The Mac Lab

Epic Quest: 1001 Creative Suite Tips and Tricks

I often record videos several times when trying to set the tone for the day. In one of the initial takes of this morning’s videos I said something like, Welcome to 1,001 Illustrator Tips and Tricks! but it sounded lame so I began again (several more times) before settling on this version (and following it up with this video). But there was something about the 1,001 tips and tricks echoing in my skull…

Something epic.

How can I expect my students to tackle epic projects if I’m unwilling to attempt one myself? So…

By the start of the 2012/13 school year, this page will contain links to a minimum of 1,001 Creative Suite Tips and Tricks.

If I can figure how to make the list easily searchable, that will be even more epic! 😉

Epic XP: Watching the videos is worth zero XP. Becoming an Expert of Master is worth 1 or 2 XP (respectively) per video. As always, be guided by the Code of Honor. Preliminary Explanation. Important: Duels with Skocko will be worth 10 or 15 XP per video depending on your rank.

Note: I understand that some of these tips work in more than Illustrator and/or Photoshop. Just keeping things simplified for my students as we get rolling with this new feature. We’ll begin with basic concepts and slowly ramp up the skill-sets.

PC Users: When I speak of keyboard shortcuts, substitute Control for Command, Alt for Option, and Backspace for Delete.

1001: CS Tips and Tricks:

