How to Start Making Your Own Bullet Journal Templates

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The Bullet Journal system is all about keeping a handwritten journal, but that’s not to say that you can’t use digital tools to simplify the process of creating your Bullet Journal layouts. With advanced design apps like Illustrator or basic tools like Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple’s Keynote, you can breeze through creating your templates, and focus on getting things done. Here’s what you’ll need to create your own Bullet Journal templates. 1. Digital Dotted Paper Dotted grid journals are among the most popular choices for Bullet Journal enthusiasts. If you want to design your templates with that grid in mind,…

Read the full article: How to Start Making Your Own Bullet Journal Templates

create-bullet-journal-templates

The Bullet Journal system is all about keeping a handwritten journal, but that’s not to say that you can’t use digital tools to simplify the process of creating your Bullet Journal layouts.

With advanced design apps like Illustrator or basic tools like Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple’s Keynote, you can breeze through creating your templates, and focus on getting things done. Here’s what you’ll need to create your own Bullet Journal templates.

1. Digital Dotted Paper

Dotted grid journals are among the most popular choices for Bullet Journal enthusiasts. If you want to design your templates with that grid in mind, or plan on printing out your templates, you can generate digital dotted paper with Incompetech.

Create-Dotted-Grid-Bullet-Journal

If you’re a Bullet Journal purist and want to stick to the popular A5 Leuchtturm journal, you’ll need 39 dots down and 27 dots across. To generate one side of an A5 journal with Incompetech, you can use the following specs:

  • Page size: 5.8 x 8.3
  • Minimum border: 0.25 inches
  • Dot weight: 1 point
  • Grid spacing: 5 dots per inch

You’ll end up with one extra row, but it’s close enough—and you can always remove the extra row in Illustrator.

The final file is saved as a PDF, which you can then use in your vector app as the basis for your templates.

If you’re planning on printing these out and placing them in a binder, you can use the same specs as above with an A4 or letter page, to get the same size boxes.

2. Design App

Now you’re finally ready to design your layouts, with several options to choose from based on your design skills.

We’d recommend first printing out your dotted grid and sketching out your basic layout by hand to figure out where everything’s going to go.

It doesn’t have to be pretty, but this is a good way to get a basic sense of what you want your template to look like.

Adobe Illustrator

An easy way to create your own Bullet Journal templates is to use a vector app like Adobe Illustrator. If you’re already an Adobe Creative Cloud member, the choice is a no-brainer.

Illustrator makes it easy to create tables which you can use to create your monthly and weekly layouts. To get started, open up the PDF you generated from Incompetech in Illustrator.

  • (Optional) Select all the dots using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + A and group them using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + G.
  • Open the layers panel by going to Window > Layers.
  • Check the box as shown below in the screenshot to lock the layer. If done correctly, you should see a lock icon appear. This will prevent you from inadvertently moving the dots.Lock-Illustrator-Layer

Now you can begin to design your layouts. You can create a monthly grid, for example, in a few easy steps (just remember to select Landscape orientation when you create your new document):

  • After you select the layers panel, click the New Layer icon. Illustrator-New-Layer
  • Go to View > Snap to Point and make sure it’s toggled on, so your shapes snap to the dotted grid.
  • Draw a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (Keyboard shortcut M).
  • With the rectangle selected, go to Object > Path > Split into grid.
  • In the dialog box that opens, choose the number of rows and columns you want. (If you’re creating a monthly calendar with the days of the week listed at the top, select seven columns and seven rows.) Illustrator-Grid-Monthly-Calendar

The grid is actually composed of individual boxes, so you can select the entire top row using the Select tool (Keyboard shortcut V). Click and drag your mouse across the top row of boxes and then use the anchor point in the center to narrow the size of your rectangles for the days of the week.

bullet-journal-calendar-illustrator

Use the text tool to add the days of the week and the number dates for the month, and the fill tool to change the color of significant dates. (You can select a color scheme for your Bullet Journal using Adobe Color.)

