What you Can Do With the Appearance Panel in Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is my go-to program for a lot of my design work. Whether I am building logos or graphics for websites, I love the ease of use of Adobe Illustrator. It’s quick, simple, and building shapes is easier to me in Adobe Illustrator than any other program. What many people forget about is the Appearance Panel in Illustrator, and how handy it can be. Let’s take a look at Illustrator’s Appearance panel, and what you can do with it.

If You’re working with strokes, shapes, and effects, the Appearance Panel is your best friend. You can see and make edits to any stroke you’ve put on an object. If you’ve added any effects, like dropshadows or blurs, you can adjust those in the Appearance Panel, too. Just go to Window> Appearance and the panel will come up. You can click the toggle buttons next to each item, which will allow you to adjust different options, like stroke thickness, color, and the effects applied to an object.

Adding Strokes in Illustrator

What many people don’t know is that you can add multiple strokes to your objects from the Appearance Panel. Just like the Layers Panel, it has a new and trash icons, so you can add new elements and take away the ones you decide against. Simply click on the new button and you can create a new stroke on an object. Then, you can make the bottom stroke thicker, so that it pokes out from behind the one above. Keep adding strokes behind others, making them larger and larger, and you can add as many strokes to an object as you like, while keeping them 100% editable.

Appearance Panel in Illustrator

Is your Stroke Eating into your shape or text?

This is a common problem that is easily solved in the Appearance Panel. By default, the stroke of an object is placed above the object in its stacking order. You can change that! Click and drag the shape layer above the stroke in the Appearance Panel. Now, you don’t have to worry about the stroke harming the integrity of your shapes in Illustrator.

What do you think?

Did you have a chance to try out the Appearance Panel in Illustrator? It might take a little getting used to, but it should give you more control over objects, as well as the effects you apply to them. Do you have any Appearance Panel tips to share? If so, feel free to share them in the comments area.

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I am a professional graphic designer and web designer with years of experience. I am also an illustrator and Wordpress theme creator and author of this design blog. I write tutorials and build custom websites. I do what I love, and I love what I do! You can: Follow Me on Twitter, Join Me on Facebook, & Or Follow James George on Google+

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