  1. Illustrator: Turn Smart Guides On or Off (Cmd+U)
  2. Illustrator: Hiding the Perspective Grid (Shift+Cmd+I)
  3. Illustrator: The Mystery of the Unselectable Rectangle
  4. The Link: Finding The 1001 Creative Suite Tips and Tricks Page
  5. Illustrator/Photoshop: Work in Full Screen Mode With Menu (F)
  6. Illustrator/Photoshop: All My Panels Are Gone! (Tab)
  7. Illustrator/Photoshop: The 4th Screen Mode (Tab)
  8. Illustrator/Photoshop: The Selection/Move Tool (V)
  9. Illustrator/Photoshop: Temporarily Access the Selection/Move Tool (Cmd)
  10. Illustrator: Select Text Via the Selection Tool (V)
  11. Illustrator: Selecting Text Via Double-Click on Text Icon
  12. Illustrator: Escaping from the Text Tool (Esc)
  13. Illustrator: What’s Inside Layer 1?
  14. Illustrator: Undocking Panels
  15. Illustrator: Selecting Via Meatball
  16. Illustrator: Selecting Multiple Objects Via Meatball (Shift-Click)
  17. Illustrator: Locking Objects Via Layers Panel
  18. Illustrator: Locking Multiple Objects Via Layers Panel (Click and Drag)
  19. Illustrator: Re-Docking Panels
  20. Illustrator: Unlocking Layers Via Layers Panel
  21. Illustrator: Resetting Your Workspace
  22. Photoshop: Resetting Your Workspace (It’s different than Illustrator)
  23. Illustrator: Locking Objects Via Menu or Keyboard (Cmd+2)
  24. Illustrator: Unlocking Objects Via Menu or Keyboard (Opt+Cmd+2)
  25. Illustrator: Locking and Unlocking Via Menu or Keyboard Limitation
  26. Illustrator/Photoshop: Always Undo Rather than Guessing (Cmd+Z)
  27. Illustrator: Multiple Undos (Cmd+Z)
  28. Photoshop: Multiple Undos (Opt+Cmd+Z)
  29. Illustrator/Photoshop: Use Arrow Keys to Nudge Objects
  30. Illustrator/Photoshop: Use Shift+Arrow Keys to Nudge Objects Further
  31. Photoshop: Creating a New Document Preset
  32. Illustrator/Photoshop: Copying the Hexadecimal (Hex) Code (Cmd+C)
  33. Illustrator/Photoshop: Setting a Custom Background Color
  34. Illustrator: Lock and Copy (Cmd+2 and Cmd+C)
  35. Photoshop: Paste as Smart Object (Cmd+V)
  36. Photoshop: Fit on Screen (Command+0)
  37. Photoshop: Resizing the Smart Object (Hold Shift to Constrain)
  38. Photoshop: Resizing (Hold Shift+Option to Constrain from Center)
  39. Photoshop: Commit the Smart Object (Return or Enter)
  40. Photoshop: Free Transform (Cmd+T)
  41. Photoshop: Select All and Align Vertically and Horizontally (Cmd+A)
  42. Photoshop: Deselect and Nudge (Cmd+D and Arrow Keys)
  43. Photoshop: Save for Web and Devices (Shift+Opt+Cmd_S)
  44. Illustrator: How Do I Get Rid of the Dot Over the i?
  45. Illustrator: A Handy Way to Navigate Around Your Document (Spacebar)
  46. Photoshop: A Handy Way to Slide Around Your Document (Spacebar)
  47. Photoshop: A Handier Way to Get Directly from A to B using H
  48. Photoshop: Fit on Screen (Cmd+0)
  49. Illustrator: Fit Artboard in Window (Cmd+0)
  50. Illustrator: Where Did All My Colors Go? (Cmd+Y)
  51. Illustrator: Intro to the Z Axis
  52. Illustrator: Using the Layers Panel to Rearrange the Stacking Order
  53. Illustrator: Using the Arrange Command to Modify Stacking Order
  54. Illustrator/Photoshop: Adding New Layers
  55. Illustrator: Using Layers to Control Stacking Order
  56. Illustrator/Photoshop: Adding and Naming a New Layer (Opt+Click)
  57. Photoshop: Adding a New Layer Below an Existing One
  58. Photoshop: Adding and Naming a New Layer Beneath an Existing One (Opt+Cmd+Click)
  59. Illustrator: The Importance of Knowing Paste in Place (Shift+Cmd+V)
  60. Illustrator: Send to Current Layer (Very Cool!)
  61. Illustrator: Anne’s Drag Selected Objects to New Layer (Even Cooler)
  62. Illustrator/Photoshop: Renaming Existing Layers
  63. Photoshop: How to Move the Default Background Layer
  64. Photoshop: Nikki and Spencer’s Alternate Method for Moving the Background Layer
  65. Illustrator: Select and Deselect Multiple Objects (Shift+Click)
  66. Illustrator: Semar’s Align to Key Object Tip
  67. Illustrator: Semar’s Clean Up Reminder to (Path>Clean Up)
  68. Illustrator: Changing the Color Associated with Each Layer
  69. Photoshop: Text and Auto Named Layers
  70. Illustrator/Photoshop: The Black Arrows (V)
  71. Photoshop: Changing the Default Auto-Select Option
  72. Photoshop: Selecting Multiple Objects Via Marqueeing (The Good)
  73. Photoshop: Selecting Multiple Objects Via Marqueeing (The Bad)
  74. Photoshop: Basic Align and Distribute Options Via the Move Tool’s Control Bar
  75. Photoshop: Selecting Multiple Layers Via the Layers Panel (Shift or Cmd+Click)
  76. Photoshop: Using the Marquee Tool to Check Positioning
  77. Photoshop: Using the Marquee Tool to Check Visual Positioning
  78. Illustrator: White Fills and Black Strokes
  79. Photoshop: Black Foreground and White Background
  80. Illustrator: Double-Click to Invoke the Color Picker
  81. Photoshop: Invoking the Fill Dialog Box (Shift+Delete)
