Tech Tips: Text-Formatting Shortcuts for Illustrator

Text-Formatting Shortcuts for Illustrator

Puppy with Laptop

You like to save time, right? And you care about puppies, true?

In design (or any business), time is money. Anything that can save a few seconds and eliminate tedium is a good thing. Shortcut key combinations do both.

Of course, designers typically fall into one of three camps when it comes to using shortcut key combinations. The first group use them religiously. The second prefer the mouse. The third would use shortcut combinations... if only they could remember them. If you fall into that third category, here's a list of text-formatting shortcut key combinations built into Adobe Illustrator:

Effect
Windows
Mac
Increase type size incrementally
Ctrl+Shift+>
⌘+Shift+>
Decrease type size incrementally
Ctrl+Shift+<
⌘+Shift+<
Increase leading incrementally
Alt+↓
Option+↓
Decrease leading incrementally
Alt+↑
Option+↑
Increase baseline shift incrementally
Alt+Shift+↑
Option+Shift+↑
Decrease baseline shift incrementally
Alt+Shift+↓
Option+Shift+↓
Increase kerning/tracking incrementally
Alt+→
Option+→
Decrease kerning/tracking incrementally
Alt+←
Option+←
Restore kerning to Metrics and tracking to 0
Ctrl+Alt+Q
⌘+Option+Q
Toggle automatic hyphenation
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H
⌘+Option+Shift+H
Left-align paragraph
Ctrl+Shift+L
⌘+Shift+L
Right-align paragraph
Ctrl+Shift+R
⌘+Shift+R
Center paragraph
Ctrl+Shift+C
⌘+Shift+C
Justify paragraph (except last line)
Ctrl+Shift+J
⌘+Shift+J
Justify paragraph (including last line)
Ctrl+Shift+F
⌘+Shift+F

So what does any of this have to do with puppies? Nothing really. We were just curious.

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by Deke McClelland

Technology writer Deke McClelland shares the fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator CS5, with step-by-step tutorials designed to help you get the most out of this powerful software. Lessons provide guidance and advice, with real-world projects you can try and multiple-choice quizzes to take along the way. The book includes access to six hours of web video, as well, hosted by the author.