It isn't possible to go through every menu command, when to use it, and what it does under all circumstances. Most menu items come into play throughout the chapters of this book. However on each menu there is at least one new or oft-overlooked item to which drawing special attention is warranted.
Universal commands, such as Open, Save, and Print are found on the File menu, as are these important commands:
New From Template: Included with Illustrator CS2 are dozens of predesigned templates for everything from websites to business cards. With this menu option, these templates may be opened as new documents for adapting to a particular project or to examine as examples.
Save for Microsoft Office: With no options and no preamble, the current Illustrator document is exported as an Office-optimized PNG file ready for import into PowerPoint, Word, or Excel.
Document Setup: If, after creation, a document size, units of measure, or other options must change, this is where to make those changes.
In addition to Copy and Paste and the new Check Spelling options, the Edit menu contains these significant options:
Undo <action>: Undo the last action. Undo enables you to step backward through timeas one action is undone, the Undo entry in the Edit menu is updated to refer to the action before.
Tracing, Print, and Adobe PDF Presets: Create or edit preset options that appear in various places throughout Illustrator such as Live Trace, the Print dialog, and when saving as PDF.
Keyboard Shortcuts: Just about everything in Illustrator CS2 can be bound to a keyboard shortcut of the user's choosingeven existing keyboard shortcuts can be changed!
Containing transformation and most of the other functions for working with objects, the Object menu also includes these useful commands:
Rasterize: Especially when working with very large or very complex documents, converting objects from vector to pixel-based raster images can save plenty of time Illustrator would otherwise consume with screen redraws and effects rendering.
Transform, Transform Each: Changing the dimensions or rotation of multiple selected objects via the Transform or Control palettes treats all the objects as a single unit, transforming them in relation to one another. When several objects must be transformed similarly but individually, use Transform Each. No matter how many objects are selected, the transformation is applied to each independent of the others.
With options for controlling and changing Type on a Path and Area Type, the Type menu augments the Character and Paragraph palettes, especially with features such as these:
Font: Unlike the Font Family menu on the Character palette, this new menu shows all installed fonts in their respective typefaces, enabling visual selection of a font without guesswork.
Find Font: A search and replace for type faces, Find Font locates and replaces one font with another in each or all instances of text.
Create Outlines: Convert point or area text from live, editable type to nontext compound paths for path modification, export, or a variety of other purposes.
Grouping together commands to select or deselect objects, the Select menu features these handy commands:
Same: Use the Select, Same submenu to select automatically all objects with attributes in common with the currently selected object. For example, select all objects that share a common fill or stroke color.
Save Selection: Select the same objects again and again by doing it once and saving the selection. Recall the selection at any time from the bottom of this menu.
In addition to the numerous nondynamic filters on the Filters menu are these useful commands:
Apply Last Filter: Reapply the last used filter without having to navigate back through the submenus and dialogs.
Colors, Convert To Grayscale: Convert all colors in the selected object (except raster images) to shades of gray.
Differing from the commands on the Filter menu in that these are live and ever-editable effects, the Effect menu also features these commands:
Apply Last Effect: Just like the Filter, Apply Last Filter command, this command reapplies the same effect, with the same settings, to another object much faster than reissuing the original command.
Document Raster Effects Settings: Photoshop Effects and others create a raster result, the quality of which is specified with this option.
Among options to show or hide various indicators and onscreen devices, the View menu includes these commands:
Outline/Preview: In Preview mode, artwork appears with fills, strokes, and effects; but precision drawing is more accurate in Outline mode, which shows only the paths of objects.
Pixel Preview: When creating graphics for use in a digital environment such as the Web, turn on Pixel Preview to display the resolution-independent vector paths in resolution-dependent pixels exactly how they would export to a raster image format such as JPG, GIF, or PNG.
New View: Establish and save the view state of the current document, including zoom level, location, and show/hide options, and return to those identical settings at any time during a subsequent editing session.
Primarily dealing with the display of palettes, the Window menu also features these commands:
New Window: Open another window, with its own independent zoom level, view mode, and show/hide options, onto the same document. Great for keeping an eye in Preview mode while working in Outline mode or for seeing the whole document while zoomed in to touch up detail.
Brush, Graphic Style, Swatch, and Symbol Libraries: Gain fast access to dozens of preinstalled or user-created libraries.
In addition to providing access to Illustrator's help topics in the Adobe Help Center, the Help menu also includes these useful options:
Welcome Screen: If the Welcome Screen has been disabled by unchecking the Show This Dialog at Startup check box, you can restore it here so that it automatically launches again when you start Illustrator.
About Illustrator (On the Illustrator menu on Macintosh): This option shows the Illustrator About or splash screen displaying the exact product version and registered user information. Have the About Illustrator splash screen onscreen when contacting Adobe Technical Support.