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In this lesson we'll learn how to use the various tools in the toolbox in Adobe Illustrator's interface.
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Illustrator has a huge number of different tools that you can use to create artwork, edit artwork, manipulate all sorts of different place images within Illustrator. The toolbox, which is the set of tools on the left hand side of your screen, is where you are going to access all those different tools. Now, one thing that is interesting about Illustrator on the Macintosh versus Illustrator on the Windows side is that the toolbox configuration at least initially is a little bit different. Right above the toolbox, there is a double arrow and it will either be facing the left hand side or facing the right hand side. On the Macintosh side, it is facing the left hand side and what that is doing is it indicates that by clicking, you can actually squeeze the toolbox over to the left. Go ahead and click on that now. You will see what it does, it collapses the toolbox from two columns to one column. If you are following along on a Windows machine, your toolbox already looks this way because one column configuration is standard for Windows. Click in the double arrow that points to the right, expands it into two columns again. You can use whichever configuration you prefer. I am going to leave it on the standard two columns just so that we can see everything on screen.
Now, as we saw earlier, if your mouse is over tool, Illustrator will show you a label that tells you the name of that tool and then a parenthesis that tells you what the keyboard shortcut is for that tool, we can see that the V key will select the selection too. The T key, not surprisingly will select the type tool and the L key selects the ellipse tool. On your screen, you maybe looking at the rectangle tool which has a keyboard shortcut of M – and in fact, what I would like you to do regardless of which tool you have is move your mouse up to the side a little bit. And just hit M for the rectangle, L for the ellipse, T for the type tool and V for the selection tool.
Now, the reason that we were be able to switch back and forth between the ellipse tool and the rectangle tool, let us go and do that again. M for the rectangle and L for the ellipse is that any tool that has the tiny black air on the lower right hand corner actually has other tools hidden underneath it. And if you go ahead and press on the ellipse tool, you will see and you will open up a door, a toolbox as it were and you got a bunch of different types of tools in there. The rectangle tool, rounded rectangle, ellipse, polygon, star and even something called the flare tool. So you can use the keyboard shortcuts if you know them. And anytime you want to explore, any tool that has the triangle in the lower right hand corner is actually a drawer or a fly out menu. We could go ahead and experiment by pressing and holding on the type tool, see all sorts of different types, we could press and hold on the pen tool, see all sorts of different versions of the pen tool that we can use. It is good to let go. Go back to the ellipse tool or the rectangle tool whichever you have open, press and hold.
And in addition to selecting different tools by mousing over them, what I want you all to do is go to the far right hand side and there is a little thing called Tear Off. When you mouse over, make sure that it highlights and let go of the mouse button. That actually tears off all of those tools as a separate palette, you can press on that, drag it to place it wherever you want to place it. That is handy if you are doing a lot of different shapes or a lot of different type of extras something like that.
To close one of this Tear Off palettes, click the close box, which is going to be in the upper left hand corner of the Macintosh or at the upper right hand of a PC. We are going to look a lot of them though throughout the various lessons. What I want to do is move south a little bit more, pass all these various tools to this section of the toolbox, right here. This lets you decide for any shape you are working with whether you want to work with the Fill which is the solid box here, the Stroke which is this hollow bo