."