Graphicxtras.com

Illustrator Symbols + tutorials

Illustrator symbols and shapes for CC 2019 2018 - CS6 CS5 etc, all for commercial and personal use, all royalty free. Also tutorials on dynamic symbols, replace designs, change color, use libraries, static conversion etc

 

Symbols to buy

How to Use type as symbols

How to Change color of symbols

Use swatches to color symbols

Export designs

Convert static to dynamic

How to place them

Create splatter design

How to install them

How to use Illustrator symbol sprayer

Scruncher

Sizer

Stainer

Blur

Add extrusion

Replace and swap

Dynamic symbols

How to edit symbols

Create tiles from instances

Free symbols

Illustrator patterns

Brushes

Graphic styles

 

 

Buy symbols. Price :$6.49 US Dollars - all AI format

BUY 350 Arches V51 gallery

BUY 100 Arrows VVS1 gallery

BUY330 Mixed V32 gallery

BUY 200 Backgrounds V6 gallery

BUY170 Bow ties V67 gallery

BUY 530 Buttons V20 gallery

BUY350 Checks V23 gallery

BUY100 Chevrons V85 gallery

BUY 16,000 Brushes / Strokes from graphicxtras.com for use as a great source for artworks on this page AI gallery

 

They are for use in most versions such as CC 2019 2018 - CS5 CS4 etc on the PC and Mac. The vector shapes are for all your projects. On purchase of the sets, you receive the download with the artwork in AI format along with notes and gallery and serial.

 

 

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Type. How to use type with symbols in Illustrator ? You can use all kinds of designs as the presets. You can create a single letter (such as 'A') as a preset as well as a word and also a paragraph and also multiple paragraphs and a whole page of text as a preset. The type can be in different colors as well as different fonts and also in different sizes within the paragraph etc. For example, select the type tool and create a single character 'A'. Once you have that character, you can expand it (you don't need to) and then save it to the presets panel. You can just drag the letter to the panel and it will be saved as static or dynamic depending on the settings in the panel. You can then drag the design to the artboard and use as an instance and add multiple instances of that letter. You can also use the sprayer tool to spray multiple examples of the letter onto the artboard. If you want to use the stainer, it is probably not a good idea to add the character in black but select a color such as green or blue etc which can be stained by the stainer tool. If you wish to re-color all of the applied instances (via sprayer or placing in the artboard) you can use the appearance panel and right side menu and add a new fill and set the color for that. You can use the other tools in the sprayer such as the spinner to rotate all the applied letters. You can do the same with whole paragraphs of type and create all kinds of abstract textual backgrounds and layers using the sprayers and the instances. The results can also be saved to the CC library and used in other parts of the Creative Cloud. You can do the same with paragraphs. Go to the toolbar and create a rectangle. Goto the area type tool and click the rectangle and fill the type with the usual lorem etc or add your own characters. Now drag that design into the presets panel. Select that in the panel and then go to the sprayer tool and apply the design as multiple instances. You can also then spin the type as well as size it and stain the type (again, best to include type in green or blue as the preset). You can do the same for an entire page of type though the more letters in the instance, the slower things the response from the sprayer etc. You can also add effects to the type such as blurs and then use that as an instance. Or use type with extrusions as a preset. Create a character and set the typeface and color and then go to the effect menu and extrude and then click OK. Now drag that design into the presets panel. You can then use the sprayer tool (or just place the design) to add the artwork to the artboard and then use the sprayer and stainer and sizer etc to manipulate the artworks.

 

 

