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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Illustrator

How to Use the Eraser Tool in Illustrator

Read Time: 4 mins

In the following tutorial, you'll learn how to erase in Illustrator. You will get familiarized with everything you need to know about the Eraser Tool (B).

We'll use this illustration as you learn to erase in Adobe Illustrator. Make sure to check out Envato Elements, where you can find many illustrations like this one and a bunch of different design resources.

envato elements illustrationenvato elements illustrationenvato elements illustration

What You'll Learn in This Eraser Tool Illustrator Tutorial

  • How to use the Eraser Tool in Illustrator
  • How to change the eraser size in Illustrator
  • How to make the eraser smaller in Illustrator
  • How to erase in Adobe Illustrator

What Is the Eraser Tool?

Adobe Illustrator's Eraser Tool (Shift-E) is the main tool that can be used to erase vector shapes. To activate this tool, you can either select it from the toolbar or press the Shift-E keyboard shortcut.

Select the shape that you want to erase before you activate the Erase Tool (Shift-E), or hold down the Control key while the Eraser Tool (Shift-E) is active to select new shapes.

eraser tool toolbareraser tool toolbareraser tool toolbar

How to Make the Eraser Smaller in Illustrator

Simply press the left or right square bracket keys ([ or ]) to quickly change the eraser size in Illustrator.

change eraser size illustratorchange eraser size illustratorchange eraser size illustrator

How to Use the Eraser Tool in Illustrator

Select the shape that you want to erase, make sure that the Eraser Tool (Shift-E) is active, and simply click and drag your mouse across the area that you wish to erase. Once you release the mouse button, that area will be erased.

Keep in mind that you can also erase several shapes at once. Just make sure that you have them all selected.

erase adobe illustratorerase adobe illustratorerase adobe illustrator

Eraser Tool Options

Double-click on the Eraser Tool (Shift-E) in the toolbar to bring up the Eraser Tool Options window. Below is a breakdown of the brush options in Illustrator.

Step 1

The Angle value determines the angle of the Eraser Tool in Illustrator.

eraser tool angleeraser tool angleeraser tool angle

Step 2

The Roundness value determines the shape of the Eraser Tool in Illustrator. Set it to 100% to get a perfectly round eraser. Entering a number lower than 100% will produce a flatter eraser.

eraser tool roundnesseraser tool roundnesseraser tool roundness

Step 3

The Size value determines the size of the Eraser Tool in Illustrator. This is the second method that you can use to change the eraser size in Illustrator.

eraser tool sizeeraser tool sizeeraser tool size

Step 4

Using the drop-down menus, you can choose from a variety of variables for Angle, Roundness, or Size. This feature can be particularly useful if you own a graphics tablet.

  • Fixed: Sets a fixed angle, roundness, or size.
  • Random: Sets a variable angle, roundness, or size. For example, when the Size value is 10 and the Variation value is 5, the diameter of your eraser will randomly range between 5 pt and 15 pt.
eraser tool variableeraser tool variableeraser tool variable
  • Pressure: Set a variable angle, roundness, or size based on the pressure of the drawing stylus. This feature is available only for graphics tablet users. For example, when the Size value is set to 10 pt and the Variation is set to 10 pt, the thickness of your eraser will range between 0 pt and 20 pt, depending on the pressure that you apply with the pen tablet.
eraser tool pressureeraser tool pressureeraser tool pressure
  • Stylus Wheel: Set a variable angle, roundness, or size based on manipulation of the stylus wheel. This feature is intended to be used with an airbrush pen that has a stylus wheel on its barrel and with a graphics tablet that can detect that pen.
  • Tilt: Set a variable angle, roundness, or size based on the tilt of a drawing stylus. This feature is available only if you have a graphics tablet that can detect how close to vertical the pen is.
  • Bearing: Set a variable angle, roundness, or size based on the bearing of the pen. This feature is available only if you have a graphics tablet that can detect the direction in which the pen is tilted.
  • Rotation: Set a variable angle, roundness, or size based on how the drawing stylus pen tip is rotated. This feature is available only if you have a graphics tablet that can detect this type of rotation.

Congratulations! You're Done!

Now that you know to erase in Illustrator I hope you can apply these techniques in your future projects.

You can find some great sources of inspiration at Envato Elements, with interesting solutions to improve your design portfolio.

Want to Learn More?

We have loads of tutorials on Envato Tuts+, from beginner to intermediate level. Take a look!

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