Select Preferences > General.
You create and manipulate your documents and files using various elements, such as panels, bars, and windows. Any arrangement of these elements is called a workspace. (The workspaces of the different applications in Creative Cloud look similar so that you can move between the applications easily.) You can adapt Illustrator to the way you work by selecting from several preset workspaces or by creating one of your own.
When you launch Illustrator, the Home screen appears, which includes the following contents:
The contents of the Home screen are tailored based on your familiarity with Illustrator and your Creative Cloud membership plan.
The Home screen shows the following tabs and buttons on the left:
In addition, you can use the following icons to navigate between the document and the Home screen:
Select Preferences > General.
Deselect Show The Home Screen When No Documents Are Open.
You can use the keyboard shortcuts to open files (Ctrl/Cmd + O) or start new documents (Ctrl/Cmd + N).
When you create a new document in Illustrator, you can view the application header with the following options:
Illustrator provides you ten different workspaces including the Touch workspace. The default workspace is Essentials.
The Properties panel in Illustrator lets you view settings and controls in the context of your current task or workflow. This new panel has been designed with ease of use in mind, ensuring that you have access to the right controls right when you need them.
The Properties panel is available by default in the Essentials workspaces. You can also select Window > Properties to view it.
For details, see Properties panel.
To hide or show all panels, including the toolbar and Control panel, press Tab.
To hide or show all panels except the toolbar and Control panel, press Shift+Tab.
Tip: You can temporarily display hidden panels if Auto-Show Hidden Panels is selected in Interface preferences. It’s always on in Illustrator. Move the pointer to the edge of the application window (Windows®) or to the edge of the monitor (Mac OS®) and hover over the strip that appears.
Click the panel menu icon in the upper-right corner of the panel.
Tip: You can open a panel menu even when the panel is minimized.
In User Interface preferences, you can customize the interface to sport one of the four available color options designed for optimal user experience: Dark, Medium Dark, Medium Light, and Light.
The canvas color in Illustrator is matched to the user interface brightness by default. Choose Preferences > User Interface > Canvas Color > White to change the canvas color to white.
You enter values using the same methods in all panels and dialog boxes. You can also perform simple math in any box that accepts numeric values. For example, if you want to move a selected object 3 units to the right using the current measurement units, you don’t have to work out the new horizontal position—simply type +3 after the current value in the Transform panel.
Press Cmd/ Ctrl key while clicking the arrow buttons to increase or decrease the numerical values in fractions. For example, when you press Cmd/ Ctrl key while clicking Arrow Up to increase the Stroke Weight, the value increases from 1 point to 1.1 point.
To replace the entire current value with a mathematical expression, select the entire current value.
To use the current value as part of a mathematical expression, click before or after the current value.
For example, 0p0 + 3 or 5mm + 4. Similarly, 3cm * 50% equals 3 centimeters multiplied by 50%, or 1.50 cm, and 50pt + 25% equals 50 points plus 25% of 50 points, or 62.5 points.
The Control panel offers quick access to options related to the objects you select. By default, the Control panel is docked at the top of the workspace.
Options displayed in the Control panel vary depending on the type of object or tool you select. For example, when you select a text object, the Control panel displays text-formatting options in addition to options for changing the color, placement, and dimensions of the object. When a selection tool is active, you can access Document Setup and Preferences from the Control panel.
A. Hidden options B. Link to another panel C. Panel menu
When text in the Control panel is blue and underlined, you can click the text to display a related panel or dialog box. For example, click the word Stroke to display the Stroke panel.
Click anywhere outside the panel or dialog box to close it.
To redock the Control panel, drag the gripper bar to the top or bottom of the application window (Windows) or screen (Mac OS).
You can change the visibility of the illustration window and menu bar using the mode options at the bottom of the toolbar. To access panels when in Full Screen Mode, position the cursor at the left or right edge of the screen and the panels will pop up. If you’ve moved them from their default locations, you can access them from the Window menu.
You can choose one of the following modes:
Full Screen Mode With Menu Bar displays artwork in a full-screen window, with a menu bar at the top and scroll bars.
Full Screen Mode displays artwork in a full-screen window, with no title bar or menu bar.
Use F key to toggle between the screen modes.
The status bar appears at the lower-left edge of the illustration window. It displays any of the following:
current zoom level
current tool in use
current artboard in use
navigation controls for multiple artboards
Search for Help topics and assets from Adobe Help and Adobe Stock directly from within the Illustrator workspace. Select one of the following options from the drop-down menu of the search box on the right side of the Application bar:
You can search for high-quality, curated, royalty-free stock illustrations and vector graphics from for all your creative projects from right within Illustrator.
In the search box in the upper-right corner of the workspace, enter the name of the item that you want to find.
You can also search for stock asset by selecting File > Search Adobe Stock.
All assets available from Adobe Stock for a particular search query appear in a separate browser window.
Use the Search For Help box to search for Help topics and online content. If you have an active Internet connection, you can access all content on the Community Help website. If you search for Help without an active Internet connection, search results are limited to Help content that is included with Illustrator.
In the search box, type the name of the item on which you want to search (such as a feature, application, or tool).
All topics available from the Community Help center appear in a separate browser window.
You can directly access the content stored in AEM Assets without the need to log in to AEM Assets. Adobe Asset Link is installed as an extension in the Illustrator application. Your IT admin has to configure and deploy the panel. Once installed and configured, you can do the following to open the panel:
For easy access, you can configure your workspace to include the Adobe Asset Link panel. For more information, see the following links:
Illustrator supports Touch Bar, the multitouch display at the top of the new MacBook Pro keyboard. Using the Touch Bar, you can access Illustrator features and controls right in the context of your current task on the main screen. The Touch Bar supports familiar gestures, such as tap, drag, and slide. For details, see Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator.
Illustrator supports the new Microsoft Dial on Windows 10 Anniversary edition and later or directly on the SurfaceStudio. You can use Dial to adjust settings and parameters for your Illustrator documents.
While using Illustrator, long press the Dial to access the following options:
For details, see Microsoft Dial support in Illustrator.