All posts by Sara Froehlich

Unleash your Creative Brains with the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Video Podcast

For some time there has been a video podcast devoted to the Adobe Creative Suite 2 family and today the first episode for Creative Suite 3 is here!

Join host Terry White for a special episode covering the all new Adobe Creative Suite 3 Family. See the latest enhancements and new tools. Check out the new sleek interface. You will also learn what’s new in each of the Suites. Not only has Adobe been working hard on the new versions of familiar applications like Illustrator and Photoshop, but it has also been hard at work integrating the former Macromedia products like Dreamweaver and Flash.

Creative Suite 3 is also optimized for the intel based Macs, Leopard and Vista. This special episode gives you a peek Inside Adobe. Get hyped!

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Video PodcastAdobe Creative Suite 3 Video Podcast

You can read more and subscribe to the video podcast here, or go to iTunes, and choose Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast from the menu, and enter this URL in the box: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=124921198

You can watch this 28 minutes special podcast in iTunes or download it to your iPod, and make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the upcoming episodes!

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium

Get your creative juices (and your creations!) moving with new Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium software for Mac and Windows!

Creative Suite 3 Production PremiumCreative Suite 3 Production Premium

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium software, the successor to Adobe Production Studio, allows you to create visually innovative work for film, broadcast, web, mobile phones, and other portable devices. New releases of Adobe’s post-production and graphic tools are combined with Adobe Flash CS3 Professional and intuitive new audio tool Adobe Soundbooth.

Tight integration between applications makes working between them easy. With the exclusive Dynamic Link feature, your work in After Effects can be seen immediately in Adobe Premiere Pro and Encore, without intermediate rendering. Export Flash video from After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro for further enhancement in Flash CS3 Professional.

After Effects CS3 Professional, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, and Illustrator CS3 are combined with Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, new Soundbooth CS3, Encore CS3, Adobe OnLocation CS3 for direct-to-disk capture and on-set monitoring, and Ultra CS3 for fast, effective keying.

Enjoy seamlessly smooth workflows! Production Premium runs on the latest versions of Mac OS X and Microsoft® Windows. New output options include enhanced and expanded Flash output for the web and new video format support for mobile phones and other portable devices. A flexible approach to format and hardware support means you can work with the hardware of your choice, and be prepared for further evolution in post-production demands.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium combines full new versions of:

  • Adobe After Effects® CS3 Professional
  • Adobe Premiere® Pro CS3*
  • Adobe Photoshop® CS3 Extended
  • Adobe Flash® CS3 Professional
  • Adobe Illustrator® CS3
  • Adobe Soundbooth® CS3*
  • Adobe Encore® CS3*
  • Adobe OnLocationâ„¢ CS3 †
  • Adobe Ultraâ„¢ CS3†
  • Features available only in Production Premium: Adobe Dynamic Link* and Capture In After Effects*
  • Adobe Device Central CS3 and Adobe Bridge CS3*

Mac version requires Intel®-based Mac.
† Windows only. Adobe OnLocation requires Boot Camp to run on Mac. Ultra is not included in the Mac version of Production Premium.

System Requirements

The Mac version of unmarked items runs on Intel-based or PowerPC Mac.
The Windows version of Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium requires Windows Vistaâ„¢ or Windows XP. The Mac version of Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium requires Mac OS X running on an Intel or PowerPC processor, with the following limitations: The components Adobe Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, and Encore, as well as the features Dynamic Link and Capture In After Effects, will run only on a Mac with an Intel processor. Adobe OnLocation and Ultra run only in Windows, and thus require Boot Camp and Windows (purchased separately) on a Mac.

Pricing

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium will be available in North America for an estimated street price of US$1699, directly from Adobe or through Adobe Authorized Resellers. Customers may order directly from Adobe by visiting the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com or calling 1-888-724-4507.

Licensed users of Adobe Production Studio (Premium or Standard edition) can upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium for an estimated street price of US$799. Licensed users of qualifying Adobe point products, such as After Effects or Adobe Premiere Pro, can upgrade to Production Premium for an estimated street price of US$1199.

Estimated street prices do not include taxes, shipping, handling, or other related expenses. A complete list of products that qualify users for upgrade pricing is available in the Pricing Overview document. Information on pricing and support policies outside of North America and for Education customers is available separately.