You can also get creative with the use of shapes in Illustrator, switching things up with other shapes like polygons and circles, and even create your own shapes using the pen or pathfinder tools.

Using a vector app means you can work quickly, easily duplicating layouts for each month, and duplicating repetitive shapes within a layout. And if you don’t want to pay for a vector app, there are plenty of decent free alternatives to Adobe Illustrator.

If you have an iPad Pro or 6th Gen iPad that supports the Apple Pencil, there are plenty of ways you can hand draw your templates, but with the added benefit of apps that make it easy to draw straight lines.

Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote

If you find Adobe Illustrator overwhelming or don’t want to pay for access to the program. there are plenty of apps you probably already have on your computer like Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote.

Each program has basic shapes, lines, and the ability to create tables. And you can save your templates as PDF files.

  • In PowerPoint, click the Insert tab and you’ll find the option to add tables, shapes, icons, pictures, and more. shapes-powerpoint-bullet-journal
  • In Keynote, click Insert in the menu to add tables, shapes, lines, and images. shapes-keynote-bullet-journal

In both programs, you can also find formatting options for your shapes. You can change the fill color and transparency, the stroke color and type, and you can also add design elements like drop shadows.

Format Shape in PowerPoint

Both apps also make it easy to align shapes and text, with elements of your design snapping into place.

Bullet-Journal-PowerPoint-Layout

3. Stickers and Fonts

Bullet Journals are all about being productive and keeping track of your to-do list. But there’s no harm in making it pretty as well.

When you maintain a digital bullet journal it not only saves you time but also gives you the option to easily use icons and digital stickers. You can use them to make your templates look pretty regardless of your creative skills.

You can find digital PNG files on graphic design marketplaces like Creative Market (keep an eye out for their weekly freebies) or the completely free Pixabay.

bullet-journal-stickers

You can also find icon files on sites like The Noun Project and interesting fonts on sites like FontSquirrel.

Make sure that anything you download is in the PNG format. You can then place them on your template without obscuring the dotted grid, or anything else on your layout.

Using Your Bullet Journal Templates

When it comes to using your templates, you can print them out and put them in a binder.

If you’d rather keep the entire process digital, you have two main options. You can import them into a mobile note-taking app and write directly on your template with a stylus. Have an iPad Pro or 6th generation iPad that supports the Apple Pencil? GoodNotes 4 is a popular paid app that plenty of Bullet Journal enthusiasts use. Another popular choice for creating templates and doodles is the iPad app Procreate.

Or you can make an editable PDF. Once you’ve saved your PDF, go to PDFEscape:

  • After you’ve uploaded your PDF, click Form Field and select Text or Text Paragraph.
  • Click and drag to insert fields wherever you want to be able to type in text.
  • Click the green download button.

PDFEscape-Editable-PDF-Fields

You can then open your PDF in your browser or PDF editor of your choice and type in your info.

And don’t forget: as you begin designing your own templates, you can always turn to Instagram or Pinterest for more Bullet Journal inspiration.

Read the full article: How to Start Making Your Own Bullet Journal Templates

How to Create a Table in Adobe Illustrator

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Adobe Illustrator is a popular design choice when creating infographics. If you need to incorporate a table into your designs, there’s a handy setting that makes creating tables pretty simple. To create a table in Adobe Illustrator, open a new document and do the following: Click on the Rectangle tool or use the keyboard shortcut M. If you know the exact dimensions for your table, click anywhere in the canvas and enter the width and height of your rectangle. You can also just freehand draw the rectangle if you prefer.  With your rectangle selected, you can change the fill and…

Read the full article: How to Create a Table in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a popular design choice when creating infographics. If you need to incorporate a table into your designs, there’s a handy setting that makes creating tables pretty simple.

