Illustrator Stuff

I've been using Adobe Illustrator 7.0 quite a bit, and discovered that it has some shortcomings. There are techniques to get around most of them. Here is a set of tips that might solve problems you've encountered.


  1. Corner artifacts

    If an outlined line with sharp corners is divided, you end up with corner artifacts. Here's how to deal with them.

  2. Aligning irregular objects

    The grid is handy for aligning simple shapes, but for irregular shapes with multiple pieces, it's useless. Until now.

  3. Aligning rotated shapes

    It would be nice to have a polar grid, but no such luck. With a bit of ingenuity we can get the same effect.

  4. Centered stars

    It's a pain to align stars and polygons with an odd number of vertices. Here's how.


  1. Knotwork (Abobe Illustrator 7 or Illustrator CS)

    It's easy to do Celtic knotwork in Illustrator, once you know how.


I've made some artwork available for non-commercial purposes.

Illustrator CS Rant

I've made the jump from Illustrator 7 to Illustrator CS, and I'm disappointed. Some of the new tools are neat, but CS is a pig. Create a new project and save it immediately. The .ai file is almost 400K, and even the .eps is almost 200K. Talk about bloat! You can almost hear the squealing. [You can cut the file size of native Illustrator files by deleting unused swatches, brushes, graphic styles, and symbols before saving. For EPS, try Export.../Save as type Illustrator Legacy EPS, and choose as early a version as you can get away with. This can cut file sizes by more than 90%.]

I'm also really annoyed that somewhere between 7 and CS, Adobe removed the ability to use an object's center as a control point. I used that all the time in 7, and now I have to use a laborious workaround. I'm dumbfounded that Illustrator's alignment tools, which were mediocre to begin with, have actually been made worse.

Last updated 30 March 2006
All contents ©1999-2002 Mark L. Irons