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Q: How do I get a background image into Adobe Illustrator?

A: It's pretty simple. Just go to "file" menu at the top and choose "place". Then navigate to your image and bring it in.

Q: How do I apply a gradient in Adobe Illustrator?

A: Take the gradient tool and click at the fill you want to color with the gradient in the artboard.

Q: How do I copy an effect to another layer in Adobe Illustrator?

A: Click on the meatball (the ring next to the layer in the layer panel) of the source layer (the layer from which you want to copy) while holding alt and drag to the target layer (the layer you want to copy the effect to).

Q: Why do I get a no sign or prohibition sign when I try to use the brush tool in Adobe Illustrator?

A: Probably you didn't select any brush tip for your brush. Select one first from the brushes panel, then try again.

Q: How do I edit my artboard size with numerical pixel values in Illustrator?

A: There are a few ways to get there:

The easy way: double click on the artboad tool in the toolpanel. This will open artboard settings for you.

The complicated way: First choose File --> Document setup. Then from the document setup window select "edit artboards". You are now taken back to the artboard, where you can drag the edges if you want. But if you want to enter numerical values instead, press enter and a new windows opens allowing you to enter the exact pixel values.

Q: I need a graphic from Illustrator that has a specific pixel dimension in order to use it as a UV map for 3D. How do I make sure my artboard is the right size?

A: Here is one approach: Place you background image in Illustrator and scale it numerically (in the top bar) to have the correct pixel dimensions. Then make sure your artboad is the same size by choosing object-->artboards-->fit to selected art. This way your artboard will have the correct pixel amount.

Q: I need an easy to use free software that can rip dvd to avi dv format so that I can easily edit it later in Adobe Premiere Pro!

A: Finding a good free or open source dvd ripper can be a daunting task. Many of the programs advertised as free really aren't: they have limited features if you don't pay up. In the worst case they will rip only part of your disc. Other issues common to dvd rippers are very limited encoding formats (for non-linear editing a dv avi file would be nice), un-intuitive user interfaces, bugs and crashing. The process might also be overly complex and involve installing several different pieces of software. Not good. One otherwise good solution called Bitripper could only rip one stream at a time. What a waste of time if you want to rip the whole dvd.

The best free solution we came up with after trying tens of different programs was a free program called Format Factory. The installer tries to instal the com toolbar, but just say no. Besides that slight annoyance, the software has worked really great and it has a lot of features and support for many different formats. It is also relatively intuitive and easy to use.

Q: I'm new to Photoshop, how should I troubleshoot common problems?

A: You can use this New user troubleshooting guide to Adobe Photoshop:

  • Have you unlocked the background layer? If not, this might prevent you from performing edits. Fast way to unlock the background is double clicking on the layer in the layer panel.
  • Do you have the right layer selected? Photoshop is all about selections, and one of the most common mistakes is to have the wrong layer selected in the layer panel, or nothing at all selected.
  • Have you made a selection inside the layer? Many Photoshop operations are based on a selection inside the image area. Some tools won't work if you don't have anything selected. You can easily make selections by drawing with the selection tools, for example the rectangular marguee or the lasso tool.

Q: I'm trying to select Dreamweaver to show grid and rulers, but the menu options are grayed out! Why?

A: You probably forgot to exit live view mode. Check if you are in live view mode and exit from it if that is the case. Now you should be able to select the rulers and grids again.