Quickly Change Fills and Strokes

Quickly Change Fills and Strokes Thumbnail

I like to work efficiently, so I get a little annoyed when something slows me down in Illustrator. Have you ever been cruising right along and accidently added a color to the Stroke of an object when you meant to add it to the Fill? Now you have to go back and do it all over again, wasting time. Luckily, there are a few useful keyboard shortcuts to help with Fills and Strokes.

Below are some Fill and Stroke functions, with the keyboard shortcuts following in parenthesis. These functions can also be accessed on the bottom of the Tools Panel, but not as quickly as using the shortcuts.

Default Stroke and Fill (d)

Change any object to the default black Stroke and white Fill.

Default Stroke and Fill (d)

Swap Attributes (shift x)

Swap the attributes of the Fill and Stroke. This function will not work when the current Fill is a gradient, because gradients cannot be applied to Strokes.

Swap Attributes (shift x)

Toggle Between Active (x)

Toggle between the active Fill and Stroke.

Toggle Between Active (x)

Color (<)

Make the current unfilled Fill or Stroke filled.

Color (<)

Gradient (>)

Make the current Fill a gradient.

Gradient (>)

Apply None (/)

Apply a none attribute to the active Fill or Stroke.

Apply None (/)

Again, these shortcuts can be very helpful.  You won’t realize how time you are saving until you start using them!

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29 thoughts on “Quickly Change Fills and Strokes

    • Did you ever get an answer?

      You can set stroke to zero and change filled shapes with one click, but I haven’t been able to find how to change fill and a stroke >0 at the same time.

      Please let me know if you have a solution.


  1. Hi,

    I have a question. Unlike photoshop, illustrator can’t pick colors with the eye dropper tool when in Color Picker panel. I know there are work arounds to this, but can this be done in Ai? So that whenever i am in the Color Picker window i am still able to pick colors with the ‘I’ tool?

    Thanks. 🙂

  2. Really nice. I knew the shorcuts X but I did not the others so thanks you. I’m always looking for tips for goodworkflow and with this you make me happy. Merci beaucoup l’ami ^^
    Excuse my english if i did mistakes

  3. Hi from France! Thanks a LOT for all the good illustrator tuts, it helped me so much for my work, I just started learning CS3, I used to work with Photoshop 7 now I try to extend my knowledge to Illustrator for professionnal ..Thanks again

  4. First a big Hellou form Bosnia and Herzegovina and i wanted to thank you for your effort. I’m new in Illustrator and your posts are so helpfull. Keep up the good work. 🙂

    I’ll be reading you.

  5. Just started using Illustrator properly and I’m trying to learn shortcuts to speed up workflow. Thanks for the tips!

    I’m also finding it hard to find helpful Illustrator websites so keep the good content coming!

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