Learning shortcuts is an excellent way to improve the efficiency of your workflow. Rather than provide a long list of all the Illustrator shortcuts, I have picked out a useful selection that you can learn as a starting point. Try to practice with a couple of these every week, and you’ll be knocking out your vector graphics in no time!

For further reading, I have written companion posts for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and macOS.

General Tricks

magic wand icon

ActionMacWin
Paste in FrontCmd + FCtrl + F
Paste at BackCmd + BCtrl + B
Paste onto all ArtboardsOption + Shift + Cmd + VAlt + Shift + Ctrl + V
Place fileShift + Cmd + PShift + Ctrl + P
Temp. select Hand ToolSpacebarSpacebar
Cycle through open documentsCmd + TabCtrl + Tab
DuplicateHold Option + DragHold Alt + drag

Tools

cursor icon

ActionMacWin
ArtboardShift + OShift + O
SelectionVV
Direct SelectionAA
PenPP
Blob BrushShift + BShift + B
Increase/Decrease Blob size] / [] / [
Add Anchor Point++
Delete Anchor Point
TypeTT
Line\\
RectangleMM
EllipseLL
PaintbrushBB
PencilNN
RotateRR
ScaleSS
GradientGG
EyedropperII
BlendWW
HandHH
ZoomZZ

Working with Guides

guide line icon

ActionMacWin
Hide GuidesCmd + ;Ctrl + ;
Lock GuidesOption + Cmd + ;Alt + Ctrl + ;
Make GuidesCmd + 5Ctrl + 5
Release GuidesOption + Cmd + 5Alt + Ctrl + 5
Show GridCmd + ‘Ctrl + ‘
Snap to GridShift + Cmd + ‘Shift + Ctrl + ‘
Toggle Smart GuidesCmd + UCtrl + U

Working with Objects

object icon

ActionMacWin
Select allCmd + ACtrl + A
Select all in active artboardCmd + Option + ACtrl + Alt + A
GroupCmd + GCtrl + G
UngroupShift + Cmd + GShift + Ctrl + G
LockCmd + 2Ctrl + 2
UnlockOption + Cmd + 2Alt + Ctrl + 2
Move selection x1 unitArrow keysArrow keys
Move selection x10 unitsShift + Arrow keysShift + Arrow keys
Shuffle object forwardCmd + ]Ctrl + ]
Shuffle object backCmd + [Ctrl + [
Move to frontShift + Cmd + ]Shift + Ctrl + ]
Move to backShift + Cmd + [Shift + Ctrl + [

Working with Type

type icon

ActionMacWin
BoldShift + Cmd + BShift + Ctrl + B
ItalicShift + Cmd + IShift + Ctrl + I