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How to Set up Illustrator Preferences

How to Set up Preferences in Illustrator

Wow, did 2013 really already end? I guess it did! It’s been a whirlwind of a year over here – new house, new baby, etc. etc., but a great one at that. Funny thing is, I already know 2014 is going to be even more exciting (and in some ways, overwhelming!).

No, there’s not another baby coming. 

Yes, things are starting to move fast for me and this little blog. I’m participating in several upcoming blog series, and my first adult pattern is well underway. I’m hoping for a spring/summer release. Very exciting – and terrifying!! I am not looking forward to testing a dozen sizes with eight cup sizes each. Fun, fun, fun. (But it will be worth it!)

So for 2014, my motto is this: Make big plans and get shit done. 

In the meantime, I have the final mini-tutorial for you on Adobe Illustrator. I accidentally mixed up the order with last week’s and this week’s, but hopefully you don’t mind. So today, I’m showing you how to set up your preferences in Illustrator. It sounds simple (and it is), but know how to do this (and when/why) will save you a ton of frustration when you start digitizing your patterns!

  • Aafke

    Thanks again, I never knew I could change the grid in the needed measurements.
    If I ever need to work in inches, having a 1/8 inch grid would save me a lot of calculating.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Yes, I love being able to change the grid! Thanks for commenting.

  • Charity

    Wow, I didn’t realize your pattern would have so many options! That is impressive.
    And the video… so THAT is where I change the grid! I kept wondering why there wasn’t an option for it. =)

    • Lauren Dahl

      I’m glad I helped you!

  • Kimt2au

    Hi Lauren. Thanks so much for this great series of videos. You have inspired me to start digitising my patterns for grading. What I find is a problem though is that I cannot see the pop ups when you hover over an anchor point on a path or their handles. I have changed the colour of the guides (and therefore the text) so at least I can see there is something on the screen but even then I cannot read the text (I am using a laptop and wearing my glasses!). What I wondered is if it is possible to increase the size of the text that the pop ups are given in?

    One feature I have found useful since starting to digitise my first pattern last week (a 13 piece pattern of my daughters’ school uniform) is the ability to link in the various pattern pieces and to walk the seamlines and check that they create nice angles for the neckline and armholes; no more sticking extra paper onto the pattern because you don’t like the angle.

    Once again, Lauren, thanks so much for this great series. Although I have used Gerber CAD in the past I could never afford that sort of set up for home so learning how to use illustrator has been wonderful.

    • Lauren Dahl

      You have me stumped! I don’t think there’s a way to make that text bigger! So sorry! :)

  • Anne Weaver

    Thank you for sharing this series!! Now that the madness of the holiday rush is over, I need to go back and watch them all from the beginning. I’ve linked to your post over at Craft Gossip.
    (I didn’t know your preferences about photos of your children, so I just cropped your title image.)

    • Lauren Dahl

      Thank you so much, Anne! It’s okay to use pics of my kids, but thank you for being conscious of it. :)

  • Heidi Kettner

    Thank you for this video, Lauren. Since I’m Canadian and prefer using metric, I was wondering how to change the units in Illustrator. Thanks to you, now I know! That and a lot of other preferences I didn’t know you could change. Super useful!

    • Lauren Dahl

      I’m so glad to help!

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