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Illustrator has a plethora of tools at you disposal. Even with all these tools, there is always going to be something missing. This is where scripts and plug-ins come in to help. With scripts and plug-ins you can perform tasks that Illustrator cannot complete on it’s own. There are a great deal of resources out there and in this post you will find 10 free and useful scripts for Illustrator!
Illustrator has many great selection features, as I talked about in a previous post Save Time With Save Selection. Another selection option that I use regularly is the Magic Wand Tool (Y). With the Magic Wand Tool (Y), you select an object and the tool will select every object with similar attributes. The real benefit of using the Magic Wand Tool (Y) comes when setting the tolerance levels.
Lately, I’ve been using my Sketch-Style Brushes in illustrations and tutorials. In, some of these illustrations, the brush strokes needed to be expanded to editable paths. When expanding, you also get a bunch of unfilled paths. To clean up, simply go Object > Path > Clean Up and check the Unpainted Objects check box. You can also use this feature to get rid of Empty Text Boxes and Stray Points!
I have seen this tip around on a couple of blogs, but it is so helpful I had to repeat it. You can quickly change you document’s measurement units by Control-Cliking (mac) or Right-Clicking (pc) on the Ruler. I use this constantly when designing websites or working with a file from overseas (the United States is a little behind on the whole Metric system thing).
Selecting multiple objects in Illustrator is essential to productivity. Illustrator has some great selection features: Select Same, Select Object, Magic Wand, and so on. One selection feature that I always use is Save Selection. I usually save selections early on in a illustration to easily come back to them even though the stroke, fill, and other attributes have be modified.
This trick is similar to the Compliment Color trick, but I use it so much, I had to share it. I use specific color modes for different projects, and found myself more comfortable mixing certain colors in certain color profiles. A quick way to switch between profiles in the Color Panel is to press Shift and Click on the Color Ramp. You can easily swap between CMYK, RGB, HSB, Grayscale and Web Safe RGB.