Illustrator Trick #2: Tilde Fun

illustrator tilde trick

Many beginners may not have heard of the “tilde” key trick. It’s the ~ key just beside the number 1 keypad. By holding the tilde key, you can drag to create new shapes following your mouse direction. You can only use it with other shape tools in your tool palette. Combine it with Alt/Option, Shift/Command and spacebar to create new effects. Have fun with the tilde key, below are some experiments I have done with it.

tilde experiment

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  1. never ever heard of that technique.. really nice effect and so simple! I’ve been expirimenting with this technique for half an hour now and there are so many possibilities 😀 thanks for sharing!

  2. hi dear friends
    i don’t know how to make this style pls teach to me and where is the “tilde” options.
    tnks.

  3. The “tilde” key is right under Esc Key. Select the Circle Tool, hold down the “tilde” key and drag on the canvas to start drawing shapes. You can also try it with other shape tools.

  4. hopefully i’ll get a reply?

    i was just wondering how i could add the gradient effect (as seen in your opening banner) to the lines? i’ve tried everything i can think of, but nothing seems to work!

  5. well…i dont know this trick…f***m
    well if use a keyboard portuguese ur ~ key in this tut is “ç” key :d
    tks for the trick :d

  6. Hey!

    Great tutorial!
    I would like to know what is the bet way to paint inside the draw. I made something like the stars and i don’t know how to paint the “other inside” draws that i’ve made by the experiment. It’s to much work to paint one piece by one

    *sorry for my english haha

    thanks

  7. Go Object>Expand to expand the lines. Next select all lines and fill it with gradient. Pull and drag to set the direction of the gradient. You will achieve something like what I have done.

  8. Hi!
    Can’t get this to work…
    I have a Norwegian keyboard layout, and where the tilde / ~ symbol should be, I have ‘ and § instead. I have to press alt and ^ to get the ~ symbol. I can’t figure out how to do this trick..! 🙁

  9. Btw. I have the new Mac keyboard with a danish layout. In case some of you can’t find the tilde key, you just need to press the key and go crazy 😀

  10. Nope, this jsut does not work for me. My tilde is above the right shift key and shares space with the #. Even with shift ~ and drag, there is no effect. The line segment will twirl around anyway (even without the shift ~) but I get no duplicates. This is annoying, as I suspect it is an important part of Illustrator

  11. I was wondering how do you make the lines with different colors. Like the one shown above.

  12. This is a great find, thanks for sharing!

    hind al hussaini – the method is here

    Vectordiary October 12th, 2008

    Go Object>Expand to expand the lines. Next select all lines and fill it with gradient. Pull and drag to set the direction of the gradient. You will achieve something like what I have done.

  13. Robin September 21st, 2009
    Have a Mac Keyboard with a German Layout. I CAN´T FIND THE KEY!!! Can anyone help me?
    —–

    alt + n

    🙂

  14. I have a Mac Keyboard (UK Layout) and its the small wireless one that comes with the new imacs. I cant work it out. I’ve tried ~ § ^ and everything else i can think of. if anyone has any ideas please post.

    P.S. As many people seem to have similar issues, do we know the name for this function? so that we can look it up?

  15. If some one on a pc don’t get it.
    Just try “SHIFT+ ù” Key =>(ù/%).
    Thx for the trick.

  16. I followed the instructions previously mentioned, but once I select all the lines and fill them with a gradient, every ellipse has ‘its own gradient’ :S getting a very wierd efect (it’s interesting anyway, but not what i’m looking for)
    how can I do it to fill the entire shape with just one gradient??, like in of the opening banner????

  17. WOW WOW WOW!!! Thank you SO much for posting such a useful thing! I wish I knew about this a few years ago… I had no idea I could do stuff like this so easily!

  18. I can’t stand without thanking u VECTOR .. I am just a begineer in Illustrator and u made me like professional .. All appreciates my desings and specially This TRICKS …

  19. For Swiss keyboard layouts it is the exclamation mark “!”, between the “ü” and “return” keys. Have fun!

  20. I have a macbook pro with Spanish keyboard, ñ will not do the trick. I have Illustrator CS5, does anyone know how to help me?

  21. I have a spanish keyboard and I haven’t found the ’tilde’ key, Ñ doesn’t work for me

  • Cass

    Love it!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Lina

    I have a spanish keyboard and I haven't found the 'tilde' key, Ñ doesn't work for me
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Dulon Mree

    I have to know many things.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • victor

    I have a macbook pro with Spanish keyboard, ñ will not do the trick. I have Illustrator CS5, does anyone know how to help me?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • swizzly

    For Swiss keyboard layouts it is the exclamation mark "!", between the "ü" and "return" keys. Have fun!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Shibin Rajan

    Wow,nice, thank so much..........
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • VINEETH VECTYORDIARY

    VEERY USEFUL
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • mukesh sharma

    ITis nice tutorial, Thanks Tony
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Sumer www.yasumitours.com

    I can't stand without thanking u VECTOR .. I am just a begineer in Illustrator and u made me like professional .. All appreciates my desings and specially This TRICKS ...
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Jyo

    Hey its really nice :)
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Rahim

    Machi - Really superb dear .. Thanks for sharing.. Cooll
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • elencek

    it can be a single quote ' in some keyboards instead of tilde key..
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • sara thirtyonethirtyone.wordpress.com

