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Adobe Illustrator Shortcuts Keys


Adobe illustrator is a software used to create graphics, artworks and different types of packaging design.

The interface of Adobe illustrator is user friendly and you can quickly learn and work with it.

To make your job faster, i have gathered shortcuts keys for Adobe illustrator.

With these shortcuts keys, you can quickly select tools, switch to zoom, paint, draw, change panels and do everything you need to on Adobe illustrator. Check out for uses of function keys on your laptop/PC.

The Adobe illustrator shortcuts keys below will be of great help to you and transform your experience.

Adobe illustrator Keys & Tools

  1. Function Keys
  2. Selecting Tools
  3. Viewing Artwork
  4. Drawing
  5. Drawing in perspective
  6. Keys for selecting
  7. Moving Selection
  8. Editing Shapes
  9. Painting Objects
  10. Live Paint Groups
  11. Transforming Objects
  12. Creating Variable E
  13. Width Points
  14. Working with Type
  15. Panel Shortcuts
  16. Path Editing

1. Function Keys

  • F1 — Help
  • F2/F3/F4 — Cut / Copy / Paste
  • F5 — Show/hide Brushes panel
  • F6 — Show/hide Color panel
  • F7 — Show/hide Layers panel
  • F8 — Create new symbol
  • Ctrl+F8 — Show/hide Info panel
  • Ctrl+F9 — Show/hide Gradient panel
  • Ctrl+F10 — Show/hide Stroke panel
  • Ctrl+F11 — Show/hide Attributes panel
  • F12 — Revert
  • Shift+F5 — Show/hide Graphic Styles panel
  • Shift+F6 — Show/hide Appearance panel
  • Shift+F7 — Show/hide Align panel
  • Shift+F8 — Show/hide Transform panel
  • Shift+Ctrl+F9 — Show/hide Pathfinder panel
  • Shift+Ctrl+F10 — Show/hide Transparency panel
  • Shift+Ctrl+F11 — Show/hide Symbols panel
  • Ctrl+Shift+i — Show/hide perspective grid

2. Selecting Tools

  • Shift+o — Artboard tool
  • a — Direct Selection tool
  • y — Magic Wand tool
  • q— Lasso tool
  • p — Pen tool
  • Shift+b — Blob Brush tool
  • • — Add Anchor Point tool
  • = — Delete Anchor Point tool
  • Shift+c — Convert Anchor Point tool
  • t — Type tool
  • \ — Line Segment tool
  • m — Rectangle tool
  • l — Ellipse tool
  • b — Paintbrush tool
  • n — Pencil tool
  • r — Rotate tool
  • o — Reflect tool
  • s — Scale tool
  • Shift+r — Warp tool
  • Shift+w — Width tool
  • e Free — Transform tool
  • Shift+m — Shape Builder tool
  • Shift+p — Perspective Grid tool
  • Shift+v — Perspective Selection tool
  • Shift+s — Symbol Sprayer tool
  • j — Column Graph tool
  • u — Mesh tool
  • g — Gradient tool
  • i — Eyedropper tool
  • w — Blend tool
  • k — Live Paint Bucket tool
  • Shift+l — Live Paint Selection tool
  • Shift+k — Slice tool
  • Shift+e — Eraser tool
  • c — Scissors tool
  • h — Hand tool
  • z — Zoom tool
  • Alt — Switch to Smooth tool while using Blob Brush tool

