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Curing Illustrator Ills: Resetting Preferences

by Sara Froehlich


Don’t let a corrupted preferences file in Illustrator slow you down! Here’s how to fix them and get back to work fast.


Don’t let a corrupted preferences file in Illustrator slow you down! Here’s how to fix it and get back to work fast.
It’s happened to anyone who has used Illustrator for any length of time. You’re working along and all of a sudden something doesn’t work right. It might be that Illustrator doesn’t do what you expect when you press a modifier key, a tool won’t work, or any one of a dozen irritations. Usually a corrupted preferences file is the cause of these problems. Here’s how to fix it so you can get back to work.

Macintosh

Save your work and close Illustrator. Open the Finder and then go to Go > Home > Preferences. Look for a folder called Adobe Illustrator CS2 settings (or your version of Illustrator). In the folder is a file called Adobe Illustrator Prefs. Drag this file to the trash. Empty the trash and restart Illustrator. Reset any custom preferences you want, and when you close Illustrator the preferences file will be regenerated.

You can also reset Illustrator’s preferences by holding down Shift + Command + Option + Control while opening the program. If you will get a dialog asking if you want to delete the settings folder, say yes. Restart Illustrator. Reset any custom preferences you want, and when you close Illustrator the preferences file will be regenerated.

Illustrator CS 2 allows you to save custom workspaces. Note that while this procedure resets the program preferences in Illustrator CS2 to defaults, it doesn’t change the Workspace preferences, which are stored in a different file. To reset the workspace, go to Window > Workspace > Default, or choose one of your saved workspaces.

Windows

Save your work and close Illustrator. Double click on My Computer on your desktop and open C:>Documents and Settings > User >Application Data > Adobe > Adobe Illustrator CS2 Settings. (Your version of Illustrator will be in the foldr name.) Inside this folder is a file called AIPrefs. Drag this file to the trash, and restart Illustrator. Reset any custom preferences you want, and when you close Illustrator the preferences file will be regenerated.

You can also reset Illustrator’s preferences by holding down Shift + Control + Alt while launching the program. If you get a dialog asking if you want to delete the Adobe Illustrator settings folder, click yes to proceed. Restart Illustrator. Reset any custom preferences you want, and when you close Illustrator the preferences file will be regenerated.

Illustrator CS 2 allows you to save custom workspaces. Note that while this procedure resets the program preferences in Illustrator CS2 to defaults, it doesn’t change the Workspace preferences, which are stored in a different file. To reset the workspace, go to Window > Workspace > Default, or choose one of your saved workspaces.

This quick trick fixes many Illustrator problems and annoyances in just a few minutes.

Before problems start, you can backup your prefs files. Once you have a good set of preferences, (or right now, before you have a corrupt file to begin with) you can find the file on your hard drive, and make a copy of it. Keep the copy in a safe place, and when trouble strikes, drop the copy into the folder and let it overwrite the bad file.

Reprinted from Designorati.com


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©2005-2008 Sara Froehlich