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Illustrator 101: Escape Text Boxes without the Mouse

This is a quick Illustrator tip, but in my opinion, a priceless one if its new to you. Have you ever been typing in Illustrator and hit the “V” key to select the move tool (or any other tool shortcut for that matter), but instead, Illustrator just types a v? Yeah, it happened to me all the time, until I figured this out. Are you tired of having to click on the move tool, then click on the artboard, then click the text tool, and then click again, just to start another empty text box? It's truly annoying to be stripped of your tool shortcuts while you're editing an active text box, but help is only one keystroke away.

Illustrator 101: Escape Text Boxes without the Mouse

While editing an active text box, like above, chances are there are 1 of 3 things you'd like to do next. 1) Move the text box, 2) Change something about the font (size, color, etc), or 3) Select a different tool once your done in order to continue doing something else. If you try to type a shortcut for a tool, you're just typing letters. Man that can get annoying…

Illustrator 101: Escape Text Boxes without the Mouse

Instead of using the mouse to select a new tool to get out of your text box, all you need to do is hit the “Escape” key (Windows + Mac). This will get you out of the editing mode of the text box and keep the text box selected. It also automatically selects the Move tool (Black Arrow). From there, you can hit your keyboard shortcuts for any tool you want, adjust your font (since the text box is still selected), or move the text box with your mouse or keyboard nudges. Truly a time saver. I hope you all get to know this keystroke intimately. 🙂 Believe it or not, this doesn't work in Photoshop. In Photoshop, hitting the Escape key deletes the current text box, as well as the layer.

Illustrator 101: Escape Text Boxes without the Mouse

I'm the editor-in-chief of Bittbox.com. I'm a designer and developer by day, and a writer and musician when the feeling strikes. I enjoy vintage advertisements and puzzles with an absurd amount of pieces. Follow me on Twitter.

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