7 Time Saving Adobe Illustrator Tips

Business, Adobe Illustrator, Design, Graphic Design

Whether you are just getting started using Adobe Illustrator or have been using it for years, there are always new tips and tricks to learn to improve your workflow to save time. Below I’ve rounded up my top Adobe Illustrator tips and tricks.

1. Copy a colour from anywhere on your screen

If you’d like to select a colour on your screen that is outside your Adobe Illustrator window, using the eyedropper tool, click and hold down on the document window, while the mouse button is held down, move the cursor over the area of your screen to copy the colour, then release the mouse button.

2. Select > Same

A really handy way to save time when you need to recolour an artwork or select and edit similar elements on your document, without individually selecting each object, is to use the menu item “Select > Same“.

Just select one object, navigate to the menu item Select > Same > and choose the option that you need. You can choose to select objects by colour, stroke weight, opacity, fill colour, and more.

3. Increase & decrease brush size

Make your design process even speedier by increasing and decreasing your brush size quickly and easily using keyboard shortcuts. To increase the brush size, press the right square bracket button ( ] ) and to decrease the brush size, click the left square bracket button ( [ ).

4. Blob Brush

Hold down the regular Paint Brush tool button and you’ll discover the Blob Brush tool (or press Shift + B). Instead of creating strokes, like the regular Paint Brush tool, the Blob Brush tool allows you to create solid vector shapes.

5. Converting type to outlines

If you need to share your design, you should convert your type to outlines. If the receiver does not have the same font as you, your design will not display correctly, outlining the type will prevent this. The shortcut to outline your type is Cmd + O. Or, select the type you wish to outline and go to Type > Create Outlines in the menu bar.

6. Paste in place

We know how to copy and paste using Cmd+C then Cmd+V but did you know that you can paste in place, or paste in front or the back of your artwork?

To Paste in Place, press Cmd+Shift+V. To Paste in Back press Cmd+B, and to paste in front Cmd+F.

This allows you to avoid realigning your new element with the rest of your artwork after Illustrator pastes it in the middle of the screen.

7. Label your layers

Save your sanity! Remember to group and label your layers, paths, and objects.

You can rename a layer by double clicking on the layer in the Layers Panel, and typing the name you wish to use. If you have some layers grouped, you can rename it by double clicking the ‘<Group>’ and typing the name you wish to use. Doing this will make it SO much easier to go back and edit your file later on.


Adobe Illustrator can do so much and there is always something new to learn. Do you have any top time saving tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

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We also write about trends, products & guides to industry-standard software that reduces downtime & increases creative productivity.

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