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Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Lesson 8 of 56

Rulers and Guides

Brian Wood

Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Brian Wood

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Lesson Info

8. Rulers and Guides


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:01:23
2 What is Adobe Illustrator? Duration:06:24
3 Explore the Interface Duration:11:45
5 Zoom and Navigate Duration:07:23
6 Working with Artboards Duration:18:11
7 Introduction to Layers Duration:18:53
8 Rulers and Guides Duration:09:05
9 Shapes and Drawing Duration:45:27
10 Aligning and Combining Shapes Duration:15:31
11 Pen Tool Duration:30:59
12 Manipulating Stroke and Fill Duration:14:39
14 Painting with Gradients Duration:10:36
15 Getting Started with Patterns Duration:08:11
16 Adding Text To Your Document Duration:08:43
17 Formatting Text Duration:11:35

Lesson Info

Rulers and Guides

So I just want to talk to you for a few minutes about guides and grids and different things like that, okay? Alright what I want you to do is come under view and once you come down here you're gonna see that we have rulers. Take a look at rulers. We should see show rulers in there. Illustrator's actually a little interesting here because sometimes if you want to toggle something on or off there's not a check mark next to it if it's on it just says show or hide. So why don't you do this, go ahead and show rulers, go ahead and click on it. And it's gonna show our rulers out there. Now this is kind of interesting. I'm not asking if you're gonna be very precise because you probably will at times. There's times where I get in here and actually I'll let you guys in on a little secret with the book, you're gonna think I'm insane but I will tell you anyway. For all of the different, I know this is really hard to see, by the way but for all the little pictures in here that have vector artwork, ...

