I thought it would be helpful to share some of my favorite shortcuts that I use regularly while designing with Adobe Illustrator. Over time, I have picked up new ones and sought out some that are not so obvious. For the most part though, it makes the creative workflow so much easier and productive when you use shortcuts.
1. Command + 7 Make Clipping Mask
I use this particular command constantly and makes it so easy to design new images. Be sure that the shape you are using as a mask is on the uppermost layer above what you want to clip. In this image above I used the purple tulip shape, clicked ALT and drug a new one above the elements I wanted to clip. Then I selected the uppermost tulip shape and the elements below it and Command 7 and my new clipped image was created!
2. Command +/- Zoom In or Zoom Out
This one makes it so easy to maneuver while working. Great for web browsing too!
3. X Key Switches Between Fill & Stroke
Pressing the letter X in Illustrator will switch between the fill and stroke in the Tools panel (works in Photoshop too!) So handy when you are applying color to your work.
4. Command D (Control D Windows) Duplicate Last Function
This is a great tool which allows you to duplicate the last effect you performed. For instance, if you create an object, use ALT to drag creating a duplicate, and then simply click Command D and continue to click the command and your object is duplicated as many times as you would like. Works with many other effects also.
5. Command/Control + 2 Lock an Item
Command/Control + Option/ALT + 2 Unlock an Item
Command/Control + 3 Hide an Item
Command/Control + Option/ALT + 3 Show All
When you are working on a complex design with overlapping images, these shortcuts make it simple and fast to select and edit an item.