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Summary of effects

  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. Learn faster with the Illustrator Discover panel
      3. Create documents
      4. Toolbar
      5. Default keyboard shortcuts
      6. Customize keyboard shortcuts
      7. Introduction to artboards
      8. Manage artboards
      9. Customize the workspace
      10. Properties panel
      11. Set preferences
      12. Touch Workspace
      13. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      14. Undo edits and manage design history
      15. Rotate view
      16. Rulers, grids, and guides
      17. Accessibility in Illustrator
      18. Safe Mode
      19. View artwork
      20. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      21. Files and templates
    3. Tools in Illustrator
      1. Tools at a glance
      2. Select tools
        1. Selection
        2. Direct Selection
        3. Group Selection
        4. Magic Wand
        5. Lasso
        6. Artboard
      3. Navigate tools
        1. Hand
        2. Rotate View
        3. Zoom
      4. Paint tools
        1. Gradient
        2. Mesh
        3. Shape Builder
      5. Text tools
        1. Type
        2. Type on a Path
        3. Vertical Type
      6. Draw tools
        1. Pen
        2. Add Anchor Point
        3. Delete Anchor Point
        4. Anchor Point
        5. Curvature
        6. Line Segment
        7. Rectangle
        8. Rounded Rectangle
        9. Ellipse
        10. Polygon
        11. Star
        12. Paintbrush
        13. Blob Brush
        14. Pencil
        15. Shaper
        16. Slice
      7. Modify tools
        1. Rotate
        2. Reflect
        3. Scale
        4. Shear
        5. Width
        6. Free Transform
        7. Eyedropper
        8. Blend
        9. Eraser
        10. Scissors
        11. Dimension
    4. Generative AI (not available in mainland China)
      1. Generate a vector graphic using a text prompt
      2. Recolor your artwork using a text prompt
    5. Quick actions
      1. Retro text
      2. Neon glow text
      3. Old school text
      4. Recolor
      5. Convert sketch to vector
  3. Illustrator on the web (beta)
    1. Illustrator on the web (beta) overview
    2. Illustrator on the web (beta) FAQ
    3. Troubleshooting issues FAQ
    4. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the web (beta)
    5. Create and combine shapes on the web
    6. Add and edit text on the web
    7. Apply colors and gradients on the web
    8. Draw and edit paths on the web
    9. Work with cloud documents on the web
    10. Invite collaborators to edit on the web
  4. 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
  5. Cloud documents
    1. Basics
      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
      3. Share documents for review
      4. Upgrade cloud storage for Adobe Illustrator
      5. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  6. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing and dimensioning
      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. Draw rectangular and polar grids
      7. Draw and edit flares
      8. Image Trace
      9. Simplify a path
      10. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      11. Adjust path segments
      12. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      13. Create and edit a perspective grid
      14. Draw and modify objects on a perspective grid
      15. Use objects as symbols for repeat use
      16. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
      17. Measure and plot dimensions
    2. 3D objects and materials
      1. About 3D effects in Illustrator
      2. Create 3D graphics
      3. Map artwork over 3D objects
      4. Create 3D Text
      5. Create 3D objects
    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. Copy and duplicate objects
      8. Rotate and reflect objects
      9. Intertwine objects
      10. Create realistic art mockups
    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. Add text and work with type objects
      2. Create bulleted and numbered lists
      3. Manage text area
      4. Fonts and typography
      5. Convert text within images into editable text
      6. Add basic formatting to text
      7. Add advanced formatting to text
      8. Import and export text
      9. Format paragraphs
      10. Special characters
      11. Create type on a path
      12. Character and paragraph styles
      13. Tabs
      14. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      15. Arabic and Hebrew type
      16. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      17. Create 3D text effect
      18. Creative typography designs
      19. Scale and rotate type
      20. Line and character spacing
      21. Hyphenation and line breaks
      22. Spelling and language dictionaries
      23. Format Asian characters
      24. Composers for Asian scripts
      25. Create text designs with blend objects
      26. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    8. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Appearance attributes
      4. Create sketches and mosaics
      5. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      6. Summary of effects
    9. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Slices and image maps
  7. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Place multiple files
      2. Manage linked and embedded files
      3. Links information
      4. Unembed images
      5. Import artwork from Photoshop
      6. Import bitmap images
      7. Import Adobe PDF files
      8. Import EPS, DCS, and AutoCAD files
    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. Document info panel
  8. 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
  9. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  10. Troubleshooting 
    1. Known issues
    2. Crash issues
    3. Recover files after crash
    4. File issues
    5. Supported file formats
    6. GPU device driver issues
    7. Wacom device issues
    8. DLL file issues
    9. Memory issues
    10. Preferences file issues
    11. Font issues
    12. Printer issues
    13. Share crash report with Adobe
    14. Improve Illustrator performance

