Using the Brush Libraries

You can import brushes from other Adobe Illustrator files into a palette associated with the current file using the Brush Libraries command. These libraries are stored in the Brushes folder, located in the Presets folder inside the Adobe Illustrator application folder. You cannot add, delete, or edit brushes in a library; however, once you import a brush, you can change its attributes.

To import a brush from a Brush Library to the current Brushes palette:

  1. Make sure the Brushes palette into which you want to import a brush is open.
  2. Choose Window > Brush Libraries >Brush Library name. To locate a Brush Library not stored in the Brushes folder, choose Window > Brush Libraries > Other Library.
  3. Select the brush you want, and then if the brush does not automatically appear in the Brushes palette, do one of the following:
  • Use the selected brush in the current artwork (recommended for one or two brushes at a time). Once you use it in the artwork, the brush is copied from the Brush Library to the Brushes palette.
  • Drag the selected brush to the current Brushes palette (recommended for multiple brushes at a time).

To have a Brush Library appear in the Brush Libraries menu:

  1. Drag the Brush Library file into the Brushes folder.
  2. Restart Adobe Illustrator

To create a Brush Library:

  1. Create an Adobe Illustrator file containing the brushes you want in the Brush Library.
  2. Save the file in the Brushes folder.
  3. Restart Adobe Illustrator.

Tips for using brushes

When you work with brushes, keep the following points in mind:

  • You can often use Scatter brushes and Pattern brushes to achieve the same effect. However, one way in which they differ is that Pattern brushes follow the path exactly, while Scatter brushes do not.

Tips-for-using-brushesArrows in a Pattern brush bend to follow the path (left); arrows remain straight in a Scatter brush (right).

  • If you apply a brush to a closed path and want to control the placement of the end of the path, select the scissors tool and split the path. To change again, select the endpoints, choose Object >Path > Join, and use the scissors again.
  • To select all brush stroke paths in the current artwork, choose Select > Object > Brush Strokes.
  • For better performance when creating a brush from art that contains multiple overlapping paths filled with the same color and with no stroke, use the Add filter in the Path finder palette before you create the brush.

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