Day 36 – Lesson 3 (Illustrator Essentials)

In Lesson 3, I learned how to work with artboards, which comes in handy when you have multiple sides to a document (like a three-fold brochure), or want to make multiple versions.

To start off the lesson, I created multi-dartboard document to create business cards and I started with a new document under the File menu, naming the document “Business Card.” I selected “Print” in the dropdown box of Profile then changed the width and height to 3.5 in. x 2 in. with a bleed of 0.125 in. Finally, in “Number of Artboards” I created six with a spacing of 1 inch and column of 3 before clicking OK.

In the next section of this lesson, I learned how to create artboards on the fly, by first going ahead and creating a new document, then opening the Artboards panel. With the intent of creating a webpage mock-up, I renamed “Artboard 1” to “Home”, then clicked on  “New Artboard” then double-clicked calling it “About.” I created two more called “Store” and “Contact.”

Now the problem with these is that if I switch from one to the other with a zoomed view, they all look the same, so I needed something to differentiate. Using the rectangle tool I created different sized rectangles then filling them with different colors, so that I knew which artboard I was editing.

There is another way to add artboards on the fly with a document by using the Artboard Tool on the left-hand side of Adobe Illustrator or press Shift+o. While there is an active selection around the artboard, the Control Panel completely changes to edit your artboards as well as add new ones.

The New Artboard button is exactly what I want, which is located next to the orientation buttons. By clicking the New Artboard button I just simply go to my pasteboard then click out to the left of the original artboard to place it.

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Day 35 – Lesson 2

After creating a workspace for illustration, so that I have all the panels that I will be using consistently throughout my work, I learned more about custom views and how to create them.

Custom views make it easy for me to view an object that I will be working on close up without having to constantly pan through the document to that object. And I can create multiple views.

In this case I have multiple views of a vertical business card, and I want to be able to view each individually, so I can make any edits that I need. First, I zoomed into an object, or a view that I wanted, then went to the “View” menu, then clicked on “New View…” After, I titled the view “Comp #2”, and then clicked on OK.

I then hit command+option+0 to fit the document to screen to create a view for that, then hit command+y to create a wire, or outline, view of the objects to create a view for that as well.

After creating custom views, I went through two different ways to create custom guides, which are helpful to create margins, or guides where I want specific objects there.

I first created a new document for business card with a height of 3.5 in. x 2 in. and a bleed of .125 in. around the entire document. To create guides, the first way to go to View menu, then scroll down to Rulers then click on “Show Rulers”, or simply press command+r. With rulers now showing, I can click on the ruler to the left or top for vertical or horizontal guides respectively and drag to where I want them to be.

Or, another way is to use the rectangle tool, click once anywhere on the document, and put in the width and height (3.25 in x 1.75 in) to put the size of the guides I want.

Unfortunately, in the right image, you can see that the rectangle is not aligned how I want. In order to align this correctly I need to go to the control panel on the top, click on the drop down triangle to click on “Align to Artboard.” Next, I click on “Horizontal Align Center” and “Vertical Align Center” to get the guides to align in the center.

Once I’ve done that, to make this into guides, instead of just a rectangle, I go to the View menu, scroll to Guides then click on “Make Guides” or press command+5 and I have my guides.

Day 34 – Lesson 1 (Illustrator Essentials)

Today I have started going through a beginner’s guide, of sorts, for Adobe Illustrator in lynda.com called Illustrator CC Essential Training 2015. Just like how all my other training videos start, the first few lessons are going over basic information of the program (what it is, how it works, and setting up the workspace I’ll be using).

Justin Seeley is the “instructor” for these training videos, and what I already like about him is how committed he is to being accessible to other users that want to use or learn about Adobe Illustrator. He immediately gives different ways to contact him, through social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) so that you can ask questions if you have any.

Here is  tool guide that he created and went over that has the side tools that are used in Illustrator, as well as their quick keys.

