Illustrator tools tutorials

How to use the tools such as ellipse tool, variable width profiles, how to use the gradient mesh, how to use global editing, pie slices, line tool, mesh, crop image, wrinkle, tilde effect, grid tool, join, scribble, variable width profiles, spiral, etc in Illustrator CC 2019 2018 2017 CS6 CS5 etc


Freeform gradients

Global editing

Live shapes ellipse

How to create pie slices

How to use the width tool

How to use variable width profiles

Profiles and frames

Rectangular grid tool in Illustrator

Draw a grid

Join tool

Line segment tool

Eraser tool

Curvature tool

Blend tool in Illustrator

Mesh tool

Wrinkle tool

Touch type

Crop image

Gradient mesh

Tilde key

Dotted line creation

How to Export SVG in Illustrator

Puppet warp and distortions

Use glyphs in Illustrator

Create zigzags

Freebies to use and download

How to use the spiral tool

Scribbles and sketches with paths and type





Flare tool

Polar grid



Global editing. A feature added with Illustrator CC 2019. You can select paths such as lines and circles as well as more complex paths and as long as they are similar, you can use the new global editing feature via the properties panel and by clicking the start global edit. If you can't use the feature, a warning message will appear such as trying to use the global edit when you only have one path or if you try and use it with type etc. The global edit uses a single object and multiple copies of the object. You can use a single line or circle or square etc. You can also use multiple paths but they need to be grouped via the object menu and group command and then use that with the start global edit. You can use a variety of features during the edit such as changing gradients as well as adding points via the curvature tool and pen tool as well as changing properties such as fill and stroke and stroke weight etc and all these changes are reflected in the similar paths to your 'key path'. For example, create a basic line and then use the alt / option key to duplicate multiple copies of that. Now edit one of the paths and you will see the changes to all the other identical paths. Another example being two circles combined by the group command and then duplicate those multiple times and select one of those objects to manipulate and then click the start global edit and you will see the changes reflected in all the other paths / groups. To finish, simply click the stop global edit. You can use the tool over all your artboards so if you have a similar design in multiple artboards, any change will be reflected in all of the artboards. The items do not need to be the same size so you can create a square one size and you can create another square slightly larger and the global edit will modify the other path (s) in proportion etc to the edited path or rotate them etc. This is a great feature for creating changes to a whole range of paths in one single edit across multiple artboards. You can control via a dropdown in the global edit, whether or not to use it across all artboards or just square artboards or if you want to use it only with paths with the same appearance or size.



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Ellipse tool. How to use the live shapes ellipse tool in Illustrator ? It has a number of great new features. basic steps include Ellipse tool in Illustrator toolbar (live shape) - select that tool (it is beneath the rectangle tool) and then draw ellipse / circle (hold shift for circle). Go to the right side of the circle. Select little dot on the right. Open the circle / ellipse to create additional options for the live design. The new live ellipse tool was added to CC 2019 2018 2017 / 2015. Slowly but surely some of the creation tools are being updated to be more interactive (see Vectorscribe as well as Affinity Designer for more vector tools with that). It is in the same slot in the toolbar before, it has replaced the old (there is no option to restore the old). The tool has some new features added such as the creation of arcs etc. To use the tool, go to the toolbar (or toolbox) panel and select the tool which is normally found beneath the rectangle tool. The basic use of the tool - Drag and create the live ellipse on the Illustrator artboard. Set the fill and stroke etc. Go to the transform panel and then set ellipse properties. You can set the artwork to any color. You can fill it with gradients. It can be filled with patterns. You can set the stroke to any color or weight as well as add width profiles etc to the circles etc generated by the tool. I would suggest also going to the window menu and selecting the transform panel which has all the key properties for the live ellipse. The first thing to notice after selecting the live shape ellipse tool and creating the art on the artboard is that as you hit a circle shape, two cross hairs will appear and disappear as the size of the shape changes - they will appear if the width and height are equal. If you hold down the shift key, you can create a circle (instead of a live ellipse in Illustrator) but the smart guides will not appear. Once you have the shape, you can then manipulate it either via the bounding box etc or via the transform panel. There are a two sets of fields for the height and width as well as the ellipse height and width, they are not equal but they can be set to the same but only when the angle is not involved. As soon as you change the angle of the path, the settings will be different. You can change the width etc via the up and down controls on the keyboard as well as just typing in the value or using the bounding box or the side points (to size proportionally use the left and right and use the top and bottom ones to squeeze or stretch up and down. You can change the angle (but if this is a circle then you won't see any difference). If you set the shear then it will break the live feature. You can re-position the path by using the selection tool but you can also use the center point of the path with the tool selected. You can also use the constrain buttons to size the width and height proportionally (either as a circle or as an ellipse). You can also set the arc / pie slice feature of the tool via the bottom edit fields in the transform panel. You can also use the interactive feature of the tool to change the arc or pie settings. You may or may not love the live feature as the tool does end up adding additional options that can sometimes get in the way of positioning the artwork (such as in the rectangle and the radius which always seems to flash up and block re-sizing the path). You can expand the live artwork by going to the object menu and shape and expand and you can then also re-convert it back again via the same menu. Once you have the normal path then you can use the sliced path (if the pie slice was used) in numerous ways such as creating all kinds of abstract backgrounds You can also create all kinds of other artwork using live effects such as the transform with the path. You can go to the same menu but instead of expand, use the convert to command and it will be back to a new artwork that can have arcs etc added. The Illustrator live ellipse tool's results can be used in the application but it can also be used in other ways. You can drag the curved artwork to the symbols library and then use the design as a symbol instance using tools such as the symbol sprayer. You can also drag the artwork to the CC library panel and then artwork can then be quickly used in applications such as Photoshop and After Effects and Indesign. You can also select the artwork and save it as an AI file and then use that in Photoshop and Painter etc. You can also save the artwork as a PDF file as well as a SVG file (you can then quickly any designs created into web pages as well as applications such as Photoshop that support SVG vector format). You can also export the artwork via the file export command and save the work as a PNG file as well as JPG or PSD etc and that can be used in Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, GIMP, Krita etc


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Pie / slice. How to create an amazing pie slice path designs in Illustrator CC 2019 2018 2017 etc tutorial ? Select the ellipse tool (to create the pie slice - there is no actual pie slice tool in Illustrator). Create a live circle (start point for the pie slice). Select the circle / live ellipse, see the little extended dot on the right. Select that and drag to required position. Select the other dot for the other side of pie slice and drag that to the required position. The cut feature is a new feature of AI and is part of the live settings for the live shapes in AI. You can use the transform panel to change the start and end angles but this can also be done interactively via the path itself by clicking the little extended line and dot on the path and you can then change the start and end independently. The cut is all the way to the center of the path (which is a pity as it would be great if the center point for the artwork could be changed as well and changing the cut position). You can also invert the design via the panel by clicking the invert button. Select the live ellipse design and then click the shape link along the top bar. Goto the 4th row in the panel and click the little button in between the two icons. There are also other settings available to the ellipse tool such as scale corners + start angle + end angle etc.



