Adapted from Adobe Acrobat 9 PDF Bible
By Ted Padova
Adobe Illustrator, as with other Adobe programs, is built on core PDF technology. In fact, the native Adobe Illustrator file format is PDF, and as such it is one of the best applications supporting direct export to PDF.
There are obvious benefits to spending the extra time and effort grouping your layers into folders and naming them appropriately.
For one you will appreciate the organization if you have to work further on the file after considerable amount time went by. Second, your coworkers or your css programmer will appreciate a neat file as well.
There are some less obvious and immediate advantages to such tidy practices. Design is not done on paper or on screen. Design is something you do in your mind. You continuously evaluate your work and make further design decisions while you work. Design is an internal dialogue and the result is your design work.
Since CS3 Illustrator has received powerful color manipulation tools that are relatively little known. Select the menu Edit/ Edit Colors/ Recolor Artwork to discover a plethora of features.
In the Edit tab you can change the brightness, hue and many other aspects of several selected objects at once. It also allows you to create color harmonies with a color wheel besides other cool features.
Let's suppose you receive a pdf document that you need to further work on in Illustrator, but when you open it all fonts get replaced by the default font, because you don't have those fonts used in the pdf. The font information is there in the pdf, so theoretically if you could convert all the text to outlines you would be able to work with the document.
When you work with Illustrator documents your document's background is mostly white. The interface of the application, such as the panes and the toolbox are also white by default. This puts some strain on your eyes and brain when you're trying to identify each area. To relieve this extra effort you may want to experiment changing the background of the user interface to a shade of grey instead of white.
If you work with files that have a common base and several custom layers for languages or other mutations, you should always remember to switch on the Paste Remember Layers option in Illustrator. You will find this option by clicking the little contextual menu icon in the top right corner of the layers pane.
The application Art Files has been around for quite some time, but I noticed so many of my friends who use Illustrator a lot didn't know about it, so I thought it's worth sharing as it's a huge time saver.
When we talk about plugins, you generally assume we're talking about Photoshop add-ons. Most people don't even realize that you can add features to Adobe Illustrator using plugins, let alone name a good one. I recently found a real gem and reviewed it at The Graphic Mac, and thought it would fit in nicely here at CreativeBits as well.