Expected Ship Date: Third Quarter 2007

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection

If you design across media and need all the power Adobe has available, then Adobe’s new Creative Suite 3 Master Collection is for you. It has everything you need to design for print, web, video, and even mobile!

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master CollectionAdobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection

You can have it all. Master Collection combines the best of Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium, Web Premium, and Production Premium packages into a productive toolkit, creating a highly integrated design package.

Including all of Adobe’s leading tools for designing for print, web, interactive, mobile, and dynamic media such as film and video any creative task from image editing, illustration, and page layout to web design, interactive development, motion graphics, and film and video production is within reach.

With fluid integration you can work between applications with confidence, share assets between projects, without repetition and workarounds.
A consistent Adobe user interface allows you to move between programs easily; even a new program will be easier to learn because you will already be familiar with the interface. With the broad range of tools encompassing many forms of media, Master Collection enables you to design using the widest range of media.

The Benefits of Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection

Get the best-of-the-best creative tools. Discover new opportunities and efficiencies with all-new versions of:

  • InDesign CS3 software for designing and producing professional layouts
  • Photoshop CS3 Extended software for discovering new dimensions in digital imaging
  • Illustrator CS3 software for exploring new paths with the essential vector tool
  • Flash CS3 Professional software for creating and delivering rich, interactive content
  • Dreamweaver CS3 software for developing standards-based websites and applications
  • Contribute CS3 software for easily updating websites and blogs
  • Fireworks CS3 software for rapidly prototyping and designing for the web
  • After Effects CS3 Professional software for industry-standard motion graphics and effects
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 software for capturing, editing, and delivering video
  • Soundbooth CS3 software for editing and creating audio with fast, intuitive tools

System Requirements

The Windows version of Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection requires Microsoft® Windows Vista™ or Windows XP.

The Mac version of Master Collection requires Mac OS X, version 10.4.9, running on either an Intel or PowerPC processor, with the following limitation: Adobe Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, and Encore, as well as the Dynamic Link and Capture In After Effects features, require an Intel-based Mac.

Pricing

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection will be available for an estimated street price of US$2499, directly from Adobe or through Adobe Authorized Resellers. Customers may order directly from Adobe by visiting the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com or calling 1-888-724-4507.

Licensed users of Adobe Creative Suite 2.x or 1.x (Premium or Standard editions); Studio 8, Studio MX 2004, or Studio MX; or Adobe Production Studio (Premium or Standard edition) can upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection for an estimated street price of US$1999.

Licensed owners of any two distinct products listed above can upgrade to Master Collection for US$1399. (For example, if you own a version of Adobe Creative Suite and of Macromedia® Studio, you’re eligible for this special upgrade pricing.) Information on pricing and support policies outside of North America and for Education customers is available separately.

Expected ship date: Third Quarter 2007

Illustrator CS3: What’s New? Lots!

One of the most anticipated Adobe Illustrator upgrades ever is right around the corner. Gone are Venus and the Illustrator flower icons, and in their place is a simple “Ai” icon denoting Illustrator’s default file format. The rest of the changes in Illustrator, however, are not simple, and features like better Flash integration and new Live Color, as well as lots of improvements in interface and efficiency, make this a must-have upgrade. Things that make you go “hmmm” they aren’t…these are things that make you go “Wow!”

Adobe Illustrator CS3The change in the icons from artistic to simplistic of the entire Adobe CS3 line of products is a portent of changes to the programs themselves. They are sporting new lean, mean, and clean interfaces, and Illustrator is no exception. With less area cluttered by palettes you have more room for what you use Illustrator for in the first place: drawing! What is surprising is with this new uncluttered workspace comes even more efficiency.

Illustrator has long been the industry standard in vector drawing software, and this new version keeps up the high standard Illustrator users are used to. Because it is so tightly integrated with other product’s in Adobe’s CS3 line, it’s easy to take advantage of new output options and create content destined for publishing across media. Get ready for seamless workflow, precision drawing tools, great typographic controls, Live effects and brushes that take you from print to video.


“Creative Suite 3 is the biggest launch in Adobe’s 25 year history and a milestone for the creative industry,” said Bruce Chizen, chief executive officer at Adobe. “This release reflects the powerful integration between Adobe and Macromedia and how our products bridge the gap between designers and developers. With new workflows that streamline collaboration and impact the development of rich content, designers and developers now have the creative license to engage audiences across virtually every medium.”

