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Adobe Illustrator & InDesign Tool Palette Cheat Sheet

Feeling a bit lost in Adobe Illustrator or InDesign? This tool palette cheat sheet should help you find your way. If you still need extra help, take a look at our Illustrator and InDesign courses! Illustrator Artboard Tool It is: A tool that allows you to resize and move artboards. Graph Tool It is: A quick way to create various graphs. What it does: Takes data for your graph and places it into whatever form of graph you choose, including stacked, bar, line, area, scatter, pie, radar and mixed forms of graphs. Symbol Sprayer Tool It is: A convenient way to add numerous copies of a graphic to a design. What it does: Establishes what object you want to replicate and lets you create copies that can be altered for variety. Blend Tool It is: Great for adding dynamic colors to a graphic. What it does: Takes two points and natural progresses colors from point “A” to “B.” What that means: Colors blend naturally together like a sunset. Mesh Tool It is: A way to create various color effects in an object. What it does: Uses “mesh points” as guidelines for where to add colors; mesh points are like anchors from the Pen Tool, but add color effects. What that means: If you don’t want an object to have a flat, solid color, the Mesh Tool can mix and blend colors to offer object rendering. Perspective Grid Tool It is: For creating a cube effect. What it does: It places objects along planes. There are two planes that meet at that middle of the screen. The opposite ends to the left and right represent “vanishing points” where objects will appear miniscule as compared to being in the middle of the screen. The orientation and perspective of the objects will change depending on where they are placed in this grid. Shape Builder & Live Paint Tools They are: Good for creating custom shapes and coloring. What it does: Shape Builder fabricates new objects by adding pieces of shapes together. For example, you can create a snowman by stacking various circular shapes on top of each other. Using Live Paint, you can freely paint designs using paths. Width Tool It is: A means to change the width of a path. What it does: Makes anchors along a path grow in width to change the overall shape of an object after filling the path. What that means: You can make objects larger without feeding it fast food three times a day. Scale Tool It is: A fast way to shrink or enlarge an object Rotate & Reflect Tools They are: Ways to tweak an object’s position. What they do: The Rotate Tool moves an object, using one fixed point as the “hinge” to pivot the object. The Reflect Tool flips an object. Blob Brush Tool It is: A little bit paint brush, a little bit pen (for paths). What it does: Creates a filled path of the shapes defined by your brush strokes. Any additional shape will be added to the path if it has the same stroke and fill color.   InDesign Notes Tool It is: For keeping all parties accountable for their changes. What it does: Color-codes and tracks changes by users and allows individuals to leave notes in a document for others to read. Gradient Feather Tool It is: For putting a lighter touch on gradients. What it does: Softens the coloring of any gradient. This can be done by dragging the mouse over the gradient. Scissors Tool It is: A slicer and dicer What it does: Splits a...

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The Adobe CS Tool Palette Cheat Sheet

They say that an artist is only as good as his tools. As the premier graphic design platform, Adobe Creative Suite (CS) offers virtually limitless possibilities to create and manipulate content. From photography to letterhead, if you have the vision Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign give you the means to make it happen. The difference between fumbling around Adobe CS and getting the job done is knowing your tools, and the Tools Palette is where you should start. Like a painter’s mixing palette, the Tools Palette contains necessities to mold your work. Also, like a painter, if you don’t know what mixes well together, your palette can be more destructive than empowering. The following serves as a handy breakdown of Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign’s Tools Palettes. For more on how to put these tools to use, check out our courses for Adobe Creative Suite. Universal Tools While Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign serve different purposes, they share over a dozen common tools. These tools serve anything from basic needs to advanced functions, so if you have any questions about how to use these tools for your projects, please contact us. Brush Tool (PS, IL, ID) It is: A painting tool. What it does: Adds strokes of various color and size depending on your selections. If you don’t like the color of your strokes, the Color Replacement Tool can rectify that. To create custom colors, the Mixer Brush Tool will combine color sources from anything you throw into the mix. Pencil Tool (PS, IL, ID) It is: A drawing tool. What it does: With the pencil in hand, you can draw shapes, using any degree of thickness. There are various other variables to play with, such as opacity. The Smooth functions like the pencil, but smoothing objects reduces sharpness, to give a blurred effect. If you want to completely blur something out, use the Erase Tool from this group. Line Segment Tool (PS, IL, ID) It is: A simple way to make simple objects. What it does: Creates a single line following a click-and-drag function. The Arc and Spiral Tools follow the same rules, but create different line styles. Text Tool (PS, ID, IL) It is: A tool that creates text boxes What it does: Adds a new layer to a document where you can type text. The Text Tool panel has font adjustment including font styles, sizes, letter-spacing adjustments, etc. Pen Tool (PS, ID, IL) It is: A tool including the Pen, Freeform Pen, Add Anchor Point, Delete Anchor Point and Convert Point tools. What it does: Creates paths and manipulates anchor points for paths. The Pen Tool creates a path by connecting two or more points. The Freeform Pen Tool allows you to freely draw in a document, and anchor points are created for you; these anchors can be moved once created. The Add and Delete anchor point tools are self explanatory, and the Convert Point tool changes points from flat or straight lines to rounded shapes or curves. What that means: Creating paths with the pen tools is a great way to make custom shapes and text paths, create selections from a path amongst many other functions. Direction Selection Tool (PS, ID, IL) It is: A tool including the Path Selection and Direct Selection Tools. What it does: The Path Selection Tool moves entire existing paths; the Direct Selection Tool moves individual anchor points and direction lines of a path. What that means: You can select a single or multiple points of a path to manipulate a path before adding effects (fill, text, etc) to the path. Free Transform...

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