Ever found yourself running out of time while working on an Illustrator project? This five time saving Illustrator tricks will give you a boost. Don’t waste your time just read it, and use it.
1. Open links quickly by double clicking
To open a linked file in Photoshop or your other favourite image editor double click on it while holding the left Alt button on your keyboard.
2. Use Transform Panels math abilities to duplicate objects
The real magic of the Transform Panel is that instead of duplicating objects by a cumbersome process of copying, pasting, and placing them manually on the right spot, you can use mathematical operators like add, subtract, multiply and divide, and press Alt+Enter to duplicate your object.
3. Use Magic Wand and Lasso Tool
You may believe me or not but those tools in Illustrator are as useful as they are in Photoshop. Still I don’t know a single person that uses them (besides me). You should try and see how good they are at improving your workflow.
Use lasso tool for freeform/freehand selections.
Use Magic Wand to select objects of similar fill color, stroke color, stroke weight, opacity or blending mode. Double click on it in the Tools Panel to change its settings.
4. Save your selections
To save lots of time and sanity while working on complex illustrations you should save your selections. With your selection active go to Select>Save Selection and give it a proper name.
If you want to use your saved selection just go to Select>”Your Selection”.
5. Use outline mode to select objects located below other objects
Outline mode was initially designed to speed up the time it takes to redraw the scene, but I found one additional use to it.
You can use it to easily select objects that are located below other objects. Let’s say that you have 3 opaque rectangles covering an object like in the picture below. No matter how hard you try it’s impossible to select the object below the squares in normal preview mode.
Of course there are ways to do it, you can use the Layers Panel, you can drag and select all the rectangles and then deselect the unnecessary ones, etc… Unfortunately those methods are not easy or quick to perform, especially with complex illustrations.
This is where Outline Mode shines. Just press Ctrl+Y to enter the Outline Mode and you can select any object, even if it is behind other objects.