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Re-color. How to change the color of a symbol in Illustrator CC CS6 CS5 CS4 etc? Double click an Illustrator symbol instance (one you wish to change the color of). Select the paths (in the editing mode). Change the color of the required paths. Right click and select exit editing mode. There are two types of vector design now (if you are using the latest versions): static and dynamic. You can re-color the dynamic artwork by selecting them (you can see an icon in the preset's panel indicating that they are dynamic) using the direct selection tool - if the preset is made up of more than one path then you can change the color of all of the parts of the design. The master design is untouched. To change the color (fill or stroke) of a static art, drag the art to the document to create an instance or double click the panel entry. A panel pops up and click OK. You are now in the editor mode for the instance. Select the part of the design you want to re-color and go to the swatches or to the toolbar and fill / stroke or top bar. Set the fill by clicking a swatch / toolbar fill / top bar fill (make certain the panel for the color is set to the fill ). Set the stroke color by going to the same panels / toobar but selecting the panel for the stroke. Right click and select "exit symbol editing mode'. The instance is now updated as well as the master. You can also modify the fill etc of a selected instance by using the color guide. Select instance and then go to the window menu and select the color guide. In the guide, click bottom line 'edit or apply colors' and select an active in the top bar dropdown of the guide panel such as high contrast. You can also access the color guide or recolor artwork via the properties panel with the selected instance in CC 2019 2018 and beyond. Click the button in the middle of the guide to updating the ordering. Click and repeat and you will see the fill etc of the artwork change. Click ok when you have finished with the guide panel. . You will now see the instances have been changed and also the master preset in the panel. You can also use the stainer to the adjust the fill of the instance - it does not need to be used solely with the sprayer and it can be used with lone instances as well. Select instance and go to the toolbar and sprayer tool. Go to the stainer in the same group. Set the fill color (doesn't appear to work with strokes). Double click the stainer tool to change options such as intensity etc. Click or paint over the instance with the stainer tool. You will now see the instance has been updated but the master is untouched. You can repeat this at any time.

 

 

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Using swatches. How to add color to a symbol in Illustrator by adding colorful pattern swatches to the fill or stroke. Select an instance. Display the appearance panel (via the window menu). Go to the appearance panel and you will see a breakdown in the list for the preset: symbol, contents, opacity. Go to the right side menu of the appearance panel and then select the add new fill and the instance will be filled with a solid black swatch. OK, now go to the fill entry in the appearance panel and select the dropdown and then select one of the swatches you want to add to the instance to color the artwork. In the appearance panel, you will see the entries for the fill and stroke in between the instance and contents entries. You will also see an entry for the opacity as well as the blending mode for the fill and stroke. You can set the blending modes for the fill and stroke to anything such as darken or difference. You can set the opacity to 50% etc. You can also change the color of the presets to any pattern / swatch included in the current panel. If you have a dynamic preset then color it with Illustrator swatches using the direct selection tool. If the artwork is an older format static then you will have to convert it to a dynamic artwork to use it with the direct selection tool. Ok, assuming it is now a dynamic instance. Goto to the toolbar and select the direct selection tool. Click the part of the design you want to color with the swatch and then go to the swatches panel and click a swatch (pattern or solid color or gradient etc) and then that part of the instance will change to the new color scheme. All the other instances of the dynamic design will be unchanged. You can then select another part of the dynamic preset and color the design with a swatch and repeat. Another way to color Illustrator symbols with swatches is to just edit the design itself by double clicking the artwork in the symbols panel and then editing the design in isolation. You can select the individual paths of the design and change them all to all kinds of different designs. It should be noted that all instances will be updated with the new designs. You can add multiple strokes and multiple preset tiles to those strokes and they can be the same preset as well as different ones. You can also use the transform menu commands to scale and rotate those tile presets. Some combinations will work well and some will be gloriously garish but it is up to you. The stroke also allows for the applied tile preset to be manipulated a little further with stroke options such as caps and width profiles that can be added and you can access those by clicking the underline stroke entry. Select an instance on the artboard and go to the appearance panel. Go to the right side menu and select add new stroke. Expand the vector tiles picker for that stroke. Select a colorful tile to the artwork. Set the stroke weight. Click the stroke options in the appearance panel and add profiles etc if required

