April 23, 2011, 6:45 a.m.
posted by r11
The following are simple tips to improve your skills at creating basic shapes in Illustrator:
Hold down the Shift key while dragging with the Rectangle or Ellipse tool to create a perfect square or circle. This trick is also helpful when you’re using the Polygon and Star tools — holding down the Shift key constrains them so they’re straight! See Figure.
Create a shape from the center out by holding down the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key while dragging. Hold down Alt+Shift (Windows) or Option+Shift (Mac) to pull a constrained shape out from the center. See Figure.
When creating a star or polygon shape by clicking and dragging, if you keep the mouse button down, you can then press the up- or down-arrow key to interactively add points or sides to your shape. See Figure.