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Like I said before, these first few lessons are mainly going over the workspace of Illustrator as well as learning some of the basic tools I’ll be using. For instance, the most common tool I’ll use is saving documents to save my progress. But I also I learned that it is just as important to use “Save As…” rather than just saving over a document that I have changed.

For instance, in the images below, I’ve chosen to delete the border that goes around the poster, but I also want to keep a saved document that still has that border.

To do this, I select the border, delete it, then click on “Save As…” under the File menu.lesson-1-save-as3

I name the file what I want (beach_party_rev2), click save, then make any adjustments in Illustrator Options – if I have any – then click OK, then I have my other saved file without the border for Adobe Illustrator.

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Day 33 – Lesson 8 (Interactive PDFs)

For Lesson 8 of InDesign CC: Interactive Document Fundamentals I learned about how to adapt my layouts so that they work for specific mobile devices like iPad or other tablets.

One of the ways is creating alternate layouts for my documents to allow the PDF to fit both a horizontal and vertical layout of a mobile device with the document below

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By going to the pages panel and double clicking on the Master page I can see how the layout is set up for my pages.

The image to the left shows me that the image is anchored to the top and left and right margins of the document, but are flexible (the squiggle markings on the dotted lines in the center) so that image will rescale according to the size of the tablet. The text frame on the right is not anchored, but is flexible like the image.

To create an alternate layout for horizontal viewing, I go to my pages panel, click on the dropdown triangle next to “iPad V” then click on “Create Alternate Layout”, then click on “OK” to create a horizontal spread for the document. This will also create separate paragraph, character and object styles so that I can easily edit each how I want without also changing things on the vertical layout.

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Next, I learned about primary text frames, and how to change utilize them to change text frame layouts.

In the master page labeled “C-Courses” you can see the text frame in the left image and the icon in the right image with the arrow shows that it is a primary text frame. placing any text in them will no longer make it a primary text frame, but the text frame will appear on any page that is based off the “C-Courses” master page.

I wanted to make a few of the pages with text with four columns instead of three. To easily change this I could create a new master page by right-clicking and selecting “New Master…”

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Next I’ll name the Master page “4 Column” base it off of “C-Courses”, then click on OK.

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Next, by option/alt+double-clicking on the document I’ll bring up “Text Frame Options” and change number of columns to 4 instead of 3, and click on OK to create the new master page.

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To apply this to my document pages I simply click on the pages I want to change by shift (or command) clicking, then I hold option/alt and click on me new master page to apply it.

Day 31 – Lesson 5 (Interactive PDFs)

In Lesson 5 I learned more about how to use media tools to add videos and some animations to an interactive PDF.

I can easily inset a video into a PDF by going to the media panel–which can also be found it under Window in the Interactive section–then clicking on “place video or audio file” in the bottom right corner of the panel. After selecting the media file I used the cursor to place where I want it.

I can also add navigation points in the video by first scrolling to the place in the video, and adding it to the navigation box. By placing a button underneath the video and formatting it  to go to the navigation point, users can easily click on the button to go to that destination.

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Finally, I learned about adding animations starting with what some basics.

In the images above with the black box, I used a pin tool first clicking on the box, then creating three more points that formed a zig-zag motion. This represented the path I wanted the box to take. I used the selection tool to select both the box and the path, then clicked “Convert to motion path” so that the path would turn into an animation.

Using both the Animation and Timing panel could be useful when trying to add extra effects to a document or PDF.

Day 30 – Lesson 4 (Interactive PDFs)

To start Lesson 4 I learned how to create hyperlinks. Again, I gone over some things in Lesson 4 briefly in a previous lesson, but it was good to get a refresher.

By clicking on an object on the document with the selection tool then clicking on hyperlink to create “New Hyperlink…” I can edit different ways I want to use this hyperlink such as URL, Page, File, etc. In this case I wanted to use a URL then typed in the home page of Roux Academy, that way when someone clicked on rouxacademy.com in the bottom left, the link would take them straight to the home page.