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Export. How to export / save Illustrator symbols in CC 2019 2018 - CS5 etc to PNG and SVG and PDF formats for use in other applications etc ? Drag preset to the artboard from the presets panel. Goto to the object menu. Expand command (unless you want them as instances). File menu. Save as / Export (PNG etc) to output the symbols from Illustrator. The instances can be saved to PNG format via the export command as well as via the save for the web and select the PNG option. You can also use the selection command (file menu) and just generate the currently selected instances. You can also save the vector designs with the save for web command, you can clip to the current artboard (though in many cases I always add a background to define the size of the rectangle which matches the artboard anyway as I do not like white backgrounds with the my paths on web pages which is a personal preference, of course). You can set to interlaced (I generally do) as well as set the number of colors and in most cases I use about 16 or 32 as often 8 always looks a little coarse on web pages unless there really are only 8 or less colors. There are many other settings available. You can save to PDF via the file save as command and set the compatibility such as PDF one point five as well as preserve the editing, embed page thumbnails, compression etc. Generally with the presets, there are no images involved so many of the settings can be ignored and also no fonts. If you create a number of artboards for the presets and have a preset on each of the artboards then you can save a multi-page PDF which may or may not prove very useful in any other application. Generally, I save each artboard to a multiple PDFs as that means the PDFs can be easily read in many more apps. The SVG format is perhaps a more useful format especially as the format is useful for web pages and also support / import support has been increasing. You can save them as SVG via the save command but personally, I prefer to expand them and then clean up the shape / paths / points (my favourite tool for this is the powerful Astute Graphics plugin called Smart Erase Brush and you can find a trial version of the plugin set on their site) and then save them. When you use the instances, you will see the SVG code generates a lot of symbol id entries and that will contain all the gradients and other resources that make up the design. If you have multiple instances on the artboard then you will also see entries for each of those instances throughout the SVG file. You will also see the transform matrix information for those instances. Also, I have found that I have had more problems with the SVGZ format than the SVG so I stick with the uncompressed even if it can save a few additional K. With the latest release of CC, you can export them in the SVG format. Everything is generated via that file menu command. It produces a far cleaner and perhaps less editable SVG file but if you really want to cut down the file size then the export command is very good. It does have a tendency to produce too many tspans if you have text though as well as add an unnecessary comment as well as a title tag and some additional info but that can also be quickly cleaned in Brackets or another text editor. Another option to place them into Photoshop etc is the basic select the vector instance and then edit menu and copy into Photoshop via the paste command. There is also an selection command in the file menu which will just generate the selected instances. You can also use the libraries to output the instances from the application - simply drag an instance into the CC library panel and save it to a library. It can only be used with the tools in the creative cloud though

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Static / dynamic. How to convert / turn static (old) into Illustrator dynamic symbols in CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 etc tutorial. Goto the Window menu and symbols panel (if not visible). Load the presets required (if not available). Drag the preset to the artboard and then use Object menu and expand. Re-color and tweak the old design as required. Drag the design back into the presets panel. Select the dynamic option when asked. Use them with the direct selection tool to re-color parts of the artwork. You can save the artworks (if you are using a file containing lots of the artwork in the panel). File menu and then Save as and then select the Illustrator format and give the file a name and click ok. You may like to remove any included brushes and swatches etc. If you wish the file with one set of presets. Once you have done this, you can then select the preset library at any point and the set will be full of amazing useful dynamic presets for your work to re-color and use with the direct selection tool.

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Place. How to place symbol in Adobe Illustrator CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 2014 etc ? Goto the Window menu and symbols. Select the required presets in that panel. Right side menu and go to the "Place symbol instance" command. Go to the artboard. Re-size placed instance and re-position. This does require an open document as well as the ability to add the presets (artboard etc not locked). The instance can now be manipulated in CC 2019 2018 2017 2105 etc. The preset is placed in the center of the artboard though it can always then be removed. Note that only one preset at a time can be placed using this method. Alternative approach to the placement - just drag the artwork from panel - go to the presets panel and then select the preset you want and then drag that to the artboard.

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Create splatter. How to create instant splatter background in Illustrator CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc by using symbols. Create a path such as a circle (a small path compared to the size of the artboard) for the splatter background. Set the fill color and set the stroke to none. Drag to the presets panel. Save as static. Click OK. Select the preset in the panel. Go to the sprayer tool. Apply and spray multiple times close together. Use the alt / option to decrease the size of some of the instances. Select all the designs sprayed and place that in the symbols panel (again, static). Select the new symbol. Apply the instances across the artboard. Fill the entire document. Go to the sizer tool and hold alt / option to resize some groups. Go to the spinner tool and rotate the paths (in the same group as the sprayer tool). You can then repeat this a number of times but you will have 100s of spots / paths / dots / stars (depending on the initial default path). The key thing is to use the static preset and not the dynamic symbol as the application will keep the symbol for the background live and editable at all stages. To create the background, you can start with a single vector preset and then spray that and then use that as a new static symbol and then spray the new symbol and the combination will rapidly create 100s of artworks all across the image / artboard. You can alter the entire spray design simply by double clicking the original source symbol in the panel and editing that (such as changing the color or the path etc) and exiting out of the symbol edit. You can then create a filled document with stars instead of spots and dots etc. You could create an initial spot symbol with multiple colorful paths such as a red star and green star etc.

