Using Adobe Illustrator keyboard shortcuts will help you create art faster and focus more time on the creativity side. Use them regularly, and you won’t have to go back and forth to select, find the right tool, or make new shapes. This’ll eliminate the need to click several times to achieve the desired action.

120 Most Useful Adobe Illustrator Keyboard Shortcuts image
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As you look over the tools menu, you’ll notice that they already have a keyboard shortcut in parenthesis right next to the name of each individual tool. For example, you’ll notice a (P) next to the pen tool. So go ahead and press P on your keyboard, and you won’t have to go to the tools menu and manually select the Pen.

Table of Contents

    But Adobe Illustrator has much more shortcuts than just tools. You can use them to select items, copy them, group items, and so on. This article lists the ones mostly used by professionals and beginners alike. So use our keyboard shortcut tables for your cheat sheets. Also, make sure to check our list with the best GIMP keyboard shortcuts for maximum productivity.

    Most Popular Shortcuts

    These keyboard shortcuts will help you interact with Adobe Illustrator and perform various tasks quickly. They are most popular because they are actions that need to be repeated frequently, no matter what you are working on.

    Action Windows macOS
    Undo CTRL + Z Command + Z
    Redo Shift + CTRL + Z Shift + Command + Z
    Copy CTRL + C Command + C
    Cut CTRL + X Command + X
    Paste CTRL + V Command + V
    Paste in front CTRL + F Command + F
    Paste at the back CTRL + B Command + B
    Paste in Place Shift + CTRL + V Shift + Command + V
    Paste on all open artboards Alt + Shift + CTRL + V Option + Shift + Command + V
    Check Spelling CTRL + I Command + I
    Open Color Settings Dialog Box Shift + CTRL + K Shift + Command + K
    Open General Preference Dialog Box CTRL + K Command + K
    Access Help Menu F1 F1
    Quit Illustrator App CTRL + Q Command + Q

    Documents Related Shortcuts

    The keyboard shortcuts listed in the next table will help you set up your document and work with it in various ways. Use them to quickly create new documents or to save existing ones. You can even use a shortcut to print out your work without the hassle of going through the different menus.

    Action Windows macOS
    Create a New Document CTRL + N Command + N
    Create a New Document from a Template Shift + CTRL + N Shift + Command + N
    Create a Document without the dialog box Alt + CTRL + N Option + Command + N
    Open a Document CTRL + O Command + O
    Input a File in a Document Shift + CTRL + P Shift + Command + P
    Open File Information Dialog Box Alt + Shift + CTRL + I Option + Shift + Command+ I
    Open the Document Setup Dialog Box Alt + CTRL + P Option + Command + P
    Browse in Adobe Bridge Alt+ Ctrl + O Option + Command + O
    Close the Document Window CTRL + W Command + W
    Save all changes made in Document CTRL + S Command + S
    Save a copy of the document Alt + CTRL + S Option + Command + S
    Open the Save for Web Dialog Box Alt + Shift + CTRL + S Option + Shift + Command + S
    Package the Document Alt + Shift + CTRL + P Option + Shift + Command + P
    Print the Document CTRL + P Command + P

    Adobe Illustrator Tool Shortcuts

    Adobe Illustrator is filled with useful tools that you’ll use regularly in your projects. As mentioned, many tools have already written shortcuts next to their name, but some are grouped together, and you’d have to navigate around the toolbox a lot just to find them. The best would be to learn the ones you use the most by heart. That way, you won’t have to spend time searching through the tools menu each time you need to switch a tool.

    Adobe Illustrator Tool Shortcuts image
    Action Windows macOS
    Artboard Tool Shift + o Shift + O
    Selection Tool V V
    Direct Selection Tool A A
    Magic Wand Tool Y Y
    Lasso Tool Q Q
    Pen Tool P P
    Type (Text) Tool T T
    Rectangle Tool M M
    Ellipse Tool L L
    Pencil Tool N N
    Paintbrush Tool B B
    Rotate Tool R R
    Reflect Tool O O
    Scale Tool S S
    Free Transform Tool E E
    Column Graph Tool J J
    Mesh Tool U U
    Gradient Tool G G
    Eyedropper Tool I I
    Blend Tool W W
    Live Paint Bucket Tool K K
    Scissors Tool C C
    Hand Tool H H
    Zoom Tool Z Z
    Curvature Tool Shift + ~ Shift + ~
    Blob Brush Tool Shift + B Shift + B
    Add Anchor Point + +
    Remove Anchor Point
    Switch to Anchor Point Tool Shift + C Shift + C
    Touch Type Tool Shift + T Shift + T
    Shaper Tool Shift + N Shift + N
    Warp Tool Shift + R Shift + R
    Width Tool Shift + W Shift + W
    Shape Builder Tool Shift + M Shift + M
    Perspective Grid Shift + P Shift + P
    Perspective Selection Shift + V Shift + V
    Symbol Sprayer Shift + S Shift + S
    Paint Selection Tool Shift + L Shift + L
    Slice Tool Shift + K Shift + K
    Eraser Tool Shift + E Shift + E
    Toggle between Smooth and Blob Brush Tool Press Alt Press Option

    View and Navigation Shortcuts

    The shortcuts described in the next table will help you view your document and navigate any section of it quickly.

