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Ivan's picture

Let Illustrator do the math

transform paletteLet's say you have an object that is 22cm wide and you need to make it 2cm wider. You could calculate the amount and punch in 24cm, but if you had a more complex calculation, you may not be able to do it without a calculator. For example 12.3cm-1pt.

Good news, you don't need to bring up the calculator and convert measurement and do the math yourself. You can simply type in the calculation straight into the fields in the transform palette. Illustrator and Freehand both have the capability to do these calculations immediately. You can add, substract, multiply, divide and also mix units of measure.

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Stefan Freimark's picture
13 pencils

InDesign is also able to calculate (I haven't tried to mix units but it's handy if you'd like to move objects a few milimeters).

ozskry's picture
61 pencils

Very useful tip. Thx!

mijlee's picture
500 pencils

Any professional application worth their salt should do this.

Adobe products have been doing it for years and even Quark has done it for as long as I can remember. Don't think any of the Macromedia suite does it.


carlosmh's picture
202 pencils

FreeHand since ver 9.0 can do this...

mijlee's picture
500 pencils

I don't think Freehand even comes woth the Studio set now does it? A dead sert that your next upgrade will be to Illustrator though ;-)

I was meaning their we apps like Flash and Fireworks, sometimes i forget they even make anything other than kick ass web tools ;)


carlosmh's picture
202 pencils

FreeHand is now part of Studio (Mx).. i'm illustrator user too, but i like some tools of FH (like Find & Replace Graphics Tool). Any equivalent tool in Illustrator?

mijlee's picture
500 pencils

FYI Studio MX was replaced by Studio 8 a little while ago and now doesn't not include Freehand. signaling the start of it's departure from the Macromedia line ;)

MM Studio 8 sans FH :D


cbrophy78's picture
177 pencils

Pica.... which i have no clue about, is there a converasion for it i know that it work based off a pt. where 12pts equals 1p0, 24 equals 2p0, and so on. and also what is Q measurements which i have seen in Quark? And In Design has something called Ciceros which i though was just a Pizzarea down the street from me.

I knew about the adding and subtracting, never really thought about multipling nor dividing, cool tip, better than figuring what percent to blow something up in the scale tool.

What does this button d.... CRAP!

Chris Brophy
Iklectek Designs

fidel's picture
337 pencils

Well where to start about measurements.
We are used to use points for type and strokes. Pixels for everything that has todo with monitors and so on. But there are some other measures that really mather, like didots for type, em spaces, en spaces and so on. On a normal basis we think that our standard version of measures are the standard for every measure, but sometimes things work better in a specific environment than the standards.
Let's take type. Did anyone ever wonderd where those standard options in your character palette came from? Why is there a numeric difference about 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 12, 14, 18, 24, 30 ans so on... Well it has to to with a hierarchy about being in concordance with the previous and next type sort. In a magazine you want a hierarchy that isn't disturbing for the reader. So the (predifined) hierarchy in InDesign, quark, Illustrattor and so on are defined by the the number fi. This means that every (measurement) is defined so that the reader finds a logic and is helped to find a logic in to what is important and what is not in your text. You can not define this logic in measurements that are not linked with the sort of thing you want to do (in this example type).
So redifining thing to other measurements is really a sign of our times, where proven logic is set aside of more practical circumstances like space available, that's a real pitty.
The result is often a spectacular layout which promises a lot, but is often unreadable. So if you are in something like experimenting with layout, don't bother about my remark. But if you are in readability take care and just learn why things are measured in a certain way and not another.

Just an old typesetter ventilating

elchican's picture
1 pencil


not fi...

the golden ratio

my first post... go me

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