How do I cycle through blend/transfer modes in Illustrator? It seems I can only manually choose 1 at a time from the drop down then open the menu and choose another. It's a slow process. What shortcuts exist to do this more quickly?

  • This method doesn't involve any customization though. Sep 3, 2013 at 13:34
  • What "method"? All the answers below simply recite what was posted in the practically identical duplicate question.
    – Scott
    Sep 3, 2013 at 13:36
  • @deecemobile It's unfortunately nearly exactly the same question Scott linked. Sep 3, 2013 at 14:05
  • I mean there is no editing keyboard shortcuts to add functionality. It's a simple click of the mouse. Sep 3, 2013 at 14:07
  • "A simple click of the mouse" to edit blending modes doesn't exist. You need to click the menu and choose the blending mode.. or edit keyboard shortcuts. I'm not understanding your comments I guess.
    – Scott
    Sep 3, 2013 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


As with almost all of Illustrator, there is a shortcut for this, however, by default it is unassigned. You can assign a shortcut to any specific blending mode-- multiply or screen for example, which can be accessed by a shortcut key. Or alternatively, you can assign a shortcut key to the next and previous blend mode, similar to Photoshop. In Photoshop the keyboard shortcut is Shift + + or - by default, so it might make sense to use a similar keys in Illustrator. By opening up Keyboard Shortcuts in EditKeyboard Shortcuts, you can access the menu to change the shortcut keys. Keyboard Shortcut Screenshot


This shortcut works in Illustrator CC on Mac 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

  • Are you on a Mac or PC? I know this works for PC, but I'm not sure it works for MAC.
    – ckpepper02
    Sep 3, 2013 at 13:24
  • I use a Mac so if it works for you on PC then it works for both. Sep 3, 2013 at 13:35
  • Cool! I'll try this @ home on my Mac as well. +1
    – ckpepper02
    Sep 3, 2013 at 14:04
  • I encourage you to post this answer in the question that we have marked this as a duplicate since it's not provided as an answer there yet.
    – JohnB
    Sep 3, 2013 at 17:49
  • For additional clarification, I can't get this to work in AI CS5, so perhaps it's new in CC?
    – JohnB
    Sep 3, 2013 at 17:50

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