To create a table in Adobe Illustrator, open a new document and do the following:

  1. Click on the Rectangle tool or use the keyboard shortcut M.
  2. If you know the exact dimensions for your table, click anywhere in the canvas and enter the width and height of your rectangle. You can also just freehand draw the rectangle if you prefer. Illustrator-Create-Rectangle
  3. With your rectangle selected, you can change the fill and stroke color with the top Illustrator menu. Illustrator-Stroke-Fill-Rectangle
  4. Once you’ve made those selections, with the rectangle still selected, go to Object > Path > Split into Grid
  5. In the dialog box that opens, you can choose the following: the number of rows and row height; the number of columns and column width; the gutter between your rows and columns; and the total size of your table. If you want to see how your table will look before committing to your settings, make sure that Preview is checked. Create-Table-Illustrator
  6. Once you’ve made your selections, click OK.

The resulting table will actually be a series of separate squares or rectangles depending on your dimensions. If you want to move or resize your table, be sure to select all the shapes using Ctrl/Cmd + A and grouping them together using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + G.

You can make changes to your table after the fact. Just select the entire table and go through the same steps above to change the number of rows and columns, or to change the fill and stroke of your cells.

You can also manually change the dimensions of the table by selecting all the sells and dragging the anchor points to make the entire table (or specific rows/columns) narrower or wider.

If you’re looking for another quick and easy method, create a table in Microsoft Word instead.

Read the full article: How to Create a Table in Adobe Illustrator

How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop

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Adding hyperlinks in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator isn’t as simple as selecting text or right clicking an image and finding the option easily available. That doesn’t mean there aren’t work arounds available in both programs to add links to text, images, and objects. How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Photoshop The easiest option for adding links to Photoshop is to use the Slice feature. The catch here is that you will have to save and share your document as an HTML file. After you’ve inserted the image or text you want to add a hyperlink to, in Photoshop select the…

Read the full article: How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop

Adding hyperlinks in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator isn’t as simple as selecting text or right clicking an image and finding the option easily available. That doesn’t mean there aren’t work arounds available in both programs to add links to text, images, and objects.

How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Photoshop

The easiest option for adding links to Photoshop is to use the Slice feature. The catch here is that you will have to save and share your document as an HTML file.

  1. After you’ve inserted the image or text you want to add a hyperlink to, in Photoshop select the Slice tool, which you’ll find by clicking the Crop tool in the tools menu and holding down until you see the list with the knife icon (keyboard shortcut C.) 
  2. Right-click your newly inserted slice and click Edit slice options
  3. In the dialog box that opens, insert your link in the URL field and click ok. If you want the link to open in a new window, select “_blank” from the dropdown menu for Target. Click OK
  4. Once you’re ready to save your file, click File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy)
  5. In the dialog box that opens, the only thing you need to select is the Preset. You can select any of the JPG or PNG options and click Save
  6. In the dialog box that opens, type in your file name and click the File Format dropdown and select HTML and Images. Click Save

How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Illustrator

It’s a little simpler to add a link to an image in Illustrator, but there’s also a catch: you’ll have to save the file as a PDF.

  1. Select the Text tool (keyboard shortcut T) and insert your link on top of the image or object you want to add the link to. Make sure when you insert the link to insert http://.
  2. You’re going to need to find a way to hide the text of the link. You can place it behind the object by right-clicking and selecting Arrange > Send to Back. You can also change the color to the same color as your background or the object you’re linking if it’s a solid color.  
  3. Click File > Save as.
  4. In the dialog box that opens up, enter your file name and for the format select PDF

This method doesn’t work with text boxes. If you want to add a link to text, you can follow the steps above, but you’ll have to convert your text to outlines first. To do this, right-click the text box and select Create Outlines. But be warned, once you’ve done this, you can’t edit the text.

If you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud member, you can instead use Adobe Acrobat insert links to your text in a PDF file.

