Use Basic Drawing & Selection Tools in Illustrator®
Basic tools, we have all of our drawing tools, square, rectangle, rounded, ellipse, polygon, star tool, awesome. Then you draw with them. So, if you wanna draw with something, gotta have the tool selected. And again, hover of each and every one of these and it's gonna give you a tool hint about what it is, and away we go. So we start off with the rectangle tool, very simple stuff. We click and draw a rectangle, there we have it, we're done, that's Illustrator. You wanna know more, okay fine. Basic stuff when you're going in and drawing shapes. Whenever you select a shape drawing tool, you click on that shape, and you will have that drawing tool active for as long as you have that tool selected. Very common thing, people will go in, they'll draw a shape when they want to manipulate it, well, you can't really do that very well with a tool that you're drawing with it, that's what your selection tool is for. If I go back to my selection tool I can then click on my shape, I can transform my...
shape by clicking on the pull handles, I can hover outside that shape and I can rotate it, and best of all, I can then hit the delete key and get rid of it. Good stuff. But when it comes to drawing shapes, there's a lot of things that Illustrator does very well. And I can draw really great shapes very quickly and show you all these features. First of all when I go in and I select any one of my drawing tools. If I would like to draw with that shape, a particular size, or control attributes of that shape, if I just click and drag on my page here, I just get the shape. But if I go and take that tool, and I don't draw with it, but simply click on the page, every time that I click with that particular drawing tool, it calls up the dialogue box. So if I would like to draw a certain size circle, or square or star or polygon, I can click with that tool, it's gonna call up the dialogue box, and I can set my shape to be whatever I want and click OK, and I get my shape exactly that way. So if I wanna do a circle, I can click, and it calls up my ellipse, and I can set that to be whatever size that I want to and I get that shape. If I do my polygon, I click on my polygon I can control the number of sides, click OK, gives me that shape, right there. Now, I can grab any one of these tools, and just simply draw. I have no idea what I'm gonna be drawing, because I just get what I'm drawing. If I wanna set those parameters, I'm gonna click on that tool, I'm gonna click on my page, be able to go in and set my attributes, and I get that as I go. When you get a whole bunch of things on the page here, you want to clear them off. Selection tool, you're gonna need that. I could go through and select each and every one and hit delete, quick and easy way, I wanna select everything. If I take my selection tool, and I can click and drag over everything, select it all at once, I can move it all at once, size it all at once, or delete it all at once. Basic stuff, I wanna draw a perfect circle, I wanna draw a perfect square. Simple basic stuff, and this is where the shift key comes in. If I'm drawing a shape, I hold down my shift key, shift always constrains, perfect circle, draw the shape of the shift key, I get a perfect square. If I draw a circle, and I hold down the shift key, it's gonna allow me to get a perfect circle every time. If I wanna draw a straight line, I use my line tool, draw with that, if I don't get a straight line, I hold down my shift key, I get a straight line. Shift always constrains. That's a common theme in all the Adobe applications. Perfect square, perfect circle, whatever it may be. Thanks to that selection tool, I can select everything, and then delete it. So, I can draw a square, I've got this great rounded rectangle that allows me to go and draw ones with rounded edges right there. I don't see much of the rounded edges, but I can add some rounded edges to there. Probably saying how did that happen. Well, there's a trick to everything, isn't there folks. Well a rounded rectangle, I can create any shape that has rounded corners. If I take that rounded rectangle, take the tool, click on the page, I can control the width and the height of that, I can also control the roundness of the corners. Well I don't know what size that is because there's no preview box on here, so I really don't know what a 16 point rounded corner is. You know, does 20 look good, 25, 30, 80, seven, don't know. So I can find out by clicking on it and saying okay that's not what I want and deleting it and doing it over again. But the trick to the drawing tools comes in and knowing those little inside tips. This is what makes them wonderful. If I'm drawing a rounded corner box here and I may use this quite a lot, one of the great things is, I draw, and while I'm drawing this, I can use my up arrow, and that's gonna give me more rounded corners. Okay you see those corners getting more rounded. Pretty awesome. Down arrow is gonna take those rounded corners away. So I can actually draw and physically see what I'm doing on the page. The same is true with my polygon tool. If I click on my