My Five Favorite Illustrator Hacks

Every designer is bound to love Illustrator. It is the heart of all design, the key to the graphic world in which we know. Opening up Illustrator and seeing all those tools and options is quite a sight. Take a gander, my friends. Although it may seem intimidating at first, you too can learn how to use the tools layed out before you. Of course explaining each and every one is going to take too long for anyone’s taste, so in this blog, I’ll teach you 5 of my favorite Illustrator hacks.

The Pen Tool

We start with: the pen tool. The pen tool is a gift from the heavens. My favorite of all the tools ever created. Not only does this allow you to create any shape you want, but it also creates paths, lines, cruves however you like. It always creates vectors so no need to worry about any image quality loss. It takes lots of practice in order to master this tool but with time and patience, you’re bound to be the very best.

Align Tool

The align tool is another goody! This can be found in Windows>Align on your tool bar. To use the align tool, select the objects to align or distribute. Instead of aligning objects yourself you can easily click a button and have this tool align it for you. It saves you time in the long run.

Pathfinder

Now, I must admit, pathfinder was pretty tricky to understand at first. It may be because I spaz out when I see lots of different buttons that do lot of different things. But no worries because I’ll help clarify this tool. To open this tool up you need to click Windows>Pathfinder. Pathfinder helps combine objects into new shapes. To better put it, you can cut, divide, and trim objects using this tool. I’d play around with the different options under shape mode that help you unite, overlap, intersect or remove shapes.

Color Guide

I love color guide! This tool is so helpful when you want to use complimenting colors! Color guide gives you a wide selection of similar colors you are using to implement in your design. It allows you to switch from one color to another with ease using the eyedropper tool.

Direct Selection Tool

This tool allows you to control anchor points and move existing paths to create the shape you want. It’s so useful when you want to edit a vector shape, for example a single corner. Using this tool allows you to do so by highlighting that corner and adjusting the point on that shape.