Read the full article: How to Add Hyperlinks in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop

12 Places to Find Free Adobe Illustrator Templates

illustrator-templates

Adobe Illustrator is the best program for any kind of graphic design work, whether you’re designing a tiny icon or a huge poster. But creating these things from scratch takes both time and talent. This is where templates come in. Illustrator templates take the hard work out of your design projects. Just download one, edit it as much or as little as you need, and you’re done. You’ve got a professional looking product in a fraction of the time! So how do you get started? In this article we’ll take a look at the best places to download free Adobe…

Read the full article: 12 Places to Find Free Adobe Illustrator Templates

illustrator-templates

Adobe Illustrator is the best program for any kind of graphic design work, whether you’re designing a tiny icon or a huge poster. But creating these things from scratch takes both time and talent.

This is where templates come in. Illustrator templates take the hard work out of your design projects. Just download one, edit it as much or as little as you need, and you’re done. You’ve got a professional looking product in a fraction of the time!

So how do you get started? In this article we’ll take a look at the best places to download free Adobe Illustrator templates.

1. Vecteezy

vecteezy Illustrator Templates

Vecteezy is the best place to start whenever you need an Adobe Illustrator template. It houses over 300 pages of free downloads, available under a Standard license that requires attribution, or the Creative Commons license that doesn’t. There are countless more premium choices if you still can’t find the right one.

That’s unlikely, though. Vecteezy’s templates cover everything from banners to business cards, and T-shirts to flyers. You can even get your own customizable “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster.

Vecteezy also offers a built-in online vector graphics editor, so you can tweak your chosen files directly in your browser.

2. Template.net

template net Illustrator Templates

The free templates at Template.net are mostly focused on posters and flyers. If you’ve got an event you’re looking to advertise, or if you need to produce some literature for your business, this is where to look.

It’s worth browsing the site further, though, to uncover some of the other categories that are covered, including business cards, book covers, and brochures. They’re all themed, so you should be able to find the right one whether it’s for your coffee shop opening or for a bridal shower.

Some come in multiple versions, so you can work with the templates in Photoshop, InDesign, or even Word.

3. BrandPacks

brandpacks Illustrator Templates

Alongside the usual selection of posters and the rest, BrandPacks has a number of templates that are different to what you’ll find elsewhere.

Instagram templates, for example, that influencers and fashion brands can use to advertise new ranges. Or gift vouchers. Or calendars, wedding stationery, and even beer coasters. For anything different—especially if it’s business focused—BrandPacks is a safe bet.

4. FreePik

freepik Illustrator Templates

FreePik is huge. It has more than a quarter of a million free Adobe Illustrator templates to download. Of these, approaching a half are part of the FreePik Selection range of exclusive designs that you won’t find on any other template site.

So what can you find here? The simple answer is pretty much anything. There is the usual, like posters, flyers, and banners. But there’s also certificates, wedding invitations, and marketing materials. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.

5. DryIcons

dryicons Illustrator Templates

As its name suggests, DryIcons is a site for downloading free icons in every theme and style. But that isn’t all. It also offers a wide range of high quality vector templates, and is particularly good for flyers, posters, and infographics.

Designed by the DryIcons team itself, you can use the templates in commercial projects with the correct attribution.

6. Free-Logo-Design.net

free-logo-design Illustrator Templates

Creating logos is one of the main uses of Illustrator. But mastering the principles of logo design can take some time. You can get a head start with a template. Free-Logo-Design.net has hundreds of free logo templates to choose from, all available in the AI format.

The templates cover every category you can think of, from entertainment to real estate. Some of the older designs are quite detailed, but you can flatten and simplify them easily enough to meet modern tastes.

7. SitBack

sitback Illustrator Templates

SitBack only offers a single product, but it’s an interesting one. It’s an Illustrator template for AdWords ads. You get a single file containing blank grids for all supported ad sizes, and it’s updated with new ones as and when they’re added. Just paste in your text and images, and you’re good to go.

8. BluGraphic

Blugraphic Illustrator Templates

BluGraphic is a curated collection of design resources, including some excellent Illustrator templates. The goodies you’ll find here include resumes, brochures, infographics, and even restaurant menus. While the choice is smaller than you’ll find on other sites, the quality is very high.

You need to sign up for free to download some of the content, while the rest can be found through third party sites.