  82. Photoshop: Fill With Foreground Color (Opt+Delete)
  83. Photoshop: Fill With Background Color (Cmd+Delete)
  84. Illustrator: How Do I Change the Background Color?
  85. Illustrator: Why Is Illustrator Drawing Multiple Objects?
  86. Illustrator: Changing Opacity
  87. Photoshop: Changing Opacity (it’s different)
  88. Photoshop: How Did You Create Those Shapes?
  89. Photoshop/Illustrator: Help! Where Do I Find…
  90. Photoshop: Grouping Layers (Cmd+G)
  91. Illustrator: Grouping Objects (Cmd+G)
  92. Illustrator: Ungrouping Objects (Shift+Cmd+G)
  93. Illustrator: Selecting Individual Objects Via Meatball When Grouped
  94. Illustrator: Selecting Individual Objects Via White Arrow When Grouped
  95. Illustrator: Selecting Individual Objects Via Isolation Mode When Grouped
  96. Photoshop: Ungrouping Layers (Shift+Cmd+G)
  97. Photoshop: How Do I Move All Layers of a Group?
  98. Photoshop: Moving All Layers Via Select and Move
  99. Photoshop: Moving All Layers Via Auto Select Group
  100. Photoshop: Free Transform v Show Transform Controls
  101. Illustrator: Escaping Isolation Mode By Double-Clicking
  102. Illustrator: Escaping Isolation Mode By Following the Breadcrumbs
  103. Illustrator/Photoshop: Opening Recent Files (File>Open Recent)
  104. Illustrator: Grouping and/or Ungrouping with the Contextual Menu (Right-Click)
  105. Photoshop: The Very Different Contextual Menu
  106. Photoshop: Select Pixels Via Command-Click on Layer Icon
  107. Photoshop: Selecting Pixels Via Right-Click on Layer Icon
  108. Photoshop: Add to Selections With Shift+Cmd+Click
  109. Photoshop: Add to Selections With Right+Click
  110. Photoshop: How Can I Hide My Selections?
  111. Photoshop: Command+H Options | What to Choose
  112. Photoshop: Command+H | What if I Chose the Wrong Option?
  113. Photoshop: Custom Keyboard Shortcut | Stroke
  114. Photoshop: Custom Keyboard Shortcut | Trim
  115. Photoshop: Custom Shortcuts in the Menu
  116. Illustrator/Photoshop: Setting Default Colors (D)
  117. Illustrator/Photoshop: Exchanging Fill and Stroke or Foreground and Background (X)
  118. Illustrator: No Fill or No Stroke Shortcut (/)
  119. Illustrator/Photoshop: Roll Over Icons for Tool Tips and Shortcuts
  120. Photoshop: Web Images, Photoshop, and Temporary Files
  121. Illustrator: Have You Been Saving to the Library?
  122. Photoshop: Changing the Default Settings to Open JPGs in Photoshop (Cmd+I)
  123. Photoshop: Save then Open this File in PhotoshopStarter File
  124. Photoshop: Setting Black, Gray, and White Points for Print Work | Starter File
  125. Photoshop: Using the Black and White Points (Opt+Click)
  126. Illustrator/Photoshop: Making Rulers Visible or Invisible
  127. Illustrator/Photoshop: Changing Units Between Inches and Pixels
  128. Illustrator/Photoshop: Drag Guides from Rulers
  129. Illustrator: Show and Hide Guides (Cmd+;)
  130. Photoshop: Show and Hide Guides (Cmd+; or  Cmd+H)
  131. Illustrator/Photoshop: Locking and Unlocking Guides (Opt+Cmd+;)
  132. Illustrator/Photoshop: Handy Guide Trick (Opt+Drag)
  133. Illustrator: Make Guides — Even Diagonal Guides (Cmd+5)
  134. Illustrator: Position Guides Via the Control Bar
  135. Photoshop: Position Guides Via the New Guide Command
  136. Illustrator/Photoshop: Change the Color of Guides Via Preferences
  137. Illustrator/Photoshop: Mystery Tip that I’m Trying to Locate
  138. Illustrator/Photoshop: Deleting Individual Guides
  139. Illustrator/Photoshop: Clear Guides
  140. Illustrator/Photoshop: Show the Grid (Cmd+’)
  141. Illustrator: Show and Hide the Grid Via Right-Click
  142. Illustrator: Smart Default Grids
  143. Photoshop: Dumb Default Grids
  144. Illustrator/Photoshop: Beginning to Work Smart with Grids
  145. Illustrator/Photoshop: Opening Preferences (Cmd+K)
  146. Illustrator/Photoshop: Changing the Color of the Grid
  147. Illustrator: Drawing with Snap to Grid
  148. Illustrator: Repositioning With Snap to Grid (Doesn’t Work)
  149. Photoshop: Selecting With Snap to Grid
  150. Photoshop: Repositioning With Snap to Grid (Does Work)
  151. Illustrator: Advantages of Changing the Artboard’s Registration Point
  152. Illustrator: Click to Define a Rectangle’s Size
  153. Illustrator: Reposition and Copy with Two Clicks of the Selection Tool
  154. Illustrator: Transform Again (Cmd+D)
  155. Illustrator: Reposition and Copy Multiple Objects with a Double-Click
  156. Illustrator: Reposition, Copy, and Transform Again Twice
  157. Illustrator: Utilizing and Modifying Some of Our Strategies
  158. Illustrator: Copying With the Rotate Tool (Option+Click)
  159. Illustrator: Transform Again and Again Automatically
  160. Illustrator: Saving an Object as a Symbol
  161. Illustrator: Recoloring Symbols
  162. Illustrator: Symbol Library Basics
  163. Photoshop: Sampling Color from Anywhere on Your Screen
  164. Illustrator: Sampling Color from Anywhere on Your Screen


Learn it all.