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Simple Objects in Illustrator

The old saying goes that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. While I don’t know much about skinning cats, I know a few different ways for doing things in Illustrator that you might have never thought of. In this tutorial, I’ll show you a few tricks for working with simple objects in Illustrator.

Divide Objects Precisely

divide-menu - simple objects in Illustrator

If you want to divide an object, there’s actually a menu for that. Draw a simple square on the canvas. In the spot where you want to divide the square, use the Pen Tool or the Line Segment Tool and Draw a line over the square. With the line selected, but not the square, go to Object> Path> Divide Objects Below. This will slice through your object where you placed the line.

divide-before-and-after

The image above shows the before and after. It’s important to draw the beginning and end points past where you want to divide, to make sure you go it all.

Easy Graduated Sizes

Let’s say you have the need to create objects that step down in size evenly from one side of your document to the other. Theoretically, you could make a copy of each object and size it manually. The easier way is to use the Blend options. It turns out that in the options, there’s a menu for handling blending in specified steps. This gives you total control over how many steps the object is blended. Take a look at the 2 circles below.

2-circles

Select both circles, and go to Object> Blend> Blend Options and choose Specified steps. type in the number of steps you want. I’ll put 4, for the sake of this tutorial. then go to Object> Blend> Make and Illustrator will do the work for you.

blend-options

blend-final

A Step Further

While We’re here, you can see that the circles have been created. If you click on them, you’ll see there’s a line there, which is actually an active spine.

circles-spine

If you use the Direct Selection Tool, you can click on the anchor points of the line and manipulate them. If you look at the options at the top of Illustrator, you see options to change the anchor point from an angled one to a round one.

options-bar

Then, you can use the Bezier curve to arrange the circles in a rounded formation.

circles-rounded

Conclusion

This is a good collection of tips to help you while working in Illustrator. Working with simple objects in Illustrator is a lot easier when you use the tips I showed you in the post. Using the divide feature to trim areas away from an object can save you a lot of time from drawing it by hand. Do you have any useful tricks for working in Illustrator? if so, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

jamesgeorge

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