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Chapter 8. Extreme Makeover: Symbols, Br... > Filters vs. Effects? What’s the Diff...

Filters vs. Effects? What’s the Difference?

The difference between a filter and an effect is what Illustrator does to the object you apply it to. For example, draw a simple shape on the artboard. Duplicate it so the two are next to each other. Select the first shape and choose Filter>Distort>Twist and change the Angle setting to 150°. Then select the second shape and choose Effect>Distort & Transform>Twist and use the same 150° setting. They should both look identical at this point. But, if you choose View>Outlines, notice how the shape with the Filter applied to it has changed while the other one has not. This is because filters change the underlying structure of any paths they’re applied to, while effects only change the appearance. The most important point to glean from this tip is that a filter is permanent and an effect is “live”. This means that you can go back and change the settings of the effect (or remove it altogether) at any time.


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