Flash Integration

This is the biggest upgrade for Illustrator Adobe has ever made. Integration with Flash is better than ever. Copy and Paste and import to Flash are more reliable, with paths, correct anchor point positions, gradients, clipping masks, and even symbols. Not only that, your Illustrator grouping and layer structure is also preserved when you move to Flash!

Corel is now shipping the next generation of Painter: Painter X!

Corel is now shipping the next generation of Painter: Painter X! Painter X has new features including the new RealBristleâ„¢ Painting System and new composition tools, and a printed user guide. And if you act fast, the Paint Can is back in a Limited Edition!

Corel Painter XCorel Painter X is now shipping

Corel is now shipping the lastest version of their natural media paint program, Painter X. New features like the RealBristleâ„¢ Painting System let artists interact with the digital canvas with more realism than ever before. Corel Painter X has been optimized to provide better performance; depending on hardware, brushes are up to 35% faster.

New composition tools let artists use Divine Proportion and the Rule of Thirds to create aesthetically pleasing compositions. An enhanced photo-painting system lets artists create paintings from photos by automatically applying brushstrokes while intelligently changing stroke size and direction using new Smart Strokeâ„¢ technology.

With Enhanced Adobe® Photoshop® and Wacom® tablet support, Painter X works better than ever with other applications. The color printed user guide will get you started and painting fast!

Operating System Support

Windows: Corel Painter X is compatible with Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows Vista.
Mac: With support for Universal binary specifications, Corel Painter X is optimized for use on Intel-based Mac computers.
See Corel.com for more details.

Pricing and Availability

The English version of Corel Painter X, offered in a full version, upgrade version, education edition and Limited Edition Painter Can, is available for pre-order starting today through Corel and select partners. English version box product will be available through Corel and reseller partners in late February 2007. Japanese, French, Italian and German versions of Corel Painter X will be available throughout the spring of 2007.
Suggested retail pricing for Corel Painter X in the US and Canada is $429 for full, $229 for upgrade and $99 for the education edition. The Limited Edition Painter Can is available for $499.

For more information about Corel Painter X, please visit www.corel.com/painterx.

Xara Acquired by MAGIX

Xara, the little company that took on Microsoft with its Xara Xtreme software a year ago sells to the German company MAGIX. What does that mean for users?

PRESS RELEASE

January 30, 2007 —Xara announced today that it has been acquired by German company, MAGIX AG who hold the leading market position for the distribution of photo, music and video software in Germany and various other European countries, as well as being one of the three leading market players in the USA.

The acquisition is good news for Xara and its customers. The new financial resources that MAGIX provide together with the greatly increased distribution network for Xara products and technology will accelerate the development and market capture of the Xara products.

Xara will trade as a subsidiary of MAGIX under the existing management. It will continue to develop the Xara products such as the highly successful Xara Xtreme, to be marketed under both Xara and MAGIX brands.

About Xara Group Ltd

Xara has been developing cutting edge software in the UK since 1981. Xara has developed a wide range of products covering the whole realm of publishing and graphics software. Xara Xtreme is the world’s fastest, and many believe the world’s best drawing and illustration software.

Xara has a particularly strong technology and innovation history. It pioneered many of the graphics technologies and techniques used by the industry today. Many of its User Interface techniques have been adopted by the industry. From the very beginning Xara has been involved in the online world. Doing most of its business via the Internet, Xara has gained millions of customers worldwide. Xara Online provides leading edge online Web Service based solutions.

About MAGIX AG

MAGIX is an internationally operating provider of software, online services and digital content for using multimedia products and services in personal communication. MAGIX offers private and professional users technologically advanced and user-friendly software, online services and digital content for designing, editing, sharing and archiving digital photos, videos and music. In 2005, based on sales of products through retail distribution of photo, music and video software, MAGIX held a leading market position in Germany and various other European countries, and was one of the three leading market players in the USA.

Free Online Computer Tutorials from In Pictures

Learning with pictures rather than words is the philosophy of In Pictures, and they have recently launched a line of free online tutorials on Microsoft Office, Dreamweaver, and more.

