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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle addition
I was kind of worried when I bought this, because I had read the reviews that stated no downloads were included for the practice lessons. I guess Amazon or Adobe have fixed this problem, because on the very last page they give a web address, which is also a link to the files. I went to the address on my laptop where the Illustrator program is installed and had no...
Published on August 12, 2012 by Erich Lohde

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not so good
I bought this because it's required for my vector graphics class. I've worked through all the lessons. My primary complaint is it is soooo "hands on", I never had any sense of what I was doing. The book literally tells you exactly what key to hit one by one. Sounds great, right! but then I didn't remember very much since I never really understood what or why I was...
Published 21 months ago by D. Gardner


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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle addition, August 12, 2012
By 
Erich Lohde (Granada Hills, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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I was kind of worried when I bought this, because I had read the reviews that stated no downloads were included for the practice lessons. I guess Amazon or Adobe have fixed this problem, because on the very last page they give a web address, which is also a link to the files. I went to the address on my laptop where the Illustrator program is installed and had no problems downloading all the necessary files. Now I can read the book on the Kindle while following the steps on the laptop. Very useful. It is quite a lot of material however, and is not learned in just a few sittings.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Listen to the people who gave this book a low review!!, September 9, 2012
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This review is from: Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book (Paperback)
I am about half way through the book, and the book is exceptionally well written so the common lay person can understand. They have diagrams and step by step instructions, and lessons to follow along, so you can learn by doing. No need to go to school, you can learn at your own pace. Thank you for a wonderful program and book.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Foundational Ai CS6 Learning Tool, December 6, 2012
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This review is from: Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book (Paperback)
We go back to Illustrator 3, long before the CS thing got started in September 2003. Illustrator CS6 is actually Illustrator 16. Most Illustrator users know Illustrator by its 2 character designation of "Ai."

The big new direction for Ai CS6 was immense. Adobe's Ai team had to rewrite just about every line of code going back to 1987. This makes Ai a 64-bit app, something both Windows and Mac apps have to move toward. At the same time, Ai took on the new user interface (UI) which came into Photoshop CS5. It's sometimes known as the "dark UI" since it looks like Adobe's DVA apps (Digital Video Audio), such as Premier Pro, After Effects, and Audition. When the original Illustrator debuted, how a development team wrote code, in 1987, for little beige Macs with black and white screens has nothing to do with what's needed today. That's something akin going back to cars which did not have radios. Adobe Illustrator CS6 is a brand new app.

In short, Ai CS6 is not packed with plenty of new features. This book's opening summary on what's new is only 4 pages. So, how do authors go about updating a venerable book like "Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book" (CIB) without discussing a huge new feature set? As authors of three books, and collaborators on many others, we're impressed. Brian & Wyndham Wood resisted the temptation to merely repackage the previous Ai CIB and instead filled it with many new and valuable lessons.

At this point, it is fair to ask, "Why is someone who goes back to Illustrator 3 reading CIB, 13 versions later?" CIB is one of those book series which creative professionals look to as the foundation of learning an app's features. If it's in CIB, it must be mastered. So, we write this review comparing Ai CIB CS6 to the CS5 edition.

If you're new to Ai, you may not realize how much you should appreciate the Getting Started section. The concepts of Illustrator are not easy to grasp, for many. Yet, these first few pages provide the reader with all the basics demonstrated with elegant visuals. The same can be said for the first lesson on getting to know your work area.

As much as there is to learn about Ai and as much as this confounds many, by the time you have completed chapters 2 and 3 you should have an excellent understanding of the basic drawing tools. We commend the authors for being able to teach so much in so few pages. If you are new to Ai, don't rush through the lessons. Be sure you understand every aspect. Chapter 2 is recycled from the previous edition but 3 is pretty much all new.

Another completely revised chapter is the fourth one. This is where the lessons begin to help you understand the power of Illustrator as you take simple shapes and transform them into eye-catching visuals. If you have not taken a breather in this book, yet, you'll want to take a break before starting this and give your brain some time to recharge.

The fifth and sixth chapters are pretty much recycled from the CS5 edition. It would be a mistake to breeze through these chapters on pencil drawing and color. It's easy to say to yourself, "I already know how to do some of this in Photoshop and InDesign." But, lodged within their pages are some very important aspects of Ai that you'll not want to skip.

When Adobe put together the original Creative Suite box, in 2003, the concept was for you to learn how to use a tool in one app and apply that knowledge to 2 or more apps. After moving away from that concept, the new UI in Ai has brought much feature parity back between Photoshop and Illustrator. Additionally, in the seventh chapter on type, which has been beautifully redone with new sample graphics, you can see the similarity in type to InDesign. The also wonderfully new eighth chapter on layers typifies the similarity of both apps. However, we must caution that layers and type in Ai has a few features which are unique to it. If you don't work through these lessons carefully, you'll find yourself a little confused when attempting to apply Photoshop or InDesign principles which are not necessarily there in Ai.

Perspective was a big new feature set for Ai CS5. The ninth chapter of this book manages to masterfully teach some concepts which some do not find easy to sort out in their minds. It's near identical to the previous edition but we do not fault the authors for that. It's in the category of, "If it ain't broke..." This is another one to move through slowly.

Dramatically improved for this edition is the tenth chapter on blending colors and shapes. These lessons inspire the mind to break from the typical two dimensional vector art the early days of Illustrator are known for. This might be a good time to take a break after completing this chapter and do a little exploration on your own.

The eleventh chapter on brushes is not easy for an instructor to fit into 30 pages. It could easily be a book in itself with a higher page count than this one. Brushes are what master Ai users work with to create some truly dazzling graphics. Follow this chapter with your creative mind in gear. Take breaks between the lesson segments to ponder how you can further use these tools.

