Adobe Creative Cloud Design Tools All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummies
Cheat Sheet

Adobe Creative Cloud Design Tools All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Adobe Creative Cloud Design Tools All-in-One For Dummies

By Jennifer Smith

When you think about manipulating visual media, the design tools in Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) automatically come to mind. The menus in Adobe CC applications offer many options and tools to help you edit and install pictures and active graphics. And you can always use shortcuts to work more quickly. Check out these helpful shortcuts.

14 Basic Menu Options for Adobe Creative Cloud Tools

Adobe Creative Cloud tools, like any software, gives you menu options to open, close, and save your files. Menu options also enable you to import and export documents and undo changes, in addition to other basic commands. Here’s a table that shows common Adobe CC options and what they do.

Option What You Can Do with It
New Create a new document in the native file format.
Open Open a dialog box where you can choose a (supported) file on
your hard drive or a disk to open.
Close Close the current document. If you have unsaved changes, you’re
prompted to save those changes first.
Save Save the changes you’ve made to the current document.
Save As Save a new copy of the current document.
Place or Import Import a file, such as an image file or a sound file, into the
current document.
Export Export the current data to a specified file format. You can
sometimes select several different kinds of file formats for saving
the current data.
Copy Copy the selected data to the computer’s Clipboard.
Paste Paste the data from the Clipboard into the current
Undo Undo the most recent operation you did in the program.
Redo Repeat the steps you applied the Undo command to.
Zoom In Magnify the document so that you can view and edit the contents
Zoom Out Scale the view smaller so that you can see more of the document
at a time.
Help Open the Help documentation for the current program.

13 Keyboard Shortcuts for Adobe Creative Cloud Tools

Like most other applications, Adobe Creative Cloud tools offer keyboard shortcuts so that you can access features quickly and easily with the touch of a key or two. Explore the Adobe CC shortcuts that are used the most by both Windows and Mac users.

Command Windows Shortcut Mac Shortcut
New Ctrl+N Command+N
Open Ctrl+O Command+O
Save Ctrl+S Command+S
Undo Ctrl+Z Command+Z
Redo Ctrl+Shift+Z Shift+Command+Z
Copy Ctrl+C Command+C
Paste Ctrl+V Command+V
Print Ctrl+P Command+P
Preferences (General) Ctrl+K Command+K
Preferences (Flash and Fireworks) Ctrl+U Command+U
Zoom In Ctrl++ (plus sign) Command++ (plus sign)
Zoom Out Ctrl+– (minus sign) Command+– (minus sign)
Help F1 or sometimes Ctrl+? F1 or sometimes Command+?

Adobe Creative Cloud Tools: 9 Panels and Their Functions

Knowing how to use the panels in Adobe Creative Cloud tools can help boost your creativity and make your job easier. Adobe panels offer information and tools to help you add color, align objects, and generally transform your Adobe files (and yes, there is a Transform panel).

Have some fun by exploring these panels:

  • Color: Use the Color panel to select or mix colors for use in the current document. Choose different color modes, such as RGB (Red, Green, Blue) and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black), from the panel menu (the arrow in upper-right corner).

  • Info: The Info panel shows you information about the document itself or a particular selection you’ve made. The Info panel includes information on the size, positioning, and rotation of selected objects. You can’t enter data into the Info panel. It only displays (not accepts) information, so use the Transform panel to make modifications.

  • Swatches: You can use the Swatches panel to create a library of color selections, which you can save and import into other documents or other programs. You can store colors and gradients that you use repeatedly in the Swatches panel.

  • Tools: Though the Tools panel (or toolbar) isn’t available in all Creative Suite programs, it’s an extremely important panel in the programs it’s in. A program’s toolbar contains the tools used in that program.

  • Layers: The Layers panel is used to display and select layers. You can also use it to change the layer order and to help select items on a particular layer.

  • Align: Use the Align panel to align selected objects to each other or to align them in relation to the document itself. This panel makes it easy to do precise alignment with multiple objects.

  • Stroke: The Stroke panel allows you to select strokes and change stroke attributes, such as color, width/weight, style, and caps (ends). The program you’re using determines which attributes you can change.

  • Transform: The Transform panel is used to display and change the shear (skew), rotation, position, and size of a selected object in the document. You can enter new values for each of these transformations.

  • Character: The Character panel is used to select fonts, font size, character spacing, and other settings related to using type in your documents.

12 Common Tools in Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is full of tools, most identified with little icons that hint at their functions. For example, use the tool that looks like a brush if you want to create brush marks. (Smart, huh?) Peruse this table that shows the most common Adobe CC tools and what each one does.

Tool What You Can Do with It
Selection Select elements in the document.
Marquee Select elements in a document using a rectangular or oval
Lasso Make freehand selections in a document.
Magic Wand Select similar adjoining colors in a document.
Pencil Make freehand solid marks (with a hard edge) in the
Pen Create vector paths in a document.
Brush Create painterly brush marks in the document; brushes vary in
size, shape, and pattern.
Text Add text to the document.
Shape Create various shapes in the document.
Scale Increase or decrease the scale (size) of an element in
the document.
Hand Move the contents of the document for viewing purposes.
Zoom Change the magnification of the document.