Skip to main content

Create and Save New Documents

Lesson 4 from: Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Brian Wood

most popular art & design

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

4. Create and Save New Documents


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What is Adobe Illustrator?


Explore the Interface


Create and Save New Documents


Zoom and Navigate


Working with Artboards


Introduction to Layers


Rulers and Guides


Shapes and Drawing


Aligning and Combining Shapes


Pen Tool


Manipulating Stroke and Fill


Creating and Editing with Color


Painting with Gradients


Getting Started with Patterns


Adding Text To Your Document


Formatting Text


Strokes and Variable Strokes in Adobe Illustrator


Rotating Objects in Adobe Illustrator


Effects and the Appearance Panel in Adobe Illustrator


Adding Photo Images in Adobe Illustrator


Working with Linked Content in Adobe Illustrator


Packaging your Project for Handoff in Adobe Illustrator


Best Formats to Save Your Files


Select Like a Pro: Layers, Groups, & Other Unique Tools


Edit Paths Like a Pro in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Creating & Applying Brushes to Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Knife & Scissor Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Join Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Isolation Mode in Adobe® Illustrator®


Pen Tool Shortcuts in Adobe Illustrator


Other Drawing Tools & Methods in Adobe Illustrator


Transforming Techniques in Adobe Illustrator


Shortcut to Reflecting Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Get to Know Your Appearance Panel in Adobe Illustrator


Exploring Effects in Adobe Illustrator


Work Smarter with Graphic Styles in Adobe Illustrator


Color Inspiration in Adobe Illustrator


Type Effects in Adobe Illustrator


Masking Your Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Using Creative® Cloud® Libraries in Adobe® Illustrator®


Capture Artwork with Creative Cloud Apps & Adobe Illustrator


Tracing Raster Images in Adobe Illustrator


Blending Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Using Symbols in Adobe Illustrator


Using a Perspective Grid in Adobe Illustrator


Crash Recovery in Adobe Illustrator


GPU Performance in Adobe Illustrator


Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator


App Integration in Adobe Illustrator


Creative Cloud Libraries in Adobe Illustrator App


Shaper Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Smart Guides in Adobe Illustrator


Text Enhancements in Adobe Illustrator


SVG Export in Adobe Illustrator


Lesson Info

Create and Save New Documents

We're gonna come up under File, and you're gonna see that there are two commands here. There's New and new from Template. Now, I don't really use New from Template much. They have some templated files that you could start with like a brochure and a this and a that. Explore it, okay? I don't really go there, but we're gonna go and create a document from scratch here, so go and choose File, New, and let's take a look. Now, in Illustrator like every Adobe application that I run across, when you choose something, you're like, "Hey do this thing. "Export that. "Save that. "Open This." You expect it just to do it, but you're always gonna get a dialog box that says, "Well, you can do it, but what do you want to do with it?" You know what I mean? Like, what are your settings? A lot of these are super important. We're gonna hit a few of them. When you setup new documents, you can go in and you can change a lot of this later, but one of the first things I tend to do is give it a name. This is so...

