In Photoshop you can select next or prev blending mode with cursor up and down, but can't do the same in the Adobe Illustrator. How to fix that? Maybe shortcuts or scripts can help...

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  • In AI CC 2014 you need to select the object you want to apply blending mode changes to, then in the transpareny panel hover your curser of the blending mode and use your scroll wheel on your mouse. – user2831753 Sep 4 '14 at 1:55
  • This is why one always should consider the drawbacks of creating custom controllers, standard functionality like keyboard arrow stepping, mouse wheel compatibility etc. might be overseen. – Henrik Ekblom Sep 4 '14 at 6:48

There's no default method.

However, if you choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts, then select the Tools option, you can configure your own shortcuts for blending modes.


There is an issue where the blend mode won't move off of Normal with the Next and Previous commands. And it won't switch back to Normal when using Previous and Next commands. So you need to first move the mode off Normal then Previous and Next will work. Conversely, if you are on a different mode, you need to manually reset the mode to Normal because Previous and Next will not use that mode.

So, you need to assign a key to one of the modes, then the Next and Previous will work. For example, assign 4 to Luminosity, then 5 To Next and 6 to Previous. Select an object and tap the 4 key, then the 5 and 6 keys will work.


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    To cycle through the modes, look for "Blend Mode - Next Mode" and "Blend Mode - Previous Mode" (they're cut off in the screenshot provided by Skaught). As far as I know there is no way to cycle through them with the arrow keys or mouse scroll as you would in Photoshop. – JohnB Dec 26 '12 at 13:37
  • I tried to bind "Blend Mode - Next Mode" to a key combination - with no luck. – yakunins Dec 26 '12 at 13:56
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    @yakunins see my updated answer.... – Scott Dec 26 '12 at 14:05

This shortcut works in Illustrator CC on Mac (and PC I'm told) so I hope it works for other versions too. Click on the drop down menu where it says Normal.With your mouse still over Normal just move it slightly and click and the drop down button should show a golden border around it. Once it shows that you can cycle through the blend modes with arrow keys, mouse, trackpad. Cycle through blend modes in Illustrator

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Make the command work like PS to make it even easier. 'Shift +' for next blending mode and 'Shift -' for previous blending mode. (In CS5.1 for mac) That way you don't even need a shortcut to a blending mode to begin with. Works like a charm.

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  • I have just tried this in CS6 on Win8. It doesn't work. I binded "Blending mode - Next Mode" on (Shift + "+") and "Prev" on (Shift + "-"). No luck. – yakunins Mar 15 '13 at 12:37

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