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Install. How to install / load the symbols ? They are all in AI files. The sets on this site generally contain the artwork in the library as well as on the artboard. The files can be opened via the file open but to use them as a library they must be added via the document's panel as well as via the window menu and libraries (see the bottom of the window menu). You can use the other libraries functionality to browse for the AI files but if you want them to appear in the list and select them by name, the AI files need to be placed in the program files > Adobe > Adobe Illustrator CC 2019 2018 > presets > en_GB or en_US > symbols (on the PC). On the mac, place them in the equivalent in the applications folder. You can also place the AI file into the user data folders if you wish. If you don't want to use the main folders, you can just place the AI files in any folder and then use the window menu and other libraries functionality to browse for the AI files. That means you can use them from version to version without any need to move them to the new location with each change of version from CC 2017 to CC 2019 2018 to CC 2019 to CC 2020 etc. Once you have loaded the library, select items you wish to use and then they are added to the document's library and they are then stored with the file on save.

 

 

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Sprayer. How to use the Illustrator symbol sprayer tool? Well, the first thing is that you need some presets in the library. You can have one or multiple entries in the panel but you can (sadly, as I think it would make the tool even more amazing) only use one at a time (you can find a number of plugin tools such as the ones on this site where you can use multiple entries and randomly select them or in order). The sprayer tool can be found in the tools. The sprayer comes with a number of auxiliary tools such as the stainer etc. The key one is the sprayer though. Select the sprayer and select a preset, apply to the artboard. You can keep the mouse down for as long as you wish and add more and more instances to a particular area in the design or you can move the mouse and then add to other parts of the document. If you release the mouse and then re-spray again, those items as well as the instances before will be added to a group (the group can be manipulated in a number of ways such as via the sizer tool etc). If you release the mouse and de-select the group and change tools and back to the sprayer, the items will be added to a new set / group. If you re-select the set / group and then use the sprayer, the instances will be added to the group. If you just spray on top of the instances then a new group will be created. If you decided to change the preset to another via the replace feature then keep the group selected and then select a different artwork in the presets panel and then goto the right side menu and select the replace command and you will see the instances in that group all change to the new design. If you want to move the instance in the set, you will have to use the shifter tool. Simply select that tool and pass over the instances you want to shift though if you have multiple items in the same area of the stroke, they will all move (ones outside of the influence will not). You can decrease the size but if you make it too small then the shifter will not move anything (such as dropping it to 10pt etc). You can change the settings by double clicking the tool icon and you can change the diameter, intensity and symbol set density. You can apply different presets to the same set. You can change the overall density quickly for the entire set by changing the set density field. Set it to 0 and all the instances will be spread out across the document. Put the set density to 10 and the instances will be crunched in.

 

 

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Scruncher. The scruncher changes the density in the area of the stroke. The set shows the individual centers of the instances so you hover over those designs and increase as well as decrease the density of the instances in a particular part of the design or entire design. You can reverse the effects of the scruncher etc by holding down the ALT / Option key. The tools have interesting methods such as random and average, personally I stick to the user defined but the random does generated a lot of jitter with the instances especially if you have a high intensity and large diameter of stroke applied. I find the user defined a lot easier to use and the results are much smoother with more control.

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Sizer. Sizer is great for increasing the size of the instances in the set. You can also localize the sizing of the designs and holding down the alt / option will reduce the size of the instances. The sizer can get out of hand and rapidly increase the size if you are not careful especially with a large diameter. Reduce the size of the diameter and the effect is local and a lot less. The spinner manipulates the angle of the instance. As you use the spinner, you will see the angle of the instance move around. The alt / option has no real use with the spinner. You can carefully manipulate and control the angle of a single instance as well as moving the other designs. Again, all within the bounds of the diameter of the sprayer tool.