In Pictures
In Pictures, the company that brought readers free e-books last year, recently launched a new line of free online computer how-to tutorials. Currently there are 12 tutorials on Microsoft Office 2003, OpenOffice.org and Dreamweaver 8. Because In Pictures tutorials are based on pictures, not text, you learn by seeing examples as you work. These tutorials are an effective way to get started learning a new software package, or seeing what’s new in newer versions of software you already use.

Revenue is generated for In Pictures by banner advertisements on each page. In Pictures’ founder, Chris Charuhas, says, “Our ad-based revenue model wouldn’t have worked two years ago. But now, with the growth of online advertising and the advent of content-indexed ad systems such as Google AdSense, we think it’s very promising.”

Later this year, In Pictures will release new free tutorials on Microsoft Office 2007 programs, as well as Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Fireworks. There will also be new Web programming tutorials for non-programmers, on MySQL, PHP, and Perl.

You can find the online tutorials here, and if you wish to be notified of new tutorials you can subscribe to the mailing list here.

Corel Delivers Industry’s First Full-Featured Graphics Suite Certified for Windows Vista

Corel is pleased to announce that CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 has been Certified for Windows Vista – the first full featured graphics suite to achieve certification status. For those of us who have already moved to Windows Vista, this is good news indeed!

PRESS RELEASE

CorelDraw X3 Graphics Suite is the first full-featured graphics suite to be fully certified with the new Windows Vista operating system, which hit the shelves on January 31, 2007. This new update for users of Windows Vista boasts an updated user interface, enhanced security, improved text handling and further enhancements to the popular suite’s renowned import and export file compatibility.

Visto logo
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 will feature the Certified for Windows Vista logo and is the second product launched by Corel to be Certified for Windows Vista. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 includes CorelDRAW X3 for vector illustration and page layout, Corel PHOTO-PAINT® X3 for professional image editing, and the power of the new Corel PowerTRACE(TM) that enables the easy conversion of low-quality bitmap images into highly usable vector graphics.

Customers who wish to install the Certified for Windows Vista version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 can download the latest service pack (SP2) from www.corel.com.

Corel has been working hard to ensure their software will work with Windows Vista. Other products, such as Word Perfect Office, Corel Snapfire, and the consumer-level graphics editor Paint Shop Pro XI, will be updated for Vista with service pack releases soon after the release of Vista. Corel Painter and Corel Painter Essentials will have full Vista support in their next versions.

“Microsoft is pleased with the tremendous support Corel has shown for the launch of Windows Vista,” said Brad Goldberg, general manager for Windows Client at Microsoft Corp. “CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3, which is Certified for Windows Vista, is a welcome tool for our customers looking for a graphics suite. By working closely with industry leading ISVs such as Corel, we’re pleased to offer our mutual customers seamless integration and a terrific user experience.”

For more information about CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3, or to download a full-featured trial version, please visit www.corel.com/cdgsx3.

My full review of the CorelDraw X3 Suite can be found here.

I’m Bananas for Illustrator’s Gradient Mesh Tool

Regular Feature: How-To's Day

gradient mesh banana

Illustrator’s Gradient Mesh lets you add shading you never though possible with a vector application. Here’s how to get started using it.

Using Illustrator’s Gradient Mesh feature you can make complex fills that have amazing realism. I have seen incredible examples of this, like the flower that was the logo for Illustrator CS and of course, Venus, who graced the Illustrator box and the top of the toolbox for many versions. So how do you use this wonderful tool? The best way to learn it is to jump right in and experiment with it.

To experiment with the tool, draw a simple shape like this ellipse. Use a solid color fill for this exercise; the Gradient Mesh tool will not work with pattern fills, and to keep a gradient fill you already have on an object there is an extra step. (Select the object, and go to Object > Expand and choose Fill. Then create the gradient mesh.) You can have a stroke, but the Gradient Mesh tool will remove it. One thing to remember when using the Gradient Mesh tool is that when you use this tool on an object, it converts it to a Gradient Mesh Object. Editing the points of the Gradient Mesh can also change the shape of the object as well as the color.

ellipseDraw a simple shape

Make sure the fill color is the active chip in the toolbox or the Gradient Mesh tool will have no effect. Activate the Gradient Mesh tool in the toolbox and click once on the ellipse. I clicked in the center just to show how much difference this tool can make even with one point of color added. The center point is selected; just use the color palette to change the color, and the color of the point changes, and shades into the rest of the ellipse.

