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In this lesson we'll discuss the options that the control palette gives you when editing
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At the top of the screen is what is called the Control Palette. This is common to both PhotoShop and Illustrator. It is very handy. What it does is it gives you options that are contact sensitive, they are specific to whatever you have selected at that time. For example, I am going to zoom in a little bit with my zoom tools, so I click on my zoom tool and then I click once or twice right on this lake, just to make it a little bigger so we can see it. You can click on anything you want although a body of water would probably be a good object to work with. Once I have zoomed in which I have now, I am going back to my Selection Tool and click on it and then I am going to click on the lake. You will see that the lake is selected, it has what is called the Bounding Box around the perimeter, you can see the individual points on the lake and then the lake itself is selected.
Up in the control palette, it shows you that you have selected a path and it gives you options that are specific for working with paths. For example, the first drop down gives you a list of different colors that you can apply to this particular object. You do not have as many colors to choose from here as you would in a normal document because this document was saved with a specific color palette. Just to see how it works, let us give it a color like green water, you can see that the fill is changed to green, click again on the drop down, to get rid of it and then click on the stroke dropdown. Currently, we have no stroke, anytime you see the red slash that you see right here through a circle or square, it just means that there is none, nothing has been applied to it. Let us go ahead and give this sort of dark red color, let us close that up by clicking on the drop down and finally let us increase the width of the stroke, which again is the outline of the object to five points.
What we are going to do now is add a little bit of text to our map and that is going to change the control palette to give us options that are more appropriate for text. Click over on the text tool and then click somewhere in the neighborhood if you like but make sure you are not clicking on any river or road or anything like that. You will get a blinking insertion point, let us name this the Red Sands Algae Lake. The text is too big so we are going to change that. Go, press and drag across your text to highlight it just like you would in a Word processor and look at the control palette, you still have some of the options you had before. You still have fills, you still have strokes, you still have stroke width but you also now have the font, the font style, the size which we need to reduce. Let us go ahead and try 8pt, still too big, let us just type in 5pt and then hit tab, that works for us. Click the selection tool, position at tip of the selection arrow anywhere at all in your text, get right on the lines to form the text, press and drag down below your lake. And then use the CMD+SHFT+A or on Windows, CTRL+SHFT+A, a keyboard shortcut to deselect everything.
The last thing I want to talk about as far as the control palette is concerned, is that some of the options that you will see, some of the text that you will see up in the control palette are actually hyperlinks – they are blue and underlined just like we use to see on the web. Clicking any hyperlink in the control palette brings up the palette for that particular option. So here, we are looking at the stroke palette, over here to the right, we are looking at the opacity palette if we click on it. Just remember, in addition to the drop-down menu, you also have hyperlinks that you can click on to give you sort of more detailed options than you normally see on the control palette.