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Variable Width Profiles. How to use and create variable width profile strokes ? Select a path for the variable width profile to be used on. Goto the properties panel (new feature of 2018 / 2019 ). Set the stroke width for the path. Set the stroke color. Also go to the stroke panel as the alignment needs to be correct for the path and it needs to be set to the first item, center. Select the variable width profile from dropdown (along top bar) - in the case of 2018 etc, go to the properties panel and stroke section for the profiles. Select one of the existing profiles (there is a fairly small collection of profiles included by Adobe). To create a new profile, click the add to profile button in variable width profiles panel. You can use them by using the default selection of settings at the top of the application. You can use the variable width profiles with strokes, normal paths, lines, circles, illustrations, brushes and more. The settings can be modified and saved for use in future projects. You can quickly apply them to any design and create amazing results in seconds such as beautiful drawn ink strokes. By default, you only get six presets with the application as well as just the default one (really wish they would add a few more). Select the pen tool and set a stroke weight and color for the pen tool. Click the artboard and then click the artboard again to create a quick line. Go to the selection tool and then go to the top bar and select one of the presets. The default being uniform. You can continue the path on using the pen tool or perhaps the curvature tool and the preset will change as you add to the path. See the above article about the wonders of the width tool and how to use it. It works wonders with the variable width profiles but the profiles are really great starting points as well as a useful way of returning to a default profile as the width feature can generate some very complex artworks and it is not the easiest to untangle the results without returning to a default. There is an add feature available on the variable width profile list but sometimes it is disabled and you cannot add your own preset. Does seem to depend on the paths used. It also appears to be document based and will vanish otherwise. You can use the variable width profiles with type by selecting some type and then applying the presets via the appearance panel and adding a stroke and then manipulating the stroke further. Select type (does not need to be expanded) and go to the appearance panel available via the window menu. Right side menu and add stroke. Apply one of the variable width profiles to the currently selected stroke. Add a new stroke via right side menu. Select a different profile for the stroke via the dropdown (whether a default one or one that you have added to the list). You can also use profiles with brushes and you can use them to create some truly unique strokes from even some of the more basic designs supplied in the brushes panel. You can also use them with the artworks supplied by graphicxtras and even a basic line design can be turned into something very unique by using the tools in this tutorial. You can also use the profiles with the pencil tool found in the toolbar. You can apply the same pencil strokes but each of the lines has been modified using the presets included with the application to create some variety in the pencil lines. In CC 2019, all the profiles and stroke settings are available via the stroke section in the properties panel.



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How to create frames. You can use the variable width profile settings to quickly create all kinds of frames for use in the application and also saving them for use in libraries so they can be used in Photoshop etc. Simply select a basic shape such as a rectangle and fill the rectangle with nil and set a color and weight (large) for the stroke and the apply one of the settings and instant frame. Once you have your frame artwork, you can add it on top of images as well as export it for use in other applications (such as via CC libraries). You don't have to use just a rectangle, a circle or star or just a basic circular open path is fine and you can then extend that design with the profiles as well as using the width tool to manipulate the profile. Once you have your frame it is a normal path and can be manipulated by effects such as punk or zigzag as well as perhaps adding a drop shadow to the path or perhaps any number of other styles found in the graphic styles panel. You can also create a quick and easy frame design by just creating a single line stroke and then using the profiles (as well as the width tool to create an unique design) and then use the object menu and expand appearance. Make certain that this path is above any image or set of paths you want to frame and then position the expanded artwork and select all that and the paths / image and go to the object menu and clipping mask and make command.

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Grid. The rectangular grid tool can be found in the toolbar under the line tool in CC CS6 CS5 CS4 etc. Select the rectangular grid tool in toolbar (beneath line segment tool). Double click icon to change settings such as width, height, horizontal dividers, skew, vertical dividers, use as frame, fill etc. Set the stroke weight and color. Click and drag and draw the rectangular grid. You can find the rectangular grid beneath the line segment tool. Select the tool, double click or press return to change the settings (say you want 100 horizontal dividers and 100 vertical dividers then the settings panel is the place. You can change the number of horizontal dividers and vertical dividers (as well as skew of those dividers) as well as frame and fill setting. The tool creates a rectangle made of cells and uses the current stroke color for those cells. You can apply the tool once or multiple times, fill the artwork with color as well as distort and add effects and paths etc to the strokes. The result of the applied tool is a just a collection of lines. You can ungroup the artwork and manipulate the individual lines and you can use the tools such as curvature or pen or direct selection etc to change the lines in countless ways to create all kinds of unique grids. You can also select the individual lines and re-color them as well as change their width and dash styles. All kinds of unique tabular artworks can be created by subtle changes of the width and dashes etc. If you use the frame option, you can use the direct selection tool to select the entire frame instead of selecting just edge lines. You can delete the outer frame and leave just set of hatch lines. You can also select the individual lines and delete them via the delete key so you will end up with gaps in your grid and this can be repeated for multiple lines perhaps alternating the removal or perhaps removing a number of lines from one particular area of the grid. The key thing is to ungroup the artwork via the object menu and then once you have ungrouped the art, you can just select any of the rows or columns and delete one or two or more lines from the design to create a totally different layout. You can delete multiple lines, alternate ones and more. Once you have done this, you can then just re-group the artwork as it makes it easier to move the work as a group than just a collection of individual paths. You can also select the individual lines and change the color of the stroke as well as add different stroke width profiles (or use the width tool to modify them). Again, just go to the individual lines after ungrouping the work and then select them and change the fill or change the stroke such as to red and green etc as well as add a dash style (via the properties) or perhaps add a different width profile. Select fromany of the width profiles along the top bar (or via the stroke section in the properties panel if you are using CC 2019 2018 +) to change the width of the lines of the artwork in many unique ways. You can apply the profile to the entire set to create a more uniform change. If you ungroup the set, you can then just select the paths with the direct selection tool and then add a new profile to each to create a more sketched and drawn appearance to the layout. The artwork is a normal path and can be manipulated by tools found in the effects menu as well as in the toolbar. You can also use the object menu and envelope commands to warp the designs. You can also use the warp tool wrinkle tool, twirl etc to manipulate the lattice design in 1000s of ways. You can also extrude the artwork via the effects menu and 3D and extrude command. As with all the tools, it can be applied once as well as multiple times. You can add multiple paths on top of each other and combine them all into a single massive lattice structure. If you wish to create unusual combinations of these lines then the smart guide is a useful feature to set the correct widths and heights for all the combined tables. You can create a random filled lattice by create a new path with the tool (set horizontal dividers to 10 and vertical to 10 say) - the key thing here is that you use the object menu and expand the artwork and then use the pathfinder to combine them all into a single path - you can then use the live paint bucket. Go to the live paint bucket and set the color and then click the individual cells of the path and then change the color of the live paint bucket and repeat the click in another cell. You can then fill the entire construct with different colors. The artwork can then be modified further by using coloring tools such as color balance in the edit menu and the color guide tool. The artwork can also be saved to the symbol's panel as well as the CC library for use in Photoshop.



