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Working with Fills

Fills are interiors of shapes, and can be solid colors, gradients, or even bitmaps. Any closed shape can have a fill, and any shape drawn with the Oval or Rectangle tools will have a fill unless you change the fill box to the No Color option, as shown in Figure 3.18.

Figure 3.1Figure 3.18 To draw a closed shape without a fill, click the Fill box in the Toolbox and select the No Color option.

To edit a fill, change the fill settings in the Color Mixer, Property Inspector, or Toolbox and click fills with the Paint Bucket tool, as shown in Figure 3.19.

Figure 3.19Figure 3.19 To edit a fill, change the fill attributes and click an existing fill with the Paint Bucket.

Solid

As with strokes, fill color can be selected in three places: the Fill box in the Toolbox, the Property Inspector, or in the Color Mixer. To specify a solid fill, simply select a color in one of those locations. To use a non–Web-safe color, you must use the Color Mixer (see Figure 3.20).

Figure 3.20Figure 3.20 The Color Mixer allows you to select custom, non–Web-safe colors as well as gradients to use as fills.

The Color Mixer allows you to choose between two color modes, RGB and HSB. Click on the upper-right corner of the Color Mixer panel, as shown in Figure 3.20, to display the Mixer pop-up menu. Then you can select a color mode. RGB and HSB are two different color models. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue, and is the standard additive color model created for graphics viewed on computer monitors. RGB creates colors by mixing the primary computer colors: red, green and blue. RGB is the default color mode. HSB stands for Hue, Saturation, and Brightness, and this color model defines color according to these three values. Unless you are accustomed to using HSB color, leave the mode set to the RGB default.

CAUTION

When using the Color Mixer, be sure to click on the Stroke or Fill icons, and not the color boxes, to access the Mixer controls. Clicking the color boxes will simply open the swatch pop-ups.

Then click the Fill icon and check that Solid is selected in the Fill pop-up menu. Click in the Color space to select a color. Adjust the brightness slider to further refine your color. You can also adjust the Alpha percentage to make your color partially transparent.

Gradients: Linear and Radial

Gradients can also be used as fills. A gradient creates a gradual blend between two or more colors, progressing gradually from one to the other. Linear gradients display a range between two colors in a continuous gradient. Radial gradients display a color range in a circular pattern from the center outward. Radial gradient fills add depth to circular objects, making them appear three-dimensional. If you click in the Fill color box in the Toolbox, Property Inspector, or Color Mixer, you'll notice sample gradients at the bottom of the Fill color pop-ups, as shown in Figure 3.21.

Figure 3.21Figure 3.21 Sample gradients are at the bottom left of the color pop-up windows.

You can also create custom gradients that allow you to specify the colors that are used. To create a custom gradient, you must use the Color Mixer. Click the Fill icon and then select either Linear or Radial from the Fill type drop-down menu. When you select a gradient style, the Gradient definition bar appears in the middle of the Color Mixer pane along with gradient pointers, as shown in Figure 3.22.

Figure 3.22Figure 3.22 In the Color Mixer, you can customize gradients by using the Gradient definition bar and gradient pointers.

To change the color of a gradient, click on one of the Gradient pointers at the ends of the Gradient definition bar to indicate which color you want to change. Then click the color box at the top left of the Color Mixer to select a Web-safe color or in the Color space to choose a custom color. The end of the gradient by the pointer you selected changes to reflect the new color. You can also add additional pointers to further customize the gradient by clicking just below the definition bar, between the two original pointers. Click and drag a pointer to reposition it. To save a custom gradient, click in the upper right of the Color Mixer, as shown in Figure 3.20, to access the Mixer pop-up menu and select Save Swatch. The new gradient is added to the Swatches panel in the current document.

Bitmap

The Color Mixer also allows you to use a bitmap as a fill. Bitmaps are an alternative to traditional solid or gradient fills. Any bitmap can be assigned as a fill, and it will tile if needed to cover the entire fill area of an object. Because they will tile, bitmaps produce unusual fills and are typically used infrequently. To create a bitmap fill, click the Fill icon at the top of the Color Mixer. Then select Bitmap from the Fill type drop-down menu. The Import to Library dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 3.23, prompting you to select a bitmap to use.

Figure 3.23Figure 3.23 The Import to Library dialog box appears when you select Bitmap as the Fill type.

The bitmap is displayed as your current color in the box at the top left of the Color Mixer and is applied as a fill to selected shapes (see Figure 3.24) .

Figure 3.24Figure 3.24 Bitmaps are applied as fills using the Color Mixer.

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