    WOW WOW WOW!!! Thank you SO much for posting such a useful thing! I wish I knew about this a few years ago... I had no idea I could do stuff like this so easily!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Fernanda

    I followed the instructions previously mentioned, but once I select all the lines and fill them with a gradient, every ellipse has 'its own gradient' :S getting a very wierd efect (it's interesting anyway, but not what i'm looking for) how can I do it to fill the entire shape with just one gradient??, like in of the opening banner????
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Tidle Key Windows AZERTY

    If some one on a pc don't get it. Just try "SHIFT+ ù" Key =>(ù/%). Thx for the trick.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Lawrence J

    I have a Mac Keyboard (UK Layout) and its the small wireless one that comes with the new imacs. I cant work it out. I've tried ~ § ^ and everything else i can think of. if anyone has any ideas please post. P.S. As many people seem to have similar issues, do we know the name for this function? so that we can look it up?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • vectordiary

    i vector diary am gay
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • vectordiary

    everyone here is a loser if you listen to vector arts haha
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • neo

    this program sucks yosh arigato man
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • neo

    hell with this program
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • neo

    hell
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Toni

    Robin September 21st, 2009 Have a Mac Keyboard with a German Layout. I CAN´T FIND THE KEY!!! Can anyone help me? ----- alt + n :-)
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Robin

    Have a Mac Keyboard with a German Layout. I CAN´T FIND THE KEY!!! Can anyone help me?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • bem69 otak3pagi.blogspot.com

    This is a great find, thanks for sharing! hind al hussaini - the method is here Vectordiary October 12th, 2008 Go Object>Expand to expand the lines. Next select all lines and fill it with gradient. Pull and drag to set the direction of the gradient. You will achieve something like what I have done.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • hind al hussaini

    I was wondering how do you make the lines with different colors. Like the one shown above.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • goldbraun

    german keyboard: use ö instead of tilde
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • K.W Grippen kwgrippen.blogspot.com

    Amanda: I have the same keyboard as you do. Instead of the tilde key, hold down the @ key. You'll get the same effect.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Amanda

    Nope, this jsut does not work for me. My tilde is above the right shift key and shares space with the #. Even with shift ~ and drag, there is no effect. The line segment will twirl around anyway (even without the shift ~) but I get no duplicates. This is annoying, as I suspect it is an important part of Illustrator
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Masum masumonline.co.cc

    that is really cool. thanks man.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Steven www.pimped.dk

    Btw. I have the new Mac keyboard with a danish layout. In case some of you can't find the tilde key, you just need to press the key and go crazy :D
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Steven www.pimped.dk

    Oh my god! Why did I not know this :) Awesome, thanks for sharing.. I'll be using this alot from now on :)
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Vectordiary www.vectordiary.com

    The Alt key.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Ranja

    Very good trick! Let me ask something. Which key replaces the mac's option key, in the pc keyboard?
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Jan

    Hi! Can't get this to work... I have a Norwegian keyboard layout, and where the tilde / ~ symbol should be, I have ' and § instead. I have to press alt and ^ to get the ~ symbol. I can't figure out how to do this trick..! :(
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Vectordiary www.vectordiary.com

    Go Object>Expand to expand the lines. Next select all lines and fill it with gradient. Pull and drag to set the direction of the gradient. You will achieve something like what I have done.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Gui

    Hey! Great tutorial! I would like to know what is the bet way to paint inside the draw. I made something like the stars and i don't know how to paint the "other inside" draws that i've made by the experiment. It's to much work to paint one piece by one *sorry for my english haha thanks
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • dinesh bigbracket.wordpress.com

    cooooooooooooooool :) that's really awesome, great trick. M Loving it. :) thanks for sharing.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Love Malhotra

    Hello dear friends I don’t know how to make this style pls teach to me and where is the “tilde” options.my email ID is love_malhotra2007@yahoo.co.in thanxs.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Anneke

    For French keyboards it's the "<" key. Very glad to have finally found it! Cool trick
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Per

    For spanish keyboards is the "ñ" letter, thanks god i found it! Great trick!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • pub

    well...i dont know this trick...f***m well if use a keyboard portuguese ur ~ key in this tut is "ç" key :d tks for the trick :d
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Steff

    love it!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • iStockdiary www.istockdiary.com

    Hi Mickey, Go Object>Epxand to expand the lines into shapes. Select all and apply gradient to it.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • mickey

    hopefully i'll get a reply? i was just wondering how i could add the gradient effect (as seen in your opening banner) to the lines? i've tried everything i can think of, but nothing seems to work!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • arly

    yay! fun to play with! thanks!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • iStockdiary www.istockdiary.com

    The "tilde" key is right under Esc Key. Select the Circle Tool, hold down the "tilde" key and drag on the canvas to start drawing shapes. You can also try it with other shape tools.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • dev

    hi dear friends i don't know how to make this style pls teach to me and where is the "tilde" options. tnks.
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • Jamie.G

    never ever heard of that technique.. really nice effect and so simple! I've been expirimenting with this technique for half an hour now and there are so many possibilities :D thanks for sharing!
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
  • marizmendi marizmendi.googlepages.com/index33

    Excellent, Exactly what I've been looking for, thanks
    UpVote Reply 0 Upvotes
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