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Draw/grid. How to draw a grid in CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 2014 etc ? Goto the toolbar and line tool. Select the rectangular grid tool (to draw the grid - tool is beneath the line tool). Set the fill color to white and set the stroke color to black and set stroke width. Double click the rectangular grid and set the horizontal and vertical dividers and click OK. Draw the rectangle grid and release mouse when drawn to the required size. You can change the size of the design. You can change the number of dividers via the tool settings. You can change the width and stroke color etc. Change the settings by double clicking on the icon. You can create all kinds of designs by using a simple single line. Create a vertical line and then hold down the alt / option key and duplicate multiple times and spread horizontally from left to right. Select all of them and align them and distribute (using the tools along the top bar). Use the ctrl G to group all the paths. Draw a horizontal line at the top of the previously drawn lines and use the smart guides to overlap the first and last lines (smart guides on) previously created. Use the alt / option key and duplicate the lines downwards or upwards over the previous lines. Finish at the bottom of the previous lines. Always making certain the lines are aligned (so you don't have lines jutting out from the grid). Group all the newly created designs with the previous set. Or use the pathfinder and use the unite. Draw a square or rectangle and then go to the eraser tool and set the size setting to random and 20pt etc. Apply the tool by holding down the shift key and draw vertically and horizontally. Vary the distance from the previously drawn lines. Goto the pathfinder panel and click unite. Draw a rectangle on top of the lines. Select both paths and go to the pathfinder panel and click the exclude button. Go to the brush tool and select a stroke from the presets in the brushes libraries such as the artistic ink. Set the stroke color to black. Apply the brush stroke up and down. Move over right and draw up and down again and repeat. Once you have created all the vertical lines, do the same to create multiple horizontal lines. Group all the paths using the object menu and group command.

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Join. How to use the join tool in CC 2019 2018 2017 etc to combine and trim paths ? Select two open paths - two lines for the join tool to be used in Toolbar and shaper tool (join tool is beneath that). Select the join tool. Pass over the closest ends of the paths with the cursor. The join tool works quickly with two paths. Simply pass the JT over the paths and the paths will be combined (as long as the JT allows this - if the paths are not pointing in the same direction then they cannot be welded). It is for combining paths and trimming paths / lines / open paths etc. The join tool works using two lines either selected or not (though personally, I generally select the paths I use and then use the JT with the paths). Select two open paths such as two lines, Go to the join icon and then with the mouse, pass over the closest ends of the two paths and as long as the application allows for the join to occur then you will end up with a sharp point. If the lines are parallel, the JT will do nothing (it just ignores them) and you can pass the cursor over the two lines forever and nothing will happen (this is not a software fault, though personally I would love to see more options where the lines are still joined but just by a straight line between the two paths). Another point with the JT is that it will result in a sharp point but once you have that, you can always use the other tools such as curvature tool to modify the point. Create a line using the line segment tool. Create another line using the line segment tool. Place the lines close together . Point the ends of the lines towards each other. Select the join, draw over the end of the lines with the JT. Note that if the paths are a lot further apart, the JT will not work. The JT can also be used as a powerful trimming tool as well as a JT. The clipping works if you have a line butting close to an existing line. The clipping works if the lines crossover. Again, the JT does depend on the distance of the lines from each other. Select the JT in the toolbar. Draw over the smallest part of the crossover (the trailing parts of the lines) and the JT should then trim the lines and replace the two with one single sharp pointed line



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Line. How to use the live line segment tool in Adobe Illustrator ? Select the line segment tool in the toolbar. Set the stroke weight for the line segment. Set color. Click artboard with tool. Draw using the live line segment tool. The live line segment can be applied multiple times. The two points generated can be manipulated in many ways. The new live tool can be found in the toolbar of CC. The line segment tool is no longer the old tool from CS6 CS5 etc, it is now a live shape tool and as such it comes with a number of new features as well as a few features that have (at the present) vanished. Live shapes is the new concept for the CC that certain paths remain editable in such as circles / rectangles and now the LS tool has joined the live category. I mean, it was always live before as you could always stretch the artwork and set the angle but you will see a few differences in the features. I generally go to the preferences section and set up the preferences for the smart guide to include most of the features. Set the transformation tools to on and construction guides. You can use them without those set on as well. Go to the toolbar and select the 'live' LS tool. Set the stroke and width etc and add the path by clicking on a position on the artboard and then dragging the tool to another position on the artboard (near or far). OK, not much different from before. You can still use the shift key at this point to constrain the angle to 45 degrees etc but weirdly this feature appears not to be available once the artwork is there on the artboard. You can select the end points and rotate and as you move the artwork you will see smart guides popping up saying certain distances from certain paths and not others as well as various alignments. You may or may not like that feature but personally, I think the info is useful and it is great to be able to select a certain point to stop moving the path or changing the angle. The reference point does not seem to have any use. To extend the length of the path just select either end point and stretch out to the required point or go the other way to shrink the path. You can also change the angle via the transform panel as well as change the length and position of the path via the top bar. Create a number of paths using the LS tool (vertical paths). Select the top point of first path. Hold the shift key. drag the end point up or down (will be in straight path as on the right). Repeat with the other line segment paths by selecting the top end point. You can also use the horizontal setting for the path (change the reference point to be the middle bottom). The line segment can be rotated (it wouldn't be very useful if it couldn't) The rotate can be done as before by using the selection tool and having the control just close to the end point. You can constrain the angle of the rotation to 45 and 90 degrees etc via the shift key. Create a path using the line segment. Select the top end point. Rotate and hold shift to constrain. Or use the transform panel to rotate the path.



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Mesh. How to use the mesh tool in Illustrator CC 2019 2018 etc CS6 CS5 etc. Select a path and then Mesh tool in the toolbar. Click anywhere on the path. Set the color of the node. Click somewhere else on the path with the mesh tool. Change the color of the node. Repeat with other nodes. The tool can be used to add new mesh nodes to an artwork. You can start with a single path such as a rectangle or a more complex path artwork and then click anywhere on the path and then set the color for the node. You can then modify that color. You can always re-select it at a later time and re-change the color as well as the position of the node. You can click off the path to add a node. You can add multiple entries to any artwork. You can also use the tool to select a node and then press the del key to delete the color and intersection of row and column. You cannot add to the path if it is type. You can expand the type but even then you may have issues as the tool does not appear to like compound paths. You will have to ungroup paths but certain characters cannot be filled with the nodes and color. The resulting rows and columns generated are often a bit of a mess anyway and makes them very hard to edit. You can then take the result of the generated colorful design and use tool such as the color guide as well as the adjust color balance to modify the color of a single node or multiple selected nodes. You can also use the tool with the same generated artwork or one created via the related menu command to manipulate the physical node points of the design as well as the color. You can also use the direct selection tool to do much the same with the node points. You can also use the tool with a path warped using the envelope distort using the same functionality. The tool can be used to select the individual nodes and shift them and distort them in all kinds of ways to create some truly abstract designs (also using the color to create an even more surreal artwork as a single color path rarely works as well as a path made of multiple colors). The tool works better perhaps with the edge of the path more than the central points. There are no options or settings for the tool - it is only for color and shifting of nodes. Double clicking the tool icon shows no additional features

