ASK DN: What is your favorite time saving tip/trick in Adobe Illustrator?

almost 6 years ago from , Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Looking to move past the old and slow ways of doing things and hopefully find some useful ways to speed up my design process. I do a lot of branding, illustration and custom lettering so anything related to that is great. Even things like setting up grids, cutting shapes, etc.


  • Stephen Thomas, almost 6 years ago

    Guess I'm gonna be the first, but Affinity Designer. Lots faster than Illustrator for most every task

    4 points
  • Richard SisonRichard Sison, almost 6 years ago

    This is applicable to any vector tool, but learning to use only horizontal and vertical handles is a very helpful skill. Link

    Other than that, for Illustrator it's just learning the shortcut keys.

    My Illustrator setup was always usually stock standard (unlike my Sketch setup which is very customised…)

    Hope that helps!

    3 points
  • Louis BLouis B, almost 6 years ago

    cmd + shift + O --- outline text. not object, dropdown, expand, popup, check fill + stroke, done. this is probably obvious to many, but after 10 years, I learnt this the other day. oh my god.

    1 point
  • BAKA .kidBAKA .kid, almost 6 years ago

    save early, save often.

    Jokes aside, i find myself using the merge tool in pathfinder more and more these days. i used to stay away from it as i liked to keep things easily editable, but if you are finished the design and want something flat to deliver, it works a treat.

    1 point
    • Kyle S, almost 6 years ago

      Yo do I have a treat for you. Hold down OPT when you click pathfinders merge button. It will make those shapes into a compound path while still allowing you to edit and move those shapes separately. Game changer.


      0 points
  • JE LS, almost 6 years ago

    When going to draw with the Pen, always press "A" key first (direct selection) then "P" for Pen… "AP"

    So next, as you draw, pressing COMMAND, you activate the latest selection tool, and that, would be the direct selection tool. If you release COMMAND, you get back to the Pen tool…

    That trick enables you to quickly move and change anchor points and continue drawing, without going back and forth between those tools

    0 points
    • BAKA .kidBAKA .kid, almost 6 years ago

      i learnt this one early in my illustrator days, and boy, do i love it. it becomes habit so quickly and makes editing on the fly so easy!

      1 point