I also went over how to create navigation buttons for the PDF by first going to the Master Page that way when I create the buttons here they will appear on all pages. I used the polygon tool to create a triangle, rotated it 90 degrees then scaled it down to fit the bottom right corner.

As you can see in the above image on the right, I also gave the triangle a black fill with a tint of 70% an no stroke.

By option clicking on the triangle I get a duplicate of the triangle then flipping it horizontally to create the “Previous” button. I duplicated the image once more then converted the image to a rectangle under the Objects section. I manipulated the image to a small strip then option+clicked that to duplicate it four times. With selection tool I selected all four rectangles then duplicated them and scaled them to small squares. I then converted those to ellipses and grouped the ellipses with the rectangles together so I had a button that would represent the Table of Contents page.

I then turned each of these buttons into buttons with the triangles representing “Next Page” and “Previous Page” giving them the proper actions in the Actions box. The Table of Contents was a slightly trickier because I had to create a page Hyperlink for the table of contents on page 3 by creating “New Hyperlink Destination…” I then chose the action “Go to Destination” for the button and chose and chose the destination I created in the Destination dropdown box. Finally I created rollover states for all buttons so that the buttons would change when the cursor rolled over the objects.

It surprises how fast and easy this process is once you have gone over it enough times.

Day 29 -Lesson 3 (Interactive PDFs)

In Lesson 3, “Working with Interactive Objects”, I learned some basic tools in creating interactive documents mainly with the buttons and forms panel. Now I’ve gone over some of this with Creating PDF Forms with InDesign, so I was a bit familiar with most of these elements but it was a good refresher.

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My goal to start was to link each of these photos (with its caption) to it’s proper “button” along the left side of the document. Now these aren’t buttons yet, but I had to make sure that the images were properly linked by first turning each of these images into buttons.

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I first selected each image individually and converted it into a button in the Buttons and Forms panel and naming the the first image “Blue Cliffs Jade Sea.” I then added the caption next to it by grouping it with the images “Normal” state in the Layers panel. After checked the box “Hidden Until Triggered,” which means that this image will only appear until its trigger. I did this with each image giving it its proper name.

In the images below, I then aligned the images along the left most edge so that each image will appear at that specific spot when triggered.

I then clicked on the texts along the left side and changed each into a button that will actually have clickable actions. I named the buttons like “Show Prism Shield,” which will help me not get those confused with the actual images later on. In the Actions box I added “Show/Hide Buttons and Forms” and in the Visibility section I clicked so that the eye icon appeared next to Prism Shield, but on Tiger Lilly and Blue Cliffs, Jade Sea I clicked next to each image until the icon was an eye crossed out, so that they would not appear when this button is clicked. I then changed the “Rollover” state of the button so that text would change purple when the cursor rolls over the button. I did the same for each button.

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In the image above you can see how the “Blue Cliffs, Jade Sea” text changes purple when the cursor rolls over, and when clicked the image appears on the right while the others are hidden until triggered by their corresponding buttons.

Day 28 – Project (Information Sheet)

Today I got a little further on my project, starting with turning those form fields I created last week into actual text fields, so that when I export the PDF I could click on the text field and type.

To do that I simply right-click, or control + click, then scroll down to “Interactive”, then “Convert to Text Field.” I then went to my Buttons and Forms panel to edit these text fields how I wanted it. For the short fields such as School, Mascot, Color, etc. all I wanted was for the fields to be printable and scrollable. For “Other District Members, Other Conference Members and so on I wanted them to be printable, as well as multiline scrollable. This would allow for coaches to click on the field and type for as much as they needed on an interactive PDF.

I then added a table to the PDF for my stat information that I needed. I’ve only started for “Returning Starters,” but I will have up to two more tables that are very similar to this.

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In order to make this interactive so that coaches could type in the fields I did the very same thing with the prior Text Fields by adding Form Fields with the Rectangle Frame Tool, creating a new color swatch for the field, so that I could see the form fields, and then converting the fields to text fields.

