Couple of questions for you, Jim; If my lettering font is too 'wide' which it is, I can reduce the width to say, 90%, in Illustrator is there any way to save that edit and my font selection as default? Also the stroke and fill values are set to black by default, I want them to be black an White.
Basically what I want us to open illustrator and start lettering, not faffing about with font sizes and stuff before I get started.
Right ... Illustrator is pretty rubbish for this sort of stuff. If it wasn't vastly superior for complex path operations, I'd be tempted to use InDesign, where I could assign character style sheets to the numeric keypad and save myself a lot of bother. However, it is
better, so you're stuck with it.
What I have is a blank lettering document (well, several, one for each publisher so that the artboard is set to the correct page size) with speech balloons and pre-formatted text on the pasteboard at the side of the document. First thing I do is copy the first bit of dialogue for the page out of the script, stick it on the AI document and pick the lettering style up with the eye-dropper from the pre-formatted text that's already there. All then copy and paste in all the rest of the text for the page, and it should continue to use that formatting.
The problem with stroke and fill is that you don't
necessarily want it to be black and white -- for dialogue text you want a black fill and no
Try these keystrokes:
D - will reset stroke and fill to D
efault -- black stroke and white fill.
X - toggle between having stroke and fill colour selected for editing.
, - (comma) will change the stroke or fill (whichever is active for editing) to the current foreground colour
/ - will change the stroke or fill (whichever is active) to transparent.
Thus, if you currently have a red stroke and a gradient fill for whatever SFX you were working on, but now you want black stroke and white fill. Hit X and you will have your black stroke and white fill. If you hit SHIFT-X, the stroke and fill colours will swap and you will have a white stroke and a black fill. If the stroke is currently active, ie - at the front, as below...
... then simply hit / and you will have a black fill and no stroke. If the fill is active, hit X, and the stroke will come to the front and you can hit / ...
It's absolutely worth forcing yourself to use these keystrokes until they're imprinted on your brain ...!