As a graphic designer, Adobe Illustrator is the program I use the most throughout the day to get work done. I’m always looking for ways to make using it easier and more efficient. Keyboard shortcuts can be an invaluable time saver when it comes to getting around Illustrator. I couldn’t imagine having to do everything with mouse clicks and menu selections. Below are just a few of my favorite shortcuts to boost productivity (given as Apple OS X keystrokes because that’s how I roll):
Spacebar: Enables the Hand Tool temporarily while pressed. Quick way to navigate around your document.
Cmd: Enables Selection Tool temporarily while pressed.
Cmd-Spacebar: Enables the Zoom In Tool temporarily while pressed.
Cmd-Option-Spacebar: Enables the Zoom Out Tool temporarily while pressed.
V: Selection Tool.
Shift (while dragging with the Selection Tool): Add or subtract objects from a current selection. Very useful in selecting objects hidden behind other objects. Just select the object on top and, while holding down the Shift key, drag a box around the multiple objects. The object on top should be deselected and the object(s) hidden below should be selected.
I could go on and on with shortcuts that I find useful, but there are plenty of useful resources online to learn everything you can do through shortcuts. I encourage anyone who uses Illustrator to learn at least the most common shortcuts. I’m amazed at the amount of time they save me on a daily basis.