Draw Faster By Making Fewer Trips To The Tool Palette
This tutorial is for applications that use the pen:
Adobe Illustrator® and Macromedia®
FreeHand®. When drawing with
the pen you will inevitably have to stop mid-path and
make adjustments to anchor points, control
handles or line segments.
software packages use different terms for the same
things, and since this article is using mixed terminology
please consult the table
of equivalent terminology for clarification
Usually, when first learning the software, the novice
will go to the tool palette to switch back and forth
between the pen and other tools. This is very time consuming
and there are provisions in the software to switch tools
without having to select them from the tool palette.
The keys on both the right-hand and left-hand sides
of the spacebar are used for this purpose. Shown below
are the keyboard hand positions for a right-handed mouse:
The diagram above shows the hand positions (for a right
handed mouse) to take advantage of keyboard shortcuts
for drawing with the pen. This is the quickest way to
use the pen.
Mac® users will use various
combinations of the Shift, Option and Command keys, while
Windows users will use parallel combinations of the Shift,
Ctrl and Alt keys.
For example, while actively drawing a path with the pen
tool, Windows Illustrator users can press the Ctrl key
to switch between the pen and the selection tool while
at the same time press the Shift key to constrain a line
to 45° increments. When finished making the adjustment,
the user simply releases the keys and resumes drawing
with the pen tool - all without resorting to the tool
Following this tutorial are step by step examples to drill
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