Artistic effects

Artistic effects are raster-based and use the document’s raster effects settings whenever you apply the effect to a vector object.

Colored Pencil

Draws an image using colored pencils on a solid background. Important edges are retained and given a rough crosshatch appearance; the solid background color shows through the smoother areas.


Portrays an image as though it were made from roughly cut-out pieces of colored paper. High-contrast images appear as if in silhouette; colored images are built up as if from several layers of colored paper.

Dry Brush

Paints the edges of the image using a dry-brush technique (between oil and watercolor). The effect simplifies an image by reducing its range of colors.

Film Grain

Applies an even pattern to the shadow tones and midtones of an image. A smoother, more saturated pattern is added to the image’s lighter areas. This effect is useful for eliminating banding in blends and visually unifying elements from various sources.


Paints an image in a coarse manner using short, rounded strokes as if hastily applied.

Neon Glow

Adds various types of glows to the objects in an image. This effect is useful for colorizing an image while softening its look. To select a glow color, click the glow box and select a color from the color picker.

Paint Daubs

Lets you choose from various brush sizes (from 1 to 50) and types for a painterly effect. Brush types include simple, light rough, light dark, wide sharp, wide blurry, and sparkle.

Palette Knife

Reduces detail in an image to give the effect of a thinly painted canvas that reveals the texture underneath.

Plastic Wrap

Coats the image as if in shiny plastic, accentuating the surface detail.

Poster Edges

Reduces the number of colors in an image according to the Posterization value you set; then finds the edges of the image and draws black lines on them. Broader areas of the image have simple shading, while fine, dark detail is distributed throughout the image.

Rough Pastels

Makes an image appear as if stroked with colored pastel chalk on a textured background. In areas of bright color, the chalk appears thick with little texture; in darker areas, the chalk appears scraped off to reveal the texture.

Smudge Stick

Softens an image using short diagonal strokes to smudge or smear the darker areas of the images. Lighter areas become brighter and lose detail.


Creates images with highly textured areas of contrasting color as if painted with a sponge.


Paints the image on a textured background, and then paints the final image over it.


Paints the image in a watercolor style, simplifying details, and using a medium brush loaded with water and color. Where significant tonal changes occur at edges, the effect saturates the color.

Blur effects

The commands in the Blur submenu in the Effect menu are raster-based and use the document’s raster effects settings whenever you apply the effect to a vector object.

Gaussian Blur

Quickly blurs a selection by an adjustable amount. This effect removes high-frequency detail and can produce a hazy effect.

Radial Blur

Simulates the soft blur created by a zooming or rotating camera. Choose Spin to blur along concentric circular lines, and then specify a degree of rotation. Choose Zoom to blur along radial lines, as if zooming in or out of the image, and specify an amount from 1 to 100. Blur quality ranges from Draft for the fastest but grainy results to Good and Best for smoother results, which are indistinguishable except on a large selection. Specify the origin of the blur by dragging the pattern in the Blur Center box.

Smart Blur

Blurs an image with precision. You can specify a radius, a threshold, and a blur quality. The Radius value determines the size of the area searched for dissimilar pixels. The Threshold value determines how dissimilar the pixels must be before they are affected. You also can set a mode for the entire selection (Normal) or for the edges of color transitions (Edge Only and Overlay). Where significant contrast occurs, Edge Only applies black-and-white edges, and Overlay Edge applies white.

