Let’s talk about your work space. Is everything set up the way you like it? Do you know what your options are? For starters, let’s take a look at the View menu. There’s Zoom and Rotate Page. Then, you’ll see Show Grid, Show Rulers, and Show Crosshairs. This is where you can quickly turn on or off these features without too many clicks, and notice the shortcut keys listed to the right of most options. It depends on what you are working on, but at some point, I’m going to want all 3 of these options turned on.
Grid Settings Window
The grid is great for getting things lined up, seeing spacing, and seeing overall size of a design. The features you really use from here are as follows. You can customize the Spacing and the Dimensions within the Spacing. I prefer to set my Spacing to 1 (inch) and then set my Dimensions to either 2 or 4 representing 1/2 inch or 1/4 inch marks. Sometimes the grid can be a distraction though, so then I just uncheck the Show Grid box or uncheck it from the View menu. You can choose your line color for the grid in the Color section. The large block of color on the left represents your selection. Just click on a color to the right to change it.
The Show Rulers and Show Crosshairs are features I use all the time. The rulers also help with spacing or comparing to real world space. For example, if you know you have 5 inches tall by 7 inches wide to work with on your item, you can resize your design to appropriately fill the area. Also, you may want one design element to end at 2 inches and another one to begin at 2.75 inches.
The crosshairs help me keep points in line pretty regularly. If I’m drawing and want the corner to be on the same X axis and parallel Y axes as the other corner, I can use the crosshairs to make sure everything is lined up by aligning my crosshairs on the X axis of one corner and moving/adding the other to be perfectly across from it. The grid works well for this too. I think of the crosshairs as quick and easy, but the grid could also work for those same purposes, especially if you’re lining up several elements.
Tell me – what are your favorite Work Space features?