Of course, Illustrator isn’t the best choice for page layout, like you need for a resume or menu. Adobe InDesign is a much better option. If you’ve got access to that program, check out our guide to the best free InDesign templates to get started.

9. All-Free-Download.com

all-free-download Illustrator Templates

All-Free-Download.com is quite overwhelming with its choice and layout, and the quality varies, too. Yet there’s a lot of good stuff in there if you can find it. The site’s especially strong on cards of all kinds—business cards, invitation cards, and greeting cards.

You don’t need to sign up to download anything. Just make sure you check the license before you use the template, as it varies from item to item.

10. StockLayouts

stocklayouts Illustrator Templates

The free templates at StockLayouts mostly serve as a taster for their premium products. But they are still good, with simple and understated designs.

You can grab a menu, gift certificate, letterhead and business card, newsletter, and more. They’re designed for Illustrator, but many will also have files that you can use programs including Microsoft Word.

They’re also easy to edit to your taste. Each download comes with instructions, including the perfect font that will match the design. They’re also correctly sized and ready to print.

11. AmberDesign

amberdesign Illustrator Templates

If you’re self-employed or do any kind of freelance work, you’ll need to spend time each month sending out invoices to your clients. There are many ways to do this. You can just knock something together in Word, or you can download an invoicing app.

Alternatively, head over to AmberDesign to grab yourself a free invoice template for Illustrator. There are four designs, and they’re all classy and professional looking. They need little editing—just drop in your logo, add your details, then export your Illustrator file as a PDF. Simple!

12. VectorTemplates

vectortemplates Illustrator Templates

As a website, VectorTemplates.com isn’t much to look at, but it’s crammed with quality and unusual Illustrator templates. There are T-shirts and website mock-ups, and plenty of fun stuff, too. If you’ve ever wanted editable Illustrator versions of the Superman and Batman logos, you’ll find them here.

Or Start Making Your Own Templates

Of course, even editing templates in Adobe Illustrator requires a little bit of design nous. But it’s not all bad news even if you have no skills at all.

The browser-based design app Canva takes the idea of Illustrator templates and makes them accessible to everyone, regardless of their knowledge or experience. Check out our article detailing things you can create with Canva with zero effort to see just how powerful it is.

Read the full article: 12 Places to Find Free Adobe Illustrator Templates

The 8 Best Free Browser-Based Adobe Illustrator Alternatives

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Adobe Illustrator is the default choice for anyone who needs high quality graphic design software. But Adobe’s subscription model is pretty expensive, and Illustrator only works on Windows and Mac. If you’re a hobbyist on a budget, or use Linux or a Chromebook, what are your options? Fortunately, there are plenty of free, browser-based Adobe Illustrator alternatives you can try. Not only do you not have to pay for them, but they’ll run on any device running any operating system. 1. Gravit Designer Gravit Designer is a fast, powerful, and great-looking free vector design tool. As well as working in…

Read the full article: The 8 Best Free Browser-Based Adobe Illustrator Alternatives

Adobe Illustrator is the default choice for anyone who needs high quality graphic design software. But Adobe’s subscription model is pretty expensive, and Illustrator only works on Windows and Mac.

If you’re a hobbyist on a budget, or use Linux or a Chromebook, what are your options?

Fortunately, there are plenty of free, browser-based Adobe Illustrator alternatives you can try. Not only do you not have to pay for them, but they’ll run on any device running any operating system.

1. Gravit Designer

gravit designer

Gravit Designer is a fast, powerful, and great-looking free vector design tool. As well as working in all major browsers you can download a desktop version for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. In all cases you get full cloud sync integration.

The program has all the basics you’d expect from Illustrator, including a version of the Pen tool (called Paths) and a freehand drawing tool that smooths your lines as you go.

It’s easy to create custom shapes thanks to Gravit’s take on the Pathfinder tool. There’s also a wide variety of keyboard shortcuts, including many that are the same as in Adobe’s software.

In addition to all this you get huge libraries of pre-designed shapes, illustrations, icons, lines, and more to use in your designs. For pro users Gravit Designer also supports CMYK.

