How To Add Drop Shadow In Illustrator

Adding a drop shadow can highlight any text you want to distinguish from the rest. It is a nice and readable effect that makes your document’s design more appealing. A drop shadow casts a shadow with the right opacity, color, and size you want under your chosen context. So, how do we add this drop shadow in illustrator? 

You can add drop shadow in illustrator in two steps. It involves simply choosing the text to which you want to add the shadow, selecting the effect, and then adding and adjusting the casting shadows.

Adobe Illustrator can be a bit tricky and takes some time to master; however, with the right guides, you can easily learn the use of its tools, including drop shadow. In fact, adding a drop shadow is one of its easiest tools. We will help you learn how to add and adjust this drop shadow in this guide. 

Adding a Drop Shadow 

We add drop shadows due to many reasons; it could be that we want to make our document be more readable and appealing, or we just want to highlight some chosen text or asset. Whatever the reason, follow our guidelines to add this drop shadow.

Before starting, you will need to open up an illustrator document and choose any asset to which you want to add the drop shadow. Then:

  1. Once you have decided on the entity which you want to edit, select it by clicking on the “Selection Tool” on the toolbar. 
  2. Click on the object in your illustration. 
  3. Now select “Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow.” This will open up a window of the Drop Shadow dialogue box, including all the settings you use to adjust your drop shadow.

The following video gives direct guidelines on the program:

Before changing these settings, make sure to tick on the “Preview” option. This will show you the applied settings live while editing. Although the dialogue box will have default settings already, you can still change them according to what you want the drop shadow to be. 

You can change the blending mode, opacity and transparency of the shadow, blur effect on the shadow, and its color. This is how: 

  1. You can change the blending mode, which is “Multiply” by default, into any other mode. It can be “Overlay” or another option. 
  2. The “opacity” option lets you change the transparency of your drop shadow according to percentage. 
  3. The X and Y offsets can be used to change the location of your drop shadow.
  4. The “Blur” effect helps you blur the drop shadow if you want to give it more of a 3D touch. 
  5. You can use the color wheel to change the color of the drop shadow to what you find fit. It can be any color.

After you are done, you can click on “OK,” and it will apply the drop shadow effects to your chosen assets.


Now that you have learned how you can add a drop shadow and adjust its settings in Illustrator, you can work on your design and apply this effect wherever you find fit. It will help make your work be more appealing, and your art can benefit from one of the many tools of illustrator.