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Making Pages in Adobe Illustrator

When writing about the end of FreeHand last week (see “Farewell FreeHand,” 2007-05-21), I mentioned one of the features that Adobe Illustrator still lacks, the capability to create multiple pages within a document.

A few readers quickly pointed out that multiple pages are possible, though not as easy to implement as in FreeHand. Charles A. Reeves, Jr. wrote:

“I’ll admit to never using FreeHand, so I don’t know how it handles multiple pages, but it is possible to do multi-page documents in Illustrator. I do it all the time, and in fact have several booklets I publish which I print directly from Illustrator. Just go to Document Setup and create an artboard that is big enough so that all the pages will fit on it and is a multiple of the document page size, and then click the button next to Tile Full Pages. A simple example would be a two page document. Make the artboard 11 inches high by 17 inches wide. When you go back to the document window you will have two side-by-side pages with little non-printing numbers “1” and “2” in the lower left corners. You may have to pull up Page Setup and
select the printer and letter size, and then click on the Page Tool to get the pages oriented correctly.”

John M. Stafford pointed out a feature that I was unaware of (since I need to use Illustrator only occasionally):

“Since version 10, Illustrator automatically includes a PDF in each document. So in the case of your two-sided postcard, use Acrobat Pro and combine the two sides. Now open the resulting document in Illustrator, and on open it will present a dialog asking which page you wish to edit.”

Lastly, long-time reader Brendon Cheves of Hot Door, Inc. pointed me to his company’s MultiPage plug-in ($100) for Illustrator, which looks like what I’m accustomed to in FreeHand.

So, the next time a client needs me to massage an Illustrator file, I’ll have a better idea of how to think like Illustrator, not FreeHand. Thanks for the tips!

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