Today I used adobe illustrator to edit and make dynamic icons for a program called Uplink. Im a newbie when it comes to illustrator, but I hope to learn more so I can eventually design my own artwork and websites. A great program overall.
I dove into Illustrator a little deeper, and used it to make outlines and place icons on floor plans. I also used layers, which allow you to edit a portion of your image without affecting the rest. The floor plans I edited were originally designed in CAD, which stands for computer aided design and drafting. CAD is a popular program with architects and engineers because it is good for designing blueprints and plans. CAD is somewhat similar to illustrator, however, Illustrator is much more artistically influenced.
I used layers which allow you to make changes to one area of your image. If you lock a layer, that means you block a portion of the picture from editing so it doesn't interfere with what you're working on. The pen tool allows you to connect a series of lines, this is useful when you are outlining a blueprint or devising a logo. If you hold shift while using the pen tool, it will keep the line you are making straight, either horizontally or vertically.
If you hold down the space bar while on the page, it will allow you to pan around the page so it is easier to work on a particular area. If you hold down the apple key, and press either the plus or minus key you can zoom in or zoom out to accommodate your needs. For example you can zoom in if you're working on small details, or you can zoom out to get a look at how the entire image is coming along.