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How to Create Basic Shapes in Illustrator CS

Chapter Description

Many objects in the Adobe Illustrator program can be created by starting with basic shapes and then editing them to create new shapes. In this lesson, you'll use some basic shapes to create a logo. Along the way, you'll learn how to use tools and commands to create basic shapes, copy and combine objects to create new shapes, paint objects, and more.

Review Answers

  1. There are six basic shape tools: Ellipse, Polygon, Star, Spiral, Rectangle, and Rounded Rectangle. To separate a group of tools from the toolbox, hold the pointer over the tool that appears in the toolbox and press the mouse button until the group of tools appears. Without releasing the mouse button, drag to the triangle at the end of the group, and then release the mouse button to tear off the group.
  2. To draw a square, select the Rectangle tool (rectagle.jpg) in the toolbox. Hold down Shift and drag to draw the square, or click to enter equal dimensions for the width and height in the Rectangle dialog box.
  3. To draw a triangle, select the Polygon tool (polygon.jpg) in the toolbox, start dragging to draw the shape, and press the Down Arrow key to reduce the number of sides to three. Or click to enter the radius and number of sides in the Polygon dialog box.
  4. To specify the size of a shape, you can do any of the following:
    • Select the shape and specify new dimensions in the W (width) and H (height) text boxes in the Transform palette.
    • Select the shape and then select the Scale tool (scale1.jpg) in the toolbox. Alt/Option-click to set the point of origin and specify the dimensions in the Scale dialog box (click Copy to make a scaled copy of the selected object).
    • Select the shape, and drag a side or corner handle of the shape’s bounding box to resize its width, height, or both. (Shift-drag a corner handle to resize the selection proportionally.)
  5. A quick way to transpose the color of an object’s stroke with its fill color is to select the object and then click the Swap Fill and Stroke button in the toolbox.
  6. The view grid is used as a guide for drawing and will not print with the artwork. A grid drawn with the grid tool can print.
  7. To create a rectangular grid, you select the Rectangular Grid tool, and in the artboard either drag to draw a grid of the desired dimensions, or click to set the grid’s origin and options. If you create a grid by dragging, you can use the Up and Down Arrow keys to add or remove horizontal or vertical lines, or the Right and Left Arrow keys to add or remove vertical lines. In addition, the F and V keys add space to the top and bottom cells, respectively, and the C and X keys add space to the left and right cells, respectively.