Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Canva Keyboard Shortcuts

Love Canva? Here are some keyboard shortcuts to speed up your designs

Control (or Command) + A  Select everything in the design

Click on an area which is not selected – Deselect current selection

Control (or Command) + ] or Control (or Command) +  Down Arrow – Move the selection down one layer

Control (or Command) + [ or Control (or Command) + Up Arrow – Move the selection up one layer

Control (or Command) + ;  Show/Hide the layout grid

Alt (or Option) + Shift + B – Add a border around the text

Alt (or Option) + Shift + + (the plus symbol above the main keyboard – not the one on the numbers pad) to make the border wider

Alt (or Option) + Shift + – (the minus symbol above the main keyboard – not the one on the numbers pad)  to make the border thinner

Control (or Command) + Shift + K – selected text to uppercase/lowercase (toggle) (this may not be visible if you are using an all caps font)

Control (or Command) + Click  on an already selected object to select the object directly below it (Canva suggests this works, it doesn’t for me but YMMD)

Up arrow / Down arrow / Left Arrow / Right arrow – Nudge a selected shape in the direction of the arrow

Shift + Up arrow (or Down arrow / Left Arrow / Right arrow) – Move the selected shape a larger amount in the direction of the arrow

To rotate an object to 45 or 90 degrees (or multiples of these), rotate it slowly when you are near a 45 degree increment and you will see it snap into position

Canva provides a fun tutorial to help you practice some of these shortcut keys which you will find here:

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

A Great Microsoft Office Tutorial Resource

Great find! A list of good quality Microsoft Office tutorial resources

I’ve recently discovered an enormous list of Microsoft Office tutorials that may be worth checking out. Each piece of Office software has several listed tutorials ranging from beginner to advanced difficulty and general to specific usage.

Best of all, each tutorial has a brief summary of its contents so you can quickly decide if its new and interesting information. Hopefully every Office user will find something of use. You can visit the page here.

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Illustrator – Find, Download, Install and Use Scripts

Harness the power of scripts to automate tasks in Illustrator

Where Photoshop has Actions, Illustrator has Scripts that help you automate complex and tedious tasks. You don’t need to know how to write code – just how to copy and paste it to harness the power of scripts to automate your workflow in Illustrator.

From scripts which make a rectangle the size of the artboard, which make metaball shapes and divide text frames you’ll find lots of practical use for scripts every day. I’ll show you how to find  scripts online that you can use. I’ll show you how to find free scripts for Illustrator, how to download scripts and install them. I’ll even show you how to make a script file if you can find the code but it’s not in a downloadable format.

So you will  learn to make use of .js and .jsx scripts and how to copy and paste script code from a web page and save it correctly so you can install it into Illustrator. I’ll also show you how to run the scripts you download.

Some of the scripts discussed include join reasonably which joins paths better than Illustrator does and a range of other handy scripts.

Helen Bradley


Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Illustrator – Make a Vintage design from one shape with multiple strokes and fills

Create a Multidimensional Shape from a Simple 20 Point Star

Learn to create this multidimensional shape in Illustrator from a simple 20 point star. You will learn how to make the points round, how to fill the shape with a color and a pattern then how to create the outside and inside strokes.

The entire effect (minus the background and text) is one single resizable fully adjustable vector shape.

By the end of the video you will understand how to use the Appearance panel and how to add multiple strokes and multiple fills to a shape and how to offset strokes  from each other. You will learn how to add a pattern fill to a shape and blend it in with the underlying fill color and how to vary the pattern transparency.  These skills will make your work with vector shapes in Illustrator easier to do.

Helen Bradley


Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Illustrator – Create a Wave Repeating Pattern

More complex than it looks, here’s how to make a Wave Pattern in Illustrator


Learn how to create a wave pattern in Illustrator. You will see how to draw the starting shape and how to fill it. You will learn how you can test it to see how it will look and then adjust it if necessary before continuing.

You will use the Shape Builder tool to build the actual pattern starting piece and the new Pattern feature in Illustrator CS6 & Illustrator CC to make the repeating pattern swatch.

Helen Bradley