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Working with Linked Content in Adobe Illustrator

Lesson 22 from: Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Brian Wood

Working with Linked Content in Adobe Illustrator

Lesson 22 from: Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Brian Wood

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Lesson Info

22. Working with Linked Content in Adobe Illustrator


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

Working with Linked Content in Adobe Illustrator

All right, so we've got our image now. We've got our box out there, we've got our text. The next thing I wanna do, is I wanna start to work a little bit with actually having some link contents, more link content, and we're gonna place an image that is black and white, okay? So, go ahead and deselect, make sure you got nothin' selected out there. That's kind of a habit I have, I don't know why I do it, but just go ahead and click somewhere and deselect. Come under File, and we're gonna go place one more image out here. Now, you are gonna see that Illustrator actually has access to Adobe Stock right here, the Search Adobe Stock. If you're interested, you can check it out later. It's just, Adobe has a stock photography site that you can go to and get the stock stuff, and I kinda mentioned it early on I think, but this is one place where you can find it. Go ahead and choose Place, let's get one more image out here. And you should see the buildings.jpg right here. What I'd like to do, this ...

is a JPEG file, I wanna link to it, so if we make a change to it, we can update it in here. So, every time you place a picture, every time you place some kinda image, you want to check and make sure you've got the Link selected if you need it. We don't need the import options 'cause JPEG, you don't need to do that. Make sure it's selected, and go ahead and place it. So Link is selected, place the image. Now, in this case, we're gonna do something a little different. Instead of just clicking to place it out here, I wanna click and we're gonna size it as we get it in. So, come somewhere around the text right here, and you might be able to line it up, if you see the smart guides kickin' in here, those purple, those magenta guides. Might get it lined up there click and drag, it's like drawing a box with a picture in it, so go ahead, click and drag. You're gonna notice that you can't mess it up, you can't squish it, distort it, that kinda thing. Make it about yea big, and let go, and you've got your image. This is something I learned early on too, but if you have an image selected, look at that image right there, and then click on the Golden Gate Bridge image up there, and take a look at the difference between. I know it's two separate images, but look at the boxes and the selection stuff going on. What's the big difference between the two of those? The one down there, when you select it, has an X through it. An X over an object like that means it's linked. So it's just kind of a visual quick way to kinda tell that. Alright, so we've got that one linked. We're gonna do a couple things to it here. Illustrator is not meant to do, necessarily, image editing. You're not gonna come in here and, move pixels around and do things like that, but there are some things we can do actually. And I wanna show you that because they're pretty powerful. Why don't you come under Edit, come under Edit up here. And you'll see a command called Edit Colors. Now unfortunately, we're not gonna be able to do this with a linked graphic, so I'm gonna show you how to get around that, we'll get through that. But if you look under Edit Colors here, you're gonna see that, if you have an image that is embedded in the file, you can go in and actually do things like convert it grayscale if you want, or convert it to a different color space. You can even go in and do things like adjust the colors on it, you can make it more red, more orange, you can do different things to it. These are kinda simple adjustments, but something we can do. So why don't you get rid of that. With the image selected, what we're gonna do so we can do these color adjustments, we're going to embed this image. It does mean it's gonna put the full weight of the image in there, that's fine. Come up top, you're gonna see that when you select an image, we actually have a lot of the options available right up here. So, the thing I love is the fact that it's telling you if it's a Linked File or not. So it'll just say image if it's not a Linked File, it'll give you the file name or the original file name, even telling you the path to where it was if you hover over, it's kinda neat. It's gonna tell you what the color space, or color mode is, and this one happens to be RGB. And it's gonna show you the resolution. This is what I was talking about earlier, about if you scale in here, it doesn't care, okay. It's just gonna take what you've got and work with it, the number of pixels you have. Right here, you're gonna see we have three options, actually four options you're gonna use a lot. You're gonna see Embed as a way to actually embed the image after you've placed it, if it's linked. Edit Original means go out to Photoshop or whatever is set up to edit this thing, it can edit, come right back, and update it in here. You're also gonna see Image Trace, we're gonna do that tomorrow. That basically just means, let's turn it into vector. Anybody ever done the Image Trace before? It can be good and bad, I mean there's good things you can do with it. But it can actually make that look like a photograph in its vector, it'll