Don’t make Adobe Illustrator this big ugly hard thing that you can’t do because you don’t understand it. Like all things worth learning, it is going to take some time to learn all the nuances of the program.
But here is a quick introduction to help you on your way that may make the learning curve shorten a bit:
- Tools - The tools are the core of the Illustrator program. The tool that you choose will determine what you are going to do on your open document. When something is not working the way you think it should, check the tool that you have selected. When you find a white line across the middle of your design, it may be that you have the Eraser tool selected when all you were trying to do is move an object from the left to the right of your document.
- Option Bar - This is related to the object that you have selected. For example, if you have a text box selected, then the option bar will give you options to modify your text (i.e. font, size, alignment, etc.). If you have a shape selected, then the option bar will give you options to modify your shape (color, stroke or outline, opacity, etc.).
- Palette - Think of the floating palette as a painting palette, only this one is customizable. Instead of just finding and selecting colors, you can also control stroke size, make gradients, store brushes and specific colors you are working with, and much more!
- Menu Bar - The menu bar is similar to the menu bar in many other software programs. This is where you go to open, save, and create new documents, but you can also find many of the same functions that the floating palette or option bar hold. Illustrator (and PhotoShop) tries to make it easy on you by having about 20 different ways to complete any given task you are trying to accomplish.
In the weeks to come, I will be diving into each of these topics in greater detail, stay tuned for more great content!
What do you think? What is confusing you about Illustrator?