Selecting Tools  E-mail
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Written by Craig Watkins   
Getting to know a little about the Illustrator Toolbar and how to select your tools.

When you open a new document in Illustrator a TOOLBAR will appear.

Selecting the tool you want to use in Illustrator is a snap! Simply move your mouse over the tool you want to select and click on it.

Note: Some of the tools have a small triangle in the bottom right corner of their box in the TOOLBAR.

This means there are hidden tools you can use that are related to and perform similar functions as that particular tool. To access these hidden tools, click on the tool, but don’t release your mouse.

The hidden tools will appear to the side of the tool you selected. Move your cursor to the hidden tool you want and release your mouse and the hidden tool will be selected.


You will also notice another small triangle at the end of the hidden tools toolbar. If you move your cursor all the way to this triangle, the hidden tools will “tear off” and become their own palette that stays on your screen.



This is helpful if there is a hidden tool that you use frequently to save you the time of having to work your way to the hidden tool every time you need it.

To rapidly increase your efficiency in the program, hold your mouse over a tool without clicking on the tool. After a couple of seconds, the name of the tool and the KEY COMMAND for that tool will appear. KEY COMMANDS will allow you to switch between tools using your keyboard.



Every time you use a tool that is new to you, first note what the KEY COMMAND is for that tool and write it down on a piece of paper. Keep the piece of paper handy and force yourself to use the KEY COMMAND the next time you want to use that tool. Soon, the KEY COMMANDS become second nature and you don’t even have to use the TOOLBAR that often.

Learn the KEY COMMANDS and your speed will increase dramatically!!

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