    Action Windows macOS
    Toggle between Screen Modes F F
    Magnify 100% CTRL + 1 Command + 1
    Hide Bounding Box Shift + CTRL + B Shift + Command + B
    Hide Unselected objects CTRL + Alt + Shift + 3 Command + Option + Shift + 3
    Show Document Template CTRL + H Command + H
    Show or Hide Artboards CTRL + Shift + H Command + Shift + H
    Show or Hide Artboard Rulers CTRL + R Command + Option + R
    View All Artboards in Window CTRL + Alt + 0 Command + Option + 0
    Exit Artboard Tool Mode Esc Esc
    Navigate to next document CTRL + F6 Command + F6
    Navigate to Previous Document CTRL + Shift + F6 Command + Shift + F6
    Exit Full Screen Mode Esc Esc
    Toggle Between Online and GPU Preview CTRL + Y Command + Y
    Toggle Between GPU and CPU Preview CTRL + E Command + E
    Zoom in CTRL + = Command + =
    Zoom Out CTRL + – Command + –
    Hide Guides CTRL + ; Command + ;
    Lock Guides Alt + CTRL + ; Option + Command + ;
    Show Grid CTRL + ‘ Command + ‘

    Work With Selections

    Working with selections can be tiresome. It’s very nuanced work, and you need tons of practice to perfect it. But these shortcuts might help you along with your workflow.

    Action Windows macOS
    Select Artwork in active artboard CTRL + Alt + A Command + Option + A
    Select All CTRL + A Command + A
    Deselect Shift + CTRL + A Shift + Command + A
    Reselect Ctrl + 6 Command + 6
    Group the selections CTRL +G Command + G
    Ungroup selections Shift + CTRL + G Shift + Command + G
    Lock selected objects CTRL + 2 Command + 2
    Unlock selection Alt + CTRL + 2 Option + Command +2
    Hide selected objects CTRL + 3 Command + 3
    Show all selections Alt + CTRL + 3 Option + Command + 3
    Bring selected object forward CTRL + ] Command + ]
    Move selection to the front Shift + CTRL + ] Shift + Command + ]
    Send Selected objects to the Back CTRL + [ Command + [
    Move selection to the Back Shift + CTRL + [ Shift + Command + [

    Work with Text

    Text can be a huge part of your Adobe Illustrator projects. Here are some keyboard shortcuts that’ll help you manipulate the text faster.

    Action Windows macOS
    Open Character Panel CTRL + T Command + T
    Open Paragraph Panel Alt + CTRL + T Option + Command + T
    Align paragraph left, right, or center CTRL + Shift + L,R, or C Command + Shift + L,R, or C
    Increase font size Alt + CTRL + . Option + Command + .
    Decrease font size Alt + CTRL + , Option + Command + ,
    Increase font size by step Alt + up arrow + CTRL + . Option + up arrow + CTRL + .
    Decrease font size by step Alt + up arrow + CTRL + , Option + up arrow + CTRL + ,
    Highlight Kerning CTRL + Alt + K Command + Option + K
    Track Kerning Alt + CTRL + K Option + CTRL + K
    Reset Kerning tracking CTRL + Alt + Q Command + Option + Q
    Insert Bullets Alt + 8 Option + 8
    Insert Copyright symbol Alt + G Option + G
    Justify Text Left CTRL + Shift + J Command + Shift + J
    Justify all lines Shift + CTRL + F Shift + Command + F
    Superscript Shift + CTRL + = Shift + Command + =
    Subscript Alt + Shift + CTRL + = Option + Shift + Command + =
    Insert Hyphen Shift + CTRL + – Shift + Command + –
    Display Hidden Characters Alt + CTRL + I Option + Command + I

    With Adobe Illustrator’s vast array of helpful keyboard shortcuts, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be flying through your design projects faster and with greater precision. Whether you’re a first-time user or an experienced professional graphic designer, taking advantage of this more efficient way to work can save both time and frustration. Learning these shortcuts may take some time and practice but with a bit of dedication, that time will be well spent! Don’t forget to come back and check out our other posts if you’re looking for even more Adobe software tips and tricks.