Since everyone loves lists. Here is a list of 10 of my favorite keyboard shortcuts in Adobe Illustrator. Your list may be different than mine, so feel free to add a comment about your favorite shortcut. Before I start, I just wanted to say that I left off copy, paste, save, open and tool changes. They just seemed too obvious.
Paste in Front (Command/Control F)
Paste in Front is a great way to make a copy of an object in the exact same place. I mostly use this in conjunction with the Pathfinder Tools for creating my shadow and highlight shapes.
Send to Back (Command/Control + Shift [)
I use Send to Back more than any of the other Arrange commands. Again, I use this in conjunction with the Pathfinder Tools. Most of the time, I’ll send a shape to the back, before I merge or divide it with another. This keeps all my shapes in the right place.
Group (Command/Control G) and Ungroup (Command/Control + Shift G)
OK, so I cheated. This is two shortcuts, but they are related. I use group and ungroup in the normal ways (to group shapes), but I also use them to move shapes around. If you group a shape that is in back to one that is in the front, the one in the back will move right underneath the one in the front. Also, grouping shapes on different layers will move them to the same layer.
Lock Selection (Command/Control 2)
I don’t really work in layers, so I’ll often Lock and Unlock shapes to make it easier to select other shapes.
Transform Again (Command/Control D)
Transform Again is a good way to repeat the last copy that you did. It’s a quick way to create evenly spaced shapes.
Copy Drag (Option + Shift while dragging a shape)
Holding Option down while you drag a shape is the simplest way to copy a shape. When you hold down the Shift key too, then the object will only move horizontally or vertically.
Smart Guides (Command/Control U)
Smart Guides are very useful for aligning shapes. I also find them really annoying to look at, so I toggle them on and off a lot.
Select All (Command/Control A)
Sometimes, I want to select everything on the page. It’s a good way to check if you have any stray shapes on the paste board, locked objects or unoutlined fonts.
Add or Subtract to a Selection (Shift Click)
Holding Shift and clicking allows you to select multiple shapes. It also allows you to deselect shapes.
Fit in Window (Command/Control 0)
If you are like me, then you are constantly zooming in and out. I’ll zoom in all the way to select a point on the line and then zoom out, so I can see the big picture. When I do this, I find that Fit in Window is a quick way to zoom out.
Well, that’s my list. feel free to add your own favorites below.
This post was written on IllustrationInfo.com. Content copyright 2008 Cory Thoman.