Monday, April 25, 2011

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10 Useful Adobe Illustrator Shortcuts

Using shortcuts in Adobe Illustrator (and in any software for that matter) can save you great amount of time. Mastering and customizing shortcuts is a must for designer serious about his job . Here I show you my favorite shortcuts in Adobe Illustrator that I frequently use in my projects.

1. Space

When you hold Space key, you can drag the document with Hand Tool all over your screen. It's a very handy shortcut when you have objects around your document that you need to quickly pick up and use in your artwork.

2. Tab

Clicking on Tab will make all palettes disappear from the screen. This gives you wonderful full screen view of your artwork. To bring palettes back, click on Tab again. If you hold Shift and Tab, all palettes will be gone except Tools palette.

3. Ctrl + 0
When you work on a project, you will often need to zoom in and out to check out details of your artwork. This shortcut will zoom document to fit in window, something I often do after using Ctrl++ (Zoom In) and Ctrl+- (Zoom Out). It gives me the best view and perspective of the artwork.

4. X

Click on X and you switch between Fill and Stroke Color.

5. Mouse Scroll

Put the cursor in the input box of numeric value in Character palette or in Font input box, scroll up and down and you can quickly set the wished value or find font. Same goes for any input box, in any palette that has preset values.

6. E

Free Transform Tool. If you hold Shift you can rotate object for 45 degrees in any direction.

7. Ctrl + Tab

This is Windows shortcut but quite useful nevertheless. Few designers use only one application to finish their job. If you have several applications running, you easily switch between them by holding Ctrl key and navigating with Tab key.

8. Ctrl + A

This is universal shortcut key for selecting all objects in a document. It works in MS Word just like it works in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Very useful if you have to delete all objects on a project that just goes nowhere ;)

9. Ctrl + 2

Imagine if you want to select that little rectangle that lies just beneath the circle you keep selecting which prevents you from reaching it. Of course you can go to Layers palette but what if you have 100 layers. The easiest way would be to lock circle (select circle and Ctrl+2) and then select rectangle. Then you can unlock by clicking Alt+Ctrl+2.

10. Ctrl + U

Smart Guides. I can't imagine working in Adobe Illustrator without Smart Guides being turned on.


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