Day 2: Getting Started in Illustrator

If you haven’t gotten your Illustrator, you can download the 30 days trial from Adobe’s download page. After installing, we will run Illustrator for the first time.

Create New Document

Go File>New Document to create your first document. Type in a Name for the document and click Advanced to select RGB for Color Mode as we will be working for the screen. Click Ok after that.

Illustrator Workspace

Below is the workspace and some common terms for calling it. If you are using the latest Adobe Illustrator CS3, you will notice to new design for Floating Palette. The rest looks about the same.

illustrator interface


This is the handy toolbox which we will use most often. By default, it comes in one single column as shown in the screenshot above. To switch it back to the old 2 columns toolbox, you can simply click the top left mini arrow to toggle it into 2 columns. Some of the tools like Rectangle have more tools hidden. To expand, just click and hold the icon to reveal all the similar tools under that group.

illustrator toolbox

Floating Palette

This is the floating palette which contains properties for our shapes. It is commonly used for changing colors and stroke width.

illustrator floating palette

Saving AI Files

Let’s select the type and click on the artboard and type some text. After that go to File>Save. Select Adobe Illustrator(*.AI) for file type and name it “First Drawing”. Click Ok after that. Leave the rest of the settings at default. You have successfully save your first file. To make any more changes you can simply open the Adobe Illustrator file. (greenroom)

illustrator rocks

Next Lesson: Drawing Basic Shapes
Back to Illustrator Training Course

34 thoughts on “Day 2: Getting Started in Illustrator”

  1. I’m from Brazil and work with advertising.
    Tks for this tutorial.
    Internet is rich with people like you
    who wants do share.
    I found the site on Delicious.
    Good job.

  2. I am trying to learn illustrator cs3 after using adobe photoshopX2 for years is there anything that can translate how to from photoshop to illustrator? I am lost with out my color palet and how it changes colors so easily. I am even having trouble getting my first page setup. How do you add new layers and rasters?

  3. Thank you very much for this tutorial. It really helped. I really wanted to learn Ai. Thank you once again.


  4. I am join the class 2day i think am a export in illustrator after 30 days thank you very much this sit totorial bilder

  5. May I kindly ask you how I can keep track of my objects similar to the old fireworks. I develop mostly for web, and I want the x and y positions of my objects, even adjusting them without having to move by them by mouse.

  6. hola soy omar de colombia gracias por el tutorial esta buenisimo.
    me gustaris saber si puedo encontrar la pagina en español, por que me toca ver la pagina en version traducida y ahi cosas que no entiendo, les agradeceria mucho mas su gran colaboracion.

  7. hi i submited a request a couple of days ago i thougth i was gonna get emails from u everyday on video or something does it work like this?? thanks

  8. Thanks so much for these great tutorials – I was originally planning to get a 600+ page book from barnes & noble, but your site makes illustrator so much more easier to learn.

  9. I just do what is in your tutorial and it was great, i Learned that easy. For the long-time I used photoshop but now maybe i will go for Illustrator, and gonna make some vectorize images.

  10. Day 2: Still going through the basics – which is essential (and fine by me) – although some of those things on the toolbox don’t make a lot of sense to me at the moment. Hopefully things will become much clearer as I progress through the course. A bit nervous but excited too because I hate not being able to grasp something – especially when it’s being spelled out.

  11. soy principiante y me gusta este programa voy a hecharle
    ganas quiero aprender para superarme pues ya soy adulto

  12. HI,

  13. For some reason, my control panel looks different and I’m not sure how to get it to look like this. Is it the version of Illustrator I’m using? Its CS3. I’m trying to learn to change the stroke and fill color in control panel and CS3’s version doesn’t have it. No big deal; just wondering if there was any way to get it on control panel.

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