Free 'Preferences' Illustrator Plugin | Joshua Butts | Skillshare

Free 'Preferences' Illustrator Plugin

Joshua Butts, Graphic Designer and Photographer

Free 'Preferences' Illustrator Plugin

Joshua Butts, Graphic Designer and Photographer

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2 Lessons (11m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Overview of Plugin Panel

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About This Class

This is course on an awesome plugin for adobe illustrator and it is FREE. It provides an incredible shortcut panel for toggling guides, grids, keyboard increments, and angle constraints. In this course I will be teaching you where to download this plugin, how to use it, and why it is so useful. The nice thing about the panel is that you don’t have to remember the often long and numerous keyboard shortcuts that can take a while to get used to. It is a simple panel that you can have always handy.

In addition to showing you this panel, I will still be showing you keyboard shortcuts that can accomplish the same tasks as the panel. This course is for any illustrator user, even beginners. I know you will learn a lot from it so I hope you will join me.

Meet Your Teacher

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Joshua Butts

Graphic Designer and Photographer


Josh Butts is a Graphic Designer and Photographer. He currently works for a creative agency in Provo, Utah. He's worked with many people doing creative work usually involving illustration, logo, and web design. The classes on this channel cover mostly vector illustration but there are also many other valuable skills that can be learned from the other classes on the channel. Join some of his classes to gain from valuable experience and get better at design and photography yourself!

