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        2. Subscribe – New features overview

          7 minute read

          SubScribe has packed in some amazing new features that should make you very happy. You may recognize a few things, but there are some new, amazing additions such as the Lock/UnLock and the Orient Transform Tool. One of the biggest additions is the added functionality to the Perpendicular and Tangent Circle Tools. 

          Lock / Unlock Tool

          The new Lock / Unlock is a great addition that allows you to quickly lock and unlock layers directly on the artboard. You may have been using the shortcut CMD+2 (macOS) or CTRL+ 2 (PC) to lock layers (which is still useful if selecting and locking multiple layers at the same time), but when unlocking layers, you either had to use the shortcut CMD+Option+2 (macOS) or CTRL+Alt+2 (PC) or do it manually in the layers panel. Those shortcuts unlocked ALL the layers in the entire project, which can really half your workflow if you need a lot of layers locked and unlocked quickly.

          I have found myself having to dig into the layers panel, sorting through hundreds of layers to find which layer it is I want unlocked individually. Depending on how many layers you have, finding that one layer can be virtually impossible.

          With the SubScribe Lock/Unlock Tool you will no longer have to go through your entire tree of grouped objects, just to find that one object you need unlocked.

          Orientation Tool

          Every once in a while you have layers that for one reason or another get slightly rotated or misaligned. This may happen because you accidentally hit 'R' on the keyboard and rotate the item by mistake, or maybe you had it selected with other items you were rotating. Those situations have happened to me more than I care to think about! The Quick Orient tools allow you to quickly go through objects that have been slightly rotated and straighten them with a single click.

          While the Orient Tool may not be your most used tool in SubScribe, it can definitely make some annoying objects a bit less of a problem to deal with. The Orient Transform Tool, on the other hand, is a HUGE addition. If you've ever been in a situation where you need to rotate and scale an object while having it aligned to a specific object, look no further. The Orient Transform Tool allows you to select an object, then place it somewhere completely different and have it snap, scale and rotate, ALL at the same time.

          You can see in the example below, there is a couch I needed aligned sideways in the open space. The stock library I pulled it from was scaled down quite a bit from what I needed it to be. I was able to easily reposition and scale the couch using the Orient Transform Tool.


          1. Select your object
          2. Click the Orient Transform Tool
          3. Click the first point on the object you want to transform, then click the second point. (If you selected the wrong points you can reset the tool by double clicking)
          4. Click where you want the first point for the object to start, then click where you want the second point to be and watch your rotate, scale and alignment work perfectly just where you wanted it.

          Perpendicular & Tangent Line Tools

          As you can see below, all of the Perpendicular & Tangent Line Tools have too many options to choose from. These are now consolidated into 2 simple tools. The Tangent Line Tool and The Perpendicular Line Tool.

          Even though the tools have been consolidated, the new tools have been completely updated including the Tangent Line Tool and The Perpendicular Line Tool, both some great new additions.

          By clicking on the tool you can create a perpendicular line from any object.

          Multiple Perpendicular Lines

          By using 'A' shortcut on the keyboard you can quickly add multiple lines. Each time you hit 'A' while dragging you will cycle between the different multiple options.

          Also while dragging you may use the Up and Down arrow keys to increase or decrease the number of perpendicular lines.

          Use the keyboard shortcut 'C' to switch between dragging the perpendicular line from the point or from the center of the line.

          You can also create some variation in the Multiple Mode by using 'R' on the keyboard. This allows you to add randomness to either the line position, line length or BOTH.

          Arc by Points and Quickly Edit Tool preferences

          For the last update to SubScribe I'll discuss the Arc By Points tool. You can now switch between the two drawing modes in the preferences panel or use the bracket keys to switch the mode on the fly.

          One tip you may find invaluable throughout all your Adobe Illustrator endeavours is the quick access shortcut for any tool preferences panel. Simply hit Enter on the keyboard whenever you have a tool selected or double click the tool itself. This will bring up that tool's Preferences Panel. For the 'Arc by Points' tool simply click the tool, hit Enter on the keyboard (this works for any tool currently selected) and you can toggle the option "Third point indicates direction". You will then be able to create an arc by using the third point as a directional point, instead of the native Arc By points method.

          The quick tool preferences shortcut works for every tool in Illustrator. Even for tools that don't have a preferences dialog window, such as the magic wand. For tools of that nature when you hit Enter, it usually pulls up the tools options panel instead.

          If you are new to the Astute Graphics plugin suite it is definitely worth investigating SubScribe. Explained above are only some of the many things you can learn about the new SubScribe. Explore like crazy and you will be surprised how versatile these new additions can be in speeding up your workflow.  

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