polygon tool and I draw, whatever I last used is going to be the default. So I have a three sided polygon, and while I'm drawing here I can use my up arrow, and while I'm drawing, it'll give me more size, down arrow gives me less. If I want to make sure that side stays flat, I can hold down my shift key and miracles happen. Oh my gosh, if it's that good with a rounded rectangle and the polygon tool, it gets better with the star tool. So with the star tool, this is what I last used, so I get the same thing that I used the last time. When I'm drawing my star tool, I can use my up arrow or my down arrow to get more points, and then if I want to pull my points in or out, I can hold down my command on the Mac or control on the PC, if I pull out from the center, I get more bursty, technical term, if I use command or control and I pull into the center, I get less little bursty right there. So while I'm drawing it's not just a matter of drawing the shapes, I've got these little tricks that I can use when I'm drawing these shapes. So up and down arrow, I can control the size of the corners, I can control the number of sides, and I can control the number of points using all those basic shapes. Pretty sweet. And we're just drawing basic shapes. Now with any one of our shapes here, we can take and we can apply a fill color and we can also apply a stroke around the shape as well. And in order to do that we're gonna to have to have that selected which is where the selection tool comes in. When we select any content in Illustrator, our control bar across the top here is gonna give us any information that we need based on what we have selected and the tool that we're using to select it. So I have my shape selected, doesn't matter what shape I have, up here in the control bar starting at the left hand side, I have my fill, I have all my color here, these are all just defaults, we're gonna pick our own colors, and then we also have our stroke colors as well, our stroke panel, and these are the links right here unique to Illustrator as well. I can click on those links and it's going to bring up all of the attributes for that specific topic that I need. So I can do my stroke panel, I have my opacity, I can control attributes of my shape, and also my transform panel all right there in the control bar. With my shape selected, I'm gonna go in to my fill, drop down menu, I can choose from a whole bunch of preset colors, orange is my favorite color, as if you couldn't tell, I'm gonna fill it with a color, and then I can put a stroke around my object of any color and I can also control the stroke by using my up or down areas, or choosing from a preset list right there. Basic shape, any shape that I draw, I can have a fill and or a stroke. I don't have to have a fill, I could just have a stroke or I could just have a fill if I want to. If I want no stroke, I'm just going to set that to zero, then I can apply a fill to it, and I get just the fill. Create all sorts of attributes with this basic stuff. Any shape that I have, stroke, fill, whatever I choose. Very easy. When it comes to actually creating lines in here, I may want a line, so I can use just my straight line, hold down my shift key and just draw it straight, now with lines, I don't have a fill with the line it's just a stroke. Because a line is considered an open object it doesn't actually create a shape with this. So if I go in and I apply a color to this here as a fill color, nothing shows up because this is not completing the shape and therefore there's nothing to fill with that. It's just the stroke that I'm controlling. There. So I can pick any color that I want to with this line here. Pans, make it any thickness that I would like, also have different types of lines here, I've got my arc as well, choose the different size here, pick the color. Couple things I can do with the stroke though that's kind of unique. I can select that stroke, either one, then I can go to my stroke panel and because these are open ended lines, I can have a little bit of fun with this. I could go in and I could round the ends, I call it hot dogging, because when you go in and you do that to a line there, what does it look like, you guessed it, it looks like a hot dog, okay. So, I can have square ends, I can have rounded ends, but I can also add other attributes to these open ended lines here with my arrow heads. I have a whole list of arrow heads here, and I can put an arrow on one end, I can put a tail or an arrow on the other end, and I can control the size of those attributes here in my stroke panel, so that I can create any type of interesting graphic, pointer, line delineator, you name it. So not bad. And I can do this with any type of shape. I have my preset lines here with this, I could also use my spiral tool which is like totally crazy, if you ever want to create a jelly roll or a roll of carpet, you got that shape to do it with. You wanna put an arrow on the end of it, absolutely, there it is, it's a bit big, not a problem, there it is, there ya have it. Basic shapes. So with a line, the only attribute that I can really mess with is the stroke, because it's gonna be