It has been 2 years from last "Illustrator CS2 Bible" and now we have updated version of it to CS3. This time book again written by Ted Alspach alone and he stays the guard of this reference from version 7 (in far 1997). And the most interesting thing that everytime Ted tried to power this book on 100% with information.
Bible keeps not only it's author, but also great style. With minimum clear explanation it gives you the most full information on an object. There're couple of color insert with nice Illustrator examples (seems very creative). Book consist of 700 pages. Pages are not not white shiny to make you blind, but pretty good indeed and in calculation of (book information*paper quality)/price buyer wins a couple of times.
All information you need is included: from novice to proffesional - this refernce is for everybody. To study new features or start from basics, to draw simple lines up to combine them in one complicated object and up to professional printing process of your work.
Great information order, information presented very clear and it is easy to follow, easy to find and it is explained step by step.
As we all know Illustrator belongs to Adobe family products, that's why almost every month such programs as Illustrator, Flash, Photoshop and other are used together to make work more easy and productive. Ted took one chapter of this time to expain the very basics of this programs integration (to expand our vision on this program and it's possibilities). Illustrator is also a very powerful program and has a lot of "hot keys" and the complete list of it you can find in Appendix.
For people who never used Bibles, I would like to give table of content to let you know what you can expect from Bibles:
Part I: Illustrator Basics - What's new in Illustrator CS3 - Understanding Illustratoc's Desktop - Working with Illustrator Documents - Understanding Drawing and Painting Techniques - Creating Objects, Graphs and Symbols - Learning how to select and edit - Understanding Color, Gradients and Mess
Part II: - Using Illustrator to Organize Objects - Working with Type - Using Creative Strokes and Fills with Patterns - Applying Transformations and Distortions - Using Path Blends, Compound Path and Masks - Using Live Trace - Using Live Paint Part III: - Working with Graphic Styles, Filters and Effects - Creating 3D in Illustrator - Customizing and Automizing Illustrator
Part IV: - Understanding PostScript and Printing - Creating Web Grepahics
Appendix: Shortcuts in Illustrator CS3 Index
But in couple of words, we have here a titanic work of Ted Alspach that was put on paper for your satisfaction. And I really can't imagine a person that would not enjoy it. This book is really all you need.
If you want to learn Illustrator by following a series of tutorials, you won't find them in this book. If you wish to have an extensive, detailed guide for Illustrator cs3, then you should find it in this book. I was disappointed in it not having Tutorials though. Assumed all these 'Bible' books had tuts to follow.
It is a great book, that was sent in time and packed diligently against rain and shock should it fall down. It is a valuable inspiration for dealing with the programme and it really takes its time to browse through its wealth of pages. I am very glad, that somebody took the trouble to keep it in shape and was so kind to sell it now.