Keyboard shortcut are a great way of speeding up your workflow. The keyboard shortcuts listed in this blog post are all to do with modifying colours quickly in Adobe Illustrator. You will also find that these keyboard shortcuts work in InDesign, Photoshop and many other Adobe programs too – but in some cases with slightly different results. Lets get going…
To reset your colours to the default colours of black and white, press Control + D (windows) or Command + D (mac). You’ll see the colours of the stroke change to black and fill change to white, at the bottom of the toolbar. See the image below for before (right) and (after) settings.
If an object is selected it will change the objects colours to the default colours too when Control + D (windows) or Command + D (mac) are used.
Switch between stroke and fill
Use the X key to switch focus between the fill and stoke colours. This provides a very quick way of bringing the stroke or fill attributes of an object to the front so that the attribute colour can be changed. You will find yourself using this one a lot. See the image below for before (right) and (after) settings.
Use shift X to swop fill and stroke colours around in Illustrator and InDesign, as can be seen in the below image. If you have an object selected shift X it will also swop the colours on the object too.
If an object is selected it will swop the stroke and fill colours when the Shift X key is used.
Changing colour modes
Shift-clicking on the colour spectrum bar (highlighted in red) in the Color panel provides a quick way of toggling between the different colour modes such as CMYK, RGB, HSB etc
With the Fill or the Stroke colour highlighted (at the front) in the Tool bar or Color panel, press the / (forward slash) key to set it to None – no colour. In the example below the Fill colour was at the front and when the / key was pressed it changes the Fill colour from red to none.
With the Fill or the Stroke colour highlighted (at the front) in the Tool bar or Color panel, press the . (full stop/period) key to apply the current gradient to it. In Illustrator CS6 and above it is now possible to apply a gradient to a stroke too.
, Fill colour
With the Fill colour highlighted (at the front) in the Tool bar or Color panel, press the , (comma) key to apply a solid fill colour to it. This is useful if you have a gradient applied for the fill and want to quickly change it to a solid fill colour.
F6 is the keyboard shortcut to hide or show the Color panel.
Well, that’s just some of the many colour keyboard shortcuts you can use to save some time.