2. Vectr

vectr

With support for all major browsers as well as a downloadable version for Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS, Vectr is a simple tool for creating quick vector designs.

It isn’t as feature-rich as Gravit, but that means there’s a shorter learning curve. And it has strengths for particular types of usage.

Vectr is especially good for creating social media cover pages. There are preset document sizes, and its easy to import photos and add your own text on top.

There’s seamless cloud integration. Every image has its own unique URL that you can share with anyone. Or you can export your finished work in the SVG, PNG, and JPEG formats.

3. Boxy SVG

boxy svg

Boxy SVG is an SVG editor that works in Chromium-based browsers like Chrome or Opera. It also has a desktop version for Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS.

Boxy works natively with SVG files, so you never need to export your images when you’re ready to use them, and can easily open them in other image-editing apps. It also means you can output HTML code for your images, which you can paste straight into a web page. If you prefer, you can create normal image files in the JPEG, PNG, WebP, and GIF formats.

So what features do you get? All the basics are here. There are lots of shape drawing tools, plus a pen and various curve tools. You also get plenty of type options, including integration with Google Fonts. Support for clipping masks gives you the power to create more complex works.

We found Boxy’s interface to be a little tricky to master at first, but it’s a fast and very capable Illustrator alternative, so worth persevering with.

4. Canva

canva

Canva is a very popular and easy to use browser based design tool. It offers more than 50,000 templates for every type of user and purpose. You can use it to create logos, ebook covers, posters, ads, and a whole lot more.

You don’t get much control. There aren’t any drawing tools so it’s not possible to create something from scratch. Instead, you just pick the template and customize it to taste.

And that’s really the point. Canva is about simplification. You can create some beautiful, complex, and very professional-looking designs without any design skills.

Check out our guide to things you can create with Canva.

5. Figma

figma

Aimed at professional or serious users who may already know how to use Illustrator, Figma has a growing reputation. It comes with its own Adobe-style subscription plan, but has a free offering that lets you create three projects and work in a team with two members.

Figma is primarily built for interface design, and fully supports files made in Sketch, another popular pro design tool. It also has mobile apps for iOS and Android that you can use to preview your designs on the fly.

The learning curve is steep, but there’s little you can’t do with Figma. There’s both support for Google Fonts and your own imported, offline fonts. It’s easy to create shapes and to design custom shapes through a pathfinder-like tool, and there’s full mask support. You can also save them as Components to reuse in your other projects.

When you’re finished you can export your work as PNG, JPEG, or SVG files, or just copy out your styles as CSS code.

6. Inkscape

inkscape

Inkscape has long been established as one of the best free Illustrator alternatives. While it’s always been a desktop program you can use it in-browser through the RollApp service.

The effect is a little strange since you get the full desktop UI crammed into a browser window. However, once you switch the browser to full screen mode it works much better.

Inkscape is a powerful piece of software. There’s a learning curve, both in terms of mastering its tools and in that it uses a whole different set of keyboard shortcuts.

It’s also a tad slow. Using Inkscape with RollApp is ideal when you need to edit on the go, but in most cases you’d be better installing the desktop software.

7. Janvas

janvas

Janvas has a solid set of features, including support for masks, and plenty of pen tool and text options.

It suits the beginner thanks to a library of templates covering everything from icons and UI elements, to letter and photo book templates. An extra series of pre-made gradients, patterns and textures, and filters help to make common design features accessible with a single click. You can save your work in the SVG, JPEG, or PNG formats.

Janvas has its quirks. It’s got a panel-heavy interface that takes some time to master. It’s configurable, but you’ll need to experiment to find a layout that suits your workflow. The biggest downside is that it doesn’t support keyboard shortcuts at all.

All of which means Janvas is a solid choice for smaller, quicker projects, if not for more complex pieces of work.

8. Vecteezy Editor

vecteezy editor

If you have got an existing SVG file that you want to tweak, Vecteezy is a good choice. It’s best for editing files or making very simple icons and logos, rather than creating larger pieces of work from scratch.

