How to Turn on Pen Pressure in Illustrator

Using a graphics tablet and pen with Adobe's Illustrator vector graphics software makes the process of drawing lines and shapes more intuitive and realistic. For added control over the software, turn on the pen pressure setting in Illustrator. When pen pressure is on, Illustrator changes the brush based on how hard you push on the tablet. If you set the pen pressure to affect the brush diameter, for example, pushing firmly on the tablet with the pen causes the brush's diameter to expand. You must have a pressure-sensitive graphics tablet connected to your computer before you can enable this option.

Close-up of designer using graphics tablet while working with
A woman using a graphics tablet at a wood table.
credit: satura86/iStock/Getty Images

Step

Connect your graphics tablet to your computer. Launch Illustrator.

Step

Click the brushes icon in the right-hand toolbar to open the Brushes palette window. Double-click the brush you want to use to open its options window.

Step

Click the "Diameter" drop-down menu and click "Pressure." Click the "Angle" and "Roundness" drop-down menus, and click "Pressure" for each, if desired.

Step

Click "OK" to close the options window and turn on pen pressure in Illustrator.