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Stainer. The stainer tool stains the instances beneath the sprayer. It uses the solid fill color (pity it does not add gradients or tiles etc). You can change the design on the right into a bluer design by changing the fill color to blue. Put the stainer fill color to white and you can bleach the color. There is no brightness or saturation feature though. Screener tool can be applied to the design and can change the opacity of the designs. You can create a hole into the middle of the design or perhaps fade the edges of the design. You can use it create a quick frame. Hold down the alt / option and the instance become solid again. Styler adds the current selected style to the instances below the tool. If you hold down the alt / option key it brings more of the original design back. As those effects can be all kinds of things such as blurs and color changes as well as gradients and scribbles etc, the styler can bring in all kinds of weird and wonderful designs to the instance. You can also rotate and scale the entire set of the instances by using the selection tool. You can also use the shear command via the object menu and transform.

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Blur. How to blur symbols in Illustrator ? You can select any number of instances in the application and then simply go to the instance and then go to the effect menu and select the blur menu and gaussian blur and set the value. You now have a blurred design. If you have lots of instances, perhaps in a set of designs, well you can use the styler. First, select something and blur it using the above tool. Once you have that, go to the styles panel and right side and add a new preset. You can now use the styler tool with all the instance and apply the effect locally to one or two instance as well as control the intensity. Just select the blur effect in the preset's panel otherwise the tool will warn you.

 

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Extrusion. How to add extrusions to the symbols ? You can use the 3D features with the instances. Add them to the artboard via the preset's panel by dragging or using the sprayer. If you use the sprayer, the entire set is turned into the same solid extrusion and not the individual parts (though you could always use the sub tools to add the 3D as with the blur). If you just want one instance to be turned into a 3D extrusion then drag that design from the preset's panel and go to the effect menu and 3d and extrude. You can then use all the extrude depth, bevel, lighting etc settings as required and create lovely 3D models (sadly not exportable as 3D files). The effects are still live and can be changed at any time as can the instance via the replace command. You can also use the map art to map additional presets to the 3D design.

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Replace. How to replace / swap symbol instances in CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc. Select symbol instance or instances in Illustrator artboard to be replaced. Go to the presets panel and select the replace symbol. Go to the right side menu of presets panel and Replace. The first thing is that there is an instance to be swapped so there must be at least one on the current artboard or you will find that you cannot use the functionality. Select the required instances. You can also replace multiple instances of different presets so if you have a square preset and a circular preset then they can be replaced in seconds with a single new design from the presets panel. Another approach to the using the standard standalone panel is to use the top bar of the application and the replace panel probably the quickest way to swap the designs. Select the instances you want to change and go to the top bar of the application and you will see an dropdown next to the edit and break and reset buttons - display the presets in that and select and everything will change in seconds. If you try and replace the instance where all the instances are same as the replaced then nothing will happen. If you have a large instance and a small instance and then go to the replace command in the panel or the top bar (personally the top bar is easier) you will notice on replacing the items you will suddenly see the new instance added in exact size / dimensions to the previous instances and the new replaced items will be large and small. If you add the instances via the sprayer tool you will see a number of the instances and they can be selected as a group and then they can be replaced on mass by going to the panel menu or top bar and select the replace command with the new preset selected in the panel. So if you have a selection of sprayed oranges you can now swap with lemons or limes or raspberries etc and if you use the sprayer sizer and spinner then the newly modified instances will be set to the same dimensions and angle. If you are using CC 2019 2018 (and beyond) then you can use the replace via the properties panel. Do as before, select the instances that you want to replace and then go to the properties panel and you will see a little replace panel and you can then select a design from that panel. Video tutorial about the replace subject by graphicxtras.com

