What is the Importance of Units in Illustrator?

In the realm of graphic design, precision is key. Adobe Illustrator, a leading vector graphics software, offers users the flexibility to work with various units of measurement. Whether you’re designing a business card, a poster, or a web banner, the units you choose can greatly influence the accuracy and scalability of your design. From inches to pixels, Illustrator provides a range of units to cater to different design needs.

What is the Process to Change Units in an Existing Document?

When working on an existing Illustrator document, you might find the need to switch between different units of measurement. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Accessing the Ruler: At the top of your Illustrator workspace, you’ll notice a ruler. If it’s not visible, simply navigate to View, then select Rulers, and choose Show Rulers. The shortcut for this is Command or Control + R.
  2. Switching Units: Right-click on the ruler to reveal a dropdown menu with various units of measurement. By selecting one, you can instantly change the units. For instance, switching from inches to pixels is as simple as a click.
  3. Adjusting Properties: On the right-hand side of the workspace, there’s a properties panel. When you change the unit of measurement, the keyboard increments in this panel will adjust accordingly. For instance, if you switch to inches, the keyboard increment will display in inches.
  4. Diving into Preferences: For a more detailed adjustment, head to the Illustrator dropdown (or Edit for Windows users) and navigate to Preferences. Here, under the Units tab, you can modify general settings, stroke, and type units.

What is the Method to Set Units for New Documents?

Starting a new project and want to set your preferred units? Here’s how:

  1. Initiating a New Document: Navigate to File and select New. This will open the new document window.
  2. Choosing Presets: Illustrator offers a plethora of custom presets. Depending on your project, you can select from mobile, web, print, and more. Alternatively, you can customize the dimensions yourself.
  3. Setting the Units: On the right side of the new document window, you’ll find an option to select your desired units. Choose the one that fits your project’s requirements and hit Create.

What is the Value of Custom Templates in Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator is equipped with a variety of templates and presets tailored for different design purposes. Whether you’re creating a social media post, a business card, or a flyer, these templates can serve as a starting point, ensuring you have the right dimensions and units from the get-go.


Adobe Illustrator’s flexibility in allowing users to switch between different units of measurement ensures precision in design. Whether you’re tweaking an existing document or starting a new project, knowing how to adjust these units can make your design process smoother.