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Wrinkle. Wrinkle tool / brush in Illustrator tutorial in CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc to deform paths. Warp and distort in seconds. Go to the width tool in toolbar ( wrinkle tool is at the bottom of the group). Select the wrinkle tool in that group. Select a path in artboard (can be used with paths, closed and open, strokes, lines, type and much more). You can double click the wrinkle tool icon in the toolbar to display the options to be applied to the selected path. Apply the wrinkle to the selected path. You can apply the tool without changing the default settings but personally the default setting is fairly limited. The tool has a vast range of amazing features but to get a variety of amazing distortions from the tool you have to go through some of the settings. The only modifier of note is the alt / option key and that allows for an interactive resize of the brush size, none of the other options are available via the modifiers. To see all the wrinkle tool settings, double click the tool icon or press return while it is selected. There are a lot of options with the tool. Any number of possible manipulations of paths can be achieved simply by tweaking these settings : Width + Height + Angle + Intensity + Pressure + Horizontal + Vertical + Complexity + Detail + Brush affects anchor + Brush affects anchor in tangent + Brush affects anchor out tangent. There is a lot of randomness with the tool so if the setting is set to 100% you probably won't get 100% but perhaps something close (be nice if it was more like the brush tools with a range of settings and not just a setting. Most of the settings have been set to emphasis vertical so you can see no warp in the horizontal. Select a path or paths and then apply the wrinkle to them and the distortions will be added but the key thing to remember is that in many cases, a lot of points will be added especially if you set the complexity high (great for a scribble like effect) and also detail (great for just adding a lot of points especially to a localized area)If you want to clear down the results you may wish to use the smooth tool or perhaps smart remove brush (vectorscribe). To apply a vertical effect then select the tool and double click the icon and Horizontal = 0% + Vertical = 100% + Complexity = 1 + Detail = 2 + In and out tangent handles to ON + Intensity = 100% and then use the wrinkle on the path. The tool allows for you to add the effect either vertically or horizontal or a little in one direction and a lot in another (again, this is random for creating some interesting curved and wrinkled designs - odd that there appears to be no corner and smooth feature with this tool). You can also control the overall intensity of the brush effect via the size as well as intensity and for serious settings set it to 100% (though I wish the tool would allow the setting to be extended). If you wish to create only a subtle change with the tool then set the settings a lot lower and then re-apply the tool multiple times. I often prefer to re-apply effects multiple times instead of one single hi-impact application. Set the width and height = 500px + intensity = 10% (for subtle warps) + detail high to add more points or low to have less points + complexity higher for more points (or lower for less) + vertical to 100% + horizontal to 100% + Apply with the settings ON. Re-apply the tool multiple times to warp the design. If you want to use the tool just to add points without any actual movement then set the wrinkle to 0 and set the complexity and detail to a little higher (5 and 2 etc to add a lot of points and complexity). The tool does need the settings to be all set correctly for it to work so you may find that if you have no horizontal setting and all the lines are vertical then nothing much will happen. The image shows a lot of points and they have been then moved using the direct selection tool by selecting the individual points and then dragging them. Set horizontal = 0% + Vertical = 0% + Detail = 5 + set all anchor = ON + tangents = OFF and apply to the segments of the path. You will now see a number of points have been added but no visible warping. To move the points, use direct selection tool. Another great feature of the settings is that you can modify the anchor and tangent or anchor or tangent and so you can keep the lines or paths in the same place but the shape will radically change but all the anchors will be stuck in the same location. The tangent can be set to off and the anchors can be made to move. You can use this feature to create interesting sketch like drawings using grayscale colors for the stroke and no fill and using width profiles. You can also use the 'angle' to change the angle of the anchors etc as well as the tangents (depending on the settings) to create lines going off approximately in 60 degrees or 30 degrees etc depending on the setting. It should be noted that sometimes the randomness will appear and sometimes it will not. The image used the angle set to 60 degrees and horizontal set to 100% and vertical 0% and brush affects anchor points only - the tool then generates an intense angled brush work with a basic path (in this example, a square). Create a path and goto the tool. You need to change the settings. Set the horizontal = 100% + vertical = 0%. + Set angle = 60 + Set anchor points ON only. + Set complexity = 10. Hold wrinkle cursor over segments and keep holding for a while to generate the intense effect. Move to other parts of the path and repeat. The tool can modify paths (closed or open) in many extreme ways to create some truly unusual shapes even from a basic path such as a circle or square and can also be used to warp converted type as well as expanded symbols. It is much like the tweak filter but it comes with many additional features and it can be used like a transform tool as well.



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type. How to use the touch type tool for Illustrator CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 etc, tutorial for use with fonts, characters and shapes. Create some type for use with the touch type tool. Select the touch type tool (beneath the type tool) in the toolbar. Select a character. Shift and re-size the individual text characters in seconds by tapping the character with the touch type and then selecting the bounding box and move as well as the corner handles to re-size the artwork (which is a vector). Tap or click on the character and rotate by using little dot at the top of the character. Obviously, the touch type Illustrator tool is not so useful with a single character but if you have multiple character shapes then you can play endlessly with the position and rotation of the characters. The tool does not do anything more than can be done with careful manipulation of the characters in the standard text panels. As you manipulate the characters you will see the settings change in the panel such as rotation, baseline shift, leading, scaling etc. So where is the tool in the tools? It is at the bottom of the type related tools. It is a pity that the application does not (as of writing this) have any real customization in the same way as other applications but hopefully that feature will be added one day and then I would definitely give more a pride of place for the tool. Touch type is a live tool, if you decide that you want to change the text from 'Charlotte' to 'Desdemona' then you can. Just edit it as you would with normal characters and then continue with the typographical manipulation. You can change any of the characters by editing it with the tool so if you have an A you want to turn into a B character then you can. The touch type also works amazingly well with the font designs that you can find on this website such as the heart font sets etc (not the eps designs but the included TTF). Simply select the TTF file from the dropdown and then type the characters as you would A B C and then you can use the touch type to move the individual designs around to create more pleasing designs than just having them in a standard row of characters. As with other text characters / content they can also be colored and rotated etc in countless ways. The tool is superb but at some point you will hit the limits and the characters will not move or rotate any further. Sometimes you can get around this by selecting another character and then moving that away from the other (sometimes you may find it seems to be impossible to move one of them and probably the easiest solution is to go to the character panel and try and change the settings there or just undo some of the changes. Another solution around this is to use the object menu and expand and then you can just manipulate all the text / character shapes with the standard path tools that are included in the application. You can then place the characters in all kinds of beautiful as well as weird and wonderful positions. The only problem with the expand is that the type characters are no longer live and cannot be manipulated further as live designs. Color can be added via the touch type tool in Illustrator as well as opacity etc. Simply select the character using the tool and then go to the color settings and change the color or go the opacity setting for the character and change the opacity - all the other characters will be untouched and remain as before. You can also use the tool to individual change the font and font size etc The tool is a very quick and easy and very effective for creating some really wow typographical artwork. You can also use the tool with the color guide to create stunning colorful text themed artwork. Simply select the characters and then apply the color guide to randomly change the color order or select monochromatic or triad etc harmonies or use different swatch color libraries. As the tool is a live tool, you can repeat this at any point so a set of designs with the letter A B C etc can be turned into red and green and blue but it can also rapidly be changed into blue purple yellow etc by using the color guide tool. Other tools can also be used to change the color such as using the powerful plugins from Astute graphics such as Phantasm. You can also apply effects and then move the characters using the tool such as the 3D extrude effect on the right and the extrude etc will still be applied and modified as you move items or increase the size or change the angle of the work. You can also add other effects such as blurs and many others but the more effects you add, the more likely you will start seeing some slow down in the changes/ editing of the letters / text. You can add blurs to a single character or all the characters. This is live so the changes to the design will also be live and the effects are always modifiable at any point. The results can all be saved as a new symbol in the symbols panel simply by selecting the artwork generated by the tool and then dragging it over into the presets panel and that can be done with all the type creations (sadly they are not stored as live designs that can be edited at a later point). They can also be added to the CC library and the work can then be further tweaked in applications such as Photoshop as well as in the native application. The tool can be used to create some truly amazing designs that can then be exported for use in other applications. Even if you could create the designs just by tweaking the various type settings via the standard panels, you will find this tool is super quick in creating all kinds of unique designs and even better is that the tool means all the artwork is still live so it can be changed again and again.



