Whether you are a UI/UX designer, an animator, a photographer, or a graphic designer like myself, chances are you can agree that keyboard shortcuts are a lifesaver. When faced with tight deadlines on the regular, it is important to do whatever you can to get the most out of your work time. As a graphic designer here at Red Shark Digital, saving time is a crucial aspect of our everyday. Servicing graphic design needs in Greenville, NC can be more fast-paced than you would think, surprisingly.

Switching from one tool to the next within a program is sometimes one of the most time-consuming parts of the entire project. Long-time Adobe users can attest, knowing what window and drop-down to choose for certain tools can be a pain to remember. Especially since there are twenty different ways to do one thing in each different program. To better help ourselves navigate our favorite program (Adobe Illustrator), we put together a list of the useful and most used keyboard shortcuts, that hopefully will help boost your productivity like it has for us. Indefinitely, we will probably miss a few, so if you don’t see your favorite on the list feel, free to share them with us! Or take a stab at making your own cheat sheet like the one we made below.

Adobe Illustrator Keyboard Shortcuts | Red Shark Digital

We broke these shortcuts down into subheadings to ease with navigation further.

Select and Move

Copy an Object while Dragging      –       Option + Drag Object

Move Entire Selection                      –       Make Selection + Use

                                                                       Arrow Keys

Selecting Multiple Objects              –       Hold Shift + Select Objects

Altering Typography

Decrease / Increase Font Size        –       Command + Shift + < or >

Decrease / Increase Leading          –       Option + Arrow Keys Up or


Decrease / Increase Kern / Track   –     Option + Arrow Keys Left or


Align Type Left, Right or Center     –     Command + Shift + L, R or C

Justify Text                                          –      Command + Shift + J

Shift Tool Shortcuts

Convert Anchor Points                  –       Shift + C

Blob Brush                                       –       Shift + B

Eraser                                                –       Shift + E

Symbol Sprayer                               –       Shift + S

Live Paint Selection                        –       Shift + L

Artboard Tool                                  –       Shift + O

Slice Tool                                          –       Shift + K

Swap Fill and Stroke                      –       Shift + X

It is no secret that keyboard shortcuts are more than just a useful way to change the pace of your workflow, but also time and lifesavers. They are ideal for any and every designer; no matter what type of design you do or what your skill level may be, these Adobe Illustrator shortcuts can without a doubt benefit you in your everyday design grind. Like we mentioned earlier as well, there are many other shortcuts that are unique to their respective Adobe programs. In this article, we covered just a few of what we consider our most essential Adobe Illustrator shortcuts, also known as hotkeys. We encourage designing daily and practicing using shortcuts to the tools you use regularly. It may seem daunting at first, but the more you put these tactics to use – the faster and more efficient you will become.

Red Shark Digital is a superior full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in Web Design, SEO, Branding, and Digital Advertising. With offices across North Carolina including Raleigh, Greenville, and Wilmington, our team of digital marketing specialists are able to create catered solutions for your business needs. Our clients have allowed us to push the boundaries of web and creative design, while building innovative results for their company and their brand. These clients have encompassed multiple industries including higher education, healthcare, and major commercial franchises. Our wide range of clientele has allowed us to craft specialized strategies for businesses of all sizes while conveying our knowledge across a variety of platforms. We always strive to connect brands to customers, learn what we can do for your business today.

Join Our Newsletter