In Illustrator, you may have noticed that when you press “D” to set your default stroke colour to black, you actually end up with a muddy grey colour instead. If you’re like me, you won’t notice this until it’s way too late, and half your stuff will be one shade of black and the other will be a darker shade, and then you have to go through the whole rigamarole of using Select > Same Fill etc. to edit the colours.
So how do I fix the default black so it’s not grey?
The answer is to change the colour inside the Black swatch. If you look at your Swatches palette, you will see that the fourth swatch in is Black. By default, Illustrator ships with this Black being equivalent to CMYK 0,0,0,100, which makes sense if you’re working in CMYK a lot.
If you find yourself doing web work and you wish to change the default Black to RGB 0,0,0 just edit this swatch colour.
It’s been a while so I’m forcing myself to post a couple of tips I learned today. Been using AI for nigh on 20 years, and there are still little tricks that I regularly add to my bag.
The polygon tool has always bitten my nards because it seems you have to option-click first, set the number of sides, press OK, then delete the shape, and then draw your shape interactively. I decided that this was just ridiculous and checked the Adobe help docs on the matter. Indeed – you can use the Up and Down Arrow keys (while the mouse button is still pressed) to change the number of polygon sides while in interactive drawing mode. After you’ve got the number of sides right, then you can go to town with the SHIFT key or whatever other modifiers you need to get the job done. Sweet.
I’ve also always been pissed at AI with the way centering objects works – before I learned this (documented) trick. Ever have a big object and you want to center a small object inside it? So you select both of them and then use the Align Palette to center them – and of course they both move! Well, if you select them both as usual and then CLICK (but not SHIFT-click) on the one you don’t want to move (usually the bigger object) then it will become the “key” shape and it will stay locked in place while the other shape(s) jump into position. Sweeter!