Adobe Illustrator and Wacom Pen Tablets: A Better Way to Unleash Creativity
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Featuring a host of creative tools, Adobe Illustrator has long been a program of choice for designers and illustrators alike. Advanced software capabilities enable users to produce elaborate designs and illustrations that capture their creativity with greater ease.
With a number of features, like path editing, point alignment and precise positioning Adobe Illustrator allows users to work more efficiently with custom workspaces by taking advantage of the easy-to-use interface, featuring space saving and custom viewing options.
Taking Adobe Illustrator to a New Level
For professionals, the Intuos Pro delivers improved performance and customization with better resolution, sensitivity and pen-tilt recognition. The workspace offers broad strokes and fluid arm movements, while the multi-touch surface lets you zoom, scroll and position work using intuitive gestures, allowing for more realistic strokes.
The Intuos Pro offers customizable ExpressKeys™ that can be assigned to application-specific settings as well as a Radial Menu that works with Adobe Illustrator, putting your favorite shortcuts and menu options at your fingertips.
Getting the Most Out of Adobe Illustrator with Intuos Pro
How to Set Up Your Pen for Illustrator
Select the “tool” you want to set up. In this case, the Grip Pen. In the application row, add Illustrator as an application that you would like to customize. To do so, make sure Illustrator is open and running in the background, then click the “plus” sign to the right of the application row, select Illustrator and click “OK.” With Illustrator added to the application row, you are now ready to customize your Grip Pen.
Many designers and illustrators use the “hand tool” more than any other, so we’ll set up the side switch on the pen to perform this function. With the Grip Pen and Adobe Illustrator selected in their respective row within the Wacom Tablet Properties, a diagram of the pen appears.
Next to the pen, select the dropdown menu for the lower end of the side switch, closest to the pen tip, and change the function to “keystroke.” Now tap the space bar as though you were working in Illustrator. You will notice the word “Space” in the Keys field. Click “OK.” At this point, you can name the function something descriptive, such as “Hand Tool”. Repeat the steps to set up the back portion of the side switch in the same way.
How to Set Up ExpressKeys for Illustrator
To customize ExpressKeys for use with Illustrator, start by selecting Functions in the tool row of the Wacom Tablet Properties. (ExpressKeys are found within Functions.) Next, repeat the steps for adding Illustrator as an application that you wish to customize, as noted above for the Grip Pen. Once Illustrator is added to the application row, you are now ready to customize your ExpressKeys.
With the Functions selected in the tool row, ensure that the ExpressKeys tab is selected and a diagram of the ExpressKeys on your tablet are visible. Make sure that you have the Adobe Illustrator icon selected in the application row. Now you are ready to customize your ExpressKeys.
Similar to setting up the side switch of the Grip Pen, click on the dropdown menu next to any ExpressKey and select a preferred function, such as keystroke. Similar to the Grip Pen example, you can assign any keystroke—or series of keystrokes—that you prefer to an ExpressKey. Alternatively, you can assign specialty functions such as modifiers or Radial Menu, which is discussed in the next section. Set up your ExpressKeys around your specific workflow, assigning them to your most commonly used keyboard shortcuts and functions.
How to Set Up the Radial Menu for Illustrator
A default Radial Menu offers some general functions, however you can maximize its potential by assigning functions that are part of your everyday workflow. To do so, tap on any “slice” and select a function from the Function dropdown menu. This step should look familiar as it is nearly identical to those used in setting up the side switch on the Grip Pen and ExpressKeys on the tablet.
Select a keystroke or specialty function for each of the slices. To see your Radial Menu in action when you are finished, return to Illustrator and press the ExpressKey or side switch button that you assigned to Radial Menu. In place of your cursor on the screen appears your custom Radial Menu. To perform the functions that you assigned to the Radial Menu, simply tap the appropriate slice. From there, your function is applied and the Radial Menu disappears.
Intuos Pro is the tablet of choice for professional designers and Illustrators around the world. When it comes to creating stand-out, award-winning designs and illustrations, artists depend on a device that can work seamlessly with leading design programs like Adobe Illustrator. The Intuos Pro pen tablet and Adobe Illustrator provides an all-in-one solution that equips today’s artists with the performance, control and creative tools that they demand.
For more additional tips and techniques for getting more out of your Intuos Pro tablet and Adobe Illustrator, watch Laura Coyle’s Tablet Techniques for Adobe Illustrator.
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