Brush Strokes effects

The Brush Strokes effects are raster-based and use the document’s raster effects settings whenever you apply the effect to a vector object.

Accented Edges

Accentuates the edges of an image. When the Edge Brightness control is set to a high value, the accents resemble white chalk. When it is set to a low value, the accents resemble black ink.

Angled Strokes

Repaints an image using diagonal strokes. The lighter areas of the image are painted in strokes going in one direction, while the darker areas are painted in strokes going the opposite direction.


Preserves the details and features of the original image while adding texture and roughening the edges of the colored areas in the image with simulated pencil hatching. The Strength option controls the number of hatching passes (from 1 to 3).

Dark Strokes

Paints dark areas of an image closer to black with short strokes, and paints lighter areas of the image with long, white strokes.

Ink Outlines

Redraws an image with fine narrow lines over the original details, in pen-and-ink style.


Replicates the effect of a spatter airbrush. Increasing the values of the options simplifies the overall effect.

Sprayed Strokes

Repaints an image using its dominant colors with angled, sprayed strokes of color.


Paints an image in Japanese style as if with a wet brush full of black ink on rice paper. The effect is soft, blurry edges with rich blacks.

Distort effects

The Distort commands can be very memory-intensive. They are raster-based and use the document’s raster effects settings whenever you apply the effect to a vector object.

Diffuse Glow

Renders an image as if it were being viewed through a soft diffusion filter. The effect adds see-through white noise to an image, with the glow fading from the center of a selection.


Makes an image appear as if it were being viewed through different types of glass. You can choose a preset glass effect or create your own glass surface using a Photoshop file. You can adjust scaling, distortion, and smoothness settings, as well as texturizing options.

Ocean Ripple

Adds randomly spaced ripples to the artwork, making the artwork look as if it were under water.

Pixelate effects

The Pixelate effects are raster-based and use the document’s raster effects settings whenever you apply the effect to a vector object.

Color Halftone

Simulates the effect of using an enlarged halftone screen on each channel of the image. For each channel, the effect divides the image into rectangles and replaces each rectangle with a circle. The circle size is proportional to the brightness of the rectangle.

To use the effect, enter a value in pixels for the maximum radius of a halftone dot (from 4 to 127), and enter a screen-angle value (the angle of the dot relative to the true horizontal) for one or more channels. For Grayscale images, use only channel 1. For RGB images, use channels 1, 2, and 3, which correspond to the red, green, and blue channels. For CMYK images, use all four channels, which correspond to the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black channels.


Clumps colors into polygon shapes.


Converts an image to a random pattern of black-and-white areas, or of fully saturated colors in a color image. To use the effect, choose a dot pattern from the Type pop-up menu in the Mezzotint dialog box.


Breaks up the color in an image into randomly placed dots, as in a pointillist painting, and uses the background color as a canvas area between the dots.

Sharpen effect

The Unsharp Mask command in the Sharpen submenu in the Effect menu focuses blurry images by increasing the contrast of adjacent pixels. This effect is raster-based and uses the document’s raster effects settings whenever you apply the effect to a vector graphic.

Unsharp Mask

Finds the areas in the image where significant color changes occur and sharpens them. Use the Unsharp Mask effect to adjust the contrast of edge detail and produce a lighter and darker line on each side of the edge. This effect emphasizes the edge and creates the illusion of a sharper image.

Sketch effects

Many of the Sketch effects use black and white colors to redraw the image. The effects are raster-based and use the document’s raster effects settings whenever you apply the effect to a vector graphic.

Bas Relief

Transforms an image to appear carved in low relief and lit to accent the surface variations. Dark areas of the image are colored black; light colors are colored white.

Chalk & Charcoal

Redraws an image’s highlights and midtones with a solid midtone gray background drawn in coarse chalk. Shadow areas are replaced with diagonal charcoal lines. The charcoal is drawn in black, the chalk in white.