This is due to the simplicity of the app. You get pen and type tools and not much else. Instead, there are heaps of pre-designed shapes and pre-drawn illustrations that you can import into your work. Templates are promised for the future, too.

Saving files is trivial: just choose to export as either an SVG or PNG and your final image downloads instantly.

Adobe Illustrator Isn’t the Only Option!

None of the these browser-based apps can match the full feature set that Adobe Illustrator has to offer.

But they’re more than good enough to create things like posters, illustrations, logos and the like. You can even use them to learn the principles of graphic design, since all the tools—the various drawing, text, color, and shape tools—all work in the same way.

And you needn’t stop there. Once you’ve mastered your chosen vector design app, it’s time to check out some of the best free alternatives to Photoshop, Lightroom, and other Adobe products.

Read the full article: The 8 Best Free Browser-Based Adobe Illustrator Alternatives

How to Save Adobe Illustrator Files in Other Formats: JPEG, PNG, SVG, Etc.

save-ai-files-other-format

By default, Adobe Illustrator saves files in the AI format. This is ideal for when you’re working on projects, or for saving a master copy of your work. But when the times comes to print or share the finished product, post it online, or import it into other programs, you will need to save it into a different format. Adobe Illustrator gives you lots of options for this. The right one to choose depends on how you want to use your resulting image. Let’s take a look at the best formats to use and how to use them. Saving Artboards…

Read the full article: How to Save Adobe Illustrator Files in Other Formats: JPEG, PNG, SVG, Etc.

save-ai-files-other-format

By default, Adobe Illustrator saves files in the AI format. This is ideal for when you’re working on projects, or for saving a master copy of your work.

But when the times comes to print or share the finished product, post it online, or import it into other programs, you will need to save it into a different format.

Adobe Illustrator gives you lots of options for this. The right one to choose depends on how you want to use your resulting image. Let’s take a look at the best formats to use and how to use them.

Saving Artboards in Adobe Illustrator

Before we look at how to save files in specific formats, it’s important to know how Illustrator handles artboards, and how to save artboards as separate files.

Artboards are like different pages within an Illustrator file. They can be combined into a single image, but you can also save them out separately.

Most of the ways to save Illustrator files let you choose how you want to handle artboards, and this affects what your final, exported image will look like. In most cases, you choose what to do through an option in the Export screen.

save artboards illustrator

Here’s what you should do:

  • If you want to save multiple artboards as separate files, check the Use Artboards box. Then select either All to save all the artboards, or enter a Range (such as 2-4) to specify which artboards to save.
  • When you have objects placed outside of an artboard (like if it’s overlapping the edge), check the Use Artboards box. This will ensure that your final image only contains what’s inside the artboard, and that the rest is cropped out.
  • If all your artwork is within the artboard, and you only have one of them, clear the Use Artboards box. This will produce an image that is cropped to the bounds of the objects within in, with all white space removed. This is especially handy for outputting square or rectangular shaped objects.

artboards illustrator

Saving High Resolution JPEGs in Adobe Illustrator

For an illustration, infographic, or anything that needs to be printed like a business card, the best option is to output it as a high resolution JPEG.

Ideally, you should design your artwork at roughly the size at which you want to output it. Although Illustrator images can be resized without any loss of quality, you’ll find that the sizing between objects—and especially the kerning in text—needs to be tighter at larger sizes than smaller sizes.

save as jpeg

If you haven’t previously worked in this way, create a new document, paste in your artwork and tweak it to taste. You’re now ready to save your high res JPEG.

  1. Go to File > Export > Export As. Type in a file name and set Format to JPEG.
  2. Set how you want to save your artboards, then hit Export to continue.
  3. In the JPEG Options screen change the Color Model if you need to, and choose a quality.
  4. Under Options, set the output resolution. Screen (72dpi) will produce a file the same size as your original document and should be okay for web use. Choose High (300dpi) for a high res image. This will be good enough for printing.
  5. Click OK to save the file.

