Customizing a New Document in Illustrator

In this week’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke abandons his traditional heart-shaped approach to Valentine’s Day and illustrates his love for you dekeIntines by showing you how to customize Illustrator’s New Document presets.

This practical approach is one of the things that I love best about Deke. I mean Valentine’s Day usually just means that all our favorite restaurants are full of stressed out couples who hate going out to dinner when we really haven’t noticed what day it is and just want to feed the kids without cooking.

But here at, you get a gift that will last all year, every time you start a new project in Illustrator. The key to unlocking this ability is to know where your preset files live, and then either cutting and pasting this into a new folder window in on the PC:

%AppData%\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator 21 Settings\en_US\x64\New Document Profiles

...or choosing Go > Go to Folder on the Mac and entering this:

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator 21/en_US/New Document Profiles

You’ll have to unlock permissions as well, but Deke shows you how. And once you’re in there, you can change the artboard name and dimensions, the swatches that will open by default, the document size, the Layers panel thumbnail size (yes!), and more.

And crucially, Deke shows you how to employ this fabulous not-exactly-a-template when you need to use it.

So if you’re looking for frivolous (but impeccable and heartfelt) heart shapes, you’ll have to go back to Deke’s Techniques 042 and 43:

How to draw a heart (in Illustrator) and gloss it up (in Photoshop)

But if you’re looking for true Illustrator love, accept this sincere gift from Deke, good any day of the year.

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