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Setting up Illustrator

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by Peachtree Signs, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Peachtree Signs

    Peachtree Signs Member

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    So we're a new shop, I haven't used Illustrator to make signs since 2008 so I'm just looking for some ideas for getting good workflow. I'm using the default Printing and Proofing workspace, I have my cutcontour swatch and I've made some custom shortcut keys for alignment. Any reccomendations for things like plug-ins, actions or shortcuts for common uses?
     
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  2. Sindex Printing

    Sindex Printing Member

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    Astute graphics for plugins.
     
  3. JoeDG

    JoeDG Wide format trainer and creative enthusiast

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    Setup all of your windows in a configuration that works for you, close ones you never use and open up most common ones. When opening swatch palletes etc. go to the drop down menu in the window and select 'Persistent', it means the window will stay in place when closing and re-opening Illy.
    Once happy save your workspace layout so you can always revert if it gets messed up!
    Pen tool mastery...
    • Hold the space bar with left click mouse held down to move points as they are drawn
    • Once a 'node' is drawn with control arms, re click it before next point to reset the exit curve
    • With left click held down to change curves on a point hold Alt to change exit curve arm - or Ctrl to change the length of one arm
    Space bar for panning (can be used mid-use of another tool too) and scroll wheel on mouse with Alt to zoom in on where your mouse is placed.

    Few little pointers!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Don't use Illustrator to make signs. Corel Draw is way faster and easier.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    Why do you even bother?
     
  6. Peachtree Signs

    Peachtree Signs Member

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    I like the way Corel selects objects but I don't miss it crashing every 10 minutes
     
  7. Peachtree Signs

    Peachtree Signs Member

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    My buddy recommended this I just need to convince the boss to get it
     
  8. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    To save people headaches. I've had graphic artists come in here with way more experience than I have and I still bust stuff out 3X faster. Also have dealt with a few companies who are always messing up their files and I have to fix them.
     
  9. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    CADTools plugin by HotDoor is a MUST have for illustrator.
     
  10. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I agree..... Corel is a far superior software program in all respects. Therefore, sam must be wrong, if he agrees with me. :iamwithstupid: Carry on with Illy.
     
  11. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    One of the first things I do when updating Illustrator or installing it on a new computer is disabling the very annoying Double-Click to Isolate function. It's an old Flash-like behavior. But it gets in the way of the object alignment functions. If you're aligning objects to a key object you have to shift-click the objects into a selection and then click again on the object that needs to remain in its fixed position. If you click too fast you'll wind up in that object isolation mode. Some people might like it, but I can't stand it. Bring up the General tab in Preferences (Ctrl-K) to turn the feature on/off.

    I personally use the Essentials Classic work space as a starting point and add whatever palettes I need to it.

    +1 on the Astute Graphics plugins. They have some great stuff.

    I've been using CorelDRAW for nearly 30 years and Adobe Illustrator for almost that long. And I don't agree with your blanket, generalized statement. Both have their own strengths, weaknesses and unique features. I do much of my sign design work (large signs, shop drawings, etc) in CorelDRAW. But I defer to Illustrator (and Photoshop) for large format printing designs and to utilize certain features CorelDRAW lacks.
     
  12. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

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    Bunch of oldies and their love of Corel! I only use it if my customer uses it but I was brought up on Illustrator. Adobe did a much better job getting into schools and making it the mainstream software for design. I don't use Corel enough to know the differences but the experienced guys seem to like it.
     
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