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  • Lauren-Lourdes Ryan

Five Adobe Illustrator shortcuts

As someone who’s always had a passion for art and illustration, I fell into working in graphic design during college. I felt like it was a great way to combine something I loved with a long-term career path that had some form of stability. Art in general can be a very uncertain career path to go down.


However, getting started in graphic design took a lot of learning, and many experienced designers say that you never truly stop learning. There will always be new software updates, new trends to try out and design rules to bend. However, this is something that I love about it. No day’s work is ever the same.


Yet this can also be really daunting. Whether you want to illustrate, work in branding, packaging or just play around with the software for fun, graphic design work can seem kind of vast and scary. However, I have found that learning a few keyboard shortcuts can really help a beginning designer become more comfortable with working on a screen. As a result, I thought that I would share five of my most used Adobe illustrator shortcuts.



One

The selection Shortcut


To add multiple items/assets to the same time on a windows device you press the shift button and hold it down as you click on every item you want to select at once





Two

The Grouping Shortcut


The group shortcut can be handy in relation to the above selection shortcut. If you need to move around many things at once or change the colour or size of multiple assets quickly, rather than doing this slowly and individually. You can group them and make your common changes then ungroup them to alter them separately. The shortcut for this is to select all the assets using the above shortcut and then press shift then click G





Three

The Lock Selection Shortcut


While working on a full or busy adobe illustrator artboard, you might start to click the wrong assets accidentally. This can get frustrating and can negatively affect your work. That's why the lock selection is so handy. You can lock specific assets and work with others freely!


To use this shortcut, press the CTRL and number two buttons while selecting a specific asset.




Four

The duplication shortcut


The shortcut is very handy while working with illustrations or patterns with recurring assets or elements. I found this very handy while working with packaging design and brand design. This is because these two areas of design tend to use a lot of patterns. For example brand patterns, packaging, logo-based patterns and motion graphics. All of this generally aims to create a personalised branding look.


This shortcut is used by selecting the alt key and then dragging the asset that you want to duplicate.





Five

The Save Shortcut


One thing to remember while working in Adobe software is that although the software autosaves, you should still manually save the work to make sure the most up-to-date version of your work is secure. The easiest way to keep your digital content safe is via the shift and s keyboard button combination.






I hope that these few tips can help anyone who wants to get started in digital design work, for fun or for a career. It's a really fun, fulfilling and challenging pastime and I hope you’ll enjoy it just as much as I do.


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