Adobe CS5 Illustrator Tools Shortcuts - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

As you begin using Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator, become familiar with its tools. Tools are used to create, select, and manipulate objects in Illustrator. The tools should be visible as a default, but if not, you can access them by choosing Window, then Tools.

The list below identifies the most common tools. Hover the cursor over the tool in the Tools panel to see the name of the tool in a ToolTip. You can also use the keyboard command to access that tool. When you see a small triangle at the lower right corner of the tool icon, it contains additional, hidden tools. Select the tool and hold the mouse button to see them.

Adobe CS5 Illustrator Tools
Tool or Keyboard Command Task
Selection (V) Activate objects
Direct Selection (A) Activate individual points or paths
Group Selection (A) Select grouped items
Magic Wand (Y) Select based on similarity
Lasso (Q) Select freehand
Pen (P) Create paths
Type (T) Create text
Line Segment (/) Draw line segment
Shape (M) Create shape objects
Paint Brush (B) Create paths
Pencil (N) Create paths
Blob Brush (Shift+B) Create freeform brush paths
Eraser (Shift+E) Erase vector paths
Rotate (R) Rotate objects
Scale (S) Enlarge or reduce objects
Width tool (Shift+W) Draw strokes of variable widths
Free Transform (E) Transform objects
Shape Builder (Shift+M) Combine, edit, and fill shapes
Perspective Grid (Shift+P) Provide perspective plane
Mesh (U) Create a gradient mesh
Gradient (G) Modify gradients
Eyedropper (I) Copy and apply attributes
Blend (W) Create transitional blends
Symbol Sprayer (Shift+S) Spray symbols
Column Graph (J) Create graphs
Artboard tool (Shift+O) Adds or edit artboards
Slice (Shift+K) Create HTML slices
Print Tiling Tile print output
Zoom (Z) Increase and decrease the onscreen view