Modify Shapes with the Arrow Keys

A week or so ago, I had a question in my online Illustrator class where someone was having trouble using the up and down arrow keys to change the number of sides on a polygon in Adobe Illustrator. In this case hitting the arrow key was causing big jumps in the number of sides: the up arrow would practically create a circle, the down arrow would fly straight to a triangle. Ideally, you should be able to add sides in smaller, controllable increments.

Apparently this is a bug in the Illustrator software that happens when you have a Wacom tablet connected to a Mac and Adobe hasn’t fixed it yet. The workaround is to use the mouse (you don’t need to disconnect the tablet) when drawing a shape you want to control with the arrow keys. Try this with the spiral tool too – you can add or take away curve segments as you’re drawing by hitting the up or down arrow keys on your keyboard. Stay tuned for more Illustrator instruction on, we’re in the process of creating some new classes and workshops, and we’ll be re-running the beginning Illustrator class this fall.