1. Illustrator User Guide
  2. Get to know Illustrator
    1. Introduction to Illustrator
      1. What's new in Illustrator
      2. Common questions
      3. Illustrator system requirements
      4. Illustrator for Apple silicon
    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Create documents
      3. Tools Default keyboard shortcuts | Illustrator
      4. Tool galleries
      5. Customize keyboard shortcuts
      6. Artboards
      7. Customize the workspace
      8. Properties panel
      9. Set preferences
      10. Touch Workspace
      11. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      12. Recovery, undo, and automation
      13. Rotate view
      14. Rulers, grids, and guides
      15. Accessibility in Illustrator
      16. Safe Mode
      17. View artwork
      18. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      19. Files and templates
      20. Synchronize settings using Adobe Creative Cloud
    3. Tools in Illustrator
      1. Selection
        1. Overview
        2. Selection
        3. Direct Selection
        4. Group Selection
        5. Lasso
        6. Magic Wand
      2. Navigation
        1. Overview
        2. Zoom
        3. Rotate View
      3. Paint
        1. Overview
        2. Gradient
        3. Shape Builder
      4. Type
        1. Overview
        2. Type
        3. Type on path
  3. Illustrator on the iPad
    1. Introduction to Illustrator on the iPad
      1. Illustrator on the iPad overview
      2. Illustrator on the iPad FAQs
      3. System requirements | Illustrator on the iPad
      4. What you can or cannot do on Illustrator on the iPad
    2. Workspace
      1. Illustrator on the iPad workspace
      2. Touch shortcuts and gestures
      3. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the iPad
      4. Manage your app settings
    3. Documents
      1. Work with documents in Illustrator on the iPad
      2. Import Photoshop and Fresco documents
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Create repeat objects
      2. Blend objects
    5. Drawing
      1. Draw and edit paths
      2. Draw and edit shapes
    6. Type
      1. Work with type and fonts
      2. Create text designs along a path
      3. Add your own fonts
    7. Work with images
      1. Vectorize raster images
    8. Color
      1. Apply colors and gradients
  4. Cloud documents
    1. Basics
      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
      3. Upgrade cloud storage for Adobe Illustrator
      4. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  5. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing
      1. Drawing basics
      2. Edit paths
      3. Draw pixel-perfect art
      4. Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool
      5. Draw simple lines and shapes
      6. Image Trace
      7. Simplify a path
      8. Define perspective grids
      9. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      10. Adjust path segments
      11. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      12. Perspective drawing
      13. Symbols
      14. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
    2. 3D effects and Adobe Substance materials
      1. About 3D effects in Illustrator
      2. Create 3D graphics
      3. Create 3D objects
      4. Create 3D Text
    3. Color
      1. About color
      2. Select colors
      3. Use and create swatches
      4. Adjust colors
      5. Use the Adobe Color Themes panel
      6. Color groups (harmonies)
      7. Color Themes panel
      8. Recolor your artwork
    4. Painting
      1. About painting
      2. Paint with fills and strokes
      3. Live Paint groups
      4. Gradients
      5. Brushes
      6. Transparency and blending modes
      7. Apply stroke on an object
      8. Create and edit patterns
      9. Meshes
      10. Patterns
    5. Select and arrange objects
      1. Select objects
      2. Layers
      3. Group and expand objects
      4. Move, align, and distribute objects
      5. Stack objects    
      6. Lock, hide, and delete objects
      7. Duplicate objects
      8. Rotate and reflect objects
    6. Reshape objects
      1. Crop images
      2. Transform objects
      3. Combine objects
      4. Cut, divide, and trim objects
      5. Puppet Warp
      6. Scale, shear, and distort objects
      7. Blend objects
      8. Reshape using envelopes
      9. Reshape objects with effects
      10. Build new shapes with Shaper and Shape Builder tools
      11. Work with Live Corners
      12. Enhanced reshape workflows with touch support
      13. Edit clipping masks
      14. Live shapes
      15. Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
      16. Global editing
    7. Type
      1. Create text
      2. Fonts and typography
      3. Format type
      4. Import and export text
      5. Format paragraphs
      6. Special characters
      7. Create type on a path
      8. Character and paragraph styles
      9. Tabs
      10. Text and type
      11. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      12. Update text from Illustrator 10
      13. Arabic and Hebrew type
      14. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      15. Create 3D text effect
      16. Creative typography designs
      17. Scale and rotate type
      18. Line and character spacing
      19. Hyphenation and line breaks
      20. Text enhancements
      21. Spelling and language dictionaries
      22. Format Asian characters
      23. Composers for Asian scripts
      24. Create text designs with blend objects
      25. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    8. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Create a drop shadow
      4. Appearance attributes
      5. Create sketches and mosaics
      6. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      7. Summary of effects
    9. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Create animations
      5. Slices and image maps
  6. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Import artwork files
      2. Import bitmap images
      3. Import artwork from Photoshop
      4. Place multiple files | Illustrator CC
      5. Unembed images
      6. Import Adobe PDF files
      7. Import EPS, DCS, and AutoCAD files
      8. Links information
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator 
      1. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator
    3. Save
      1. Save artwork
    4. Export
      1. Use Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
      2. Export artwork
      3. Collect assets and export in batches
      4. Package files
      5. Create Adobe PDF files
      6. Extract CSS | Illustrator CC
      7. Adobe PDF options
      8. File information and metadata
  7. Printing
    1. Prepare for printing
      1. Set up documents for printing
      2. Change the page size and orientation
      3. Specify crop marks for trimming or aligning
      4. Get started with large canvas
    2. Printing
      1. Overprint
      2. Print with color management
      3. PostScript printing
      4. Print presets
      5. Printer's marks and bleeds
      6. Print and save transparent artwork
      7. Trapping
      8. Print color separations
      9. Print gradients, meshes, and color blends
      10. White Overprint
  8. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  9. Troubleshooting 
    1. Crash on launch issues
    2. Recover files after crash
    3. File issues
    4. GPU device driver issues
    5. Wacom device issues
    6. DLL file issues
    7. Memory issues
    8. Preferences file issues
    9. Font issues
    10. Printer issues
    11. Share crash report with Adobe