3. Viewing Artwork

  • f — Toggle between screen modes: Normal Screen Mode, Full Screen Mode with Menu Bar, Full Screen Mode
  • Double-click Hand tool — Fit imageable area in window
  • Double-click Zoom tool — Magnify 100%
  • Space — Switch to Hand tool (when not in text-edit mode)
  • Ctrl+Space — Switch to Zoom tool in magnify mode
  • Ctrl+Alt+Space — Switch to Zoom tool in reduce mode
  • Space — Move Zoom marquee while dragging with the Zoom tool
  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+3 — Hide unselected artwork
  • Alt+drag guide — Convert between horizontal and vertical guide
  • Ctrl+Shift+double-click guide — Release guide
  • Ctrl+Shift+h — Show/Hide artboards
  • Ctrl+Alt+r — Show/Hide artboard rulers
  • Ctrl+Alt+0 (zero) — View all artboards in window
  • Ctrl+Shift+v — Paste in place on the active artboard
  • Esc — Exit Artboard tool mode
  • Shift+drag — Create artboard inside another artboard
  • Ctrl+click — Select multiple artboards in the Artboards panel
  • Ctrl+F6 — Navigate to next document
  • Ctrl+Shift+F6 — Navigate to previous document
  • Ctrl+Alt+F6 — Navigate to next document group
  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+F6 — Navigate to previous document group
  • Esc — Exit Full Screen mode

4. Drawing

  • Shift+drag — Constrain a shape’s proportions or orientation to: (1) equal height and width for rectangles, rounded rectangles, ellipses, and grids, (2) Increments of 45° for line and arc segments, or (3) Original orientation for polygons, stars, and flares
  • Spacebar+drag — Move a shape while drawing it
  • Alt+drag — Draw from the center of a shape (except for polygons, stars, and flares)
  • Alt+drag — Keep the sides of a star straight
  • Start dragging, then Up Arrow/Down Arrow — Increase or decrease polygon sides, star points, arc angle, spiral winds, or flare rays
  • Start dragging, then Up Arrow/Down Arrow — Keep the inner radius of a star constant
  • Start dragging, then Right Arrow/LeftArrow — Add or remove vertical lines from a rectangular grid or radial lines from a polar grid
  • Start dragging, then Up Arrow/Down Arrow — Add or remove horizontal lines from a rectangular grid or concentric lines from a polar grid
  • Start dragging, then c — Switch between an open and closed arc
  • Start dragging, then f — Flip an arc, keeping the reference point constant
  • Start dragging, then Alt+drag — Add or subtract winds from a spiral while increasing the length of the spiral
  • Start dragging then Ctrl+drag — Change the decay rate of a spiral
  • Start dragging, then f — Decrease the skew value for horizontal dividers in a rectangular grid or radial dividers in a polar grid by 10%
  • Start dragging, then v — Increase the skew value for horizontal dividers in a rectangular grid or radial dividers in a polar grid by 10%
  • Start dragging, then x — Decrease the skew value for vertical dividers in a rectangular grid or concentric dividers in a polar grid by 10%
  • Start dragging, then c — Increase the skew value for vertical dividers in a rectangular grid or concentric dividers in a polar grid by 10%
  • Alt+click Live Trace in the Control panel, or hold down Alt and select a tracing preset — Create and expand a Live Trace object in one step
  • ]/[ — Increase size / decrease size of Blob Brush
  • Shift — Constrain Blob Brush path horizontally or vertically
  • Shift+d — Switch through drawing modes
  • Select the paths, then press Ctrl+j — Join two or more paths
  • Select the paths, then press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+j — Create corner or smooth join

5. Drawing in perspective

  • Shift+p — Perspective Grid Tool
  • Shift+v — Perspective Selection Tool
  • Ctrl+Shift+i — Perspective Grid
  • Press 5 key, then click and drag the object — Moving objects perpendicularly
  • Use the Perspective Selection tool and then press 1… 4 — Switching perspective planes 1 for left grid, 2 for horizontal grid, 3 for right grid, or 4 for no active grid
  • Ctrl+Alt+drag — Copying objects in perspective
  • Ctrl+d — Repeat transforming objects in perspective
  • Shift+d — Switching between drawing modes

6. Keys for selecting

  • Ctrl — Switch to last-used selection tool (Selection tool, Direct Selection tool, or Group Selection tool)
  • Alt — Switch between Direct Selection tool and Group Selection tool
  • Shift+click — Add to a selection (or substract a selection) with Selection tool, Direct Selection tool, Group Selection tool, Live Paint Selection tool, or Magic Wand tool
  • Alt+click — Subtract from selection with Magic Wand tool
  • Shift+drag — Add to selection with Lasso tool
  • Alt+drag — Subtract from selection with Lasso tool
  • Caps Lock — Change pointer to cross hair for Lasso tool
  • Ctrl+Alt+a — Select artwork in active artboard
  • Alt+c+o — Create crop marks around selected object
  • Ctrl+click twice — Select behind an object or select behind in isolation mode

