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Top 10 Illustrator Hacks You Really Need To Know

Campbell Jof by Campbell Jof Tweet - in Illustrator - [wtr-time]

Illustrator Hacks

Swapping Fill & Stroke, using global colors & utilising the symbols panel; reminds you what? These are a few Illustrator hacks that help you work faster with Adobe Illustrator. Whether you are just getting started with Adobe Illustrator or have been using this software for years now, you need to know some incredibly useful hacks that can save your time, increase your productivity, and redefine your skills, making your next project a breeze. Want to know about them? Let’s get started.

Here Are The Top 10 Illustrator Hacks

#1 Hack: Don’t Shy Away From Using Pen Tool

Using the pen tool can be tricky, but it is one of the most essential Illustrator hack that the software offers. When it comes to tracing sketches and drawing custom vectors, nothing works best than a pen tool.

Illustrator Hack

It is extremely versatile. If you are a beginner, look for exercises online and learn how to use it. If you are an expert user, keep practicing to master the tool and use it at an advanced level.

#2 Hack: Convert Text To Outline

When sending artwork to the press, fonts might create problems. If they don’t have the typeface you have used in your design, the document will not be printed correctly.

Illustrator Basics

This is why you need to follow the Illustrator basics and convert the text into outlines. This way, the text will no more be text, it will become outlined, taking the form of a vector graphic and can be edited as a graphic only.

#3 Hack: Start Using Clipping Mask

To make your task easier and faster in Adobe Illustrator, it is recommended that you use a clipping mask. It allows you to make changes (add, remove, and modify) to the elements inside the mask. Plus, you will be able to create great art in lesser time.

Start Using Clipping Mask

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#4 Hack: Align Objects To A Key Anchor Object

If you want to align multiple objects in a layout with one anchor object, that can be easily done in Illustrator.

• Select all the items that need to be aligned.

• Click on the object you want to turn into the anchor object. Upon clicking on it, you will see the selection border getting thicker. This indicates that your anchor object is ready.

• When you hit the Align Object icon, the selected objects will automatically get aligned with the anchor object in your art board.

Align Objects

#5 Hack: Get Acquainted With The Strokes Panel

To add some personality to your Illustration design and make the most out of every shape you create, it is essential to get familiar with the options available in the stroke panel.

Illustration Design

Because whenever you draw any shape in Adobe Illustrator, stroke weight gets applied to it automatically. And if you know how to make use of the stroke panel, you will be able to enhance the value of your art work.

#6 Hack: Detach Tools That You Use Frequently

There are some tools (not all) in the Illustrator toolbar that can be detached. If you are using any of these regularly, you can detach them off from the main tools palette to get easier access whenever required and save time.

Illustrator Tools

To pluck them off, click on and hold the desired tool, mouse over to the right arrow to “detach.” This Illustrator tool can now be dragged anywhere in your workspace.

#7 Hack: Create Customized Brushes

Do you know that you can make your own brushes in Illustrator? If you feel the existing tools do not suffice, you can create new ones based on your project’s requirements. You will find tutorials online on how to do so. Search for them and start making your customized brushes.

Create Customized Brushes

#8 Hack: Make Use Of Pathfinder Palette

Want to create shapes in seconds? Pathfinder is the tool for you. It lets you combine, subtract and create customized shapes, paths, and detailed vector designs, saving a lot of time. This comes in handy when you feel a particular shape isn’t readily available.

Make Use Of Pathfinder

#9 Hack: Make Your Custom Swatch Set

There are times when default swatches don’t work for you or you are unable to find your own swatches easily. This is when creating a custom swatch library comes to the rescue.

Make Your Custom Swatch Set

Add your frequently used colors and save the set as your custom swatch library in a few clicks. This process will take a few minutes but in the long run, you will end up saving a huge amount of time.

#10 Hack: Use Layers To Manage Your Items

As an illustrator, it is a good practice to use layers for organizing your items. By default, all the objects in your artwork are organized in a single layer, also called parent layer.

Illustrator Tips

But, based on your needs, you can create new layers and rearrange the items. More to this, you can hide, select, and lock the visual attributes of your artwork using the Layers panel.

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Today, Adobe Illustrator is one of the most widely used design software by millions of designers and artists for designing logos, package design, graphics, etc. If you are a graphic designer who has starting using the tool, these Illustrator tips are definitely worth-exploring. Doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a professional, integrating them in your next project can help you save time and create amazing artwork.

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Campbell Jof

I'm a blogger and designer and I work as a creative head for Designhill. I write on topics concerning design, ecommerce, startups, digital marketing, interactive content. My creative work has earned me several laurels over the years. Facebook | Twitter | Google+

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