like I'm showing something that I'm doing, those are all hand drawn, those are not screen, like a picture of it, okay. I have a method, I'm not insane. I have a method for doing this very quickly, I can get it done very quickly all right, but these are all hand drawn, the reason why is because they print beautifully then. If I took a screenshot, it's raster. Pictures are raster, and so they might not look as crisp and with this kind of book, things gotta be crisp otherwise people are looking at it going wait a minute, did you click on that one or that one, okay? My point here is that I have to be extremely precise with these. Extremely precise, if you are creating artwork like you're creating something like this for instance, the cover art, maybe not as precise, right? If we need to be precise, we can go in and use rulers. Rulers allow us to go in and say how far away I something for instance. And what we can do when we work with Illustrator, like I said, we can be very precise. Now I just wanted to show you this because if you show the rulers we can ho out and do things like draw guides out here to draw against if you want to line things up, do things like that. So we're gonna just do a few of those, I'm not gonna get crazy here, we don't have too much time left but you're gonna notice that the rulers are out here on the horizontal, the top, and the left over here, okay. This is kind of wacky but what I, actually I want you to show both artboards in the window here, I want to see everything we have. It's a little test for you. I'm gonna come into view, fit all in window. Now look at the rulers out there, on yours. You're gonna see that, where does the numbering start? Along the top, the horizontal? It starts on the far left artboard here right? You see zero up there, right? Okay here's what I want you to do. Click in the middle of the other artboard. Click on the other artboard. So I'm gonna click on the smaller one for instance. Now look at the ruler. Okay, this is interesting, alright. These are not what are called global rulers. They're per artboard, which is actually awesome. Because if you're trying to put something on this artboard right here and you're like maybe it needs to be so far away from this corner maybe it always starts what's called the zero zero right here on the upper left corner of the artboard. And then we work our way to the right and down. It's kind of weird, but it works its way down. Alright so you go zero, one, two, three, four, five, down. I just wanted to point that out, because as you start to work with rulers it might freak you out a little bit. So if you click on each you will see that happen. You could, if you want to, make it work differently. We don't need to worry about that, here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna draw a line, we're gonna have a guide out here that we can use to line stuff up, okay. So to do that, just come up to the ruler up top, if we want to create a guide that goes across horizontally we pull from the horizontal ruler, if you want a vertical guide you pull from the vertical ruler. So come up from the top up here, click hold down and just drag down out here and you're gonna see, go across, just I don't care where you drop it just let go somewhere, it doesn't matter. Now you're gonna see that this is actually going across, you can see the guide right there. When you let go out here, go ahead and move your pointer off of it, move your pointer away from it. Did you see it change color? Is it a different color? Yeah mine's red. Why do you think it's the color it is? It's on a specific layer, you guys, right? Guides are like objects, they're like a line you just drew. They're on a layer, look at your layers panel right now. Now with a guide, the great thing about this is right now it's selected, it shows you the color. Once you click anywhere else, click in a blank area somewhere and you'll see the guide for its true color. Guides are aqua in color like a lot of applications. Guides you can move anywhere you want, if you want to you can go just click and drag it, it's actually kind of annoying to do but you can come up to the guide itself and you're gonna notice these little smart guides kicking in telling you hey you're about to click on a guide. It says guide, which is great. Go ahead and click on it. And then just drag it somewhere, drag it up, drag it down, and notice what you get, you get a little distance measurement here. Let's suppose that I wanted to put it, guys I'm being a little precise here, I'm being a little crazy but I need this guide to be two inches from the top of the artboard for some crazy reason. Look over in the left ruler over there. Can you see the two inch mark way over here? Can you eyeball and hit it on two inches? Can you guys get it on there? I can't. I mean it's really close, I might be able to and think I got it but, so here's what you can do. Go ahead and let it go and you're going to see that it's still selected, right. If we want to be precise I want to point this out right now because we're gonna be using this a lot today. Come up top up here and how many of you see the word transform up there? Does anybody see transform? Does anybody see XYWH? Okay if you see XYWH, you're all good, that's great. That means that your screen can fit what I'm about to show you if you see transform, click on the word transform. You're gonna see that these are what's called the X and Y positions of this object. When we work with XY, I'm not getting crazy here, we're not gonna go crazy with this okay. We can actually say how far from the upper left corner of the page is this thing or how far from an object or how far from something is this. So you can go in and you can kind of change the measurements here and do it exactly. We're not gonna do that, alright, so leave it alone. If you see the transform panel here go ahead and either click somewhere or press the escape key to hide it. And you can just temporarily hide it. Alright now I want to show you a nice little tip here that even though, if you're a beginner, this can be really helpful. The shift key in here is gonna be your savior. You're gonna use it for everything. I use the shift key with a guide because it snaps it to your ruler. this is pretty sweet. So there's only a few little key commands I'm gonna tell you, I'm gonna tell you about that you need to know. Why don't you take little guide and kind of drag it, just start dragging it. Click and drag. As you drag it, press your shift key, hold it down, press and hold your shift key. And keep dragging. You're gonna drag it where you want it you're also gonna go up and you're gonna go to the transform panel and change the dimensions of where that thing is located to be able to get it there. Another thing that you guys can do is you can actually come over to one of the rulers over here, let's say on the left and if you just double click on a ruler, go over here to the vertical on the side, just double click, click twice, click click. You can set a guide too. I hate dragging them out, that's annoying. So anyway, those are guides, those are something that we're gonna be using a fair amount. If you need all your guides, leave them, live, go, do your thing, that's great, if you don't need some of these guides you can delete them really easily. Just simply select it, you can click on it if you want. The one you just made, let's delete that. Make sure it's selected, just click on it to make sure it's selected and just hit delete, press delete or backspace. These are just lines, they're just objects. Now with guides, a lot of times I want to lock them in place because I don't accidentally move them, do something weird to them, because you can drag them and move them. If you come under the view menu you're gonna see that we have a command under there called guides and you can see there's a ton of things up there or in there that we can do. I just simply want to lock them. This means you cannot select them. To select them you need to unlock them. Come back here, basically. Go ahead and choose lock, lock guides. And now, let me zoom out here, woops. Zoom out, if you try and click on that thing, no go okay, can't do it. So those are guides. It's gonna make you frustrated, you're gonna have other people's file that they give you and they're gonna have guides all over the place and you're gonna be like I wanna get rid of them. I want to clear them, I want to hide them, I want to do things with them, but that menu command under view guides, is the way to go. So that's where you're gonna find a lot of it so. Alright let's go ahead and save our file, I want you to come to file and come to save. And I think we've got it.

Class Description

The world’s top designers use Adobe® Illustrator® for its powerful, vector-based drawing environment – and now you can gain fluency in it, as well! Join Brian Wood for a dynamic course on everything you need to know about Adobe Illustrator.

By walking you through a series of projects on Adobe Illustrator, Brian will give you a comprehensive toolkit that will answer any need, including:

  • Getting started in Adobe Illustrator and familiarizing yourself with its workspace
  • Creating color using a variety of methods
  • Creating and transforming artwork, working with text, and importing images
  • Tricks and techniques for drawing: selecting and editing, and working with layers
  • Creating custom patterns, brushes, and symbols
  • Exploring built-in visual effects libraries
You’ll also tackle more advanced Adobe Illustrator topics, like the perspective grid, Creative Cloud libraries, effects, live paint groups and selection, blends, and the shape builder tool.



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.