In the right image, I created fake stats to see that the fields worked properly. They are each scrollable so that coaches will have as much room as they need using the interactive PDF form functions.

Day 27 – Project Day (Creating a PDF)

Since I was allowed to work on any project to do with what I’ve learned so far, I chose to work on PDF Forms, which I use form sheets to gather information on teams for my job whenever we are working on are Fall, Winter and Spring Sport Editions for the Alva Newsgram.

I contact lots of different coaches. For instance, we have just finished our Fall/Football Sport Edition and I contact coaches from Alva as well as the surrounding area such as: Cherokee, Waynoka, Timberlake, Mooreland, as well as coaches from Kansas (South Barber and Medicine Lodge). Because of this, I can’t go to each individual school and interview them one-on-one, so instead I email, or fax, an information sheet for them to fill out so that I can write a feature story from the info they’ve sent.

Write now, I’m working on Basketball Information Sheets since Basketball will be coming up in late November, early December.

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I started with a letter size document (8.5″x11″) and set two columns with a gutter size of less than a half inch in the presets.

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In the photo above, you see that I’ve put graphic rectangles for the headline and footer of the page. I’m not sure if I will keep this or do some more editing after, these were just placed there to give me an idea of how I want to set the document up.

I then put a text field in the left column as some basic information that I always ask coaches: School, Mascot, Colors, Classification (i.e. Class B, A, 2A, etc.), and so on. Again, this was just to give me a basic idea of the outline.

I then went through and added underlined text fields by adding a paragraph style that would underline anywhere I put a tab or right indent. After adding more leading to put more space between fields, I redefined my Form Fields Paragraph style so that every form fields would be uniform.

I’m now defining where each of my text fields are going to be so that coaches can fill out their information both online and just by printing the sheet off. I won’t have the text fields with this color fill, this is just to show me where they are while I’m formatting everything.

This is all that I have so far, and I’ve been going over the the Lynda.com video Creating PDF Forms with InDesign by Michale Murphy. I’ve already gone over this video before, but it has helped so far to kind of refresh my memory. Plus I think the only way for me to get this process of creating PDFs down is by applying it in real life situations.

Day 26 – Lessons 1 & 2 (Interactive PDFs)

So today I started on InDesign CC: Interactive Document Fundamentals and went through the basic starting videos of setting up my workspace in InDesign.

Whenever you create a new document in InDesign, the default workspace is “Essentials”, but I created a custom one based off the “Interactive for PDF” workspace to create “Interactive Documents.”

There are quite a few more panels in the workspace I created than there are in the “Essentials.” As I go through each video, I’m starting to realize more and more how beneficial it is to create your own workspace to fit what you are doing. It makes it easier and more efficient when creating documents.

Finally, I went through creating a new document with a Digital Publishing intent in the New Document dialog box, which is the second dropdown box. I created the document by setting the margins then created 12 columns with a 16 px Gutter.

In Lesson 2, I didn’t really go through any exercise documents, but we went through the strengths and weaknesses of creating PDFs. The strengths of creating PDFs are the design control, simple workflow, can be viewed anywhere, and the interactivity. The weaknesses are mobile app support (some mobile devices don’t support certain functions in PDFs), no responsive design (it’s a fixed layout), and limited options for selling (iPads, iBooks use ePUB while Kindle uses .mobi or KF8).

PDFs can be created in a number of different programs such as Microsoft Word, Acrobat and Illustrator, but InDesign is just as effective.

One thing I never even considered that InDesign could do is create presentation that are usually created in Keynote or PowerPoint. The advantages of using InDesign, as opposed to Keynote or PowerPoint, are: using InDesign tools, create something unique (after a while different layouts in Keynote and PowerPoint can start to seem ubiquitous), works anywhere, self-contained and portable (files are smaller), interactivity and media. But just as there are advantages there are also disadvantages like lack of animation support, basic transitions, and more complicated and time-consuming.

I could live without flashy animations and transitions, and think that overall putting in the time could be beneficial in the long run depending on what you’re making the presentation for.