vectorize it. So why don't you go ahead and click Embed, that's just gonna take it and stick it in here. After you do that, it's now gonna, it's kinda subtle, but it's actually converting it to the colors used in this document. So it's now CMYK, which kinda makes sense because that's what you're using, that's what you did in this document. Alright, notice that there's no more X on the image, which means it is embedded, it's all there. If we needed to actually change that image out, you needed to do something to it, you're gonna go open it in Photoshop, make a change, and then here, you're gonna have to do what's called, replace it. Just kinda a simple way to replace. Why don't you come under Edit now, and for images, like I said before that we actually have embedded, you'll now see that we've got some options here to do. You guys can mess around with some of these. We're gonna do a grayscale real quick, I think it might look okay, so go ahead and Convert to Grayscale. And it's gonna do exactly what it says. Now you don't have any options. If you're in Photoshop, you have options, you know what to do probably. In here, it's just (snaps) gonna do it. So I've done this before, I've done this kinda color conversion or color changing up, if you will, sort of in a pinch. And I've done it before, and it works, it does a pretty good job. Alright, so there's our image, lookin' pretty good. Let's do a couple more things here, just kinda wrap up talking about imagery. With that selected, look up top and you'll see now we have the word Image. Go ahead and click on the word Image there, a link. This is actually gonna open up the links panel. So Illustrator actually has a links panel. If you want to, you can open this separately by going under Window, Links, and open these and having it kinda sit out there. Gonna show you every single object you've embedded or you're linking to, doesn't have to necessarily just be pictures, or images. 'Cause we can place a lotta things in here. Couple things to think about or look at, if you look in here, you'll see to the right, these little icons right here, they mean embed, so those are embedded. You will see a link icon if it is actually linked or nothing at all, it'll tell you. We can, if you look at the bottom down here, if we want to, Relink. If you have an image you wanna replace, I used to do this all the time, I would go click on an image and delete it and place it again, if I fixed it up in Photoshop, in here in the links panel, you can just relink it. It'll replace the image you had. And in a lotta cases, it'll actually do some of the transformations and things you did to the image as well, which is a really good way to do it. So anyway, this is the links panel, it's actually a good thing to have, a good thing to look at, because I get images and I get Illustrator files all the time, and I'm dealing with the images that are involved and in there. One of the things that drives me crazy, is I get a lotta people, because of the way Illustrator used to work, they embed all the images. In the past, what we did was we had an Illustrator file, and let's say you had a whole bunch of pictures, and you placed them in the Illustrator file and you link to them. If you link to them, there was no way to gather everything up at the end of the process and send it to the person. They would have to have the images to make it work, 'cause they were linked, they would have to print that way. We now have a way to package everything together, which just makes it so much easier. So, in a lot of cases, we're doing a lot more linking rather embedding these days, if we can do it. 'cause you can copy everything together into one folder later on in the process and package it for somebody else, which is great. But anyway, these are all embedded right now. If we decide, we're like, you know what, I know that that Golden Gate Bridge image is gonna be changing a lot, I wanna link over to the Photoshop file, for instance. Here's what we could do. Why don't you click on the Golden Gate Bridge right there, that image. And right now we've got it embedded. This is actually a little bit newer in Illustrator, it's probably like the last four or five versions, but you're gonna see up here, Unembed. You used to be able to embed, but never unembed. It was kinda crazy, so now you can, you've been able to. Go ahead and click Unembed. So we're gonna make it so that we link to it now. And the interesting thing here is that it's only gonna allow you to save it out or pull it out in two separate file types. A TIFF, and a PSD, that's just the way it works. We'll say there's PSD. Make sure you put it on your Desktop, just so we don't, whatever that's fine. Put it on your Desktop, and Save it. It's gonna now take the image, extract it from the Illustrator file as a full image called that. Put it on our Desktop, and link to it from the Illustrator file. So go ahead and click Save. And there we go, you see the typical X goin' on right there. I moved the text out, so that's not there anymore anyway, but there it is. So now that we have that linked, we can go in and start to do some different things to it and kinda work with it a little bit. This is one of the things that we tend to do, I tend to do a lot of linking, embedding, depending on the situation. I know that if I'm sending this off to somebody, and I got a logo or something like that, I get so tired of having to send it separately, that type of thing. But like I said, with packaging now, it makes it so much easier.

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.

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