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1. Introduction: Hello, everyone, and welcome to this course on a brand new plug in Fort Adobe Illustrator. It was just released and provides an incredible shortcut panel for toddling guides, grids, keyboard increments and angle constraints. In this course, I will be teaching you where to download this plug in and how to use it and why it is so useful. The nice thing about the panel is that you don't have to remember often long and numerous keyboard shortcuts that can take a while to get used to. It is a simple panel that you can have always handy. In addition to showing you this panel, I will still be showing you keyboard shortcuts that can accomplish the same tasks as the panel. This course is for any illustrator, easier, even beginners. I know you'll learn a lot from it, so I hope you'll join me. 2. Overview of Plugin Panel: Okay, guys. So to get started with this, just go to the astute graphics website. As you can see, I'm out right here. And then if you go under a shot and then under this free stuff section, you can see this little link right here. This is a direct press. Just click on that. And this is a plug in that we're going to be talking about. In this course, all you need to do now is scroll down to this link right here, says damn above 14 day trial. And even though it says trial, you actually don't need a license for this is you can see it still says a $0 so you can just click on that. And then right here, you can just enter your email address and then fill out the different fields that they have . And once you click get started, then they'll send you a link where you can download the astute graphics plugging installer . So once you've got that downloaded, I've already download of it. You can go to your folder where you have it downloaded right here and then open it up. I've already got it opened and So once you get to this screen in the installer, you're free to download free trials of any of these. If you haven't done that already, if you've already looked at some other astute graphics plug ins. But right here you'll see the direct press plug in right here, and I can just check that and then go through the different steps and automatically install it. So now that's just gonna install on my computer. And once your installation is finished, you can just open up, illustrator. And it will be already when you open it the first time this little window shows up to confirm that you have gotten the plug in installed correctly. You don't have to worry about activating it on this screen, so you can just close that out. As you can see right here, I've got my panel already open. Now I can create a new window, and now I can show you some of the really cool tricks that you can do it. This panel, this section on the top is a constraint angle section, and so when you're creating new artwork, for example, if I want to create a square, then it's automatically gonna be created straight. But if I want to start it at an angle like 30 degrees, I can easily just click that. And any new artwork I create is automatically get me set at 30 degrees. Now, this could be really nice for a few different reasons. For example, if you're creating, say, an eyeball, I could have set that to 45 degrees just by clicking on it. Great my object, and then use my direct selection tool by hitting a. And then I can just select these corners and drag him in and very quickly I had an eye right here, whereas otherwise I would have had to click on the square and then rotate it and then going . It's like these where sometimes just having it immediately created at that angle can save a lot of time. Now, if he's if I want, I can also click or option click on a Mac, and then I can set whatever custom angle I want. So I can at 45 now there's a shortcut right here for 45. Or I can easily just zero it out to the default. The next section on this panel that I really love using is the keyboard increments. Often times when I'm creating artwork, I'm having to nudge things around very slightly like this. But sometimes I may want to move it either. Larger increments, like 1/4 inch right here on this shortcut. And so if I click that, then when I hit the left or right up or down arrow keys and moves it even more and I can custom set that, just like in the other one I can hit one inch. And now, when I had the down button and most an entire inch, one of the other cool things about nudging things around is if I want to nudge them by a larger increments, then I'm gonna set this for a smaller increments, so I'm only moving it around very slightly. But if I hold down shift, then automatically, it makes that increment larger. And so that's a really nice tool that I use a lot in. Illustrator is moving things around with the keyboard increments. Now this last section of the bottom is really handy for easily accessing your guides to turn them on and off and to walk them. And so if you don't already. If you hit control or command are, then this pulls up your rulers, and so you can drag out guides directly from these. So let's say I want to guys right here. And if I want to hide them, I can just go up to this panel and click on the eyeball and it hides them. Or I can click it on and off. Or if I want to make sure if they're locked or unlocked, I can just hit this and then I can move these guys around. But if I'm selecting artwork and I don't want to accidentally grab the guides, I can just lock the guides right there. And I only have my artwork selected now, and this is very similar. With the grid. I can turn on the grid or it can turn it off. And this button right here is the snap to grid feature, which means if I have that toggled on, then when I'm dragging things around, it's going to snap to that grid or when I'm re sizing objects or if I'm creating a new object, it's going to be snapped directly to that grid, and I can easily Tuggle. All of these on and off, just from this panel. And so it's really nice if you don't have all the keyboard shortcuts memorized for these things, or even if you just want a panel right here with all those things accessible very easily. Now, if you want to do some of these things even faster, there is keyboard shortcuts that I use all the time for my projects. The ones that is the most are for guides and grids. If you want to show or hide the guides, all you need to dio is hit control and semi colon on a PC, or it's also commands and like Holan on the map, and I can easily showing high those using that keyboard shortcut. Now, if I use option or all on a PC control and Semi Colon, that is going to toggle the lock on and off. And as you can see on the panel when I'm hitting that shortcut, the lunk goes on and on, and for the grid to toggle that on and off, it's just control and quotation marks. And on a Mac, it's command quotation marks for the magnet tool. All you need to do is hit, shift control or command and then quotation marks, and that toggles on the magnet, which is a snap to grid. And so one of the nice things about this panel is not only is it a nisi shortcut, but even if I know the shortcuts to those things, I can easily see what's going on if the snap to grid is toggle on her off or if the guides airlock. So that way, I don't waste my time trying to grab something When I didn't know it was locked. And now, if you want a shortcut to the constrain angle area, all I need to do is hit control or command K, and then I can control the keyboard increments right here in the general panel of the preferences or the constraining angle So I can hit 45 degrees right there or 1/4 of an inch hit, Okay, And then you can see this updated automatically, so I know exactly what the keyboard increments are. One area I like about this panel is sometimes it can get a little bit annoying, having to use a shortcut to get here. And so if I just have this. I can easily use these shortcuts I've already set up to constrain the angle to whatever I want. And so just is another example of where I've used this panel is this is a map that I've been creating recently with a lot of different artwork, and I've been using the constraint angle panel a lot for this, especially with these buildings I've been creating. When I'm creating the different sides of the walls, I like to start it out at an angle is gonna be similar to what I'm already going to be using. So for this that looks like it's about 15 degrees. So if I just click here and at 15 degrees and start creating shape, then it's already close to what I'm gonna be wanting. And now all I have to dio to get a good perspective on that is grab one of the sides of the direct selection tool and drag it around and the shortcuts for guides of some. I've also been using a lot on this project. Down here. You see this building that I have set up. This is ah, reptile centre for the zoo and and I have a bunch of guide set up right here that I'm switching back and forth with moving these guides a lot and moving the artwork, which I've been just keeping them locked or unlocked. I haven't unlocked right now, and so I can this easily click on these guides and drag them around. And I can hide them when I'm creating the artwork. For a project like this and the constraint angle options, this is one of those areas where also comes in really handy toe. Have the short cuts on the bottom because as you notice up here, that was about 15 degrees. But now I would have to go in set that again to 15 degrees, whereas if I had set one of base by holding all their option and setting, actually that was more like 17 or 20 degrees. And now, if I go over to it and I start creating the shapes, then I can zeroed out and be easily creating these different angles very quickly at some different angles. And then I sell the 20 degree angle that I can switch back and forth very quickly. And as for the keyboard shortcuts, all have those listed at the end of the video for a minute so you can write those down or just have another look at them. So I hope you guys found this course useful. I really love these plug ins from this company and stewed graphics, and they've really helped me out a lot. If you haven't seen some of the other ones yet already, you can go back to that a website or view one of my other courses on some of the other plug ins they offer that are free to. So thanks for watching and have fun creating.