Is there a way to save one brush at a time to a library in Illustrator CS5?

So far as I've figured out so far, you can clear all-but-one of the brushes out of the default library, load the last version of the library you want to save to, and then save over the old library with the new brush added.

Is there some way buried I can just save a single brush to the library without jumping through those hoops? The workflow I've found is so tortured. Even clearing out brushes after having created new shapes is a pain. Each brush you click on to delete applies its stroke to the just-created shape, so you get an extra warning dialog popping up when you click to delete it. (But this stroke is applied to an existing shape! Keep the stroke? Delete it? Cancel?)

Tell me the way I've found to do this is crap and there's a much easier way I just missed!

2 Answers 2


Not specifically.. but here's a work-around.

  1. Draw a path.
  2. Apply a brush.
  3. Copy
  4. New Document
  5. Run action "Delete Unused Panel Items" (This is part of the default actions set)
  6. Run action "Delete Unused Panel Items" (Yes run it twice)
  7. Paste
  8. Save As...

You'll have only your pasted brush in the saved file.

You can speed this up by assigning an F key to the action. Simply double click the "Delete Unused Panel Items" And pick an F key. Then the procedure becomes - Copy - new File - F Key - F Key - Paste - Save

Or simply leave the new file open and toggle between windows.

  1. Copy
  2. Window toggle
  3. F Key (only need it once now)
  4. Paste
  5. Save
  6. Window toggle
  7. Apply Brush
  8. Repeat
  • 10 days later and there's no other answer, huh? I was holding out for someone to say, "Yes, this is the way!" but it looks like that isn't going to happen.
    – baudot
    Feb 7, 2012 at 23:53

save the brush you want to have in one ai file. all those brushes you can save as a brush famaliy or overwirte existing brush famalies. . i draw just one line and dublicate it. give every brush style i had to it so i can also just pick brushes by copy and place to different ai documents without opening brushes. . illustrator has many unsolved problems in the brush panel. also that you cant just apply brush settings to another brush grafic...

shame on adobe

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