I’m not that great at math, but luckily, Illustrator is. Illustrator uses points, lines, curves, and shapes all based on mathematical equations to create artwork. Even with its complicated computations on the back-end, Illustrator also has some basic mathematical functionality to adjust objects within panels and dialogs.
- Program: Adobe Illustrator CS4 (These functions should work in older versions of Illustrator)
- Difficulty: Beginner
Pretty much any panel or dialog with an numeric field within Illustrator can utilize some basic math functions. These include:
This comes in real handy when you need to be exact about measurements and adjustments. These functions are not limited to panels, you can also use these math functions in numeric fields in dialogs like effects and tool adjustments dialogs.
Simply type the symbol of your function after the original value in a numeric field, type the desired number, and press Enter or the Tab key. You can also press Shift and Enter together to make a copy. Look at the examples below to see these math functions in action in different panels.
In this example, I add (+) 3 pt to a square’s stroke from the Stroke panel.
In this example, I subtract (-) 80% from a square’s opacity in the Transparency panel.
In this example, I multiply (*) the dimensions of a square by 2 from the Transform panel (with the constrain proportions icon active).
In this example, I divide (/) the gradient angle of a square by 40 degrees.