Back to top

Illustrator 15 – Creating and Editing Symbols

Symbols are reusable objects in Illustrator that offer several benefits, such as efficient editing, reduced file size, and easy management of repeated elements in artwork. Let’s explore how to create and edit symbols in Illustrator and understand their advantages:

Creating Symbols

To create a symbol, first, draw or select the artwork that you want to turn into a symbol.

Select the artwork, and then go to “Window” > “Symbol” or use the shortcut “Shift + Ctrl + F11” (Windows) or “Shift + Cmd + F11” (Mac) to open the Symbols panel.

Click on the “New Symbol” button at the bottom of the Symbols panel.

In the Symbol Options dialog box, you can name the symbol, set its registration point (the point around which the symbol will rotate and scale), and choose whether to include the symbol for the current or all artboards.

Click “OK” to create the symbol. The symbol will be added to the Symbols panel, and the original artwork will become an instance of the symbol.

Editing Symbols

To edit a symbol, double-click on its thumbnail in the Symbols panel. This will enter symbol-editing mode.

When in symbol-editing mode, any changes made to the artwork will be reflected in all instances of the symbol throughout the document.

You can add or modify elements, change colors, apply effects, or make any other adjustments to the artwork within the symbol.

To exit symbol-editing mode, click outside the symbol artwork on the canvas or press “Esc.”

Using Symbol Instances

Once you have created a symbol, you can use instances of it in your artwork.

To place an instance of a symbol, select the Symbol Sprayer Tool (shortcut: Shift + S) from the Tools panel.

Click and drag the Symbol Sprayer Tool on the canvas to create instances of the symbol. You can adjust the size and density of instances using the options in the Control Bar.

To convert existing artwork into a symbol instance, select the artwork and click on the desired symbol in the Symbols panel.

Instances of the symbol are linked to the original symbol, so any changes made to the symbol will automatically update all instances in the document.

Advantages of Using Symbols

Symbols help reduce file size by reusing artwork instead of duplicating it.

Editing a symbol automatically updates all instances of the symbol, making it easy to maintain consistency in your artwork.

Symbols improve workflow efficiency by allowing you to manage and make changes to repeated elements quickly.

Using symbols in Adobe Illustrator streamlines your design process and allows for easy management of repeated elements. By creating and editing symbols, you can maintain a consistent and organized artwork while reducing the file size and optimizing performance.



Send download link to:

Follow us