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Crop images. The crop image, how to use the feature ? Select an image / photo to crop in CC 2019 2018 2017 + Click the 'crop image' button . Set crop region for the image / photo. Set PPI as required. Click apply. An alternative to trimming raster images in a vector applications is to process the photograph etc in another application such as Photoshop or Affinity Photo and then open or place that into AI. Still, I have found the new trimming feature really useful especially as I often use it before I use the image trace with the newly trimmed raster design. You can use the trimming controls at the top of application (if you are using CS5 etc then you won't see any of these controls) or use the interactive rectangle (displayed with dashes) to change the crop origin and size. If you use the interactive approach, change the rectangle by using the corners of the trimming area (which generally defaults to the entire object). I prefer the interactive approach but if you have a picture with certain objects in certain locations and dimensions then I guess the width etc settings can be useful for more precise settings. The to-be trimmed area is shown with a lower opacity (the opacity cannot be changed with the current versions - it is a good indicator of which part will remain and which part will be removed). You can hold down the shift key to constrain the proportions of the box in Illustrator. If you try and use the tool outside of the photograph, the controls will stop being updated and the "floating ants" rectangle will halt at the edge of the currently processed artwork - it will not allow for any additional area to be added beyond the edges. You can set the PPI as required for the crop photo / image in Illustrator. Probably best to leave as is but it does allow for some interesting reductions in the picture such as lowering the PPI to 1 can create a mosaic like effect (you can find a tutorial about that elsewhere on the site). If you want to apply multiple clips of the photograph then this is not possible via the tool - it is a pity that you cannot crop photos / images in Illustrator multiple times but as ever there is a workaround. You have to generate multiple copies and then use the tool with those to select different areas to highlight or trim. As soon as you use the tool, and unless you undo the action, the resulting work is lost for good and is not saved by the application. You can repeat the trimming multiple times. You can again copy the artwork and then apply and then copy that and repeat the process. Once you have your final image, you can add borders etc as required to the work. To initiate the crop in CC 2019, go to the properties panel and click the crop button and then click the apply in the available cropping actions. With CC 2019, set the x and y and width and height and PPI via the properties panel and the transform section.



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Gradient mesh tool. How to use the gradient mesh command (found in the object menu) of Illustrator CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc. The tool can be used with paths as well as images etc. Select path / object. Object menu. Create gradient mesh command. Set the rows and columns for the gradient mesh. Set the appearance such as flat and to center and to edge. Use highlight option with the latter two settings. OK. The result of the gradient mesh is much the same as the related tool but instead of manually editing the path, you can add the nodes in seconds and with a more consistent layout. There are very few options with the gradient mesh, simply set the number of rows and columns you want to create as well as set the appearance and highlight. You can set a large number of rows and very few columns or vica versa and you can also set the rows and columns to the same value. You can very few rows and columns as well as many rows and columns though the more rows and columns you have the harder it is to color easily and the color is then very localized. If you have very few rows and columns then the color is spread over a wider area. The generated artwork can be edited by the direct selection tool. De-select all the artwork and then use the direct selection tool to select a number of nodes. Once you have selected them, you can set the color as well as move the nodes (and much more) You can use the tool with standard paths so select a rectangle or star or a more abstract vector design and then apply the command. If you use a very basic shape with the Illustrator gradient mesh such as a rectangle then the result will a grid of nodes. Create a circle and use the command the result is a spherical grid. If you add a highlight then the middle of the image will be highlighted. If you go for no highlight then the entire generated art will be a solid color. Any of those individual nodes can be selected using the direct selection tool (as well as others) and the color of the individual nodes can be changed as well as shifted. The result with unusual paths is generally more of a mess than with a circle or rectangle though,. If you select a very abstract path, you will probably notice many different fragmented color shifts (especially if you use the highlight). You cannot expand the result though. You can save the gradient mesh artwork to the symbols panel and then use the tool with the symbol sprayer to create very dramatic designs / backgrounds / frames etc. You can also save the artwork to the CC libraries and then use the work in Photoshop etc. You can also use the Illustrator gradient mesh with images and the results will be a vector based on the underlying colors in the image. The more rows and columns added, the closer the vector will look to the original image. The result is still pretty blurry though. You can, as with a normal path, also use the color guide and the color adjustments in the edit menu to modify the entire color of the converted image or perhaps only some nodes (you can select parts of the art by using the direct selection tool). You can use a number of other tools to distort and warp the nodes such as the wrinkle tool, warp tool, twirl tool etc You can warp and distort all the nodes or if you select some nodes with the direct selection tool, only those nodes will be warped and twirled. The colors of the path will not be changed but the structure will be totally changed. The object menu and envelopes can also be used to transform the artwork in totally unique ways. Once you have generated your design then you can save the artwork as a symbol as mentioned before but you can also store the artwork in the CC libraries (find via the window menu). Once you have added the artwork to the CC library, the artwork is then available to AI as well as Photoshop and Adobe After Effects and Indesign etc (though you will not be able to manipulate the nodes). You can also save the artwork to an AI file via the file save command. You can also use the same command to save it as a PDF vector file as well as a SVG file. You can also use the file export command and export the colorful artwork as a PNG file or PSD etc



