How to Use Adobe Illustrator CC for the First Time

How to..
  Kelly Valencia-Aiken on December 9, 2022

Adobe Illustrator CC is an exciting program to use for graphic designers and surface pattern designers alike. Here’s what to expect when you open Adobe Illustrator CC for the first time! 

Home screen

You'll see the Home Screen when you first open Adobe Illustrator CC. This is the default view you’ll see when starting the software for the first time.  



Once you have worked on a project in Adobe Illustrator, you can find previously opened files, suggestions, and options for importing or creating new files under the ‘files’ section. Creating a new file or opening previous files can be done right from the home screen. Here, you'll see a list of recent files you’ve worked on next to a thumbnail preview of the files. This is where you can see the file type and when it was last opened. You can toggle between a grid or list view for the recent files and sort them by when they were last viewed. If you collaborate with others on a project, you can access files that have been shared with you right from the Home Screen. You can also see a list of files that have been deleted in case you need to restore a file or a previous version of a file. From this same area, you can start a new file. Adobe has provided several presets such as ‘letter,’ ‘postcard,’ and ‘HDV/HDTV 1080.’ 

Get a Feel for Illustrator

The ‘Get a feel for illustrator’ section offers you the chance to take an interactive tour using a sample file to learn more about the functions of the software. 

Take Interactive Tour

When you click the ‘take interactive tour’ button, a ‘discover’ panel will open that looks like this: 


Here, you can go through a five-minute beginner-level hands-on tutorial and show you how to make changes to a poster using some tools inside Adobe Illustrator CC.  

Browse More

‘Browse more’ offers you even more tutorials with options like making a logo, designing a social ad, and even creating a fun digital illustration.



What's New

On the home screen is a small icon of a present in the right-hand corner. This shows you What’s New in the program. 


The “Learn more” button opens the workspace window and the Discover panel. 

Discover Panel


You can learn more about each tool within Adobe Illustrator CC from the Discover panel and find tutorials demonstrating their use. You can learn how to use graphics in 3D and convert 2D to 3D graphics. 


The' Learn' button is on the Home Screen under the ‘Home’ icon. This tab shows a variety of tutorials you can choose from to familiarize yourself with the program, such as working with layers, changing the size of an image, and adjusting the image quality. Here you can tour the app, explore shapes, and learn how Illustrator artwork is unique. Click on the ‘Home’ icon to return to the Start Screen. 



In the upper right corner of the screen, near the present icon, is the cloud icon, which shows you how much storage capacity you have used. Adobe provides cloud storage to make it easier to access your files from anywhere you can use the internet and is a great way to back up your files.


Magnifying Glass

Next to the cloud and present icon is a magnifying glass icon where you can search within Adobe Illustrator CC for files and tutorials. Typing “flowers” yielded a 5-step lesson on designing a flower and flower assets available for free or to purchase on Adobe Stock. 


Adobe Stock

Below the tutorials, you’ll also see Adobe Stock assets relevant to the search term(s). Adobe Stock offers both paid and free assets. You can purchase individual assets or a subscription plan that provides more flexibility. 


AI Icon

The ‘AI’ icon in the upper left corner stands for ‘Adobe Illustrator’ and is a clickable button that opens the default view of the Adobe Illustrator CC workspace. 

The Takeaway

The Home Screen in Adobe Illustrator CC is a great place to find tutorials to learn new skills, work on projects with others, and even find the best Adobe Stock assets for your project.