changing point colorChanging the color of the point to add shading

Add points clicking with the Gradient Mesh tool, and change the color as desired with the color palette.

add colorsAdd colors by adding points

Points can be moved and edited using the direct selection tool or the Gradient Mesh tool, and the colors are redistributed on the mesh automatically. If you are using the Gradient Mesh tool, make sure you are exactly on the point you want to move, or the tool will add another point. Select multiple points to recolor or move by holding the shift key as you click on the point with the Direct Selection tool. You can also use the arrow keys to precisely move selected points.

move pointsMove the points to redistribute the colors

You can set up the mesh with as many points as you wish before coloring too. Go to Objects > Create Gradient Mesh and set the desired number of points across and down. For an automatic start to the shading, choose whether you want the mesh to shade to the center or to the outside. If you choose Flat, there will be points but no shading until you change the color of the points. Even though you can do it this way, I rarely do as I find it doesn’t always place the points where I want them, so I prefer to add them myself with the Gradient Mesh tool.

Create MeshCreate Gradient Mesh

Start off by drawing a rough design. The banana is very rough, but it’s all I needed since the majority of the work will be using the Gradient Mesh tool. The stem and the bottom are separate objects from the banana.

draw the basic shapesDraw the basic shapes

Use the Gradient Mesh tool for the shading.

banana with mesh in placeBanana with the mesh in place

When you are finished adding the colors, you will have something like the one below.

banana shapes with meshBanana shapes with Gradient Mesh

Use scatter brushes for the banana spots and other brushes to add accents.

bananaBanana after brushes

You can use also recolor clipart. There is some clipart already in Illustrator format in the Goodies folder on your Illustrator CD. Inside the Goodies folder is a folder called Clip Art and Stock Photos. Find a piece of clipart you like and start experimenting.

Tracing clipart works as well. Your initial drawing can be very rough, as mentioned before. Not only doesn’t it have to be perfect, the lines can overlap. Use Live Paint to fill the parts of the drawing with the base colors, and then use the Gradient Mesh tool to add the shading. After you start to use the mesh tool, the strokes are removed, and you’ll be able to move individual points to close any gaps.

rosesTrace clipart for a quick image

You could also use Illustrator’s Live Trace feature to trace a photo and use the Gradient Mesh tool for shading. This is an extremely powerful tool that is also a lot of fun to use!

How-To’s Day is a regular Designorati feature in which we give you fresh tutorials across all of Designorati. How-To’s Day happens every other Tuesday.

Compound Shapes, Compound Paths, and the Pathfinder Palette

Regular Feature: How-To's Day

Should you use Illustrator’s Object menu to create a compound path, or should you use the Pathfinder palette? Are they the same? No, they aren’t…here’s the difference so you can decide which is the best for your illustration

A compound shape consists of two or more objects combined to make a single object. Each object used to create the path is assigned a shape mode. Compound paths act as grouped objects. I have created two circle objects in Illustrator that overlap.

overlapping circlesOverlapping circles

Select both circles. Open the Pathfinder palette (Windows > Pathfinder) and click the Subtract from Shape Areabutton. Now I have a crescent shape, much easier than drawing one with the pen tool. You can still see the outlines of both circles. This is because the shape can be released and returned to two circles using the Release Compound Shape command on the Pathfinder palette’s options menu.

Subtract from Shape AreaSubtract from Shape Area

Even though the shape appears to be only a crescent, using the Direct Select tool lets you select either circle; if you click on the cresent, you still see the outline of the whole circle. If you click on the area to the right of the crescent you see a circular selection: that’s because the second circle is still there: you just can’t see it. Note: To release a compound shape, open the Pathfinder palette options menu and choose Release Compound Shape. Your original shapes will reappear.

I can select the right circle, and use the direct select tool (A) to drag the right anchor point left as in the example here to alter its shape. When I release the mouse, the circle has been altered and I have a different compound shape.

alter the shapeAlter the shape

When selecting the new shape with the selection tool (V), the compound shape will behave as if it is two objects that are grouped, and move together, retaining the look of one object. If you switch tools to the direct select tool (A), each shape can be selected independent of the other, and each shape can also be moved independently of the other. If I select the white piece with the direct select tool (A), then change to the select tool (V), the white piece gets a bounding box. These handles can be utilized as they can on any shape, but will only affect the selected part of the compound shape. Parts of compound shapes can be edited indepdently of the other parts of the compound shape using the editing tools in the toolbar.

edit the shapeEditing the shape

But what if I wanted the crescent shape? What if it was the best shape I ever made and I don’t want it to be a compound shape? I want it to be a crescent so I can save it, and use it over, and hug it and squeeze it and call it George? (I don’t know why that cartoon popped into my head. Strange things happen when you write articles at 2 am!)

