Luke O’Neil of Computer Arts Magazine took us through the top 5 Adobe Illustrator time-savers. Illustrator is fun to use when you know how to use its short-cuts. Here he explained in detail how these shortcuts can actually save you time and energy.
1. When using Illustrator’s standard Star, Polygon and Flare tools…,
it’s easy to quickly increase the number of sides or points that the shape has. When you’re drawing the shape, use the Up and Down arrow keys to specify the number of sides, and once you’re happy simply release the mouse button.
2. Another quick and easy drawing tip that works with any of Illustrator’s standard drawing tools…,
is to hold the Tilde (~) key down while dragging your mouse around the pasteboard. Illustrator will rapidly repeat the shape, creating some intriguing effects.
3. To quickly create a radial repeat, select the object you wish to repeat and hit R for rotate.
Now, holding Alt/Opt, select a centre point and enter a fraction for how many times you’d like the object to repeat. So, for example, if you want to repeat it 20 times all the way around, enter ’360/20. Hit Copy and then Ctrl/Cmd+D to duplicate the shape, and create your radial repeat.
4. To create solid bands of incremental colour from a radiant gradient…,
go to Object>Expand and specify the number of objects you’d like to split it into. In the Pathfinder pallete, select Divide and then hit Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+G to ungroup your objects. You can now select and delete the bands of colour as you please.
5. Creating blends between two objects is easy in Illustrator.
You draw two objects and go to Object>Blend>Make or, alternatively, specify the number of steps you’d like in the Blend Options box. It’s also possible to change the direction of the blend by simply drawing a path and, with the blend and path selected, going to Object>Blend>Replace Spine.
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