weird, but this is actually gonna be the file name, kay? When we save the file out, so why don't you call this, we're gonna call this robot. We're gonna be drawin' some flowers in a little while here, so we're gonna call it Robot. I'm totally kidding. We're actually gonna draw a robot, so, call it robot. That's gonna be the file name. You can change it later. Come under Profile here. Come into this menu. If you are designing or creating for different things. So let's suppose you're trying to do a web design, or you wanna maybe do some icon mock ups or you're creating a brochure. You're gonna start with a profile here. It always starts with print. Now what it's gonna do, is it's gonna set a few things for us. It's gonna set us how the colors are made, resolution, different things like that. We don't have to worry too much, but if you are gonna do something like maybe you wanna, does anybody do web design at all? Any kinda web, Okay. Why don't you go ahead and choose Web. And what I want you do do is come under Size here. There's a menu right here that you can click on. You're gonna notice that it does things like set the sizes for us based on the profile we set. So it's gonna do things like set units for us. It's gonna pick pixels instead of inches. It's gonna do all these different things. It's really important to pick what you're doing. We gotta pick a profile first, okay? Why don't you go back up to Profile, and choose Print. Just make sure that's selected. Now you're gonna see here it says "Number of Artboards." We can tell it how many pages or artboards we want to start. I rarely do this, 'cause once you get in there, you can say, "Let's "jam out 20 artboards," if we want. We can do it really easily once we open Illustrator. We're gonna start with one single artboard. If you come down here, you're gonna see the size. Why don't you click on size. You can pick just about, you know, all the different sizes that they have in here. If you don't like the options available, you can type in your own, so if I don't, if I don't want to do one of these, you're gonna see we have the width and the height that we can set separately. We can type those in. We don't need to do that. Does anybody work with points? Picas? Anything like that in design or any program? Yeah, I stopped doin' those about... 10 years ago. Why don't you come to units here, and I'm always workin' in either inches or pixels. So we have, we can do that. So go in and choose inches in this case, so working on a print document, and as soon as you choose inches, you're gonna see that things change, 'kay? So we get our, you know, eight and a half by 11, et cetera. Now you're gonna see right here that we have a bleed. What, in print world, what's a bleed? Does anyone know? Goes off the edge. Okay, he said, "Goes off the edge." That's exactly it, so if we have, let's say we're, we're printing something like a post card, and you want to have color or artwork go basically to the edge. Print to the edge. We're gonna actually set a bleed. A bleed is a series of, of just lines drawn around the outside edge of the page or the artboard, and you take your art work, and you pull it just beyond the edge so that when you print it at certain printers, they'll actually cut it out, okay? So that's what's called a bleed. We're not gonna have to set that today, that's fine. Why don't you click on Advanced right here. I know we're just kinda beginning here, but if you click on the arrow to the left of Advanced, later on when you become more familiar with how Illustrator works, you can set things in here. Right now... Don't touch, 'kay? Just click the arrow to the left of Advanced, and we don't need to touch that for now. And why don't you go ahead and click OK. We're gonna get this open. All right. So we've got our first document. Now, well, first things we need to do here is, we need to save this thing. Super important, so we're gonna go save it. Come under File, and you're gonna see that there are about six million different ways to save in here. Kinda makes your head spin a little. We're just gonna choose Save or Save As... It's kinda weird, they're the same thing. We're just starting. So go ahead and choose Save As... Save As... Go ahead and put this on your desktop if you don't mind, an we're gonna save it out. Now notice what the name is here. It's the name we picked when we first set up this document, You can go in, and you can put just about anything you want there. You'll notice that the extension is .ai for Adobe Illustrator. This is your native file format. The awesome thing about this file format, you can take this and bring it to in design, and place it directly in what you're working on. You can bring it over to Photoshop. You can bring it to Muse. You can do all kinds of things with this file, okay? Down here, you're gonna see that we have what's called Format. Lemme see if I can pull this up a little bit. Why don't you click on Format down here? We have a series of formats that we can save in. We want to save as ai. That is our working file, our native file, okay? The rest of these we're gonna ignore for right now. So make sure ai is selected there, Adobe Illustrator, and go ahead and save it. Now of course, like I said before, when you make a selection it's gonna say, "You're not done yet." Okay? You gotta answer some questions here. You guys, this, I look at this and I'm like huh? I know what this stuff does 'cause I've used Illustrator for a while. I'm only, I'm gonna tell you one thing. If you're taking a document and you're sending it to somebody who has an earlier version of illustrator, it can help if you save it backwards to their version. This is one of the only things that I'm gonna suggest you even look at in here to start with, okay? You don't have to do this, to be honest, because it will open, all right? It will open in previous versions, so... It goes all the way back to Illustrator 3. It's pretty crazy. All right, just go ahead and click OK. Most people just blow by and don't even look. We'll look at this maybe later on. And we've got our document, cool. All right. Now what we're gonna do is we're gonna go in and we're gonna start looking at trying to, let's say, zoom and navigate and kinda get a feel for how to get around in a document, and we're also gonna start working with artboards a bit, okay? Now this document is pretty... Underwhelming. There's not much here yet, so what I want you to do, is we're gonna switch back to that other Illustrator file we had open, the intro file. Hopefully you all still have that open. You'll see that when you open multiple files in Illustrator, they're open as tabs along the top, which is kinda cool. Why don't you click on the tab for, and you'll just toggle back to that one, and we're gonna take a look, like I said, at kinda just getting around a little bit.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Project Files Part 1
Project Files Part 2

Ratings and Reviews


I am a pretty computer literate person but an Ai beginner i.e. I am completely new to the Creative Cloud/Adobe Illustrator. (This is also the first time I've used CreativeLive.) I think this course it is fantastic. The pace is good as is the content which progressed logically and covers all the basics you'd hope it would. The course is 2 full days' worth of material but it is broken down into segments so you can revisit or skip through as you need to. The presenter is really personable and easy to watch (even for me, a Londoner!). I would also say I think it is pretty good value for money -- I am currently enrolled on a part time course, basically doing the same sort of stuff, and I have to say this is better and a bit cheaper! I definitely recommend it to you!


A brilliantly designed course. it's almost magic. It's everything you hope for in a follow-along software class. Brian Wood has engineered it so that you start on a project that just needs basics, and then you move on to more & more complicated projects, and almost without realizing it you've learned Illustrator. This doesn't just happen -- Wood has clearly put a LOT of effort into creating this course. Here's one trivial example: he doesn't overload you with a lot of keyboard shortcuts right at the beginning -- you start with the actions themselves, using the (admittedly tedious but easy) pulldown menus, and then after you're comfortable with what you're doing, he'll throw in the shortcut. It may seem obvious, but so many instructors feel they have to give you an extensive foundation of definitions, shortcuts, interfaces, etc., before you ever do anything. Good stuff to know, but you'll never remember it. Wood has you up and working almost immediately. And he's a joy to listen to, at a perfect pace. Highly recommended.

Philippe LIENARD

Top course. Very well explained, clear, good examples, pleasant teacher. I like it and recommend it. One suggestion, it would be nice to have a detailed table of content of the course in the material. For instance, it took me quite a while to find back the part of the course where how to make a gear was explained.

Student Work