Learn how to use the Properties panel to access contextual controls in Illustrator.

The Properties panel in Illustrator lets you view settings and controls in the context of your current task or workflow. This panel has been designed with ease of use in mind, ensuring that you have access to the right controls when you need them.

The Properties panel is available by default in the Essentials workspace. It is also available in Window > Properties.

The frequently used controls for each Properties panel area are displayed upfront. You can access additional controls either by clicking the ellipses in the lower-right corner of an area or clicking an underlined option.

Default controls when no object is selected

When no objects are selected in your document and the Selection tool is selected, the Properties panel displays controls related to the artboards, ruler, grids, guides, snapping, and some commonly used preferences. In this state, the Properties panel displays quick action buttons that let you open the Document Setup and Preferences dialog boxes and enter the artboard editing mode.

Controls for selected objects

For any selection, the Properties panel displays two sets of controls:

  • Transformation and appearance controls: Width, Height, Fill, Stroke, Opacity, etc
  • Dynamic controls: Additional controls, depending on the contents of your selection, may become available. For example, you can adjust the character and paragraph attributes of text objects. For image objects, the Properties panel displays crop, mask, embed or unembed, and Image Trace controls. If you select a text box, the controls related to text modification are displayed in the Properties panel.
  • Quick Actions: Quick action tasks, depending on the contents of your selection, becomes available.
Properties-Panel
A. Controls available for an image object B. Controls available for a path C. Controls available for a text object D. View more options 

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