open, but when I have a closed shape here, square, rectangle, rounded corner, oval, polygon, star tool, I go in and do both a fill and a shape with it. With any object that we draw, our selection tool is going to allow us to do some basic editing of these shapes. Anything that I click on it's going to give me pull handles, because this is a closed shape, I'm gonna get pull handles on each one of the corners. Top, bottom, left and right, as well as pull handles on the center of my objects that allow me to basically scale that object to any size that I want. Narrower, taller, whatever it may be, and I can also move them, just by clicking anywhere on that object and moving it. So if I have my polygon, I've got my pull handles, I can pull that and I can change the size of that as well. If I wanna rotate any of these objects, I select the object no matter what it is, hover over, a little bit outside the corner points, I get my little double ended arrow, and that allows me to rotate that object no matter what I select, I can rotate that easily. When it comes to lines, the same is true. I can rotate those objects, I can scale them as well, everything works really nicely. All with the selection tool. So very easy to create a shape, or a line or a stroke, add a fill color to it, add a stroke weight and color to it, and be able to move it around, scale it, whatever we want. There's a lot of things that we can create with just the basic tools, as you can see. But there's a little bit more that comes with Illustrator than just going in and creating basic shapes like this. Because what happens if I wanna do some type of triangle that's got a really long tip to it. I could go in and I could use my polygon tool. I could draw my polygon tool, use my down arrow and control my shape, like so. Now what's interesting about some of these shapes here, and I notice when I drew my square right here, I not only had my little pull handles on here, but I've got these little donuts in here. Since we're on the theme of donuts, that's what those are. Well these little donuts are called corner widgets. I didn't make that up, it really is called corner widgets, and just to prove that to you, if we go into view menu, right here, there's your corner widgets, okay, they really are called corner widgets. Corner widgets allow us to control any corner of an object, so that we could have a rounded corner, a square corner, a flat corner, or an inverse rounded corner. Create all these different types of shapes. So when I draw a rectangle or a square, I'm gonna fill this with a much lighter color so we can see, you can see those little corner widgets. I'll zoom in on this so we can see this a little bit better, I can do that by grabbing my zoom tool right here. And one way to zoom in folks, one of these things, you zoom in, I see a lot of people go click, click, click and it bounces all over the place. Don't do it, okay. If you're gonna go ahead and use the zoom tool, make sure you pass the drivers license test with the zoom tool. Zoom in like you own it, and you do that by grabbing your zoom tool and clicking and dragging over the object and whatever you click and drag over, you get full size. Now a little trick with Illustrator here, a little issue that we have with this, if you're doing this at home one of the things you'll find when you try to drag over the object, you'll drag your zoom tool and the whole thing will get bigger. Well, let me just let you in on a little secret. This little rocket up here in the corner, when you click on this rocket, one of the things that this is for is to allow it to render a lot quicker when you're doing any type of illustration. And with that rocket one of the things is animated zoom. So when you click on your zoom tool and try to drag, you don't actually need to be able to define the area that you want to zoom into, as you drag it gets bigger. But there is a problem with this little rocket right here, so when i click on that rocket, I'm actually gonna shut both of these off here, and the reason why is because when we use this there's a slight issue with the thickness of the lines not appearing correct, so sometimes the lines appear thinner or thicker and they kind of appear tapered which they really aren't, so I go in and I shut that rocket off, and I also shut off that animated zoom as well. I've had to shut off the animated zoom, but if you're gonna zoom like this and be able to click and drag over your object like I just did, that was done with the animated zoom turned off. Anyway, when we click on any object that has corners, we get these corner widgets. Little donuts. I select my object with the selection tool and I grab the little corners and you can see what happens with those corners, I am able to click and pull those corners in and change the corners. I can also hold on my option or alt key and I can cycle through the different styles of corners that I want on my objects, which is quite amazing. I can do the same thing by clicking on my shape, going up to the shape drop down menu, and I'm able to go in and control my corners separately, if I'd like to do each corner separately, right