ART 213 Computer Graphicsinstructed by Ralph Larmann

T-T 2:45-4 pmHyde 224

Illustrator is an application that uses mathematics to create a line. This differs from an application like Photoshop where small dots are used to create an image (raster). Since Illustrator uses mathematics in the process of creating a line, the resulting images have strong sharp edges, whereas a raster image must have very high resolution to perform the same task.

Upon opening the application we are confronted with only a few windows. To create a new Illustrator document, go to File (at the top of the screen) and pull down the menu until you reach New. Or you can simply hold down the command key (apple) and type an N. A dialog box will ask for a few preferences, like orientation of the page (vertical or horizontal). Use the defaults to begin. Press OK.

A new white backgound with a solid line rectangle will open in the center of the screen. It should have dotted tiling marks around the perimeter. This is the printable area of the document that you are working on. If these marks aren't set just within the work area (solid line rectangle) then you may need to check the Print Setup under the File menu.

    The Toolbox (shown to the right) is a menu of tools available for the selection, creation, and modification of your document. These tools perform most of the basic functions present in Illustrator. The tool box is generally set up like this:
  • Selection tools: used to select an object or anchor point (control boxes present on objects).
  • Drawing and Text tools: used to create objects and text.
  • Tranform tools: allow the user to make changes in the object.
  • Spray and Graph tools: allow for special effects and functions.
  • Color Effects: allow for control over color and gradients
  • Cutting, Cropping, and Viewing tools: for cutting, cropping, and viewing (of course).
  • Line and Fill: shows the current line and fill colors.
  • Work Space options: allows customization to optimize screen area.




Selection tools

Drawing and Text tools

Transform tools

Spray and Graph tools

Color Effects

Cutting Cropping, and Viewing tools

Line and Fill

Workspace options


One can create simple rectangles by clicking on the rectangle tool, then, while holding down the mouse, drag the cross cursor across the screen in a diagonal direction. When you have arrived at the desired shape/size, release the mouse. The newly created rectangle has a blue halo and small boxes at its corners and sides. These allow the rectangle to be resized. When the rectangle is selected the corners will also have small blue boxes (anchor points) that can allow for more changes in the shape of the object. By holding down on the shift key while creating a rectangle will constrain the shape into a perfect square.