Move Pattern Tiles Manually

I get some great email questions from Vectips readers and sometimes they even answer their own questions, making for great tips! Which leads me to… you can use the tilde (~) key to mannually move pattern tiles. For example, select an object with a pattern tile applied to it, hold down the tilde key, and move it with the arrow keys or one of the selection tools! Pretty handy.

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Save Width Profiles

I love using Illustrator’s Width Profiles (CS5 and up) but I hate accidentally deleting the custom widths I’ve created. There’s no great way to save custom profiles like you do when saving other custom libraries like brushes, swatches, and graphic styles. The best way I’ve found to save them is by applying the custom profile to an object and saving a graphic style. From there you can save a custom graphic style library.

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Shape Builder Tool as Paint Bucket

Shape Builder Tool as Paint Bucket

When the Shape Builder tool came out in CS5, it wasn’t really on my radar. I have a set of actions and keyboard shortcuts setup for the different Shape Modes from the Pathfinders panel. I didn’t really need a new tool to replace my workflow. After using it more and more, I’m coming around to thinking it’s a pretty powerful tool and I really like to use it as a Paint Bucket.

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Fix Overlapping Custom Art Brush Strokes

Fix Overlapping Custom Art Brush Strokes

I like scanning a bunch of different brush strokes to create custom Illustrator Art Brushes. When I create these brushes from the outlined scanned artwork I sometimes get this weird overlapping effect that’s really annoying. I’ve been hunting around for a solution and finally found one. To be honest, I’m not really sure I understand why it works, but it does, so I guess that’s fine.

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Art Brushes: Stretch Between Guides

Art Brushes: Stretch Between Guides

One of my favorite art brush options is Stretch Between Guides. I like using this option to keep the ends of the brush unchanged and just stretch the middle. For me it works similarly to a simple pattern brush, but it’s a lot easier to create. You can set this option in the Art Brush Options by selecting Stretch Between Guides and then setting the guides at the desired position.

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Where is My Gradient Annotator?

Gradient Annotator

The Gradient Annotator is an essential part of Illustrator’s Gradient tool (G). That’s why it’s such a pain when it seemingly disappears! I get emails about this all the time so I think it justifies a quick post. If you don’t see your annotator when using the Gradient tool (G) then choose View > Show Gradient Annotator (Command-Option-G/Ctrl-Alt-G). I tend to sometimes turn it off and on by accident when I’m using the keyboard shortcuts for grouping and ungrouping objects.