Essential Keyboard Shortcut Tips for Illustrator (Part 01)
Adobe’s software and tools enable the creation of amazing digital works, whether you're using Illustrator to create the vector arts, putting together in a print magazine. When working in Illustrator, simple tasks can become a hindrance to your workflow. So to help out, we've got a great selection of Illustrator shortcuts right here, all guaranteed to speed up your workflow once you get the hang of them. These keyboard shortcuts will keep your fingers flying from the moment you create a new file until you make the final touch-ups on your vector image. So let’s start.
You'd think setting up your content in Illustrator would be second nature; but oftentimes, the shortcuts to change the artboard size or zoom in to your project aren't what you think. Here are some of the most crucial shortcuts to know.
Create New Document
|Mac: Cmd+N Pc: Ctrl+N|
This shortcut will help you to create a new document frequently in Illustrator.
Create a New Document from a Template
|Mac: Shift + Cmd + N Pc: Shift + Ctrl + N|
If you have illustrator template which is built earlier, then this shortcut will take you to the template folder to create a new document from a template.
Create a new Document without Opening the New Document Dialog Box
|Mac: Opt + Cmd + N Pc: Alt + Ctrl + N|
Sometimes we are in a hurry not to explore a new document window. In that moment this shortcut will help a lot.
Open a Document
|Mac: Cmd+O Pc: Ctrl+O|
To open the previous work, just press these buttons and it will take you to the open a document dialogue box.
Place a File in the Document
|Mac: Shift + Cmd + P Pc: Shift + Ctrl + P|
When you need to place an image file, you should use this shortcut to open the place a file dialogue box.
Open the File Information Dialog Box
|Mac: Opt + Shift + Cmd + I Pc: Alt + Shift + Ctrl + I|
While working in a document, sometimes we need to know the information about the file. Then this will save your time a lot.
Open the Document Setup Dialog Box
|Mac: Opt + Cmd + P Pc: Alt + Ctrl + P|
By pressing Alt+Ctrl+P, you can quickly setup your document easily.
Browse in Adobe Bridge
|Mac: Opt + Cmd + O Pc: Alt + Ctrl + O|
Adobe Bridge is very useful to manage the document. To access it quickly, you should remember this shortcut.
Close the Document Window
|Mac: Cmd+W Pc: Ctrl+W|
To close the quickly, you can use this shortcut.
Open the Save As Dialog Box
|Mac: Shift + Cmd + S Pc: Shift + Ctrl + S|
If you wanna save your document in different format except ai format, then you must use these keywords.
Save a Copy of the Document
|Mac: Opt + Cmd + S Pc: Alt + Ctrl + S|
Sometimes you need to duplicate your copy to change different things which are not intended into the current document. Then this shortcut is very useful to you.
Open the Export for Screens Dialog Box
|Mac: Opt + Cmd + E Pc: Alt + Ctrl + E|
Adobe Illustrator supports many file format. To export into that format, you can use these keystrokes.
Open the Save For Web Dialog Box
|Mac: Opt + Shift + Cmd + S Pc: Alt + Shift + Ctrl + S|
To save your document for websites, you need to use this shortcut.
|Mac: Cmd + P Pc: Ctrl + P|
As Illustrator is mainly used for printing, so this shortcut is very helpful to the persons who are working for the printing press.
Exit the Application
|Mac: Cmd + Q Pc: Ctrl + Q|
You can close illustrator software with this shortcut very easily.
As far, I told about that shortcuts which are used for manipulating an illustrator document. Now I'm gonna explain some shortcuts which are used frequently when we are drawing in illustrator.
|Mac: Cmd + Z Pc: Ctrl + Z|
This shortcut is mostly used by the designer. In Illustrator, this command is not limited as like as Photoshop. This command can be performed until the state where the document was opened.
|Mac: Shift + Cmd + Z Pc: Shift + Ctrl + Z|
If we undo our work by accident, these keystrokes will regain the previous state.
Paste in Front
|Mac: Cmd + F Pc: Ctrl + F|
If we wanna duplicate an object to the same place and the new object will be at the front, then we should use this shortcut.
Paste at Back
|Mac: Cmd + B Pc: Ctrl + B|
Like the previous command, this shortcut will work the same except copying at the front. This command will copy the object at the back.
Paste in Place
|Mac: Shift + Cmd + B Pc: Shift + Ctrl + B|
This command will be used for copying the objects in different layers but in the same place. It will also work the same for the same layer.
Paste on All Artboards
|Mac: Opt + Shift + Cmd + B Pc: Alt + Shift + Ctrl + B|
If you wanna copy an object to all artboard in a document, then you can use this command.
Open the Color Settings Dialog Box
|Mac: Shift + Cmd + K Pc: Shift + Ctrl + K|
Sometimes we have to change the color mode of the document, then this shortcut will be helpful.
Open the Preferences Dialog Box
|Mac: Cmd + K Pc: Ctrl + K|
By hitting these keystrokes, you will be going to preference panel. There you will find a lot of settings for your software and you can customize all settings as you like.
Choosing the Right Tools
Now I'm gonna show you the shortcuts for Illustrator tools. These shortcuts will activate the previously selected tool in the group of tools. For example, if you have last used the Magic Wand tool under the selection tools, the "Y" shortcut enables the Magic Wand tool, even though it's not the default selection tool. But, if you haven't used any tool in the group, it will enable the default tool. To cycle through tools that share the same shortcut, press Shift + the shortcut key. Or, hold Alt (Option on a Mac) and manually click on the tool in the toolbar.
|Tools Name||For Mac||For Pc|
|Artboard Tool||Shift + O||Shift + O|
|Direct Selection Tool||A||A|
|Magic Wand Tool||Y||Y|
|Curvature Tool||Shift + ~||Shift + ~|
|Blob Brush Tool||Shift + B||Shift + B|
|Add Anchor Point Tool||+||+|
|Delete Anchor Point Tool||-||-|
|Switch to Anchor Point Tool||Shift + C||Shift + C|
|Touch Type Tool||Shift + T||Shift + T|
|Line Segment Tool||\||\|
|Shaper Tool||Shift + N||Shift + N|
|Warp Tool||Shift + R||Shift + R|
|Width Tool||Shift + W||Shift + W|
|Free Transform Tool||E||E|
|Shape Builder Tool||Shift + M||Shift + M|
|Perspective Grid Tool||Shift + P||Shift + P|
|Perspective Selection Tool||Shift + V||Shift + V|
|Symbol Sprayer Tool||Shift + S||Shift + S|
|Column Graph Tool||J||J|
|Live Paint Bucket Tool||K||K|
|Live Paint Selection Tool||Shift + L||Shift + L|
|Slice Tool||Shift + K||Shift + K|
|Eraser Tool||Shift + E||Shift + E|
|Switch to Smooth Tool while using Blob Brush Tool||Press Alt||Press Opt|
These are the essential keyboard shortcuts in Illustrator which are used frequently by the designers. But there are more shortcuts in Illustrator and I'll show them in next episode. Thanks for reading through these tips and shortcuts, I hope you’ve learned something new from these.
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