I’ll make two new shapes, but this time when I use the Pathfinder palette to Subtract from Shape Area>/strong> I will add another step:
clicking the Expand button on the pathfinder palette. It’s no longer a compound shape, but is a crescent-shaped object, or simple path.

Pressing and holding the option/alt key as you press the shape mode button on the pathfinder accomplishes the same thing with one less step.

expanded shapeExpanded shape

An Experiment: Pathfinder vs. Compound Shape

Step 1. Create a rectangle 150 pixels wide by 100 pixels high. Make it a solid color and give it no stroke. Duplicate it and set the duplicate aside.

rectangleCreate a rectangle

Step 2. Make a circle 100 pixels by 100 pixels. Give it a different color fill than the rectangle and no stroke.

make a circleMake a circle

Step 3. Go to Object > Path > Offset Path and enter a value of -15. This creates a second object on top of the first inset by 15 points. Make sure both circles are selected. Duplicate it and set aside.

offset pathOffset path

Step 4. Position the circles on top of the rectangle like this, and do the same with the duplicates and set them aside. We’ll use them in a minute.

position the shapesPosition the shapes

Compound Path Method

Step 5. First we’ll use the compound path method of combining the shapes. Go to Object > Compound Path > Make. Notice that the entire path is the color of the rectangle, which is the background element in the design.

make compound pathMake compound path

Step 6. Sometimes compound paths need reversed. If yours looks like the one above, use the direct select tool (A) to select the inner circle only. You will have to click the direct select tool on the edge of the small circle path, not the center, to select it.

reverse the pathReverse the path

Step 7. Open the Attributes palette (Window > Attributes). In the center in the middle are the path direction buttons. Click the one that’s up to change direction of the path.

attributes paletteAtributes palette

Now it looks right!

path reversedPath reversed

Step 8. You can use the group selection tool (it’s on the direct select tool flyout in the toolbox) to select the parts of the path you want to edit. You can move, reshape or transform the objects within the path. However, if you change the color, the whole path changes color.

change c0lorChanging color changes the whole path

Pathfinder Method

I’ll show you a different approach that will let you change the color of individual components as well as edit the shapes: using the Pathfinder Palette.

Step 9. Go to the duplicate shapes you set aside. They should be lined up and ready to manipulate.

duplicate shapesSelect the duplicate shapes you set aside previously

Step 10. Select both shapes and in the Pathfinder palette, hold the option/alt key and click the Exclude Overlapping Shape Areas button. This expands the path at the same time as it creates it. (The Exclude Overlapping Shape Areas button is the one to the immediate left of the Expand button.) This time the path is the color of the front element, the circle. When you use the pathfinder command, the attributes of the top object are retained.

retains top colorUsing the Pathfinder palette retains the color of the top object

Step 11. Using the direct selection tool (A) and clicking the edge of the different parts of the shape you want to change you will be able to change the colors as well as edit the shapes using the transform tools! If you want to be able to edit the colors, use the Pathfinder technique.

change colorsChange the colors

You can use this method when using text, but you will need one additional step. Make a shape and some text, and position the text behind the shape, but make sure it shows around the edges of the text. Choose the selection tool (V) in the toolbox so you have a bounding box around the text, and go to Type > Create Outlines. If this command is grayed out, make sure the text has the bounding box showing. This will change the type into objects.

create outlinesGo to Type >Create Outlines

As you did before, select the both type and the shape and go to the Pathfinder palette. Hold the option/alt key as you click the Exclude Overlapping Shape Areas button. All of the objects take on the color of the object in the front.

Exclude Overlapping Shape AreasExclude Overlapping Shape Areas

Use the direct selection tool (A) to adjust the letters and change colors.

adjust colors and shapesAdjust colors and shapes

How-To’s Day is a regular Designorati feature in which we give you fresh tutorials across all of Designorati. How-To’s Day happens every other Tuesday.