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Sep 28

Some Illustrator tips

2006 at 05.01 pm posted by Veerle Pieters

I’ve been terrible busy the last couple of weeks. Mostly because business has never been that hectic and we’re also on the verge of moving to a new place. A lot of time goes into arranging stuff you have no idea :) If things go as planned I’ll be moving boxes and furniture in about 3 weeks from now. So I haven’t been able to write much or prepare for another in-depth or step-by-step tutorial. Hopefully you don’t mind that I share the following short Illustrator tips with you…

Did you know that...

  • there is an easy and fast way to delete individual points that are not connected to other anchor points?
    Deselect all objects. Choose Select > Object > Stray Points.
  • when you hold down the shift key while dragging a guide, the guide will snap to each line shown in the ruler?
  • when you hold down the control key or your second mouse button in the Rulers that you can change the units of the Rules?
  • you can easily turn objects into guides? And that you can make them objects again?
    View > Guides > Make Guides (command/control + 5) or View > Guides > Release Guides (command/control + alt/option 5)
  • you can switch fast between fill and stroke by hitting the x key?

Last but not least, did you know that...

you can create interesting effects by adding multiple fills and strokes within the same object? With the Appearance palette you can

Example of using Strokes on top of each other

I think the image is self-explanatory, but it basically comes down to adding new Strokes on top of each other using different transparency values and modes. You can of course do the same with Fills. Imagine the effects you can achieve by stacking different types of gradients on top of each other.

Want to learn more?

VECTORTUTS+ Vector Tutorials and More A good and not expensive source to learn more about Illustrator, Photoshop, or web design is by joining the Tuts+ sites. You get access to the source files for just $9 a month. So your ONE membership gives you access to members-only content for ALL the Plus sites. I've written a tutorial for the Vector Tuts section.




permalink this comment Mark Forrester Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 06.00 pm

I’m still using Freehand, but plan to take the plunge and give Illustrator a go very soon. I’ll definitely remember the tips and tricks, I’m sure they’ll come in handy!

Good luck with the moving boxes and furniture!



permalink this comment Kerwyn Wilson Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 06.26 pm

Great tips! Especially for those of us who are new to Illustrator.



permalink this comment Bretton Mitchell Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 07.06 pm

It could quite possibly be you from whom I originally learned it from… But for the benefit of your readers—the snapping to ruler (using shift) also works in Photoshop. Using ALT will make the guide perpendicular to what it is now, and using CTRL will disable snapping it to the sides and middle of the current layer. Whether those alt+control commands work in Illustrator I’m not sure (never used it), but I would presume so…



permalink this comment Moses Ting Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 08.49 pm

These are great tips.  My favorite is paste-in-place (ctrl + f) instead of the normal paste (ctrl + v).  More programs should have the paste-in-place function.



permalink this comment Kamil Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09.47 pm

Thanks for these tips. They actually are very useful to me.



permalink this comment Max Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10.44 pm

Nice tips. Thanks



permalink this comment Rimfya Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10.55 pm

Switching between fill and stroke is good, but flicking through solid fill, gradient and none, is as easy as

, . /

, = solid
. = gradient
/ = nothin!



permalink this comment Rafael Fischmann Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11.58 pm

OMG, I loved the multiple strokes tip. Exactly what I needed!! Thanks Veerle!!



permalink this comment fatihturan Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 09.25 am

Useful tips, thanks Veerle! But i’m wondering another thing; how i can change dynamicaly rounded rectangle box’s rounds like Freehand or Inkscape? Is there an easy way?
p.s: sorry for bad english ^^



permalink this comment Orlando Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 09.32 am

clean and useful, as usual :)



permalink this comment Rafael Fischmann Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 10.10 am

@fatihturan: I know one tip, maybe it’s good for you. While still dragging the rounded rectangle, press the up and down directional keys on your keyboard. It changes the radius dinamically.



permalink this comment Von Glitschka Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 10.49 am

Veerle you are the ‘Vector Goddess’.

I’ve used FreeHand since 1991 and just switched a month ago. Thanks for the tips, I’ve been lurking for a while so I decided to de-cloke.



permalink this comment fatihturan Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 10.49 am

@Rafael: Thanks, very useful tips but i’m wondering resizing when i have drawed a rounded rectangle box then i want to resize rounds with mouse or whatever…



permalink this comment SPOlichudar Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 11.23 am

Cool tips veerle



permalink this comment Rafael Fischmann Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 04.27 pm

@fatihturan: I don’t know if that’s possible in Illustrator, I’m almost sure that you can’t.



permalink this comment Step Schwarz Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 05.07 pm

Great tips, thank you!



permalink this comment Mark Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 08.33 pm

Thanks for the tips.



permalink this comment ~TheAngel~ Sat Sep 30, 2006 at 04.40 am

Thanks for the tips, btw, you got a nice design here ;)



permalink this comment lalo Sun Oct 1, 2006 at 01.01 pm

hey nice tips ^^, I can say that I learned to use illustrator thanks to you lol



permalink this comment Daus Wed Oct 4, 2006 at 06.48 pm

Very nice tips for Illustrator



permalink this comment fatihturan Tue Oct 10, 2006 at 10.12 pm

Oh last, i found answer of my own question. :) If you want to change dynamically rounds of rectangle box then you must follow this command:
effects-stylize-round corners



permalink this comment neocorsten Wed Oct 11, 2006 at 09.58 am

Thank you for your illustrator tips/tutorials. They are a great help and so clean.



permalink this comment vladyn Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 01.31 pm

Thanks! I wish to add also:
Ctrl+/ - for new fill in Appearance
Ctrl+Alt+/ - new stroke

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