Saving Adobe Illustrator Files as PNG

When you need to save an image like a logo or icon for use on the web, especially if it has a transparent background, then you might want to save it as a PNG file.

save as png

In order to support standard and high resolution displays you should export your file at different sizes. You can do this automatically.

  1. Go to File > Export > Export for Screens.
  2. Select the Artboards tab. If there’s more than one artboard in your image, choose the ones you want to output.
  3. Under Formats, set Format to PNG and Scale to 1x.
  4. Click Add Scale. This will create the settings for a second image, so set the Scale option to a new relative size. 3x, for example, will output an image three times taller and wider than the original.
  5. Add more sizes if you need them.
  6. Click Export Artboard to save your images.

Saving Adobe Illustrator Files as SVG

A better, more modern way to export graphics like icons and logos for the web is by using the SVG format. Short for Scalable Vector Graphics, SVG is actually an XML-based markup language.

While you can output files that you can link to in your web page, you can also save the image as a piece of code that you can paste directly into your HTML file. You can then edit this using CSS. It’s a very efficient way of adding effects and animations to your images.

There are other benefits: the images are lightweight, and because they’re vectors you can resize them easily. There’s no need to output multiple sized images for different screen resolutions.

save as svg

There are a couple of ways to create an SVG. Using Save As creates a larger file for working on. To create a final image you can use in your projects use the Export option.

  1. Go to File > Export > Export As.
  2. Set the Format to SVG and click Export.
  3. Set Styling to Internal CSS. This places all the styling information in a <style> block that can be easily changed with CSS.
  4. For Font choose SVG to keep the text selectable. Only choose Outlines if you’re using an obscure, custom font. Leave Images on Preserve.
  5. Make sure Minify and Responsive are both checked for maximum performance and compatibility.
  6. Now click Show Code to open the code in a text editor. You can copy and paste this into your HTML file. Or click OK to output the image as an SVG file.

Saving Artboards as PDFs in Adobe Illustrator

The simplest way to save an Illustrator file as a PDF is through the Save As option. However, if you are using more than one artboard this will combine them all into a multi-page PDF.

artboards as pdf

There’s a simple trick to save artboards as separate PDF files:

  1. Go to Export > Save for Screens.
  2. In the dialog box that opens, click the Artboards tab and select those that you want to save.
  3. In the right hand column set Format to PDF, then hit Export Artboards. It may take a few seconds to output large or complex files.
  4. When done your files will, by default, saved in their own separate sub-folder.

Saving Objects From an Adobe Illustrator Image

Sometimes you might need to save or export only selected objects from a larger piece of art. For instance, if you have designed a logo you may want to save the text or the symbol in its own individual file.

export assets

You can do this by turning the objects into Assets.

  1. Go to Window > Asset Export.
  2. Choose the Selection Tool from the Toolbar, or hit V on your keyboard. Now drag the objects you want to save onto the Asset Export panel.
  3. Now select the Asset. Hold Ctrl or Cmd to select more than one.
  4. Under Export Settings choose a Format. You can select PNG, Jpeg, SVG, or PDF.
  5. If you’re saving as a PNG or Jpeg you can export at multiple sizes. Set Scale to 1x, then click Add Scale and the set Scale to, for example, 2x. You can also use this option to export the asset in different formats.
  6. Click Export and choose a location to save your new files.

How to Use Adobe Illustrator Files in Other Apps

There are other options, too, that allow you to use your Illustrator file in other programs. Photoshop can open AI files directly, but only as a flat, uneditable image. Use the Export As option instead to save the file in the PSD format. This retains all the separate layers when you open it in Photoshop.

You can use AI files in other Adobe apps and products like InDesign, where it won’t be editable but will keep things like its transparent background.

For most non-Adobe apps, you will most likely need to save the file in the SVG format (using the Save As command this time). Check out our guide to opening AI files without Adobe Illustrator for more details.

Read the full article: How to Save Adobe Illustrator Files in Other Formats: JPEG, PNG, SVG, Etc.