Utilising the Symbols Panel, swapping Fill and Stroke, using Global Colours and other tips and tricks for faster work with Adobe Illustrator.
1. Utilise the Symbols Panel
If you’re using the same artwork or icons throughout your projects, then using the Symbols panel is a great way of building a collection of artwork that you can quickly draw from in-between projects. Windows > Symbols
2. Using Global Colours
Setting a swatch to “global” is useful if you plan to change the colouring in the artwork on the future because any object with a global colour applied to it will automatically change if you go back to the swatch and edit it.
To convert a swatch to Global, double click on it in the Swatches panel and tick Global and hit OK.
3. Repeat Transformation
The Transform Again shortcut Ctrl + D (Win) / Cmd + D (Mac) is useful for rapidly repeating the last transformation action performed. For example, you can quickly produce an array of objects by first using Alt + dragging out a copy of an object, and then using Transform Again to create multiple instances of the same object that are of the same distance apart from each other.
4. Swapping Fill and Stroke
You can quickly swap the fill and stroke of a selected object by using the keyboard shortcut Shift + X
5. Quickly Switch Between Colour Modes
In the Color Panel, you can quickly switch between colour modes (RGB, CMYK etc.) by holding down Shift and clicking on the Color Spectrum Bar.
6. Copying Colour From Anywhere On Your Screen
Here’s a trick to select any colour on your screen that’s outside of the Illustrator window: with the Eyedropper Tool, click and hold down on the document window, then while the mouse button is still held down, move it over the area of the screen you want to copy the colour from and release.
7. Utilise the Graphic Styles
Graphic Styles are a great way to save and reuse an appearance you’ve created (so the fill, stroke, opacity and any effects applied to an object). Window > Graphic Styles.
8. Automate with Actions
The Actions panel is used to save and automate tasks, making it ideal for making changes in bulk.
Window > Actions.