Mastering Illustrator

I decided to take free Illustrator CS Classes to learn to use my program better. First lessons were painful, just has been my previous working with my program. It's like searching screwdriver from cluttered garage. Yes, if you are persistent, you can finally find the right button on toolbar or line from menu. But it takes a looot of time. After couple of lessons I finally understood what is a key of mastering Illustrator.

The key is - SHORTCUTS.

Using mouse or graphic pen in your working hand - which is right in my case - and switching tools with help of shortcuts with other hand, makes the use of the program so much easier and faster. All you need is to learn shortcuts.

A - you can select anchor points

V - you can select objects

R - you can rotate objects

S - you can scale objects

P - you can use pen tool

N - you can use pencil tool

Z - you can zoom

etc etc etc

Of course there are buttons on toolbar for those tools, but using shortcuts makes it sooo much faster. So you don't forget your ideas in the meanwhile... :) If you know how to find your tools quickly, then drawing with every drawing program is pure pleasure.

Boy, it took time to understand it...

Maybe the same applies to Photoshop too?! I have always used toolbar buttons... Time to change my habits.

Photo credits: Gines Valera Marin, Imagecom, Photoeuphoria, Vgajic, Michelle Milliman.

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May 28, 2008


Shortcut keys are definitely the way to go! Being in IT, I can remember when a kid called me a "mouse jockey" because I didn't use many shortcut keys for anything (Windows, Word, Excel, Photoshop, etc...). It's amazing, the difference. I'm toying with the notion of using a gaming pad for Illustrator productivity purposes.

If I do, I'll let you know how that went.

December 14, 2007


Thanks for your comment, Jessica. :) For me, learning new keyboard combinations is a good memory training. I like it... :) And it makes the workflow so much faster. But I'm also using a lot of help from different tutorial sites and weblogs. If you know some very good tutorial site, you are welcome to post the links here!

December 13, 2007


Shortcuts do take a lot of time. I've always worked with Photoshop so far and I'm still learning new shortcuts. But it takes time, best is if you look at tutorials online and just try and try over and over. In the end you'll get there.

November 26, 2007


I am taking online classes, but not very often.

November 22, 2007


Thanks, Christian! :)

November 21, 2007


John, Nikola, thanks for your comments. What kind of study do you have, Nikola? Are you taking online classes or something else?

November 21, 2007


I study at the moment illustrator, but since I have a lot obligations, It goes slow, but I hope soon I can learn more and more.

November 21, 2007


Shortcuts is the key to using and mastering many of the Adobe programs - thanks for confirming this.

November 21, 2007


You are welcome, Eti! I have struggled with Illustrator for some time and didn't know this kind of online courses could exist. Was really happy, when I found this one. There are lot of things I already know, but still it's good to fix basic knowledges, to have a solid basis. :) I like that class, I have learned a lot. Good luck to you with your study!

November 21, 2007


Thanks for the class info! I have been wanting a simple starting place for Illustrator for awhile. This looks like a good start. Thanks!

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