Working with Illustrator Palettes 348

Using Palette Menus 360

Understanding Workspaces 361

Understanding Menu Commands 361

Final Thoughts 364

As you may have surmised by this point in the book, much of Illustrator's functionality is contained within its elegant and malleable palettes; the rest is in ever more intuitive menus and nested menus. Though not quite as many as the palette-prolific InDesign with 38 palettes, Illustrator's 32 far outweighs Photoshop's paltry 19.

Although many other applications place the bulk of their commands and features on long and nested menus or inside dialog boxes, Adobe puts as many as possible on palettes. When open, dialog boxes prohibit access to the objects within the document; to apply the same commands to multiple objects, select each one individually, navigate back through the menus to open the dialog box, set its options, and apply them.

Palettes, on the other hand, do not prevent access to the objects within the document. Therefore commands are typically faster to apply to a single object or sequentially to multiple objects.

Still, as the number of palettes grows, their utility diminishes by creating screen clutter, reducing the amount of document working space available, and sowing confusion as to which palette contains a given command. Although Adobe and other software publishers continue to struggle with solving the matter of confusion as they work to improve and extend the commands available in their programs, relief for the first two drawbacks of palettes is already built in.

In Photoshop, palette clutter can be reduced by inserting palettes into the Palette Well on the Options bar. In InDesign and its sister program InCopy, palettes may be docked to, and collapsed into, the side of the screen, monopolizing only a small fraction of the horizontal screen space until palettes need to be accessed. Regrettably, Illustrator has neither of these extra palette-handling features. It does, however, share the Common Adobe User Interface capabilities of grouping multiple palettes together in a tabbed interface, stacking palettes atop one another, and rolling up palettes into their tabs.

Roll up individual or stacked palettes by clicking the minimize button in the palette's title bar.

None of these methods make up for the fact that the number of palettes grows with each release of the program, but the innovations that are in the programs prove that Adobe is still working on answers.

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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