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Tilde. Tilde key for Illustrator CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 2014 CS6 etc and repeat copies in seconds. Select line tool (or star, ellipse, rectangle, polar) in Illustrator toolbar for use with the tilde (~) key. Hold down the tilde key in keyboard. Apply line to artboard and generate 1000s of lines or ellipses as you move your cursor. Release mouse to finish. The tilde (~) character is found on the keyboard normally close to the shift / alt etc keys. Hold it down with the aforementioned tools to crate multiple copies in seconds. Where is the tilde (~) on the keyboard for use in Illustrator ?? This seems to depend on the keyboard so there is no simple answer to the issue. On my Mac keyboard I can find it where you would assume a shift would be required but no, it works. If you are using a Portuguese keyboard / Chinese keyboard / French keyboard etc then the location will probably be different. On my PC the tilde is found via the hash key or is it?. Anyway, once you have the ~ character you can use it in many different ways with many different tools. You may find the grave key works better and that is the ' key. It is odd why the keyboards never seem to be very consistent with this. The space bar is useful as when you add a path and you can move the generated item around and release the space-bar to set the place of origin for the generated path. You can use this with the generation of the multiple lines / circles etc as instead of adding all the lines and circles from a single point of origin, the circles and squares etc are all generated over the entire image and can fill an entire artboard or two with those lines or spirals or circles etc.The key thing here is when you want to finish generating the paths, release the mouse first or you will loose the lines / spirals etc and you will then have to repeat the exercise. Rectangle + Rounded rectangle + ellipse + polygon + star tool + line segment + arc tool + spiral tool + rectangular grid + polar grid. The character works with many different designs in AI. You can generate 1000s of unique designs using it. The design was created using the line tool and the lines were rapidly rotated around from a central origin point. The artwork was then modified by a width profile to add a manga zoom effect and then clipped using the object menu clipping mask. You can create all kinds of multiple generated paths if you hold down the magical key on the keyboard and you can generate them in different directions (if you don't use the space-bar as well) but all from a single origin point. You can, once you finish generating them, add them all into a single group or perhaps add them as a symbol to the symbol panel. You can also change the color of the generated lines / spirals etc as well as add a width profile as well as brush strokes etc to the items. The rectangle / ellipse etc also have their own settings so you can create stars with 5 points or 10 points etc with the key selected and you can also scale and rotate the star so you can generate a lovely line contoured artwork. The tilde generated paths work probably best with no fill though if you use the space-bar and move to different origin points then fills will also work ok (the reason being the fills will overlap on top of the existing items to you can't often see the underlying paths though you can get around that by changing the opacity of the paths as well as the blending mode of the created items. You can turn them into a group (by selecting all the designs and going to the object menu and using the group command) and then you can just move them around and perhaps scale and rotate them or warp them. You can also rotate them perhaps by 45 degrees and then add a new group and creating interesting combinations of groups or perhaps put them on layers. You can also export the generated artwork to Photoshop etc. You can add effects to the work, you can add blurs and much more to turn them into all kinds of weird and wonderful backgrounds and objects. You can also rotate and distort and envelope warp the created lines into all kinds of amazing line work.



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Create dotted lines. How to create a dotted / dot line in Illustrator for a stroke by using the dash settings and transforms etc in CC 2019 2018 2017 etc. Create a line path using the line segment tool (or any path for the dotted line). Window menu and stroke. Set stroke color to black and set weight to 10pt. Set dashed line ON for the dotted line. Set dash to 1pt and 20pt gap for a single dotted line path. First step, create a single line path. Set the stroke color to black and set the stroke weight to 10pt. Click on the stroke underline and you will see the weight, cap, corner etc. Set the Cap to "round cap". Set the corner to "round corner" Set the dashed path to ON by clicking the check-box. Set the dash to 1pt or 0.5pt (at least something low) and the first gap to 20pt or 10pt for the gap between the dots. You now have your dotted path in CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 2014 etc. You can see the dash / gap settings in the appearance panel for the selected path. Go to the graphic styles panel and add a new style with that stroke / gap etc. Creating this as a graphic style means the style can be re-applied at any point to a single linear path or any other type of path such as a circular path or star design. You can create many interesting variants of the Illustrator dotted path artworks by using the width profile which can be found in the top bar of the application. Select a linear path with the spots. Select the first width profile and then you will see small ellipses at the start of the path with the full size spots in the center and then again small spots at the end of the art. Or use the width profile 4 option in the dropdown list to create a large spot at the start shrinking to a smaller spot at the end of the path. You can also just modify the width profile by using the width tool in Illustrator to modify the selected spotted artwork path. The result of the width profile or use a tool like the widthscribe plugin from Astute graphics to create some truly amazing and unusual spotted work. If you start with a set of spots with the same size then the width profile approach means that you can have a small spots as well as large spots and these can be varied along the path. Of course, you don't have to use just the above and other settings work great such as Stroke 60pt and dash 1pt and gap 120pt as well as Stroke 20pt and dash 1pt and gap 120pt and another one being, Stroke 10pt and dash 0.5pt and gap 120pt etc. You can also create some more interesting combinations of gaps etc by duplicating the paths and then shifting them slightly but keeping the paths on the same alignment. You can also use the appearance panel to add multiple strokes to a single path and then you can also add multiple spots to the same path so you can generate say a pink ellipse and then a black ellipse and then a pink ellipse and then a black ellipse and so on. Select a path and set stroke to white, add the spots as described before (using dash settings say) and go the appearance panel and add a new stroke via the right menu and set the color of the new stroke to black. Go to the effect menu and use the distort and transform command and use the move option to interactively move the added art. You can also select the art and expand the appearance (via the object menu) and then ungroup the artwork to create a row of separate elements. Just set the gap in the stroke to increase or decrease the gap between the elements in your artwork. You can use the blend tool to create a dotted line in Illustrator by just selecting two paths such as an ellipse and then selecting the tool and apply r the effect between the two by clicking the first and second object. You can double click the blend to modify the number of paths generated. You can add more or less spots by using different settings. You can select a single circle path and then go to the effect menu and distort and transform and then set the move settings to 10pt etc and then set the copies to 20. The artwork is live so you can change the number at any time as well as the gap and also the size of the art and also the color. The dotted line can be now saved to the symbols library and the symbol can then be used with the symbol sprayer or used just as a standard instance by dragging the artwork to the artboard. The artwork can also be dragged to the brushes panel and then used as a new brush stroke. You can also use the same design as a swatch by dragging it to the swatches panel and then setting it as a tile. You can also drag the artwork to the CC library and saved to the Adobe servers for safe keeping. Once the artwork has been added to the library, you can then quickly access the artwork in tools such as Photoshop and Indesign and Adobe After Effects and Premiere as well as other apps that use the CC library. You can also use the save command to save the artwork as an AI file for import into applications such as Photoshop or Painter. You can also save it as a PDF and SVG file and the SVG file can be quickly imported into a web page in Dreamweaver. You can also use the export command to export the Illustrator dotted line as a raster format PNG or JPG file and then use the graphic in Affinity Designer, Krita, GIMP, Affinity Photo etc.



