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In most cases barcodes have to be added to the artwork. There are two ways to create barcodes in Illustrator: You can use an integrated solution, like a barcode extension or plug-in or you can use an external barcode generator to create the code and then import it into Illustrator. In this tutorial we look at the different options for adding a barcode to your artwork. The easiest way to create a barcode in Illustrator is via a barcode extension or plug-in.

A fully integrated solution saves time and reduces errors. In this and the following sections, we’ll show you how to create a barcode and add it to your artwork. Set properties of the code like EAN SC size, bar width reduction or toggle the display of human readable text. We begin by selecting the required barcode symbology. In this example we will be creating a Code EAN 13 barcode.

EAN 13 is used for retail and is one of the most used barcode symbologies. It is easily recognizable by the characteristic bar pattern and the single digit on the left side of the symbol. EAN 13 encodes 12 digits plus a mandatory check digit, hence the name. Note how the extension automatically calculated and appended the check digit “0” to the data so that the text line under the code now reads “”.

As a rule, the extension will always recalculate the check digit to make sure a valid barcode can be created. EAN 13 will only encode numeric data.

Note what happens when you try to encode letters “abcdef” :. The manual lists the data requirements for all supported barcodes. Note how the preview is updated in realtime as you set styles and size:. As an aside, with EAN and UPC the size of the human readable text line is calculated automatically by the extension to fit the text properly under the code. Hence, the option to set the font size is grayed out. Once we are happy with the barcode, we can add it to our artwork.

Click “Insert” to add the code to the top most layer of the document make sure the layer is visible and not locked :. Tip: The inserted barcode is an ordinary graphic element. As such it can be freely moved around, rotated or scaled to fit your designs. We recommend setting up a dedicated layer for your barcodes and then lock the layer to prevent accidental changes to the code.

See best practices further down. All the above steps are also in this video that gives an introduction to the Softmatic Barcode Extension for Adobe Illustrator:. In addition to the standard retail barcodes, the Softmatic Barcode Extension also supports a wide range of linear and 2D matrix codes and will also let you create QR codes directly in Illustrator – ideal if you want to add codes with URLs or email addresses to your document. Barcodes can be widely customized with options for size, readable text and bar width reduction to compensate for dot gain during printing.

The extension performs all required data formatting and check digit calculation in the background – no macros or programming required. The barcode extension works stand alone, no online access, external components or barcode fonts required. Illustrator documents with barcodes are free of dependencies and can be shared without restrictions. Barcodes in Adobe Illustrator – Best Practices When working with barcodes in Illustrator, please consider the following best practices: Before creating the barcode, talk to your print shop about the requirements with regard to bar width reduction.

This can cause issues with misaglined printing plates, resulting in bars that look fuzzy or have a color halo. Place the barcode artwork on a separate layer. Lock the layer against accidental changes.

A separate layer can also be useful to create a barcode template, for example when you have QR codes with URLs or email addresses that don’t change often. Leave space of at least 5mm around the barcode. This space is off limits for other artwork.

Never modify the actual barcode within Illustrator. Don’t scale it, don’t stretch it, don’t change the fill or stroke, don’t change the text. If the size is not right, discard the code and create a new one. If at all possible, make a test scan of the barcode before going into production. That’s a good investment if you have to create barcodes regularly. Toggle navigation. All rights reserved.

Adobe Illustrator – Create Barcode with a Plug-in The easiest way to create a barcode in Illustrator is via a barcode extension or plug-in. Barcode creation works in four simple steps: 1. Select barcode type, e. Code EAN 13 2. Enter your data, e. Set properties of the code like EAN SC size, bar width reduction or toggle the display of human readable text 4. Add the barcode to your artwork; the code will be inserted into the top layer Let’s look into the individual steps in more detail: Step 1: Select barcode type We begin by selecting the required barcode symbology.

Note what happens when you try to encode letters “abcdef” : The manual lists the data requirements for all supported barcodes. Note how the preview is updated in realtime as you set styles and size: As an aside, with EAN and UPC the size of the human readable text line is calculated automatically by the extension to fit the text properly under the code. Step 4: Adding the barcode to your artwork Once we are happy with the barcode, we can add it to our artwork.

Click “Insert” to add the code to the top most layer of the document make sure the layer is visible and not locked : Tip: The inserted barcode is an ordinary graphic element. All the above steps are also in this video that gives an introduction to the Softmatic Barcode Extension for Adobe Illustrator: Adobe Illustrator – The Softmatic Barcode Extension In addition to the standard retail barcodes, the Softmatic Barcode Extension also supports a wide range of linear and 2D matrix codes and will also let you create QR codes directly in Illustrator – ideal if you want to add codes with URLs or email addresses to your document.

 
 

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Smart Objects are layers that contain image data from raster or vector images, such as Photoshop or Illustrator files. Smart Objects preserve an image’s source content with all its original characteristics, enabling you to perform nondestructive editing to the layer.

In Photoshop, you can embed the contents of an image into a Photoshop document. In Photoshop, you can also create Linked Smart Objects whose contents are referenced from external image files. The contents of a Linked Smart Object are updated when its source image file changes. Linked Smart Objects are distinct from duplicated instances of a Smart Object within a Photoshop document.

With Linked Smart Objects, you can use a shared source file across multiple Photoshop documents which is a familiar and welcome concept for web designers. Perform nondestructive transforms. You can scale, rotate, skew, distort, perspective transform, or warp a layer without losing original image data or quality because the transforms don’t affect the original data. Work with vector data, such as vector artwork from Illustrator, that otherwise would be rasterized in Photoshop.

Try various designs with low-resolution placeholder images that you later replace with final versions. You can’t perform operations that alter pixel data—such as painting, dodging, burning, or cloning—directly to a Smart Object layer, unless it is first converted into a regular layer, which will be rasterized.

