DirectPrefs DirectPrefs

Nudge distance, angles + guides

  • FREE when you download Astute Manager
  • Draw at angles
  • Keyboard nudge distance
  • Control guides and grid

Constrain angle

Without having to rotate your artboard, set your drawing angle for many native and Astute Graphics tools.

Effortlessly set and draw at any angle with the majority of native and all Astute Graphics tools. Three customisable pre-set buttons ensure quick changes, whilst integration with Dynamic Measure – part of VectorScribe, brings even greater control.

Change Constraining Angle with DirectPrefs

Keyboard increment

Using the arrow keys on a keyboard to move, finely position and step an artwork object(s) is a common task. Normally buried in Illustrator's extensive Preference UI, DirectPrefs makes the distance setting for this operation immediately available.

With three user-definable presets for each document unit of measurement (millimetres, inches,  pixels, etc.), you can switch regularly to ensure that each object is easily positioned just-so!

Set nudge distances with DirectPrefs

Guides and grid visibility, lock and snap

There are 100's of keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Illustrator. We recommend you learn essential ones to speed up your creative process.

But if your head is full and you simply want to get on with being creative, these four buttons will make your life a lot easier, allowing you to control the visibility, lock and snap status of your guides and grid!

Hide and lock guides with DirectPrefs

How you can get started

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Get DirectPrefs for FREE

DirectPrefs is a completely free plugin that seamlessly integrates into Adobe Illustrator. Access Illustrator's most useful preferences including show/hide/lock/unlock grid and drawing angle via one simple panel. Plus set-up time-saving custom settings to move even faster.

To install DirectPrefs, simply start a trial and use the Astute Manager to install. No license key required and DirectPrefs will continue to operate after the trial period expires for other Astute Graphics plugins.

Get it for FREE »
Get DirectPrefs for free

DirectPrefs technical specifications


DirectPrefs functionality is found via its panel (Window > DirectPrefs > DirectPrefs Panel…)

Constrain Angle

  • Specify precise angle to draw at with majority of native Illustrator and all Astute Graphics tools

  • Three preset angle buttons, user-customisable

  • Quick "zero" reset button

  • Panel annotation highlighting angle

Keyboard Increment

  • Specify the Keyboard Increment native preference directly via the panel

  • Three preset distance buttons, user-customisable

  • Each document unit of measurement (millimetres, inches, pixels, etc.) has its own set of three preset keyboard increment values

Guides and Grid

  • Show/Hide Guides

  • Lock/Unlock Guides

  • Show/Hide Grid

  • Snap-to/No-snap Grid

DirectPrefs Customisation

  • Display/Hide each panel section

  • Auto Lock Guides when hidden

  • DirectPrefs settings retained between Illustrator sessions

  • Restore Default Preferences

Upon first running Illustrator following installation, the DirectPrefs panel will automatically open along with a one-time "About DirectPrefs" window.