6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 24, 2010 1:55 PM by Larry G. Schneider

    Illustrator issues questions--I need help


      Illustrator CS4, MAC OSX 10.5.8...


      After struggling off and on for a few months with Illustrator, I'd like to be able to confirm a few things, so I know I'm not insane.


      1. Canvas/Pasteboard. Is there not an easy way to change that a bit so I can see more difference between the artboard and background? I found a workaround using transparency grid color and then putting a white picture block on the artboard (on a locked layer underneath). This is at least acceptable for various things. Is there some setting I'm missing?  Mostly I'd just like to change the color of the canvas so it stands out more.(And I'd rather have my own choice than whatever the preset tends to be because these blaring white/light screens are killer on the eyes...)


      1a. How do I save a "blank" version of the canvas set up I made so my "colorized" canvas  comes up in new documents? Is there a way to set a default document?

      1b. Is there a way to make the canvas a bit smaller?


      2. Scrolling. When I select an object and want to move it up the page/artboard, AI doesn't seem to scroll to the area I'm trying to get to. Is there a setting I'm missing or accidentally checked/unchecked? I have to go to the scrollbar and click that and move the item screen-by-screen up the page (alternatively, zoom out, etc.)


      2a. I noticed earlier today when trying to sort out text issues (point text, specifically) when I rotated a box... as soon as my cursor hit the edge of the document, the window view practically scrolled out of the universe! Why would it scroll to an out-of-view place in this instance and not scroll when I'm trying to drag an item to an out-of-view place in the document?


      3. I have tons of legacy Freehand 7 files. A decade's worth (not to mention apps prior to that for another decade). Every piece of text comes in as a "text area" box (ordinarily not a problem). But not a one of them shows all the text. I understand this is an issue with legacy files of all types (saving out old FH7 files as an older version of AI yields the same results.)

      Pages are cluttered with red + everywhere. Never mind the time sink, does AI have any way to "snap to" regarding a text area box to the text? How do you get multiple text boxes/objects to line up and be the same size? I'm not seeing H x W spec boxes to enter numerics in for text area boxes (as a start). Do I need to use grids or guides for this?


      4. Whatever tool I'm using persists and doesn't change to a regular arrow when I go to click a scrollbar. Program glitch?


      5. How do I set a default font? Or a default doc to open with the desired font preset in it?


      6. When saving out a graphic to be used in another app, is there no "save selection as.."? Or do I need to open a new doc, paste and save from there for each thing? (My master documents for some frequently used items tend to have many items)


      I know these are really newbie questions, but what used to be 5 minute tweaks in the past (in Freehand) now turn into all-day ordeals trying to figure out what I consider to be just the basics. So I'm not really learning about all the features and aspects of AI at this point.



      Can anyone confirm some of the stuff above or point out what I've missed?



        • 1. Re: Illustrator issues questions--I need help
          Scott Falkner Level 5

          1. Turn on the Transparency Grid in the View menu. You can change the colour of the grid in File > Document Setup.


          1a. You can save a Template or save a setup you like in Users/[You]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator CS4/en_US/New Document Profiles.


          1b. No


          2. How are you trying to scroll? Adobe software, and Illustrator especially, can be pretty dumb about understanding scroll wheels.


          2a. Because Illustrator is a turd. It has been, effectively, in constant beta mode for about a decade.


          3. I don't have an experience with this.


          4. No.


          5. I believe you cannot.


          6. Yes.

          • 2. Re: Illustrator issues questions--I need help
            Pictrix Level 1

            Hello Scott:


            Thanks for reassuring me I'm only partly insane


            Thanks also for the tip on setting up a default document. I'll pursue that tomorrow when I'm a little less bleary....


            Scrolling-- I have a group (or object selected) and I'm just dragging it along, but it doesn't go farther than the edge of the doc.

            I'm a whiz with a trackball, but useless with a scroll wheel.


            Ugh on the no default font thing.


            Magnifier glass icon on the scrollbar... well, it's disorienting but I'll live.


            I see the "save as" and "save a copy"-- but I don't see a "save SELECTION"? Where is that?



            Hmmm, yeah, I have some words but I don't think "turd" was one of them  lol. Too mild for this 16-hour day.



            Admittedly, I've been more than a little shocked with AI. 

            • 3. Re: Illustrator issues questions--I need help
              Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional



              5. Have a look here: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/322/322398.html


              Before CS2, you could change the default font by modifying the AIPrefs/Illustrator Prefs file.

              • 4. Re: Illustrator issues questions--I need help
                Junk Mailer Level 3

                2a. Because Illustrator is a turd. It has been, effectively, in 

                constant beta mode for about a decade.



                I wonder if we'll all get prizes or gifts from Adobe when the real 

                Illustrator is released? That's the only reason I keep using 

                Illustrator, so please don't crush my dreams...

                • 5. Re: Illustrator issues questions--I need help
                  JETalmage Level 6

                  6. Unless it was added in CS4, there is no "selection only" in Illustrator's export dialogs.


                  3. Accidental overset text is a chronic problem with Adobe apps. Neither Illustrator nor InDesign match the elegant utility of FreeHand text objects. You cannot make textFrames in Illustrator or InDesign auto-fit their contents. (I hacked out a Javascript that sometimes works for that in a pinch.) Illustrator's continued insistence on its silly and cumbersome "Point Type" vs. "Area Type" distinction is as insidious as its continued insistence on its silly and cumbersome "direct select" vs. "normal select" pointers.


                  Are your multilion FH files mostly of a particular type (maps, for example)? If so, are the problematic text objects usually of a particular type (text bound to paths or text objects set to auto-expand horizontally)? I dinked around one time on an AI Javascript that could fix the overset problem on FH maps after importing to AI.



                  • 6. Re: Illustrator issues questions--I need help
                    Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    To set a default font for all new files, open the New Document Profile that you most often use (or all of them) from User/<yourname>/Library/Application Support/Adobe Illustrator CS4/en-US/New Document Profiles. For each file, Window>Type>Character Styles and double click on the [Normal Character Style]. In the dialog, double click on the second box on the left, Basic character format and in the right window set it up as you want. Save the document.