8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 6, 2009 12:11 PM by Pictrix

    Help creating a grid/form?

    Pictrix

      Hello, I'm new to Illustrator here (I have an older version when needed, but I used to use Freehand)

       

      I'm used to setting up grids/forms by creating the first row, then duping it, aligning it, then dupe the aligned copy on down the page. (Cmd D)

      (takes just a few seconds).

       

      How do you do this in Illustrator?

      Copy/Paste or option drag 30-40 times .... seems rather ineffective?

       

      Also, I can't figure out how to get multiple items to align (left) and distribute(heights) with the paths touching without having to manually position them.

      (It's one thing to position the first dupe, and then have it auto-align all subsequent dupes, but it's making me grind my teeth to manually position each row all the way down the page).

       

      Can someone point me in the right direction here?

       

      Thanks for any help or pointers!

        • 1. Re: Help creating a grid/form?
          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Pictrix,

           

          You may consider using the Grid Tool (flyout from the Line Segment Tool). It creates a filled rectangle with single inner gridlines, all grouped. You may form separate boxes of closed unfilled paths by Pathfinder>Divide, still grouped; each or all may be filled together or separately; you may work with each using the Direct Selection Tool or Ungroup (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+G).

           

          For mutual alignment, use the Align palette. Select all and click once more on the object to rule the alignment/distribution. The values in Distribute Spacing decide the distances, if any. The icons should be self explanatory, but you may just use try and fail until you are there.

          • 2. Re: Help creating a grid/form?
            Pictrix Level 1

            Hey... thank you for taking the time to respond to my question.

             

            Ok, I did find the alignment palette, and how to align on object... so that helps a lot.

             

            Thank you for pointing out the location of the grid tool.

            It sometimes has a use, even if not for this particular project.

             

            Just in case you might know the answers:

             

            1. If I'm going to make grids (with variable widths of cols, and random numbers of rows) is that better accomplished in InDesign?

             

            2. Illustrator won't print to my printer (Photoshop does, however). I can get a PDF from AI to print though... do I use "Bridge" to tell it where to put the PDF's and what to do with them? (I'm a REAL newbie to Bridge, and everything but PS). I didn't see any options for that in the "print" dialog in AI.

             

            3. Does Illustrator only allow for one page per document?

             

            4. Is there a pref setting that will just highlight the bounding box of the selected GROUP, rather than highlighting all the paths within the group when it is selected?

             

            (It's more than a little discouraging that the first 3 things I try, aren't happening  LOL-- although it did open up Freehand docs just fine, so there is that)

             

            Thank you for your time.

             

            --pictrix

            • 3. Re: Help creating a grid/form?
              Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              Pictrix,

               

              1. If I'm going to make grids (with variable widths of cols, and random numbers of rows) is that better accomplished in InDesign? Probably, but you may DirectSelect and move gridlines; and at some stage you have to decide the number of rows/columns.

               

              2. Illustrator won't print to my printer (Photoshop does, however). I can get a PDF from AI to print though... do I use "Bridge" to tell it where to put the PDF's and what to do with them? (I'm a REAL newbie to Bridge, and everything but PS). I didn't see any options for that in the "print" dialog in AI. You should use a PostScript Driver (emulation) if printing from Illy, otherwise PDF is the way.

               

              3. Does Illustrator only allow for one page per document? Basically, especially in older versions (where you may use Page Tiling), but multiple pages are easier in InDesign in any case.

               

              4. Is there a pref setting that will just highlight the bounding box of the selected GROUP, rather than highlighting all the paths within the group when it is selected? No, unless introduced in later versions.

               

              (It's more than a little discouraging that the first 3 things I try, aren't happening  LOL-- although it did open up Freehand docs just fine, so there is that)

               

              Thank you for your time.

               

              --pictrix

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Help creating a grid/form?
                Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                In AI CS4 there are multiple artboards which ca be used as multiple pages.

                 

                Here is how the command split into grid works and might meet your needs

                 

                You might even be able to do something like this with the graph tool. If you are clever about it

                 

                http://mysite.verizon.net/wzphoto/Grid2.mov

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Help creating a grid/form?
                  Pictrix Level 1

                  Thank you for the answers.

                   

                  I managed to get AI to do what I expected entirely by accident somewhere in the wee hours. The trick was to Option-Drag the first item (top row in this case) and position it before releasing the mouse.

                  After that, Cmd-D duped the object offset identically and I could cascade those down the page.

                   

                  The printer, Sharp AR-405, Postscript 2, we have a ppd and so far so good elsewhere but AI.

                  AI sends a print job, but nothing comes out. I will need to turn error logging on... perhaps that will give me a clue.

                   

                  Meanwhile, how do I set a default save location for PDF files? The help file indicates there's a "save as PDF" option (which I would have expected) in the print dialog, but I'm not seeing it. I do have "Adobe PDF 9.0" as a surrogate printer driver. I am using that but I can't locate any save location option?

                   

                  Thanks for the info on the pages per document, and selection question.

                   

                  Appended is the pdf of the "grid" thing I was using for practice.

                  • 6. Re: Help creating a grid/form?
                    Pictrix Level 1

                    Thank you for the movie on "split into grid"! I doubt I'd ever have discovered that option on my own, or understood how to manipulate it. Sometimes there just isn't much time to explore all that an app offers.

                     

                    I'm sure it will come in handy for future work, as this test project was quick and dirty compared to what I really use vector for the most.

                     

                    As to "multiple pages/artboards" I'll delve into that more a little later.

                    For now, there's 20 yrs worth of vectoring to ultimately migrate to a new OS and Apps-- yay  LOL

                     

                    Thank you again for taking the time!

                    • 7. Re: Help creating a grid/form?
                      Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      You are welcome, Pictrix. It may be worth reinstalling/updating the printer driver. Obviously, with PS, it should work from Illy. In some connexions, Illy is more particular than most.

                       

                      As far as I know, using the multipage feature in CS4 is less flexible because of the lack of reflowing between Artboards/Pages. Hopefully, I am wrong.

                      • 8. Re: Help creating a grid/form?
                        Pictrix Level 1

                        As to the printer:

                        Sharp AR-405, Postscript 2.

                        All we have are a couple of PPD's from circa 2000-2001. Sharp is not updating these.

                         

                        I'm not able to figure out how to turn error logging on, or no longer can figure out where/how to do that! (at least from the computer, it might be possible from the printer itself)

                         

                        Presently, when I first launch AI and go to "print", it takes almost a minute for the dialog to come up... too many unneeded drivers? (many hundreds).

                        Even subsequent "print" calls are a bit doggy.

                         

                        It's not kicking out a bogus print, error page or even hanging the print queue, the print job appears to send from the computer's point of view, but it's not even registering a blip on the printer (or I'm not fast enough to run over there to see it) and the print job just disappears into the ether.

                        (Which is better than having to go reset/restart the printer...)