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Join Justin Seeley, lynda.com staff author and design enthusiast, each week for a new 5-minute, self-contained tutorial that you can use to instantly improve your design workflow. This series covers techniques for print, digital, and web design, addressing the tools that creative professionals like you use most. Learn new ways to leverage layer styles and vector shapes in Adobe Photoshop, work more efficiently with text in Illustrator, and embed videos and even tweets in WordPress posts, and much more. Check back each week for a new installment, and a new design hack.
Hi, there. Welcome back to another installment of Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seeley and this week I'm going to be showing you a nifty little drawing trick inside of Adobe Illustrator. Now, in order to do this trick, you have to know what this is, that I have out here on my screen. If you don't know what this is, this is the tilde symbol or tilde symbol as some people like to call it and this is on your keyboard. It is going to be right next to the number one in most cases. And so what you're going to need to do is you're going to need to find that key that looks like this and you're going to need to hold that down while you're drawing shapes.
Let me show you exactly what I mean. I'll remove this from my screen and then I'm just going to grab something like a star. You know how to draw shapes in Illustrator, you just click and drag and it draw the shape just like this. What you may not know though, is that you can hold down the tilde key, and you can create some really interesting shapes while you're drawing. So watch this, I'm still holding down my mouse key, just drawing out the shape. When I throw in the tilde key, watch what happens. I can draw these really crazy looking shapes, and right now it doesn't look like much because it's all black, but if I switch over to just a stroke, check that out. It's a really interesting way to draw really complex shapes without having to know how to draw anything like that whatsoever.
So I'll shrink that down, you can see what I was able to draw right there. Let's take a look at something like the Ellipse tool, same thing applies here. I'll hold and tilde key, just click and draw a shape like that. Then I'll click away from it and see what I was able to draw there. And let's go over here, let's grab something like the Polygon tool. Again, I'll just hold down the tilde key and draw something out looks kind of like that. That's all there is to it. Now what exactly is going on here in the background? Well basically as you're drawing shapes inside of Illustrator anyway, so if you're just drawing something like a square or rectangle, for instance.
Illustrator's actually drawing multiple versions of this, as you are clicking and dragging around. By holding down the tilde key, you're actually just telling Illustrator to keep all of those temporary ones. So watch this. As I'll go here, I'll hold in the tilde key, then I'll just move to the right. All of those different versions are being redrawn, and then when I let go of the mouse, they all stay as separate shapes. All it is is holding down one key and moving your mouse around.
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