Creating circles and segments of circles is a fundamental skill in Adobe Illustrator. Whether you’re designing icons, logos, or other graphics, knowing how to craft these shapes with precision is essential. This tutorial will guide you through the process.

Creating a Perfect Circle

  1. Accessing the Ellipse Tool: Navigate to the Rectangle Tool, click and hold to reveal a dropdown, and select the Ellipse Tool. The shortcut key for this tool is ‘L’.
  2. Drawing the Circle: Click and drag to start drawing an oval. To ensure it’s a perfect circle, hold the ‘Shift’ key while dragging.
  3. Filling and Stroking: Once the circle is drawn, you can fill it with a color using the ‘Fill’ option. Additionally, you can add an external path or stroke, adjust its color, and increase its size for visibility.

Crafting a Half Circle

  1. Using the Rectangle Tool: With the Rectangle Tool, draw a rectangle that covers half of the circle. Ensure it aligns perfectly with the circle’s center.
  2. Shape Builder Tool: Select both the circle and the rectangle. Then, access the Shape Builder Tool (shortcut: Shift+M). This tool identifies overlapping areas.
  3. Subtracting the Rectangle: Hold ‘Option’ (or ‘Alt’ on PC) and click and drag through the overlapping areas. This action will remove the rectangle’s portion, leaving behind a half circle.

Designing a Quarter Circle

  1. Drawing Another Rectangle: Press ‘M’ to access the Rectangle Tool and draw another rectangle, this time covering half of the half circle.
  2. Selection and Shape Builder: Press ‘V’ to use the Selection Tool and select both shapes. Use the Shape Builder Tool (Shift+M) again.
  3. Subtraction for the Quarter Circle: Just like before, hold ‘Option’ or ‘Alt’ and click and drag through the overlapping areas. This will leave you with a quarter circle.


Creating circles and their segments in Illustrator is a straightforward process. With the right tools, such as the Ellipse and Shape Builder, you can craft these shapes with ease and precision.