Redraws an image to create a posterized, smudged effect. Major edges are drawn boldly while midtones are sketched using a diagonal stroke. Charcoal is colored black; the paper is colored white.


Treats the image as if it were a polished chrome surface. Highlights are high points and shadows are low points in the reflecting surface.

Conté Crayon

Replicates the texture of dense dark and pure white Conté crayons on an image. The Conté Crayon effect uses black for dark areas and the white for light areas.

Graphic Pen

Uses fine, linear ink strokes to capture the details in the original image. The effect replaces color in the original image using black for ink and white for paper. This command is especially striking with scanned images.

Halftone Pattern

Simulates the effect of a halftone screen while maintaining the continuous range of tones.

Note Paper

Creates an image that appears to be constructed of handmade paper. The effect simplifies an image, and combines the effect of the Grain command (Texture submenu) with an embossed appearance. Dark areas of the image appear as holes in the top layer of paper surrounded by white.


Simulates the effect of photocopying an image. Large areas of darkness tend to copy only around their edges; midtones fall away to either solid black or white.


Molds an image as if from plaster, and then colorizes the result using black and white. Dark areas are raised; light areas are sunken.


Simulates the controlled shrinking and distorting of film emulsion to create an image that appears clumped in the shadow areas and lightly grained in the highlights.


Simplifies the image to appear stamped with a rubber or wood stamp. This command is best used with black-and-white images.

Torn Edges

Reconstructs the image as ragged, torn pieces of paper, and then colorizes the image using black and white. This command is useful for images consisting of text or high-contrast objects.

Water Paper

Uses blotchy daubs that appear painted onto fibrous, damp paper, causing the colors to flow and blend.

Stylize effect

The Glowing Edges effect is raster-based and uses the document’s raster effects settings whenever you apply the effect to a vector graphic.

Glowing Edges

Identifies the edges of color and adds a neon-like glow to them.

Texture effects

The Texture effects are raster-based and use the document’s raster effects settings whenever you apply the effect to a vector graphic.


Paints an image onto a high-relief plaster surface, producing a fine network of cracks that follow the contours of the image. Use this effect to create an embossing effect with images that contain a broad range of color or grayscale values.


Adds texture to an image by simulating different kinds of grain—regular, soft, sprinkles, clumped, contrasty, enlarged, stippled, horizontal, vertical, or speckle. For more information on using these texturizing options, see Use texture and glass surface controls.

Mosaic Tiles

Draws the image as if it were made up of small chips or tiles and adds grout between the tiles. (In contrast, the Pixelate > Mosaic command breaks up an image into blocks of different-colored pixels.)


Breaks up an image into squares filled with the predominant color in that area of the image. The effect randomly reduces or increases the tile depth to replicate highlights and shadows.

Stained Glass

Repaints an image as single-colored adjacent cells outlined in the foreground color.


Applies a texture you select or create to an image.

Video effects

The Video effects are raster-based and use the document’s raster effects settings whenever you apply the effect to a vector graphic.


Smooths moving images captured on video by removing either the odd or even interlaced lines in a video image. You can choose to replace the discarded lines by duplication or interpolation.

NTSC Colors

Restricts the gamut of colors to those acceptable for television reproduction to prevent oversaturated colors from bleeding across television scan lines.

Use texture and glass surface controls

Some effects included in Illustrator have texturizing options, such as Glass, Rough Pastels, Grain, and Fresco effects. You can make an object appear painted onto various textures, such as canvas or brick, or viewed through glass blocks with texturizing options.

  1. In the Effects dialog, select a texture type from the Texture pop-up menu (if available) or Load Texture (only available for Rough Pastels or Glass commands) to specify a file.

  2. Set any of the following options, if available:

    • Drag the Scaling slider to enlarge or reduce the effect on the bitmap image’s surface.

    • Drag the Relief slider to adjust the depth of the texture’s surface.

    • From the Light Direction pop-up menu, choose the direction you want the light to appear.

    • Select Invert to reverse the surface’s light and dark colors.

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Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online