Illustrator users build skill through time-consuming and expensive classroom sessions, but they also have the chance to learn new skills for free using an Adobe Illustrator How To guide for self-paced learning on the fly.
Created by a professional How To illustrator, these guides offer detailed instructions and illustrations that guide users through the design process. Important skills that help both beginner and advanced Adobe Illustrator users might include converting text into editable outlines, creating beveled effects, designing seasonal layouts and more.
Illustrator How To guide quality varies a lot on the Web, depending on the purpose served. Some companies seek to funnel business into their premium education products, while others have a sincere desire to support the Illustrator community. The following tips help illustrators find and use the best Adobe Illustrator tutorials on the Web.
Check software version
Designers should know what version of Adobe Illustrator they have installed on their computer. Find this information by clicking on “Help” on the main menu and then on the “About Illustrator” option. This opens an informational window that displays the version number. Use the following chart to interpret this information for the Creative Suite versions of Illustrator.
- Version 11 = Illustrator CS
- Version 12 = Illustrator CS2
- Version 13 = Illustrator CS3
- Version 14 = Illustrator CS4
- Version 15 = Illustrator CS5
Software evolves over time, making some tutorials obsolete. Tools and capabilities have changed with the release of new Illustrator versions. This means that older How To procedures may refer to discontinued tools and not mention new tools that make the job of the illustrator easier.
For best results, designers should look for Illustrator How To guides that match their software version. Tutorials that use newer software versions may reference tools and features not available to designers with older software. Similarly, tutorials oriented toward older versions of Illustrator may reference obsolete tools
Avoid time wasters
Before committing to a How To guide, users should quickly review it to avoid investing their time in a scam. Some “free” guides leave out key information in an effort to prod users to purchase premium training or support products offered by the host. A free guide will show all the necessary steps for completing a design or a procedure or else it really isn’t free.
Read between the lines
Not every skill comes in a separate Adobe Illustrator How To guide. A thoroughly documented procedure often will contain helpful information for Illustrator users. For example, learning how to create a Jack O’ Lantern in Illustrator may not interest a user, but procedures that show how to use the Pathfinder window contained in such a tutorial could save the day.
Take the time to read every Illustrator How To with an open mind, ready to glean important information that applies to every design.
Learn important skills without Adobe Illustrator classroom training. Readers who carefully choose from available How To guides save money while adding new talents to their design repertoire.