The visual diagrams and flow charts created by Microsoft Visio are clear and easily readable, and they can stand out in any presentation or meeting. You can quickly replicate the sharp style of these graphics in Adobe Illustrator by using the program's ability to draw shapes, lines and text as vector graphics. These drawings can be scaled to any size without losing resolution, so you can read them on a computer screen as well as you can on a poster in a conference room.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Create a new document in Illustrator from the "New..." selection under "File" in the program's menu bar. Set the document size and click "OK."
Open your Tools palette, if it is not already open, by selecting it under "Window" in the menu bar.
Select the Rectangle tool from the Tools palette and draw a rectangle on your document. You can click and drag the tool to create the shape of the rectangle, or you can click once on your document and then manually type in the shape's dimensions.
Open the Color palette by selecting it under "Window" in the menu bar. Click on the newly drawn rectangle by using the Selection Tool in the Tools palette. The Color palette gives you the ability to change the colour of both the outside line and inside of your rectangle. Choose a colour for both.
Open the Stroke palette by selecting it under "Window" in the menu bar. With the rectangle selected, change the width of the stroke, or outside line, of the shape until it is the desired thickness.
Create another rectangle, or click and hold the Rectangle tool to access other shape tools, such as rounded rectangles, polygons and ellipses. Change the colour and stroke of this new shape.
Select the Line Segment Tool from the Tools palette. Click and drag to create a line between the two shapes you created. Select this line using the Selection Tool and change its stroke in the Stroke palette.
Click on the Type Tool from the Tools palette and create a text box in one of your shapes and begin typing. You can also change the font and size from the Character palette when you are finished entering text.
Continue to create shapes, lines and text boxes to complete your diagram.
Tips and warnings
- You can add an arrowhead to your lines by clicking on the line and selecting "Stylize" under "Effect" in the menu bar. Adobe Illustrator comes preloaded with a variety of arrowheads.
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