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Dynamic. How to use the new dynamic symbols in Illustrator CC tutorial and how to recolor / change width / add dash etc in seconds in 2018 2017 2015 etc. Select a path or paths to be used as a dynamic design. Drag to the preset's panel and select the dynamic symbol option. Give it a name. Click OK. Use with the direct selection tool to recolor / change stroke etc. Dynamic presets means a single artwork can be initially red (as the master) but combined with the direct selection tool, the instance can now be blue and green etc in seconds without any change to the master (still stored away in the presets panel). To save them, simply select the dynamic when you add the artwork to the presets panel (which can be found in the window menu). As soon as it is added, the only difference you will see is a small little icon '+' in the bottom right beside the artwork in the panel. You can also use the new designs with all the features of AI such as the sprayer tool. You can also simply drag an instance to the artboard and use that as you would before such as expand and add opacity and blending modes, just now the new artwork can be quickly re-colored in seconds instead of having to expand the art etc You can select the instances as before with the selection tool. You can add effects to the artwork as before. You can still use them with the appearance panel such as adding strokes etc. You can select the items as before by using the selection tool. You can also select the individual parts of the shape by selecting the individual parts using the direct selection tool. If you have a new shape with say a green outer rim and a red inner core and you can now use the direct selection tool and select the green path then the color of the fill will change to green and if you select the red part of the new shape then the color in the fill will change to red. You can then change the individual part from red to orange or any other color. Any change you make with the direct selection tool to the color will not change the master which will remain in the preset panel untouched. You can select the master again and drag another instance to the document / artboard. The instance will be a copy of the current master so none of the changes to the other instances will be attached to the new instance. You can then again select the direct selection tool and select individual parts of the path and change the fill, stroke color, width / weight, dash etc. You can then repeat this with a new instance from the master and so on. Using the direct selection tool you can change the object's individual parts. The easiest way is to de-select the entire path and then click the individual parts. You can change the following for the designs : Fill color + Stroke color + Width such as changing it from 10pt to 20pt + Dash settings etc + Opacity + Location / position of path + Add effects such as live transforms to the individual parts + Blending modes. The first rectangle is an instance with green fill and green stroke, the next instance (using the same master preset) is one with a red fill and a yellow stroke and the stroke width / weight has been reduced using the direct selection tool. The bottom left instance shows a brown fill with a dash style added again using the direct tool. And so on. Literally 1000s of designs can all be based on the single source preset and that can be modified at any time say turning the square into a totally different path. You can double click the master in the presets panel and change the vector shape in numerous ways and change the font, change the color etc of the type and then exit out of the editing mode. All the instances will then be updated accordingly so all the items will be set to the fill / stroke as well as before and all the transformations will be added as before. It should be noted that all the sets on this site were created before the changeover and addition of the new dynamic and so if you wish to convert them, the easiest way is to drag the artwork from the presets panel and expand them via the object menu and re-drag the new art to the preset's panel and select the new option. Not ideal and it is a pity that Adobe did not supply a converter tool.

 

 

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Edit. How to edit the symbols in Illustrator ? Double click the master design in the panel and you will enter the editing mode. Any changes you make in the editing mode will be reflected in the master design as well as any instances. You can exit the editing mode by right clicking and select the exit command or go to the top bar and click the exit arrow at the top left. You can change all kinds of things with the design while in the editing mode such as the colors and the paths themselves as well as re-sizing the design and much more. The original source material is totally untouched as they are read only libraries. You can also enter the editing mode by double clicking any of the instances and a message will appear saying that you are just entering the edit mode. If you are using CC 2019 2018, you can also use the properties panel with the selected instance and use the edit button on the properties panel.

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Tiles. How to use the symbols as a source for tiles ? Simply select the instance you want to use and go to the object menu and select pattern. You will then see the tiles as normal and they can be modified such as re-scaled and rotated and re-colored etc. You can save multiple entries by clicking the save a copy command. On exit you will find your new design in the preset panel and then can be applied to other artwork as a fill etc. Note that as soon as you create the tile with the design it is no longer a symbol and will even feature an option to save it as such in the properties panel of CC 2019 2018 and beyond. Literally millions of amazing tiles can be created using the presets and editing the designs (as well as combining them with effects)

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Freebies. Free selection of symbols for Illustrator in AI format. Load them via the libraries functionality via the window menu or load them via the presets panel. All for commercial and personal use, all royalty free Abstraction / Broken circular tracks / Color rings / Concentric circles / Diamonds / Flares / Flowers / Gradient meshes / gradient themed designs

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Symbols on adobe.com