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Creating Basic Shapes

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Decorating the Stationery Border

You’ll decorate the border of the piece of stationery with a circle, a spiral, and some star shapes, using different methods to create the shapes.

  1. Double-click 150% in the status bar in the bottom left corner of the window, type 200, and press Enter or Return to zoom in to a 200% view of the artwork.
  2. Select the Ellipse tool (ellipse1.jpg), and position the pointer in the left corner of the stationery border. Hold down Shift + Alt (Windows) or Shift + Option (Mac OS) and drag the tool to draw a small circle.

    Holding down Shift as you drag the Ellipse tool constrains the shape to a circle; holding down Alt/Option draws it from its center point.

  3. Now select the Spiral tool (spiral.jpg) next to the Rectangular Grid tool (grid.jpg), and position it in the bottom left side of the stationery about midway between the two corners. Drag the tool to draw a small spiral, release the mouse, and then use the arrow keys to adjust the spiral’s position.

    You can drag the Spiral tool to draw spirals, or click once to open the Spiral dialog box and specify the characteristics before drawing the spiral. Illustrator lets you specify the radius, number of segments, and percent of decay (amount that the spiral uncoils).

    Now you’ll draw some stars using different methods.

  4. Select the Star tool (star.jpg) and position the pointer in the bottom corner of the stationery. Drag the tool to draw the first star shape. By default, the star tool draws a five-pointed star.
  5. With the star tool still selected, click in the bottom right side of the stationery (midway between the two corners) to create a second star. By default, the Star dialog box displays the dimensions of the last star you drew. In the Star dialog box, type 4 in the Points text box, and click OK.
  6. To draw the last star, start dragging the star tool in the right corner of the stationery, but don’t release the mouse button. As you drag, press the Up Arrow key to increase the number of points on the star (we created an eight-sided star), and then, before releasing the mouse button, hold down the spacebar and move the star into position in the corner of the border.
  7. Ctrl+click (Windows) or Command+click (Mac OS) away from the artwork to deselect the star, and choose File > Save.
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