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The #1 Time Saving Illustrator Shortcut



I don't know about you, but time is the most precious thing to me. It's the only thing you can't buy more of and once it's gone, it's gone. I'm always trying to find the most efficient way of doing common tasks, because believe me, all those little seconds you save will add up. It's amazing how even the smallest shortcut can save you A TON of time in the end. 

I'm here today to share with you the #1 Illustrator shortcut that no one is telling you! I've talked to hundreds of professionals, none of which had any idea that this shortcut existed. It is my absolute go to, the command I use most often. Are you ready for it?

EDIT: This is also the only way to copy and paste objects in different layers and keep them in their respective layers, watch the video to see how to do this!

Copy and paste.

Wait! I know what you're thinking. "I just read through those TWO fluff paragraphs for something I already know how to do?!" Nope. Let me tell you more. The most common way to copy and paste is to select an object and use [ctrl+c] + [ctrl+v] (PC) or [command+c] + [command+v] (Mac) and let me tell you my friends, we've been doing it all wrong. 

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 2.47.07 PM.png

Copy and paste with one-click.

Instead of using the usual command, you can copy and paste with just one click in Illustrator. Here's how:

Select your object and drag while holding alt (PC) or option (Mac). When you let go of the mouse (and alt/option) your object will be copied to where you've dragged it to.

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 2.49.44 PM.png

HOLY WHAT?! Are you as shocked as I was when I learned this little trick?! Think of all the time you can save now! Ok... maybe I'm a little more excited about it than the average person, but wait it gets even better.

Duplicate an object and it's spacing infinitely.

Now that you've mastered the one-click copy and paste, here's how to copy an object and it's spacing infinitely.

Select an object and hold alt (PC) or option (Mac) and drag, this will copy the object you’ve selected and the spacing of which you dragged it. Then hit [windows key+d] (PC) or [command+d] (Mac) to copy the same command. 

You'll notice that if you dragged your object at an angle, this command will copy the angle of which you dragged your object, and the spacing of which you dragged it.

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 2.52.24 PM.png

I've found this bonus command to be super helpful when I need to create a lot of copies of an object in a certain sequence, like buttons on a jacket for example. 

PRO TIP: You can also hold down shift during the one-click copy and paste to keep your object level as you drag it.

Now go count up all those seconds, minutes, and hours you're about to save with this awesome shortcut! Leave me a comment and let me know what projects this has been helpful on. I'd love to hear from you!

Natalie SmithComment