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Home > Tips February 21st, 2013

Learn How to Use Illustrator CS6 for Free – The Top 10 Techniques

Watch the Free Illustrator CS6 How-to Tutorial: The Top 10 Techniques

Adobe Evangelist Terry White has a great new training session out showing you how to get started achieving immediate and productive results using new Illustrator CS6… This 42-minute class covers all the basics and walks through how to accomplish the top 10 techniques that beginners always want to know how to do. Earlier Terry did similar introductory primers for Photoshop, Lightroom, and InDesign – and now it’s Illustrator’s turn.

Here’s the overview:

Now let’s dig in and see how to get started, for brand new Illustrator users – assuming that you’ve had very little experience with the tool, or are even opening it for the first time. So if you’re an Illustrator pro, you probably know a lot of this – but if you’re just getting started with Illustrator then this is what you would want to know how to do, the first ten things.

And here’s what you’ll learn in this tutorial – there’s a lot!

Download Adobe Illustrator CS6 Now!

  • What Illustrator Can Do for You
  • How Illustrator Is Different from Photoshop
  • Creating Artwork Even if You Don’t Draw
  • How to Open/Create a New Document or Template
  • Choosing the Document Profile: What Type of Art?
  • What’s the Difference Between the Profiles?
  • How to Draw Vector Objects
  • Creating a Box Object
  • How to Set or Change Colors, or Go Back to B&W
  • What Are Stroke and Fill – What Do They Mean?
  • What’s the Difference Between Stroke vs. Fill?
  • How to Make an Object Transparent
  • What Are the Different Ways of Selecting?
  • How to Keep Objects Proportional in Size
  • Using the Selection vs. Direct Selection Tools
  • How to Rotate or Scale an Object
  • Using the Rectangle and Ellipse Tools
  • How to Move and Combine Shapes
  • Why You Should Consider Using a Tablet
  • How to Draw a Perfect Circle
  • What the Smart Guides Do and How They Help
  • How to Align Objects Exactly
  • What the Shift, Control, Option & Alt Keys Do
  • How to Duplicate Objects or Shapes
  • Using the New Shape Builder Tool
  • Merging and Cutting Out Shapes
  • Easily Filling Your Shapes
  • How to Draw Freeform Shapes
  • Using the Pen Tool and Line Tool
  • Different Options for Line Ends and Arrows
  • The Difference Between the Pen vs. Pencil Tools
  • What the Blob Brush Tool Can Do
  • Terry’s Most Used Tool: The Paintbrush
  • Changing Brushes with the Brushes Panel
  • Drawing with Custom Brushes You Create
  • Opening and Accessing Brush Libraries
  • Adding Decorative Banners and Seals
  • How to Place and Trace a JPEG Image
  • Using CS6′s New Automated Image Trace Feature
  • Creating Vector-Based Art from Pixel-Based Images
  • Modifying the Traced Image with the Expand Function
  • Accessing Saved Colors with Swatches
  • New in CS6: Using and Making Vector Patterns
  • What are Artboards in Illustrator?
  • How to Create a New Artboard
  • Using the Layers Panel and Manipulating Sub-Layers
  • How Illustrator’s Layers are Different from Photoshop’s
  • Moving Objects Between Layers
  • Options and Formats for Saving Your Work
  • Why Saving in EPS or PDF formats is Important
  • How to Export Your Document to Many Different Formats
  • Saving Down to Older Versions of Illustrator

If you don’t have the Illustrator CS6 application itself yet, then just download the free trial and you can start using it right away – either standalone, or as part of the Creative Cloud:


[ Wondering which is right for you?  Compare Creative Cloud vs. Adobe CS6 ]

OK, all set?  Here is the free 42-minute Illustrator CS6 introductory tutorial:

Want more?  Try these 100 additional minutes of free Illustrator CS6 video tutorials

[ What are the differences between Illustrator CS6 vs. CS5 vs. CS4? ]

Another helpful resource for understanding the product is the complete online documentation for Illustrator and all Adobe applications.

The video session above is also available as a free downloadable podcast for offline viewing (61MB, MPEG-4 video format).  Hope you get a lot out of it!

Do you have any questions about Adobe Illustrator?  Just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

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  1. Caroline

    Thanks, great tut – I’m just starting and I learned a lot !

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