In This Chapter
Placing different files into an Illustrator document
Managing linked files
Exporting graphics from Illustrator
Working with Photoshop files in Illustrator
Although you can certainly take a file from concept to final printing using only Illustrator, you probably shouldn’t. It’s a specialized program, created to be one small (but vitally important) part in a production cycle.
In a typical production cycle, text is created in a word-processing program, such as Microsoft Word; scanned images are edited in an image-editing program, such as Photoshop; and vector-based graphics are created in Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand. Finally, all these elements are combined in a page layout program (such as InDesign, PageMaker, or QuarkXPress) or a Web-design application (such as Adobe GoLive or Macromedia Dreamweaver).
Attempting to make Illustrator perform all aspects of the production cycle is like trying to build a house with only a hammer. You may be able to do it, but the task takes you a lot more time to complete, the result looks really awful, and you’re a lot more tired and frustrated than if you’d used the right tools for the job in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong. Illustrator is a strong link in that production cycle. You can save Illustrator files in nearly three dozen different file formats! If you create something in Illustrator and save it properly, you can open your creation in just about any application that ever supported graphics on any platform — even bizarre and forgotten computer platforms, such as Amiga!
The bottom line is that Illustrator is designed to create files for use in other programs as well as to receive graphics files created in other programs. Harnessing the full power of Illustrator means making the program work well (and play nicely) with other programs — in other words, getting files into and out of Illustrator.
In this chapter, you find out how to make Illustrator play well with others — by bringing files that weren’t created in Illustrator into your Illustrator document and by moving Illustrator files into other applications.