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Adobe Illustrator CC for Beginners

Lesson 21 of 23

Working with Linked Content in Adobe Illustrator

Brian Wood

Adobe Illustrator CC for Beginners

Brian Wood

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Lesson Info

21. Working with Linked Content in Adobe Illustrator

Lesson Info

Working with Linked Content in Adobe Illustrator

Alright, 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 linked content, some more linked content and we're gonna place an image that is black and white. Okay? So, go in and deselect, make sure you've got nothing selected out there, it's kind of a habit I have, I don't know why I do it but just go and click somewhere, 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 the one place where you can find it. Go and choose place, let's get one more image out here. And you should see the buildings dot JPEG right here. What I'd like to do, this is a JPE...

G 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 shape and place some kinda image, you want to check and make sure that you've got the link selected if you need it, we don't need the import options because it's a 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 give it in. So, come, I don't know, somewhere around the text right here, you might be able to line it up if you see the smart guides kicking in here, those purple, those magenta guides, I might get it lined up here. Click and drag, it's like drawing a box with your picture in it. So going in, 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 yay 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 selection stuff going on. What's the big difference between the two of those? The X. Yeah, the one down there that you select, when you select it, has an X through it. Ann X over an object like that means that it's linked. So it's just kind of a visual quick way to kind of tell that, okay? 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, you know, move pixels around and 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. Okay? Now unfortunately we're not gonna be able to do this with the 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 to gray-scale 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. So 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 where it was if you hover over, It's kind of neat. It's gonna tell you what the color space or color mode is, okay. 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, the 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 when it's vector, it'll vectorize it. So why don't you click embed, that's just gonna take it and stick it in here. After you do that, it's now gonna, I don't know if you, 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 we 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 need 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. Oka, just kinda a simple way to replace. Why don't you come under Edit now, and for images, like I said before, we actually have it embedded, you'll now see that we've got some options here to do. If you wanna, you can skim, mess around with these but it, let's just, we're gonna do a gray-scale real quick. I think it might look okay, so go ahead and convert to gray-scale, it's just gonna do exactly what it says. Now, you don't have any options. Okay, if you're in Photoshop, you have options. You know what to do probably. In here, it's just 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. It works, does a pretty good job. Alright, so there's our image, looking 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, our 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 up separately by going under window, links and opening up and having it kinda sit out there, it's gonna show you every single object that you've embedded or that you're linking to. This doesn't necessarily have to just be pictures or images, because we can place a lot of 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 that you want to replace, you don't have to, 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 lot of 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, alright, 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 involved and in there, one of the things that drives me crazy is I get a lot of people because of the way Illustrator used to work, they embed all the images. Because 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 place 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 because they were linked. They would have to print that way. Okay? We now have a way to package everything together which makes it so much easier. So in a lot of cases we're doing a lot more linking rather than embedding these days if we can do it. Because you can copy everything together in 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, I know that that Golden Gate Bridge, that 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, five versions, but you're gonna see up here, unembed. You're used to embed but never unembed. It as kinda crazy. So now you can or you've been able to, so go ahead and click unembed. We're gonna make it so that we link to it now. Now 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 save this PSD. Make sure you put it on your desktop just so we don't, that's whatever, it'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. See the typical X, the one 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 and embedding depending on the situation. I know that if I'm sending it out to somebody and I've got a logo or something like that, I get so tired of having to, you know, send it separately, that type of thing, but I guess that with packaging now, it makes it so much easier.

Class Description

This course is part of: Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects 

Gain the fundamentals necessary to tackle the world’s best vector-based illustration software Adobe® Illustrator®. Brian Wood will take you step-by-step and explain everything a beginner needs to know to get up and running with Illustrator, including:

  • Interface & tools
  • Using the pen tool
  • Applying color
  • Formating Text 

In Adobe Illustrator CC for Beginners Brian will use a series of projects to teach you everything you need to create your first graphic or illustration. 

Software Used: Adobe Illustrator CC 2015



I've been trying to learn Illustrator on and off for years. This is the best instruction I've had! Brian is a great instructor. Finally feeling comfortable with it. It does use an older version but I just adapt.

Bill Neill

Great content and a good instructor. Not his fault the world marches on and doesn't stay in 2015. Any reasonably intelligent person will be able to figure out the changes since 2015 and how they relate to this course. It is early 2019, and I'm not having any trouble, but then I am reasonably intelligent and not to lazy to do some thinking.

a Creativelive Student

Pretty good so far but he's using a very different version of Illustrator and my currently updated version does not have the tool bars top and bottom for dealing with artboards.