JesterArts Micro-tutorial: Easy Duplication in Adobe Illustrator. ALT DRAG, CTRL C, CTRL V, CTRL F, CTRL D

Hotkeys are a subtle yet huge advantage to designers.Saving effort and time is necessary. Here is a tutorial that shows you how to duplicate objects in illustrator FAST. There are pictorial examples below each step.

Copying and Pasting:

1. Before you can paste an object, you must first select and copy it. First select the object you wish to copy with the Direct Selection tool (V key). In this case, I’ve selected the orange man taped to the artboard.


2. Hold down CTRL key and push C. You’ve just copied it!

3. Hold down CTRL key and push V. As you can see, you’ve just pasted it! Example below.


OR while working in Adobe Illustrator you may wish to paste something directly above your object (CTRL F) or directly below your object (CTRL B). That is often necessary for making face-to-face duplictions in your workflow.


Sometimes you may just want to have an instant duplicate that you are dragging to a separate location on your workspace. Simply hold down the ALT key and click/drag the object. How easy is that? I’m almost embarassed to call this a tutorial! Picture below for mental stimulation.


ALT + Click/Drag (In Action)


ALT + Click/Drag (Completed)

If you want to duplicate at exact horizontal, parallel, or 45 degree angles, hold down SHIFT. That is, ALT, CLICK/DRAG SHIFT. Hey, you wanted a challenge.

But if your at a party with your fellow computer design geeks, thats not going to impress them. If you want to be a real magician, push CTRL D afterward and watch the action you just performed become duplicated directly in line with your last duplicate!


Have fun duplicating! While your at it, duplicate yourself so you can take on multiple projects at once!

This has been another JesterArts Micro-Tutorial. If you want to see more Tutorials, join me on Twitter or Facebook! For more of my work, see JesterArts Illustrations.