Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Touring your new keyboard shortcuts, part of Illustrator CC 2017 One-on-One Mastery.
- [Instructor] In this movie I'll take you on a tour of what I consider to be some of the Deke keys highlights. Now I don't expect you to remember all of these, that's why I'm providing you with this documentation so you can review it at your leisure and decide what stuff matters most to you. Now the other thing to bear in mind is these are strictly keyboard equivalents. We are not talking about keyboard-mouse combos like Alt clicking or something along those lines and that's because keyboard shortcuts are all you can modify using Illustrator's keyboard shortcuts command.
Alright, I'm starting off on page three here because that's where the action really starts. Notice that I've changed Command-Option-C, and you know the drill by now. I'm looking at the Macintosh document. Command is the same as Control on the PC, Option is the same as Alt, and Shift is the exact same thing as Shift. Alright, so I've assigned Command-Option or Control-Alt-C to hiding and showing the corner widgets inside of a live rectangle. Now that's one of those remapped shortcuts.
If we take a look at the Macintosh defaults here you can see that it's originally assigned to an Envelope Distortion function called Make with Top Object, which doesn't really have much of a C in it, just the second to last letter. We also have Envelope Distort Make with Mesh with the keyboard shortcut of Command-Option-M, and then, if we scroll a couple of pages down here, for Envelope Distort Make with Warp, we have a totally non parallel shortcut of Command-Shift-Option-W.
Now let me show you what's going on just in case you might find this interesting. I'm going to switch to the last page in this document by pressing Control-Shift-Page Down, that's Command-Shift-Page Down on the Mac, and then I'll go ahead and grab my Ellipse Tool from the Shape Tool fly-out menu and I'll draw an ellipse that's roughly the size of this little table right here. And then I'll go ahead and switch back to my black arrow tool, up here at the top of the toolbox, by pressing the V key, and I'll go ahead and marquee all these items like so. And then I'll go to the Object menu, choose Envelope Distort.
Notice these three commands, these were the ones that used to have those very different keyboard shortcuts. I'll choose Make with Top Object, that's the one that used to be Control-Shift or Command-Shift-C, and I'll get this effect here. And that is a very cool effect, it's like we wrap the text around a blimp or something. The thing is how often are you going to do that and you find Command-Shift or Control-Shift-C to be a memorable shortcut for this effect. Speaking personally, I'm very happy choosing that command manually when I want it.
Whereas if I grab the rectangle tool and draw a rectangle, and then I switch to the white arrow tool by pressing the A key, notice I've got these corner widgets right here. If I don't want to see them I have to go up to the View menu and try to find that command. It's down here, Hide Corner Widget. So much easier just to press Control-Alt-C, or Command-Option-C on the Mac, and that's a toggle. So the first time I press the shortcut the widgets disappear, and if I press it again it brings them back. Anyway so there's a little bit of reasoning where some of the stuff is concerned.
And that gave me a lot of freedom. Once I gave myself permission to remap all this stuff, for example, Command-Option-M I send to Object-Pattern-Edit Pattern. Now you may look at that and say that's ridiculous, Deke, that totally falls into that category you were just complaining about, the letter M doesn't appear anywhere in this. Well, here's the thing. When I remap Command-M to Object-Pattern-Make for the word Make because I enjoy making patterns so very much, then it seems to me common sense to apply Command-Option-M to editing a pattern.
Now this Command-Option-L is a very interesting one, I want you to see what was going on in the past. I'll go ahead and switch back to page three here, and you can see by default Command-Option-L makes a new layer. So, if I switch to the first page Command-L, or Control-L on the PC, makes a new layer but it doesn't display the dialog box. So you don't get a name and color the layer as you create it. Whereas if you press Command-Option-L, Control-Alt-L on the PC, you get a dialog box which is what's indicated by this dot dot dot.
The problem is quite bizarrely that new layer appears behind the current one instead of on top of it, and that is a function of the fact that if you press the Command and Option keys, or Control and Alt on the PC, and you click on that little page icon at the bottom of the layers panel, that's a special trick for putting one layer behind another. For some reason it carries over to the keyboard shortcut and that's not a good thing. So here's the solution I came up with. I went ahead and assigned Command-Shift-Option-L right here to a new layer with dialog box, and that way the new layer appears in front of the active ones, which to me makes a hack of a lot more sense.
And then, speaking of sense, that allowed me to take Command-Option-X, which was previously assigned here to this guy right here, Object-Live Paint-Make. X has nothing to do with Live Paint in my imagination, and so I was able to then assign Command-Option-X to File-Export Selection, the X for Export, and I assigned Command-Option-L for Live Paint-Make. This is the kind of reasoning I'm trying to pull off here. You might be skeptical of this one right here, Command-Option-U for Select-Save Selection.
That's where you select a bunch of objects and then you save that off in the Select menu in case you want to just choose that command again in order to select all those objects. Well, here's my reasoning there. Command-Option-V for View-New View, that makes a lot of sense, and these were wide open keyboard shortcuts, by the way. And it's the same thing in a way. You are saving your view that is how far you zoomed in and where you scrolled to, what part of the document you're looking at. You save that in the View menu. And the View menu is just a couple of menus away from Select, and so I figured maybe it'd make a little better of sense to create some parody here.
