Posted in Adobe Illustrator

Shape Tools in Adobe Illustrator


In this blog post, I am going to discuss the shape tools in Adobe Illustrator. You can find the list of shape tools in the toolbar at the left-hand side of the Adobe Illustrator interface.

As a default, you will find the rectangle tool as the first option shown in the toolbar. If you hold down the cursor, a fly-out menu will appear which will show you the list of other shape tools available in this program. The lists of tools available are:

  • Rectangle Tool
  • Rounded Rectangle Tool
  • Ellipse tool
  • Polygon Tool
  • Star Tool
  • Flare Tool

Rectangle Tool:

To use this tool, first, select it from the toolbar and just click and drag out. If you click and hold the shift key and then drag the rectangle tool, then it will create a perfect square. And if you click the Alt and shift key both in your keyboard and then drag the rectangle tool, it will still create a square but this time it will be sized from the center.

You can also change the color of these shapes by using selection tool or pressing V on your keyboard for the shortcut. After selecting your rectangle, double-click on your color picker or the fill and stroke color at the bottom. You can pick any color for your stroke and fill for your rectangle. You can press M on your keyboard as a shortcut for this tool.

Rounded Rectangle tool:

This is the second option in the fly-out menu of the shape tool in Adobe Illustrator. This tool is kind of same as rectangle tool but the only difference here is they are rounded in corners.

A very important thing that I want to mention here about the rounded rectangle tool is that if you press the up arrow or the down arrow it will change the radius of your corners.

  • The Up arrow increases the radius of the corners.
  • The Down arrow decreases the radius of the corners.

Same as the rectangle tool, if you hold shift and drag the tool then it will also make a square only with the rounded corners.

If you click on your canvas while selecting this tool then a dialogue box will open up, this box has options like height and width of the rectangle and radius of the corners.

Ellipse Tool:

This tool is the third option in the fly-out menu of shape tools in Adobe Illustrator. This tool is used in making circular shapes like ellipse and circles. If you hold your shift key while creating the shape then you will get a circle.

You can click L on your keyboard as a shortcut for using this tool.

Polygon Tool:

This tool is the fourth option in the fly-out menu of shape tools in Adobe Illustrator. This tool also works the same as other shape tools in Adobe Illustrator. This is used to create the polygon which is a shape consisting of more than four sides. If you click and hold shift while creating a polygon then it creates a proportional shape for you.

To make a polygon of specific number sides just click on the canvas while selecting the tool.

This will open up a small dialogue box where there are various options like ‘radius’ of the polygon which will tell how big your shape will be, and sides’ is for the number of sides of the polygon.

Star Tool:

Star tool is the fifth option in the fly-out menu of the shape tool in Adobe Illustrator. If you click and drag this tool you will get a star shape with five points. Like every other tool if you hold shift while creating the shape you will get a perfectly proportional star shape.

There are more options available in this tool. If you click on the canvas while selecting the tool it will open up a dialogue box where there will be many options which will be the dimension of your shape.

The options available are:

  • Radius 1: It is the distance between the center and the outermost point.
  • Radius 2: It is the distance between the center and the innermost point.
  • Points: It is the number of points you have chosen for your ‘star’.

There’s another trick you can apply with star tool. Select your star tool and create your star shape. While creating the star shape hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard. In this case, you will get long pointed star shapes. So if you are thinking of creating pointy stars then try to consider this method.

Flare Tool:

It is the last and most ignored option in the list of shape tool in the Adobe Illustrator. The flare tool has special properties and transparencies that make it interact with whatever is beneath it. It can also give a lens flare effect from a camera.

There are basically two ways to draw a lens flare. 

Just grab the tool and drag it on your artboard and then reposition it when needed and you can also click on the artboard with the tool or select an existing flare and double click on the tool to edit it. A dialogue box will open up which has four sections: Center, Halo, Rays, and Rings.

  • Center: The First section is pretty self-explanatory. There you can change the diameter, opacity, and brightness.
  • Rays: This section is like a checkbox with various options where you can turn it on and off. There you can adjust the number, length (Longest) and Fuzziness of the rays.
  • Halo: The Halo refers to as the glare around the center. In this section, there are two options for growth and fuzziness.
  • Rings: This is another checkbox option available in this dialogue box that you can turn on and off. Here you can set the number of rings, the size and the direction in which they fall.

Since there are a lot of transparent components in a flare tool; it reacts to whatever that is underneath it. Although you can’t really change the color of the individual part, but you can edit the color using recolor artwork.

To do this select the flare, hide the edges by pressing Ctrl + H. Then go up to edit menu in menu bar and select Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork or you can click on the above color wheel shown in the menu bar (See the picture for further reference).

As you click on that option a dialogue box will open up and from there you can substitute the colors that are in the flare for the once that are in the color group.

5 thoughts on “Shape Tools in Adobe Illustrator

  1. This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Appreciate it!

  2. This is too good. Something I was looking for a long time. You have surely made learning Adobe Illustrator easy.

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