now it all works together because the entire object is selected. If I go to my shape panel and I unlink, which allows me to set these corners separately, I can go and I can set each corner individually to get very different corners, or I could just back off the measurements completely, and get different corners on this as well. So anything that comes together at a corner, I can use my corner points. The only thing this doesn't work on is a circle. Circles don't have corners. I know, news flash, okay but somebody is going to try. So with this any square or rectangle I'm going to have my rounded corners. If I draw a rounded corner shape here you'll see that those are there, and very easily I can click and drag or option or alt click, and rotate through each and every one of these. Great. But when I have another shape here like a triangle or a polygon, these aren't readily noticeable, okay. I don't see the corner widgets on anything with a corner. They're actually there, and they're built in to this great little feature that allows us to click on that shape and you'll see the one little donut and that allows us to do all the corners at once on the object. Right there. So, it's kind of hidden unless you know it, but it's there, so anything with a corner, that's what it's going to be able to do. If you don't like to do that, you can always go up to your shape panel and just grab your shape, go in and adjust your corners, however you'd like to on that, it's always fun to do it on screen. Basic corner widgets. But I'd also like to go in and I'd also like to manipulate my shapes further than this. I may want to take and make the peak of this triangle much taller. Well if I go in here and I try to do it it just kinda scales everything and it's not really working like I'd like. So, I'm actually gonna shut this stroke off here, make it a little bit easier to see. And I would like to go in and make this point really tall. Here comes the direct selection tool. Up until this point my selection tool allows me to select the entire object, move it, scale it, rotate it, resize it. The direct selection tool allows me to go in and directly select a point or a line segment and move it independent of all the rest of the points on my object. The key to using this is make sure when you go in your object is not selected, and then I can zoom in using my new found zoom knowledge, and if I wanna move just this point up here, I can either select this point or I can just drag this over that point and get that selected, and I can move that up independent of the rest of my object. So if I were to draw some sort of shape here, like my polygon, and I were to click on this with my selection tool, I could only resize it. But if I use my direct selection tool, and make sure it's not selected, I can click and drag, or touch one of those points, and this allows me to directly select and edit that particular point. Or, if I wanted to do a line segment, I could just click on that line segment and move that. So the direct selection tool is used to directly select a point or a line segment and move it independent of everything else, that's what it's for. Now, no matter what shape it is, that's what the direct selection tool is for. And I cannot stress enough, always make sure you click off your object before you go and use this tool. If you don't, it's gonna seem like the whole object is moving, click off the object first, then click back on your object. I've done this at least twice before, you will have to trust me on this one. Any type of line, same thing happens. If I click on the end of the line, or drag over the end of the line, I'm able to manipulate that line and move just the end of the line independent of all the other points. That's what the direct selection tool is for. But a really cool feature of the direct selection tool goes beyond you selecting the point or the line segment and if I would like to go in and work one of my corner widgets, I can actually go in and click and drag or click on any point here, and you'll see that the corner widget will show up. So if I select the entire object, all the corner widgets show up, which means I can adjust them all together, but if I would like only one corner widget, I can take my selection tool, and just select one corner to just widget the one corner. Or if I would like to do two corners, I could go in and I could select just those two corners, and just widget the two corners. Oh my gosh, have we just created a rain drop there, I don't believe it. No way. Oh my gosh this actually does have some purpose to it. Yes it does. So that's going in and creating the basic shapes. Using the shape tools, and being able to use your selection tool to rotate and scale them, your direct selection tool to directly go in, select a point or a line segment or select some corner widgets, so that you can widget those corners and do all sorts of cool stuff, go in, create a container, click on both those ends, corner widget just the ends, and away we go. Awesome, yeah. I know, it's endless. And before you know it, then it's going to turn out just like this, okay. Within minutes you could be there.