7. Moving Selection

  • Arrow Keys — Move selection in user-defined increments
  • Shift+Arrow Keys — Move selection in 10x user-defined increments
  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+2 — Lock all deselected artwork
  • Hold down Shift — Constrain movement to 45° angle (except when using Reflect tool)

8. Editing Shapes

  • Alt — Switch Pen tool to Convert Anchor Point tool, Switch between Add Anchor Point tool and Delete Anchor Point tool, Switch Scissors tool to Add Anchor Point tool and Switch Pencil tool to Smooth tool
  • Spacebar+drag — Move current anchor point while drawing with Pen tool
  • Alt+drag — Cut a straight line with Knife tool
  • Shift+Alt-drag — Cut at 45° or 90° with Knife tool
  • Alt+Shape mode — Use shape mode buttons in Pathfinder panel to create compound paths
  • Alt+click the closed region — Erase unwanted closed regions created using Shape Builder tool
  • Shift+m — Select the Shape Builder tool
  • Shift+click+drag — Display rectangular marquee to easily merge multiple paths (when using Shape Builder tool)

9. Painting Objects

  • x —Toggle between fill and stroke
  • d — Set fill and stroke to default
  • Shift+x — Swap fill and stroke
    >—Select gradient fill mode
  • < — Select color fill mode
  • / — Select no stroke/fill mode
  • Shift Eyedropper tool —Sample color grim an image or intermediate color from gradient
    Alt+Shif+click + Eyedropper tool — Sample style and append appearance of currently selected item
  • Ctrl+/ — Add new fill
  • Ctrl+Alt+/ — Add new stroke
  • Ctrl+click gradient button in Tools or Gradient panel — Reset gradient to black and white
  • Alt+o+j — Open Mosaic options for selected raster object
  • [/] — Decrease Bristle brush size / Increase Bristle brush size
  • 1,2,…0 — Set Bristle brush paint opacity value to 10%, 20% etc. 0 increases to 100%

10. Live Paint Groups

  • Alt+click + Live Paint Bucket tool — Switch to Eyedropper tool and sample fill and/or stroke
  • Alt+Shift+click + Live Paint Bucket tool— Switch to Eyedropper tool and sample color from an image
  • Shift + Live Paint Bucket tool — Select opposite Live Paint Bucket tool options
  • Double-click + Live Paint Bucket tool — Fill across unstroked edges into adjacent faces
  • Triple-click + Live Paint Bucket tool — Fill all faces that have same fill and stroke all edges that have same stroke
  • Alt+click + Live Paint Selection tool — Switch to Eyedropper tool and sample fill and/or stroke
  • Alt+Shift+click + Live Paint Selection tool — Switch to Eyedropper tool and sample color from an image or intermediate color from a gradient
  • Shift+click + Live Paint Selection tool — Add to/subtract from a selection
  • Double-click + Live Paint Selection tool — Select all connected faces /edges with same fill/stroke
  • Triple-click + Live Paint Selection tool — Select all faces/edges with same fill/stroke

11. Transforming Objects

  • Alt+click — Set origin point and open dialog box when using Rotate tool, Scale tool, Reflect tool, or Shear tool
  • Alt+drag — Duplicate and transform selection when using Selection tool, Scale tool, Reflect tool, or Shear tool
  • ~+drag — Transform pattern (independent of object) when using Selection tool, Scale tool, Reflect tool, or Shear tool

12. Creating variable width points

  • Shift+click — Select multiple width points
  • Alt+drag — Create non-uniform widths
  • Alt+drag the width point — Create a copy of the width point
  • Shift+drag — Change the position of multiple width points
  • Delete — Delete selected width point
  • Esc — Deselect a width point

