Tagged: Illustrator

Quickly find the CMYK equivalent of a Pantone color in Photoshop or Illustrator

Many times you are asked to find the CMYK equivalent of a particular Pantone color. If you don’t have a ridiculously overpriced Pantone to Process conversion guide available, you can use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.

There are a lot of theories out there as to how you can get the most accurate CMYK values (some area quite complex, such as first converting to LAB color before converting to process colors, etc.). But if you’re a pro you already realize that no Pantone color is going to match 100% in process printing anyway and the Pantone Color Bridge guide is the best and most accurate conversion method.

The Pantone Color Bridge Guide is expensive, so these are the fastest ways that I’ve come across that give the best results. (more…)

Increase/decrease transparency with this Adobe Illustrator keyboard shortcut

Illustrator transparency shortcut

For some odd reason Adobe removed the slider for the Transparency panel some time ago, and replaced it with a mostly useless drop-down menu of 10% increments. While many users certainly aren’t happy about this, they probably don’t know that you can adjust transparency more precisely than the drop-down menu allows using keyboard shortcuts.

With the object(s) you want to adjust selected, click in the Transparency panel’s amount input box and use the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Increase/Decrease Transparency by 1% = Up or Down Arrow Keys
  • Increase/Decrease Transparency by 2% = Option + Up or Down Arrow Key
  • Increase/Decrease Transparency by 10% = Shift + Up or Down Arrow Key

Fixing the grid alignment bug in Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator alignment bug

Have you come across this little gem of a bug when using Adobe Illustrator? You draw a box and apply a stroke to the inside of the frame, and the stroke appears to “float” off of the frame itself. As you can see in the image above, the actual frame object is the blue line, and my 1-pixel black stroke is way off. The bug has been around for a few years, and I’m not sure why Adobe hasn’t fixed it yet. Fortunately, the solution below fixes the problem.

When creating your document, click the Advanced tab at the bottom of the New Document dialog box. Untick the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid checkbox.

The iMac 27″ for graphic designers: part 2

27" Apple iMac

In part one of The iMac 27″ for graphic designers, I covered the reasons for choosing the late 2012 iMac 27” to replace my 2006 Mac Pro. As a graphic designer who works in Adobe Creative Suite apps all day long, with file sizes pushing the 1GB range, power is important. But as I found out with my MacBook Air, the Mac Pro just isn’t necessary anymore. Not only does the iMac have all the power you need, but it’s a much more elegant hardware solution, and significantly easier on the pocketbook. I also listed some of the pros and cons of the iMac.

Now I’m going to talk a bit about my experience actually using the iMac for the last two months. (more…)

Astute Graphics updates two popular Adobe Illustrator plugins

DrawScribeAstute Graphics has update two of their popular Adobe Illustrator plugins to work with CreativeSuite 6.

DrawScribe features two handy tools: InkScribe and Dynamic Sketch.

Use Inkscribe to replace the Pen and its related tools, and it will revolutionise the way you draw precise and calculated shapes. If you’re a fan of drawing more naturally in vector, but you’d like to speed things up, you’ll love the Dynamic Sketch tool. Whether you sketch with a Wacom tablet or a mouse, this tool provides even more power to produce dynamic vector forms from scratch, to modify existing shapes, and to go back at a later date to adjust the level of detail to your work.

VectorScribe is the ultimate vector toolkit for all designers and users of Adobe Illustrator CS3 and above. It allows you to edit and create vector artwork faster, smarter and dynamically through the use of tools such as PathScribe, Dynamic Measure, and Protractor. The Studio version of VectorScribe also includes Dynamic Shapes and Dynamic Corners tools.

Prices vary for the tools (see the individual web pages), and both offer downloadable trial versions to see if they’re right for you.

SubScribe Designer for Adobe Illustrator CS3-CS6 FREE!

SubScribeSubScribe Designer is a creative workflow enhancement tool for all designers working in Adobe Illustrator. It provides simple access to common drawing tasks such as lines to/from curve tangents or perpendiculars and circles and arcs defined by 2 or 3 points.

Another key function is the Orient tool which allows users to rotate or straighten objects intuitively, precisely and easily.

SubScribe Designer tools:

  • Circle by 2 or 3 points
  • Tangent Circle
  • Curvature Circle
  • Connect
  • Straighten
  • Arc by three point
  • Arc start-end-direction
  • Orient
  • Line tangent to two paths
  • Line tangent to path
  • Line tangent from path
  • Line perpendicular to two paths
  • Line perpendicular to path
  • Line perpendicular from path

SubScribe Designer for Adobe Illustrator is completely free. Illustrator CS6 installation requires Adobe Exchange.

Adobe releases Illustrator features for Creative Cloud members

New features in this Adobe Illustrator release include:

Package Files – a long-requested featurethat allows designers to automatically collect all the files used in an Illustrator project, including linked graphics and fonts, into a single folder helping make handoffs and sharing of projects more efficient and error-free.

Unembed Images – a new capability that enables production artists to quickly unembed images that have been embedded into an Illustrator file by other designers or customers, eliminating much wasted time in day-to-day production work.

Links Panel Enhancements – a new feature enhancement that allows users to access and track information on any artwork placed in an Illustrator file much quicker. What used to require multiple clicks to ensure all placed graphics meet necessary requirements for output is now surfaced up front.

Read more about it here.

iStockPhoto plugin for Adobe Creative Suite apps makes image searching easy

iStockPhoto pluginI spend a lot of time searching for stock photography. One of the sites I spend the most time on is iStockPhoto due to its large selection of images and relatively low cost. Switching between my InDesign layout and Safari to compare the images on the website to the layout to see if the image is appropriate can be tedious – especially when you consider the time to download and place the comp images.

It would be so great if you could do it right inside InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator without using a browser. Thankfully, you can with this nifty plugin.

iStockPhoto has released the iStockPhoto Plugin for InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator that adds a Panel to all three apps which allows you to search for images, view the images, create and view light boxes, and place a comp image directly into your file, and purchase the image – all without ever leaving the Adobe application.

Installation is simple, as the plugin is installed for all three apps via the Adobe Extension Manager. The plugin is free. You can search for images and add comp images to your layout, but you must have an iStockPhoto account to use lightboxes and purchase images.