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Basic Panels of Adobe Illustrator (Part 1)

Basic Panels of Adobe Illustrator

In my previous two articles I had made you familiar with the basic tools of Adobe Illustrator. Now let’s move on to the basic panels of Adobe Illustrator.

In this article you will get to know about the panels which are on the right side of the workspace or you can find them in the window menu, which is in the menu bar.

1.      Layer Panel
The shape, object or artwork anything which you create on the artboard forms layers. These layers are shown in the layer panel.


In the above image, on the right hand side you can see the layer panel next to properties. In the layer panel, you can see different layers and sub layers. The shapes and tools which have been used to create the Tai Chi Symbol have taken place in the layer panel as separate layers.

New Layer or Sub Layer can also be added to the existing layer. Two small icons marked at the bottom right corner in the image are used to add new layer and sub layer.

To select any layer click on the small circle icon, this is on the right side in the layer panel. When you will click on the small circle icon it will get selected and a blue colored square will appear next to it and at the same time the shape for which that layer was created will also get selected in the artwork. The below image will help you in understanding it more clearly.


When you are making any changes or editing your artwork and you want that a particular shape must not get affected by it then simply click on the space which is between the eye icon and blue line in the layer. After clicking on that space a lock icon which appear and that layer will get locked. You can lock more than one layer at the same time. Just press & hold Shift key and click the layers which you want to lock.

Unlocking a layer is as simple as locking it. Just click on the lock icon and the layer will get unlock.

If you want to hide a layer, which is also a very simple task, click on the eye icon and the layer will get hide and to unhide and click there and the layer will be visible.

In case you want to change the sequence of layers, then select the layer and with left click drag the layer up or down wherever you want to place it.

To delete a layer, select it and click on the bin icon. You will find this bin icon at bottom right corner of the Layers Panel.

When you will practice this layer panel you will notice that when you will add a new layer its color will change. There will be different colors for different layers. Check it in the below image.


2.      Align Panel
You must have got an idea from the name itself what this panel does. Yes, it helps in alignment of the shape, object or text.

In the Menu Bar, click on Windows and then click on Align and the Align Panel Window will appear. Select the text or the artwork and click on the Align Option which you want to select.


With the help of Align panel you can change alignment of your text or your artwork as per your desire to give your artwork a professional look.

In the align panel you will see Align type at the bottom right corner. When you will click on it, options will appear: Align to Selection and Align to Artwork.

Align to Selection: This will help in changing the alignment within the selected area.
Align to Artwork: This will help in changing the alignment as per the artboard.

So what are you waiting for just draw or type something and practice the alignment tool.

3.      Transform Panel

This panel is also available in the Window Menu in the Menu Bar. Click on transform and the Transform Panel window will appear.


Transform Panel helps in transforming the shape or object. In Transform Panel window you can change the height and width of your object as well as you can rotate it at any point of angle by entering the value or by selecting the preset values.

 You will also find the transform panel in the properties which is on the right hand side of the workspace.

4.      Appearance Panel

In the Properties Panel, below Transform panel appears the Appearance Panel. If it is not available there you can enable it from Window option in the Menu Bar.


In this panel you can change the appearance of the shape, object or text; i.e.; fill, stroke and opacity of the object can be edited.

The color filled in the object, the stroke color & width and the opacity of the color filled can be changed with help of Appearance panel.

With help of the above explained panels try to make changes in your artwork and practice the use of these panels.

In the next article, we will learn about other basic panels of Adobe Illustrator.

Queries and suggestions are most welcome. Write in the comment section and share the article with others.


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