13. Working with Type

  • Right Arrow/Left Arrow — Move one character right or left
  • Up Arrow/Down Arrow — Move up or down one line
  • Ctrl+Right Arrow/Left Arrow — Move one word right or left
  • Ctrl+Up Arrow/Down Arrow — Move up or down one paragraph
  • Shift+Ctrl+ Right Arrow/Left Arrow — Select one word right or left
  • Shift+Ctrl+ Right Arrow/Left Arrow — Select one paragraph before or after
  • Shift+click — Extend existing selection
  • Ctrl+Shift+l, r, c — Align paragraph left, right, or center
  • Ctrl+Shift+j — Justify paragraph
  • Shift+Enter — Insert soft return
  • Ctrl+Alt+k — Highlight kerning
  • Ctrl+Shift+x — Reset horizontal scale to 100%
  • Ctrl+Shift+>/ Ctrl+Shift+< — Increase type size / decrease type size
  • Alt+Up Arrow/Down Arrow — Increase or decrease leading (for horizontal text, for vertical text use Alt+Right Arrow/Left Arrow)
  • Double-click leading icon in the Character panel — Set leading to the type size
  • Ctrl+Alt+q — Reset tracking/kerning to 0
  • Alt+Right Arrow/Left Arrow — Increase or decrease kerning and tracking (for horizontal text, for vertical text use Alt+Up Arrow/Down Arrow)
  • Ctrl+Alt+ Right Arrow/Left Arrow — Increase or decrease kerning and tracking by five times(for horizontal text, for vertical text use Ctrl+Alt+Up Arrow/Down Arrow)
  • Alt+Shift+ Up Arrow/Down Arrow — Increase or decrease baseline shift (for horizontal text, for vertical text use Alt+Shift+Right Arrow/Left Arrow)
  • Shift — Switch between Type and Vertical Type, Area Type and Vertical Area Type, and Path Type and Vertical Path Type tools
  • Alt — Switch between Area Type and Path Type, Vertical Area Type and Vertical Path Type tools

14. Panel Shortcuts

  • Alt+click New button— Set options (except for Actions, Brushes, Swatches, and Symbols panels)
  • Alt+click Delete button — Delete without confirmation (except for Layers panel)
  • Shift+Enter — Apply value and keep text box active
  • Shift+click — Select range of actions, brushes, layers, links, styles, or swatches
  • Ctrl+click — Select noncontiguous actions, brushes, layers (same level only), links, styles, or swatches
  • Tab — Show/Hide all panels
  • Shift+Tab — Show/Hide all panels except the Tools panel and Control panel

a. Actions panel

  • Alt+click expansion triangle — Expand/Collapse entire hierarchy for action set
  • Double-click folder icon — Set options for action set
  • Ctrl+click Play Current Selection button — Play a single command
  • Alt+click New Action button — Begin recording actions without confirmation

b. Brushes Panel

  • Double-click brush Open Brush — Options dialog box
  • Drag brush to New Brush button — Duplicate brush

c. Character and Paragraph panels

  • Up Arrow/Down Arrow —Increase/decrease the selected value by a small increment
  • Shift+Up Arrow/Down Arrow — Increase/decreases the selected value by a large increment
  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+f — Highlight the font name field in the Character panel

d. Color Panel

  • Ctrl+click color bar — Select the complement for the current color fill/stroke
  • Alt+click color bar — Change the nonactive fill/stroke
  • Ctrl+Alt+click color bar — Select the complement for the nonactive fill/stroke
  • Ctrl+Shift+click color bar — Select the inverse for the current fill/stroke
  • Ctrl+Shift+Alt+click color bar — Select the inverse for the nonactive fill/stroke
  • Shift+click color bar — Change the color mode
  • Shift+drag color slider — Move color sliders in tandem
  • Double-click to right of a numerical field — Switch between percentage and 0-255 values for RGB

