Illustrator: The Tilde Trick

by Jay Hilgert
on December 19, 2007

BittBox Reader Jeff F tipped me off about this neat little Illy trick. It just so happens that if you hold down the “tilde” key on your keyboard, you can get a neat effect using any of Illustrator’s drawing tools. Holding down the tilde key, (the little squiggly line above the tab key, left of the number 1 on your keyboard.) while using a drawing tool will cause Illustrator to repeat the shape rapidly as you move your mouse. Examples after the jump. Thanks Jeff!

Illustrator: The Tilde Trick

For starters, here is a pic of the tilde key:

Illustrator: The Tilde Trick

Here are some quick examples with some different drawing tools:

Also, remember that you can hold shift and/or option/alt at the same time you’re holding the tilde key to constrain your shapes if you like.

Star tool:

Illustrator: The Tilde Trick

Rounded Rectangle tool:

Illustrator: The Tilde Trick

Elipse tool:

Illustrator: The Tilde Trick

Line tool:

Illustrator: The Tilde Trick

About Jay Hilgert

Formally trained at Oklahoma State, Jay Hilgert is a graphic and web designer, font designer (Link), software developer (Brush Pilotâ„¢), and the founder of BittBox.

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