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Drawing with the Rectangular Grid Tool

With the grid tool, you can create complex grids in one click-and-drag motion. You can use either the Rectangular Grid tool or the polar grid tool to create rectangular grids or concentric circles, respectively, of a specified size with a specified number of dividers.

Now you’ll add a grid to the stationery. Unlike the view grid, this grid can print.

  1. To make this next part of the lesson easier to visualize, choose View > Hide Grid.
  2. Select the Hand tool in the toolbox (hand.jpg), and move to a clear area of the artboard so that you have a clear area in which to work for the next step.
  3. Hold down the mouse button on the line Segment tool (segment.jpg) until a group of tools appears, and then drag to the tear-off triangle at the end and release the mouse button.

    First you’ll practice how to draw a grid manually with the grid tool.

  4. Select the Rectangular Grid tool (grid.jpg), and position the pointer in a blank area of the artboard.
  5. Begin dragging without releasing the mouse, and experiment changing the number of horizontal and vertical lines in the grid by pressing the arrow keys. Without releasing the mouse button, press the Up and Down Arrow keys as you drag to change the number of horizontal lines in the grid; press the Right and Left Arrow keys to change the vertical lines in the grid until you have a grid that is five by five. Do not release the mouse button as you try the next few steps.
  6. While still drawing the grid, press the C, X, F, and V keys to change the space between the cells. C adds spacing to the cells on the left, and X adds spacing to those on the right. F adds spacing to the top cells, and V adds spacing to the bottom ones.
  7. Because there is no shortcut to revert the space between the cells to the original setting, press the C or X keys as needed to equalize the horizontal spacing; and press the F or V keys as needed to equalize the vertical spacing until the grid is evenly spaced. The grid should have 25 (5 by 5) evenly spaced cells.

    Next you’ll adjust the grid to fit into the stationery using the Transform palette.

  8. With the grid still selected, in the Transform palette enter 1.5 in the W (width) text box and 1.5 in the H (height) text box. Press Enter or Return to apply the changes.

    You can also draw a grid precisely by selecting the grid tool, clicking in the artwork to display the Rectangular Grid tool Options dialog box, and then setting values.

  9. Select the Selection tool (select.jpg) in the toolbox. Position the pointer over the top right anchor point and move the grid to reposition it within the smaller stationery square at the same corner point. Notice that the pointer turns white when the points intersect.

    Now you’ll rotate the grid and squares to create the diamond shape.

  10. Using the Selection tool, drag to marquee-select the large and small squares and the grid. Be careful not to select any of the pencil.
  11. Select the Rotate tool (rotate.jpg) in the toolbox and position the pointer over the bottom right corner of the larger square. Shift-drag the corner to the left or right until a corner is at the top. (Smart Guides help to constrain the rotation to 45°.)
  12. With the grid and two squares still selected, hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) to get the Selection tool, and drag the top corner point of the larger square to move the squares down to just below the metal bands securing the eraser to the pencil.
  13. Choose View > Preview, and then choose Object > Arrange > Send to Back to move the squares and grid behind the pencil.
  14. Choose Select > Deselect to deselect the artwork, and then choose File > Save to save your work.
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