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Export SVG. How to export vector SVG in Illustrator CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 etc and use the design in tools such as Dreamweaver. Select some paths in Illustrator to be export as a SVG file. File menu and Export menu and Export as. Select SVG for format. Select the styling, font, decimal places etc and then OK. You can use the save as command to save in the required format and the file saved is OK but it does require a little bit of tidying up after the save and the file size is often an issue. The save is mainly for use with the application, the new Illustrator export option is more for exporting SVG files from Illustrator to other applications and web. It also create a far leaner file though it is still not perfect by any means. There are a number of additional ways to export SVG from Illustrator. Includes styling + fonts + images + object + decimal places + minify etc and you have the usual show code and browser. The show code is the most useful as you can quickly see a text editor / code and you can then copy that and paste into Dreamweaver or whatever. The browser feature is also useful to see the end result especially if you change the decimal setting to 0. You can tweak the settings for the export of SVG from Illustrator in countless ways. As the generated export Illustrator SVG code is just text so you can also cleanup the code with any normal text editor. You can remove the comments (they definitely can go), title field, xmlns etc and just leave the viewbox (that is useful) and add a class etc to the header. I would also leave the decimal to 1 in most cases, I have tried 0 with the decimal setting but the results can be pretty dire. I have found the results a massive improvement over the save with a lot leaner code. The biggest disappointment with the SVG export has to be type as quite often the code generates a lot of <tspans> and breaks the text into 'grap' 'hic' 'xtr' 'as' etc instead of 'graphicxtras' which is really not ideal. I hope that is fixed at some point as I can't believe they really think that is minimal code. The artwork can be saved to a standard text file as well. I generally use inline code in my web pages so I copy the result of the export of the SVG from the file into the html web pages . If you prefer to use the file then you can reference it in the html file by using <img> tags or <object> etc and that is fine as well. The code is fairly lightweight so hardly adds that much code. I have never noticed much impact on my web pages for adding this but I guess there maybe issues with mobiles and memory. There is also an option in AI to generate code for the currently selected items and that can be useful in some cases. Select a circle and then use the selected option and the code generated will only be for the circle and not any of the other paths in the artboards. That is a quick way to export Illustrator SVG. An easier approach to all of the above is to just use the clipboard or pasteboard. You can also just select the artwork and copy that as normal and then paste that into Dreamweaver (if that is your favorite web application). To do this you must first go to the preferences and then the file handling section and then set the clipboard 'include SVG code' to ON. The code generated via the clipboard / pasteboard is not bad. Actually the SVG export is quite decent 90% of the time. The only area that the copy to pasteboard really fails is with type. You have to expand the type before you can copy the code otherwise you just get the type only in DMW. The copied text also tends to add <defs> (which may or may not be of use) and a comment and a lot of additional material in the header that has to be quickly deleted each and every time. I guess they never know the exact results required by each and every user of the tool, so this is a reasonable result that benefits the most users.



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Puppet warp. How to use the puppet warp tool ? This is a fairly recent addition to Illustrator. You can find it in the toolbox combined with the free transform. Select a path and then click on the path with the puppet warp (one pin gives no warping but you can still move things around and rotate items). Add another pin, either very close (again little use for serious warping) or further away. You can expand the mesh for the pins beyond the actual path by using the expand mesh control found in the properties panel. You can see the mesh by selecting the show mesh. There is an action to select all the pins. You can select multiple pins by clicking them with the shift held down. If you have four pins on the path, click and shift with three of them and the pin that you have not selected will be 'pinned' and will not move and you will see the influence of that pin as the path will be stretched from that point. You can select one pin and move that around and the other generated will be frozen and the path will be distorted and follow the influence of the pin being moved. You can make an extreme distortion of the mesh but the end result with the path may be very little visible warping. If you go to a pin and move slightly away from the center of that pin, you will see a dotted circle and you can then rotate the pin and that often distorts the path in more extreme ways. The puppet warp does not need to be used to create truly extreme warping but it can be used for subtle changes to a path such as moving a connected head or arms or legs of a vector design as if a 'puppet' (would be great if you could capture the animation of the movement though you can create a snapshot of each subtle move as a PNG file or vector SVG file but that can be time consuming but an animation can be generated using that approach). The puppet warp works with a single path or multiple paths and you can add pins across all the selected design when using the tool. The pins are remembered between using different tools so you can create puppet warps for each selected path in turn. You can use the puppet warp with a number of objects in the application such as type. Click on the type and the type is expanded and can be moved by the pins as well as distorted if you add more than one pin to the characters. Some characters are in groups, some characters will be single characters. You can still also use the standard transform tools to manipulate the type characters.

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Insert glyphs. How to use / insert the glyphs in Illustrator for instant access to all the designs in a typeface, how to use the special characters in CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 etc. Window menu and type category and then glyphs (to see glyphs panel). Select the font to be examined. Select show such as entire font and then type tool. Click artboard. Select one of the glyphs by double clicking design in glyph panel and add the character to the current selected type at the current insertion point. The panel can be a really quick way to access all your designs, especially if you use a font that has 1000s of characters or characters are hidden (unless you can remember the code to access them that is). You can quickly add characters by using the panel - the panel is found in the window menu. To add the designs to the artboard, Select type tool and apply to current artboard and goto the panel and double click the required character in panel and Repeat with other characters (you can re-size the thumbnails by using the controls at the bottom of the panel). The glyph panel can also be used to change a font or styles etc - select the type tool and type some characters or just use some pre-existing characters on the artboard. Select the letters with the type tool and then go to the panel. You can change the font and font style via the top dropdown, just change "Arial" to "myriad" etc as required or regular to bold all via that panel. You can double click any of the glyph cells in the panel and that will change the current selected character or characters to the new character so if you have 'B' it can then be changed to 'T' in a second. You can show the entire font as well as alternates for the current selection and many more (depends on the font) via the Illustrator glyph panel. You can also increase the size of the display by clicking the zoom out and zoom in at the bottom of the panel. You can see via the left side image a whole range of different characters. If you are using some of the fonts on this site you will notice that many additional designs are included in the set that can be conventionally added via the A-Z or 0-9 and a-z range, so the panel enables you to quickly explore all those designs and see many variations of the artworks included in the set. The Illustrator glyphs panel is also super useful for the new color SVG designs that have been added to the typeface in AI. You will often find that you cannot type the colorful type characters but you can select them if you select the typeface and add them via the panel - just double click the design to add to the current selected text as with the normal truetype designs.