Learn about the Basic and Advanced toolbars, and how to customize a toolbar, create a new toolbar, and manage multiple toolbars.

When you start Illustrator, a toolbar appears at the left of the screen that includes various tools you need to use while working on your document. The tools in the toolbar let you perform various tasks, such as create, select, and manipulate objects and select, type, paint, draw, sample, edit, and move images. 

Toolbar types

Illustrator provides the following types of toolbar:

  • Basic: This toolbar is displayed by default when Illustrator is launched. It includes a selective set of tools that you frequently need while working on Illustrator. To view the complete list of tools, click the Edit Toolbar (...) icon displayed at the bottom of the Basic toolbar. The All Tools drawer appears listing all the tools available in Illustrator.
  • Advanced: This toolbar includes all the tools available in Illustrator. To switch from the Basic toolbar to Advanced, do one of the following:
    • Choose Windows Toolbars Advanced.
    • Select Advanced in the flyout menu of the drawer.

The Basic toolbar is replaced with the Advanced toolbar.


(For MENA locales) If you are not able to view the MENA Type tools on the Basic toolbar, which is displayed by default, do one of the following to use these tools:

  • Open the All Tools drawer of the Basic toolbar by clicking the Edit Toolbar button and drag the MENA Type tools from the drawer to the toolbar.
  • Open the Advanced toolbar.

A. Basic toolbar B. Advanced toolbar C. All Tools drawer D. Flyout menu E. Tool category F. Tool available in the toolbar G. Tool available in the drawer 

Category of tools in the toolbar

In Illustrator, the tools are broadly organized in the following categories:

  • Select
  • Draw
  • Type
  • Paint
  • Modify
  • Navigate
Tools in Illustrator

Customize the toolbar

You can customize a toolbar by moving tools between the toolbar and the drawer. You can add more tools from the drawer to the toolbar or remove tools from the toolbar.

The tools can be added, removed, or rearranged in the toolbar only when the drawer is open. The toolbar is locked for editing when the drawer is closed.    

Add and remove tools

You can add one tool or multiple tools together as a group from the All tools drawer to the toolbar.

  • To add a one tool at a time in the toolbar, drag the tool and drop at the divider line between the tools.

To remove a tool from the toolbar, drag the tool from the toolbar and drop anywhere in the drawer. The tool is automatically added to the category to which it belong.

To go back to the original settings, click Reset in the flyout menu of the drawer.

A. Adding a tool as a group on the toolbar B. Adding a tool separately on the toolbar 

Add multiple tools in a group

You can select multiple tools from the drawer, irrespective of the categories they belong to and add them as one tool group in the toolbar.

To select multiple tools together and add them as one custom group, do the following:

  1. Press the Shift key and click the tools you want to add to the toolbar. Alternatively, use Ctrl+click (Windows) or cmd+click (macOS) to select multiple tools.
  2. Drag the selection and drop at the divider line between tools in the toolbar.

The icon for the tool you select first is displayed in the toolbar.