The same can be said for the slightly updated chapter on effects. The very powerful section on 3D is crammed into this twelfth chapter. There is only time for you to learn the basics, here in what could also be another book, so keep your mind open.

The completely revised and expanded thirteenth and fourteenth chapters could be entitled "Using Illustrator for the Internet." If you are not web production savvy, do not allow these chapters to through you for a curve. Concentrate on the graphics. These are very empowering sections.

With the popularity explosion of Adobe's new subscription offering, Creative Cloud, the final chapter on combining Ai with other Adobe CS apps is needed more than ever. We would hope with authors will be able to expand this even further in their next edition. There are some fabulous things Ai can do for the DVA apps such as Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Usually we conclude these reviews by saying something like, "We gave this book a 5 star rating, but..." However, this one is a solid 5. It could only have been made better by adding a few hundred more pages to it, but that would blur the purpose of the learning experience.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not so good, March 11, 2013
By 
D. Gardner (United States) - See all my reviews
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I bought this because it's required for my vector graphics class. I've worked through all the lessons. My primary complaint is it is soooo "hands on", I never had any sense of what I was doing. The book literally tells you exactly what key to hit one by one. Sounds great, right! but then I didn't remember very much since I never really understood what or why I was doing what I was doing.

So based on the great experience I had with Exploring Adobe InDesign CS6 (Adobe Cs6) I ordered Exploring Adobe Illustrator CS6 (Adobe CS6). I'm happy I did. I'm about halfway through it. It's much better balanced, shifting back and forth between big-picture explanations of concepts and hands-on step-by-step lessons. The lessons are more fun and attractive. I come to class and my classmates seem to be struggling, but with my new book, I'm doing much better.

I told my teacher about my experience and she said the department uses classroom in a book mainly because Adobe is the first one to get their book out with the new software version, but she's not pleased with their book either.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but too much like a cookboook, March 16, 2013
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This review is from: Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book (Paperback)
This book is a nice tutorial on Illustrator, going through most of the important features. It is well-written and easy to progress through. However, it fails in that many of the lessons offer too many step-by-step instructions without sufficient explanation of what the tools and steps are really doing. In some cases, I can finish a lesson and not really grasp what happened, and therefore the book fails to help me really become better at using Illustrator. Creating a nice pictures by following step-by-step instructions is not the same as gaining a true ability to use the software on your own.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lessons are fantastic, some images too small, September 15, 2012
By 
SoapyHollow (Here! No, wait...over there!) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book (Paperback)
The lessons in the book are well organized, presented well, and will teach the user all sorts of neat tricks with Illustrator. My only issue with the book is that the majority of screen shots were taken using a very dark skin on Illustrator. Legibility is further compromised by the size of the images. I found myself using a sherlock-holmes prop magnifying glass to see some of them. (To be fair, the lighting in my office is not optimal, but even carrying the book into natural daylight didn't help with some of the images.)

I found that I had to supplement the book periodically by a quick duckduckgo search for whatever menu item they were trying to show with their screen shot.

However, sharper eyes in good lighting may not have those issues.

I think the book is a good value and a fantastic way to learn some of the non-obvious arcs of the inherent learning curve of Adobe products. That said; as expensive as Adobe products are; I wish Adobe would focus some of their talent on creating manuals that were as well written and organized as the add-on books I've had to buy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Source of Info, November 27, 2012
By 
M. Walters "Peggy Walters" (San Diego, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book (Paperback)
If you are new to Illustrator, this is a good reference book. Lessons are short and cover specific tools. I found the lessons easy to follow.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If I were to create a "classroom in a book"., January 18, 2013
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This review is from: Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book (Paperback)
The depth of features in Illustrator is very exciting, but is over stimulation when presented this way. The first lesson should be the creation of a very limited and basic setup with just the features needed to begin. Basic shape creation, path, stroke and fill. Adding the elements of the panels as needed for each lesson. Along the way, you will discover the best interface for your applications. I have extensive experience with vector graphics, but none with Adobe, save PSElements used exclusively to adjust hue, saturation and brightness of my photos. The current format for these documents is great, if you are updating your Adobe skills but not for the first time user. I am a professional educator, self taught through texts on many subjects and I find this format very time consuming. I spend most of the time while in this text, determining what the author is referring to. I am thankful for this book, but I see a much more effective format to present this software application.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, July 15, 2012
This review is from: Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book (Paperback)
This is a great book filled with tons of great information. Tutorials are easy to follow and give great insight to the many options available (for the longest time, I thought that Illustrator was all about the pen tool).

And there is a link at the end of the book to download the project files. I don't know how this could be any easier.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money, September 18, 2013
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This review is from: Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book (Paperback)
My biggest complaint about this book is the small font it was printed in. The reason for this is to accommodate the 2 inches of (mostly) wasted margin, the margins are used for notes. It is silly to waste so much empty page space and use a small font.

Content wise it is weak compared to say Photoshop CS6 the missing manual, which unfortunately is for Photoshop rather than Illustrator. Still, the Missing Manual is a proper example of how to do a reference book.

The first thing I went to check out in Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book after recently seeing a tutorial on youtube was the scale tool. I go to the back of the book and look for "scale tool", can't find it. Some stuff about scaling but I couldn't find any reference to the scale tool. Which kinda flabbergasted me. Seriously, what are the odds of not finding a tool in the index of a book, I just checked again to make sure I'm not stupid and still cant find it, not under tools or tool panel either. Maybe it's hidden there somewhere but I doubt I will find it with the small fonts. I will read this but it'll be through gritted teeth. Less than great.
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Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book
Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book by Adobe Creative Team (Paperback - June 6, 2012)
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