Adobe CS5 Illustrator Drawing Modes - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator has three drawing modes: Normal, Behind and the new Draw Inside. With drawing modes users have increased control when adding new objects to the artboard. If your Tools panel is not expanded to two columns, click the arrows at the top of the Tools panel to see all three drawing tools.

Expand your Tools panel.
Expand your Tools panel.

Take a look at the bottom of the Tools panel to see the new Drawing Mode icons; the modes are described in the following list:

  • Draw Normal: Place newly drawn objects on top of other objects in the artboard or selected layer.

  • Draw Behind: Make newly created objects fall behind the existing objects on the artboard or selected layer.

  • Draw Inside: Draw inside another shape only when you have a selected object.

    The new Drawing modes.
    The new Drawing modes.

To see what each mode looks like while you’re drawing new objects.

Drawing modes in action.
Drawing modes in action.

More on draw inside

You can also use Draw Inside mode to create a quick clipping path. The draw inside mode is enabled only when there is a single selected object.

  1. Select your artwork and choose Edit→Copy or Cut.

    The artwork to the right has been cut to fit into the star image.


  2. Select the artwork that you want to “paste into” existing artwork and then click the Draw Inside button.

  3. Choose Edit→Paste.

    The artwork is pasted inside the shape.

    After you have pasted your artwork, you can use the Direct Selection tool to reposition it.