Illustrator has hundreds of keyboard shortcuts to help make menu commands and tool selection as easy as clicking a button or two. Keyboard shortcuts are a great time-saver, but they can take a while to learn.
Don't sweat it, though. The best advice for learning keyboard shortcuts is simply to pay attention. When you're selecting a command from a menu, look to the right of the command name to see the keyboard shortcut. Do the same with the tools in the toolbox; when you hover your mouse over a tool, you see a ToolTip that shows the tool name and its keyboard shortcut.
You also have a certain amount of control over keyboard shortcuts. Choose Edit, Keyboard Shortcuts from the menu bar. Select either Tools or Menu Commands from the pop-up menu to see the keyboard shortcuts for each item (see Figure 14.22). For a learning experience, click the Export Text button to save a text file that lists all Illustrator shortcuts. You can print it out and use it as a study guide if you like.
Figure 14.22. Scroll through the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog to see all keyboard shortcuts for tools and menu commands. Click on any keyboard shortcut to highlight the current shortcut and change it to make using Illustrator more convenient.
To change a keyboard shortcut, click on the shortcut you want to change under the Symbol column. Press the keyboard shortcut you'd like to apply. If the shortcut is already assigned to another command, you see an alert, but you are enabled to override the current shortcut.
When you finish setting up keyboard shortcuts, click Save. You are prompted to give your shortcut set a name. This saves your set with any changes you made. If another person will be using your computer, or if you have certain sets of keyboard shortcuts that you customize for certain projects, change back to the default by choosing Edit, Keyboard Shortcuts and selecting the Illustrator Defaults from the drop-down at the top of the dialog.