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Create zigzags. How to create a quick zigzag in Illustrator using effects in CC 2019 2018 - CS5 etc. Select the line segment tool and draw a line (horizontally or vertically, hold shift down) and set stroke weight to 10px and stroke color. Effect menu and distort category and Zigzag. Set corner ON. Set size to 66px and Ridges per segment to 25. Preview ON. Click OK to create the zigzag. Object menu and Expand appearance and then Object menu and Expand. To change the artwork, you don't have to expand it but you can simply go to the appearance panel and click on the entry associated to the line segment and then change the number of ridges as well as change the size etc via the effect entry. You can also use the appearance panel to add all kinds of other settings such as fills and strokes as well as adding transforms etc to those to create shadow effects and more. If you want to add a shadow that can be done by going to the appearance panel with the zigzag selected and set the color to red or green and then add two new fills to the design, the top fill entry set the color to red and then lower entry set the color to black. Keep the black entry selected and then go to the effect menu and distort and transform and select the transform command and move the lower entry across and down and you will then have a shadow with your artwork. You can add other effects and not just transforms or duplicate fills. You can also add to the artwork by selecting the artwork and then using the width profiles (if the created zigzag is not expanded) which can be found in the top bar of AI. All kinds of graphics can be achieved by adding those profiles and you can also use the width tool to further manipulate that. The width tool can be used to manipulate part of the design and not the rest of the artwork and can be used to create some very unusual and abstract designs. The end result can be expanded via the object menu. Of course, there are other ways to create a zigzag - go to the pen tool and click up and down to create the artwork (perhaps using a grid to aid in the creation of a more regular design). If you use a grid (such as in the image adjacent) then you can click on the grid intersections to make a more regular design such as a simple up one and across one and up one and across one approach. Once you have generated the vector path, you can then scale or shear or rotate the design to create yet more art from that. You can find the grid in the view menu in AI. You don't have to leave the zigzag as it is. You can always embellish the design in numerous ways such as adding styles or filling the art with gradients or pattern swatches. You can also use other paths such as circles etc and add those to the design and group the art. You can also modify the art further by using the pathfinder to add spots and dots and stars etc to the design.



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Freebies . Free items for use with the application diamond font set for use with the application / flower symbols / polar grid symbols / graphic styles/ gear EPS format shapes / brush strokes / spiral plugin freebie for 2018

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Spiral tool. How to use the spiral tool in Illustrtaor ? You can find it in the toolbar beneath the line segment. Once selected, you can then add a spiral using the current fill and stroke. Simply click the document and then drag outwards. It is not live, once you have generated the spiral then that is that, it cannot be re-edited (easily) to add new arms etc but it can be deleted and then re-applied. Weirdly, clicking the icon does nothing but to change the preferences for the spiral, click the document / artboard and you will see radius for the spiral along with decay and segments and style such as the reverse (not much of a choice). Create a path with too many segments and you will have to increase the decay to something like 99% (so it is a slow decay). If you have too great a decay such as 80% and too many segments then you will not see the results as they will be too tightly bound. Have too few segments with a tight decay such as 99% then you will hardly get much of a spiral. You can apply the spiral multiple times with the same settings or vary the settings each and every time you apply it. The spiral can be tweaked further by using the properties panel (CC 2019 2018 etc) so go to the properties (found in the window menu) and set the fill (not so effective but if you want to fill the spiral then that is useful) and then stroke and set the color and the weight. You can also expand the stroke and set the spiral with a dashed setting as well as adding a variable width profile to create all kinds of amazing artworks. You can also use a variety of features of the toolbar such as adding or changing the spiral via the curvature or direct selection tool. Select the curvature and then continue the path or go to the little dots generated by the curvature and drag the design or click on the spiral path and add a new point and then drag and manipulate that point. You can also use a variety of effects to manipulate the basic spiral such as going to the effect menu and adding a drop shadow as well as using the zigzag tool (smooth etc) to add a zigzag or wave effect to the path. It is a live effect so can be edited and removed at any point. You can also use the spiral with extrude via the 3D features. You can also use the spiral with third party plugins such as the excellent extend path from Astute Graphics. The spiral can also be further enhanced by using a combination of the path with the appearance panel and using the right side menu to add an additional stroke or two as well as combining those with effects such as distort and transform effects. The result of the design can be dragged into the symbols panel as well as the CC library panel for use in Photoshop and other parts of the Creative Cloud. You can also use the vector artwork once or multiple times and spread the artwork across the artboard to create all kinds of abstract line backgrounds. You can also use the vectors with a clipping mask. Create the design with the correct number of segments / decay etc and then add an additional path on top such as a circle or star or rectangle and then select both of those artworks and then go to the object menu and clipping mask and make command. You can also add a brush stroke to the spiral so calligraphic and scatter etc strokes can be added to create amazing new vector designs in seconds. You can use any of the 16,000+ strokes available from the graphicxtras site as well as any of your own as well as strokes supplied by default from Adobe. You can also use a variety of other features found in the toolbar to manipulate the path such as the wrinkle, twirl, warp, free transform, pucker, bloat and many other warps and transforms.

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Scribbles. How to use the scribble with paths, open or otherwise. The scribble or sketch or drawing feature is a useful 'random' feature of Illustrator and can be found in the effect menu and stylize and scribble. You can use it with a single path, open paths, closed, symbols etc (sadly it does not work with images and photos etc). As soon as you apply the command, a panel will appear with the following : settings (the default is handy as it puts you back to the default settings in a second if you have pushed the values too far) as well as path overlap (+ variation), stroke width, curviness (+ variation) and spacing (+ variation). I would say that the variations add randomness but they don't, if you vary the settings you will notice that the general form of the scribble is still the same and does not jitter that much (spacing is the only that really brings any big change to the overall shape when it comes to the variation). The settings are a great start points for the artwork and the settings certainly cover a nice range of the tool such as loose and dense etc. The scribble is a live effect so once you have added it to a path, you can edit the scribble at any point. As a live effect it can also be further manipulated by other live effects as well as adding additional live effect 'scribbles' to the existing one to create even more unique designs. You can add additional strokes to the path and then add scribbles to that so you can have multiple scribbles in different directions and with different spacing and overlap etc. You can also save the scribble to the graphic styles panel by going to the right side menu of that panel and save the effects and stroke etc as a preset. You can find a set of sketch themed styles on our site. Angle is great for changing the angle of the scribble (sadly there is no randomization feature for that and the scribble is only applied in the direction of the angle). If path overlap is set below zero, the result will be no scribble but if you then introduce a large variation, you will see the effect again. Increase the overlap and you will see the line jitter outwards and back again to the path and outwards again and so on. If the spacing is very low then the zigzagging of the line will be fairly extreme. Increase the spacing and you will see more of the zigzagging of the line. Change the curviness to add some wave / curve to the lines. Increase the variation of the curviness to introduce some lines being straight and some lines of the scribble being curved. Increase spacing too much and the lines will be reduce to virtually nothing. Add variation to the spacing and the lines will be crunched in some parts of the path and more spread out in the rest of the path. Stroke width just increases the weight of the scribble (and is not modified by the existing weight of the path which is not visible unless you use the appearance panel and combine the path and scribble). The width is for the entire path and there is no variation though if you combine multiple fills and strokes, you can add multiple stroke widths that way. You can also use the effect with type either by adding a new fill or new stroke (or multiple) via the right side menu and then using the effect with the fill and / or stroke. You can create all kinds of lovely sketchy designs for type whether using it with a single letter or multiple letters or a paragraph etc. You can also combine the sketch effect with effects such as transform via the effect menu so the applied sketch can be scaled and moved and rotated as well as repeated (by increasing the copies). The results of all these effects applied to a path can be added as a symbol via the presets panel. You can also store the artwork to the CC library and use the work in other applications such as Photoshop and After Effects.



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