At least it's worked well for me. Alright, so moving right along, Command-Shift-Option-A adds anchor points. So it doubles the number of anchor points in an object which is why I thought I would apply Command-Shift-Option-Z, the opposite shortcut, to simplifying the path, removing points from it. We have Command-Shift-Option-R for Recolor Artwork, I think that's pretty straightforward. This one is one that I think is really important. By default Command-Shift-Option-B, I'll go ahead and scroll down to it here, this is of course Control-Shift-Alt-B in the PC, goes ahead and releases a blend.
So if you create a blend, you press this and you release it, you destroy the blend. You almost never want to do that. So why in the world would it get a keyboard shortcut when something you want to do all the time, bring up the blend options dialog box, which normally the only shortcut for that is double clicking on the Blend tool, which is really difficult to find in the tool box. Instead I went ahead and reassigned this shortcut, which again works for me. I can't stress that enough, these are things that are making sense to me overtime, I'm hoping they'll make sense to you.
Here's a really interesting default one, just to bear in mind. Command-Shift-Option-F goes ahead and highlights the font in the character panel so that you can type in a different font if you want to or arrow through them. Very useful keyboard shortcut. But notice the screen asterisk. It refers to this guy right here. Command-Shift-Option-M does exactly the same thing. And it's some kind of weird cork express holdover. I'm not really sure why it's here but I did not reassign it. You could if you want to. You can go ahead and reassign that shortcut without hurting the thin space.
That's only going to happen when text is selected. So you might want to, but I didn't want to do it because I know a lot of people find this secondary shortcut to be helpful. Alright, let's see what else we've got. We've got modifiers with numbers. You can take a look at that. Command-9, I just figured I'd give it to Text Wrap-Make because it doesn't have anything normally, and this Text Wrap-Make command, it's in the Object menu and it's very close by to Compound Path-Make and Clipping Mask-Make. And the rest of these commands here, you can look at them if you like.
I'm going to move on to page six so that we can see something again. I feel like I'm tiding things up. Notice if you want to release a clipping mask, which is actually a common operation, you have a keyboard shortcut of Command-Option or Control-Alt-7. But by default I'll switch to this page inside the default document here, if you want to do the same thing with the Compound Path which is right next door in the Object menu, you have to add the Shift key for some reason. So notice it's Command-Shift-Option-8 and Command-Option-7.
That isn't the way it used to be. Somebody messed this up years ago. And so, I think it makes so much more sense that if you want to release a compound path, which often times you do, that is coming as ungrouping in Illustrator. Then Command-Option-8 so that you have what's again parody between these two commands. Then, if you're working on a clipping mask, and you want to switch between editing the contents and the mask, you can press Command-Shift-Option-7 which is analogous to Command-Option-7 up here and so forth.
Alright, let's see if there's anything interesting on page seven. There actually is. I really like this shortcut right here, Command-Shift-Minus, to change all the text as long as it's not selected using the type tool, as long as it's just selected with the arrow tool, for example. That will change all your text to lowercase. Command-Shift-Plus will change it all to uppercase. On the Mac. On the PC, you'll see right here, I'll go ahead and scroll forward, it wasn't able to get into work. Control-Shift-Plus is unassignable, to leave these keyboard shortcuts alone on the Pc.
I just want you to know that's why you Macintosh folks have 100 custom keyboard shortcuts, where you PC people only get 96. Hope you don't feel ripped off by that but that's the way it is. Alright, I'm going to go ahead and move forward here. A couple of interesting things on this page. First of all, Expand, the Expand command. So the idea here is maybe you know what it does. It will take something like a gradient and break it apart into a blend. So it'll expand it into its core path outlines.
The thing is, if the path contains special appearance attributes, for example you have a couple of strokes piled on top of each other, then you have to use the second command, Expand Appearance. I don't know why they did this, one has a dialog box, one doesn't typically, but the thing is it's really confusing as only one of these commands is ever available and it's very difficult to predict which one it's going to be. Which is why I'm giving you this keyboard shortcut, again I found it to be useful, of Command-Shift-Option-Left Bracket. And so the idea here is, if you want to expand something, you just press Command-Shift-Option-Left Bracket.
And if it doesn't work because that's the wrong Expand command, then you just press Command-Shift-Option-Right Bracket. See if that works for you. And then this one I think is great, Command-Shift-Option-Semicolon to clear all the guides inside of a document. I find sometimes when I send a document off to someone else, especially to get printed, that they'll look at the document and think something's weird because there's all these lines because they're not familiar with guides. So I like to do a last minute cleanup and get rid of all the guides from my final document.
And so you may know Command-Semicolon allows you to hide and show the guides, whereas Command-Option-Semicolon will lock and unlock the guides, so I figured Command-Shift-Option-Semicolon will clear the guides. Alright, we've only made it to page eight of a 14-page document in this case so there's plenty more to discuss, as we will in a future movie. But first, just in case you don't like all this junk, I want to show you how to restore Illustrator's default shortcuts any time you like.
As Creative Cloud evolves, this course gets updated. Check back for new videos, new feature reviews, and new ways to work.
- Top-secret tricks for shortcut enthusiasts
- Customizing the Illustrator toolbox
- Adjusting opacity with shortcuts
- Using advanced blend mode tricks
- Working with the Brushes panel
- Seamlessly repeating patterns
- Blending multiple mesh objects
- Reformatting text and numerical values
- Using the logo-making features in Illustrator
- Using the Libraries panel
- Working in 3D space