e. Layers Panel

  • Alt-click layer name — Select all objects on the layer
  • Alt-click eye icon — Show/hide all layers but the selected one
  • Ctrl-click eye icon — Select Outline/Preview view for the selected layer
  • Ctrl+ Alt-click eye icon — Selects Outline/Preview view for all other layers
  • Alt+click lock icon — Lock/unlock all other layers
  • Alt+click expansion triangle — Expand all sublayers to display entire hierarchy
  • Alt+click New Layer button — Set options as you create new layer
  • Alt+click New Sublayer button — Set options as you create new sublayer
  • Ctrl+Alt+click New Sublayer button — Place new sublayer at bottom of layer list
  • Ctrl+click New Layer button — Place layer at top of layer list
  • Ctrl+Alt+click New Layer button — Place layer below selected layer
  • Alt+drag selection — Copy the selection to a layer, sublayer, or group

f. Swatches Panel

  • Alt+click layer name — Select all objects on the layer
  • Alt+click eye icon — Show/hide all layers but the selected one
  • Ctrl+click eye icon — Select Outline/Preview view for the selected layer
  • Ctrl+Alt+click eye icon — Selects Outline/Preview view for all other layers
  • Alt+click lock icon — Lock/unlock all other layers
  • Alt+click expansion triangle — Expand all sublayers to display entire hierarchy
  • Alt+click New Layer button — Set options as you create new layer
  • Alt+click New Sublayer button — Set options as you create new sublayer
  • Ctrl+Alt+click New Sublayer button — Place new sublayer at bottom of layer list
  • Ctrl+click New Layer button — Place layer at top of layer list
  • Ctrl+Alt+click New Layer button — Place layer below selected layer
  • Alt+drag selection — Copy the selection to a layer, sublayer, or group
  • Ctrl+click New Swatch button — Create new spot color
  • Ctrl+Shift+click New Swatch button — Create new global process color
  • Alt+drag a swatch over another — Replace swatch with another

g. Transform Panel

  • Shift+Enter — Apply a value and keep focus in edit field
  • Alt+Enter — Apply a value and copy object
  • Ctrl+Enter — Apply a value and scale option proportionately for width or height

h. Transparency Panel

  • Alt+click on mask thumbnail — Change mask to grayscale image for editing
  • Shift+click on mask thumbnail — Disable opacity mask
  • Shift+click on disabled mask thumbnail — Re-enable opacity mask
  • Click opacity field + Up Arrow/Down Arrow — Increase/decrease opacity in 1% increments
  • Shift+click opacity field + Up Arrow/Down Arrow — Increase/decrease opacity in 10% increments

15. Selecting and Moving

  • Ctrl — To access Selection or Direction Selection tool (whichever was used last) at any time
  • Ctrl+Alt+Tab — To switch between Selection and Direct Selection tools
  • Alt+click tool — To cycle through tools behind column tool
  • Alt — To make copy while dragging
  • Shift — To add to a selection
  • Arrow Keys — Move Selection
  • Shift+Arrow Keys — Move Selection 10 pts
  • Ctrl+2 — Lock selected artwork
  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+2 — Lock all deselected artwork
  • Ctrl+Alt+2 — Unlock all artwork
  • Ctrl+3 — Hide selected artwork
  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+3 — Hide all deselected artwork
  • Ctrl+Alt+3 — Show all artwork

16. Path Editing

  • Ctrl+Alt+Shift+j — Join and Average at same time
  • Alt — Convert Anchor Point tool from Pen tool
  • Alt — Switch between Add Anchor Point and Delete Anchor Point tools
  • Alt — Add Anchor Point tool from Scissors tool
  • Space Move anchor point while drawing with Pen tool
  • When finished drawing, hold Alt and release mouse — Create closed path with Pencil or Paintbrush tool
  • Ctrl+drag — Connect to an open (& selected) path with Pencil

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Damilola Ogunmakin
Damilola Ogunmakin is an information entrepreneur, digital marketer and a blogger. He identifies and evaluate information needs, provide information directly to information and organizational consumer.He is currently an accountant at Kings Hotel & Suites.He specializes on Blogging, Website Development, Digital Marketing, and Graphics Design.
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