Similarly, to remove multiple tools together, you can select them using the Shift key and drag them from the toolbar to the drawer.

A. Adding multiple tools as a group within a tool on the toolbar B. Adding multiple tools in a separate group on the toolbar 

View tools in a tool group

To view a list of all tools in a tool group, do one of the following:

  • Left-click the tool to view a list of all the tools in the tool group.
  • Hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS), and then click a tool to cycle through and select tools in the group.

  • Press the keyboard shortcut of a tool. The keyboard shortcut is displayed in the tool tip and the All Tools drawer. For example, you can select the Move tool by pressing the V key.

View tools in a tools group

Tip: To hide tool tips, choose Edit > Preferences > General (Windows) or Illustrator > Preferences > General (macOS), and deselect Show Tool Tips.


If you install any third-party tools, by default they are shown on the toolbar. If you have added more custom toolbars, the third-party tools are available in their drawers.

Show or hide controls

You can show or hide the following controls on the toolbar by selecting their icons in the Show section displayed at the bottom of the drawer:

  • Control Visibility of Fill Stroke Control
  • Control Visibility of Coloring Control
  • Control Visibility of Drawing Mode Control
  • Control Visibility of Screen Mode Control

Change drawing modes and screen modes using the toolbar

Click the icons at the bottom of the toolbar to change the drawing mode from Draw Normal () to Draw Behind () or Draw Inside ().

Additionally, you can also change the screen mode by clicking the Change Screen Mode icon () at the bottom of the toolbar and choosing the desired screen mode.

To switch to the Advanced toolbar, which is a full-fledged toolbar including all the tools, do one of the following:

  • Choose Windows Toolbars Advanced.
  • Select Advanced in the flyout menu of the drawer.

The Basic toolbar is replaced with the advanced toolbar.

Create and manage toolbars

Do the following to create your own customized toolbars:

  • In the drawer of the toolbar, choose New Toolbar in the flyout menu.
  • Choose Windows > Tools > New Toolbar

After you provide a name and click OK, a blank toolbar is created. Click the Edit Toolbar button to open the drawer and add tools to the toolbar.

Manage toolbars

When you have multiple toolbars available, do the following to manage the toolbars:

  1. Do one of the following to open the Manage Toolbars dialog box:
    • Click Windows > Tools > Manage Toolbars.
    • Choose Manage Toolbars in the flyout menu of the drawer.

  2. In the Manage Toolbars dialog box, do one of the following:

    • Rename: Select a toolbar from the list, type a new name for the toolbar in the text box, and then click OK.
    • New/Copy: Select a toolbar from the list, click the copy button, rename the toolbar if required, and then click OK. If no toolbar is selected, a new toolbar is created.
    • Delete: Select a toolbar from the list, and then click the Delete button.

Work with the toolbar

View hidden tools

You can expand some tools to show tools hidden beneath them. A small triangle at the lower right of the tool icon signals the presence of hidden tools. Hold down the mouse button on the visible tool to view the tools hidden under it.

View tool options

Some tools in the toolbar have options that appear in the Properties panel. Additionally, you can also double-click a tool in the toolbar to view and change the settings for that tool.

Move the toolbar

You can move the toolbar by dragging its title bar.

View the toolbar in double-stack or single-column

Click the double-arrow on the title bar to toggle between the single-column and double-stack view of the toolbar.

Hide the toolbar

To show or hide the toolbar, do one of the following:

  • Choose Window > Tools.
  • Click the close button on the title bar.

Select a tool in the toolbar

To select a tool, do one of the following:

  • Click a tool in the toolbar. If there is a small triangle at a tool’s lower-right corner, hold down the mouse button to view the hidden tools, and then click the tool you want to select.

  • Hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS), and then click a tool to cycle through and select hidden tools.

  • Press the tool’s keyboard shortcut. The keyboard shortcut is displayed in its tool tip. For example, you can select the Move tool by pressing the V key.

Tip: To hide tool tips, choose Edit > Preferences > General (Windows) or Illustrator > Preferences > General (macOS), and deselect Show Tool Tips.

Change tool pointers

The pointer for most tools matches the tool’s icon. Each pointer has a different hotspot, where an effect or action begins. With most tools, you can switch to precise cursors, which appear as cross hairs centered on the hotspot, and provide for greater accuracy when working with detailed artwork. Do one of the following:

  • Choose Edit Preferences General (Windows) or Illustrator Preferences General(macOS), and select Use Precise Cursors.
  • Press Caps Lock on the keyboard.

A toolbar is persistent in the workspace it is created in. If you change to another workspace and then return to the original workspace, any toolbars created are retained and reopened.

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