To perform operations that alter pixel data, you can edit the contents of a Smart Object, clone a new layer above the Smart Object layer, edit duplicates of the Smart Object, or create a new layer. When you transform a Smart Object that has a Smart Filter applied to it, Photoshop turns off filter effects while the transform is being performed.

Filter effects are applied again after the transform is complete. See Apply Smart Filters. Saving a modified JPEG file requires you to flatten new layers and recompress the image, causing image quality degradation.

The layers are bundled into one Smart Object. Paste artwork from Illustrator into a Photoshop document, and choose Smart Object in the Paste dialog box. In Photoshop, you can create Linked Smart Objects. The contents of Linked Smart Objects are updated when the source image file changes. Linked Smart Objects are particularly useful for teams or in cases where assets must be reused across designs.

The Linked Smart Object is created and is displayed in the Layers panel with a link icon. You can also create a Linked Smart Object in an open document by dragging and dropping the appropriate file while keeping the following key pressed:. Since Linked Smart Objects maintain a dependency on an external file rather than embedding a source file within the containing document, they often result in significantly smaller file sizes. While Linked Smart Objects do not store the original file in the containing document, they still store a flattened and scaled version of the image data from the original file.

In some cases, the size of this data may be much larger than the size of the original file, making the file size savings seem negligible. If an external source file changes while a Photoshop document referencing it is open, the relevant Linked Smart Object is automatically updated. However, when you open a Photoshop document containing out-of-synch Linked Smart Objects, you can update the Smart Objects:. Linked Smart Objects whose source images have changed are visually highlighted in the Layers panel:.

Links nested inside Smart Objects are not updated. You can package the Linked Smart Objects in a Photoshop document, such that their source files are saved to a folder on your computer.

A copy of the Photoshop document is saved along with the source files in the folder. Photoshop always looks for linked files in the last-known relative location. If the linked file is not found in that location, Photoshop looks for it:.

This behavior allows you to move, copy, and share project folders and files with minimal risk of encountering broken links. The Resolve Missing Assets dialog always displays the last-known absolute path of missing source files.

Transforms, filters, and other effects applied to the embedded Smart Object are preserved when it is converted. You can use the toggle switch to turn off layer filtering. Edits you make to the original affect the copy and vice versa. Edits you make to the original don’t affect the copy. A new Smart Object appears in the Layers panel with the same name as the original and “copy” as a suffix. When you edit a Smart Object, the source content is opened in either Photoshop if the content is raster data or a camera raw file or the application that handles the placed format by default for example, Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Acrobat.

When you save changes to the source content, the edits appear in all linked instances of the Smart Object in the Photoshop document. Photoshop updates the Smart Object to reflect the changes you made. If you don’t see the changes, make the Photoshop document containing the Smart Object active.

You can replace the image data in one Smart Object or multiple linked instances. This feature lets you quickly update a visual design, or replace low-resolution placeholder images with final versions. When you replace a Smart Object, any scaling, warping, or effects that you applied to the first Smart Object are maintained.

You can convert an embedded or linked smart object back into its component layers directly into a Photoshop document. If there are multiple layers in the Smart Object, the layers are unpacked into a new layer group within the Layers panel. Transforms and Smart Filters on Smart Objects containing more than a single layer are not retained when you unpack.

You can rasterize the contents of a Smart Object to a regular layer if you no longer need to edit the Smart Object data. Transforms, warps, and filters applied to a Smart Object are no longer editable after the Smart Object is rasterized. If you want to re-create the Smart Object, reselect its original layers and start from scratch. The new Smart Object won’t retain transforms you applied to the original Smart Object. If you’ve transformed a Smart Object, you can reset all transformations you’ve previously applied by doing one of the following:.

Buy Adobe Photoshop or start a Free Trial. Legal Notices Online Privacy Policy. Buy now. User Guide Cancel. Make it. Understand Smart Objects. Smart Object benefits. With Smart Objects, you can:. Perform nondestructive filtering. You can edit filters applied to Smart Objects at any time.

Edit one Smart Object and automatically update all its linked instances. Apply a layer mask that’s either linked or unlinked to the Smart Object layer. Create embedded Smart Objects. Do any of the following:. Create Linked Smart Objects Photoshop. Follow these steps to create a Linked Smart Object:. Select an appropriate file and click Place.

File size savings using Linked Smart Objects. Update Linked Smart Objects. Resolve a broken Smart Object link. Navigate to the new location of the missing object.

Click Place. View Linked Smart Object properties. The following properties are displayed: The path of the external source file for the Linked Smart Object The Linked Smart Object size and positional coordinates X, Y You can perform the following actions directly from within the Properties panel: Edit the contents of the external image file.

If necessary, Photoshop opens an external application that can handle the source image file. For example, Photoshop opens Adobe Illustrator if the external source image is a. Embed the Linked Smart Object within the current document.

Embed Linked Smart Objects. In the Properties panel, click Embed. Package Linked Smart Objects. Select a location where you want to place the source files and a copy of the Photoshop document. Any audio or video Linked Smart Objects in the document are packaged as well. You must save a file before packaging the Linked Smart Objects that it contains.

How Photoshop locates linked files. If the linked file is not found in that location, Photoshop looks for it: In the last-known absolute location Using a saved alias Mac OS only In the same folder as the containing document This behavior allows you to move, copy, and share project folders and files with minimal risk of encountering broken links. Do the following: Select an embedded Smart Object layer in the Photoshop document.

Select the location on your computer where you want to save the source file. Enter a name for the file, including a supported extension. Filter the Layers panel by Smart Objects Photoshop. In the Layers panel, select Smart Object from the filtering pop-up menu. Click one of the following icons:. Duplicate an embedded Smart Object.

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