How to Permanently Save a Brush in Illustrator

You have finally perfected your brush, or you found one that is perfect for your style. You’ve exited out of the document, and the brush is no longer there when you go back! This has been a problem for many artists using the Adobe Illustrator program.

Saving a brush permanently in the Illustrator program is quite simple, and you can do it in a matter of minutes. Here is everything you need to do to save that brush so it won’t disappear when you exit from a document without worries.

How to Permanently Save a Brush in Illustrator

Once you have edited a brush to your liking, you want to keep it this way. This only helps you reduce the time you have to change things within the program and go straight to drawing your pieces. Follow these steps:

  1. Add the brushes you want to the Brush panel
  2. Delete brushes that you don’t want
  3. Choose “Save Brush Library” from the Brushes panel menu
  4. Rename the brushes, so you don’t override any previous brushes to something unique
  5. Place the new library file (this may be different for a Windows computer than a Mac computer)

Ensure that you rename the brushes, so you don’t replace the default brushes or any other brushes with the file. This will overwrite the previous brushes saved, and you may lose those brushes. 

Drag And Drop Method

You can also simply drag the brush you have created into the brushes panel, and you can save the new brush type as the following options:

  • Calligraphic Brush
  • Scatter Brush
  • Art Brush
  • Bristle Brush
  • Pattern Brush

You will then name the brush a different name than the default setting. You can then access them later for future use.

Where To Find Saved Brushes

When you save your new brushes in the Illustrator program, it may be difficult to find them at first. Don’t be afraid. Here are where you will find the new brushes in your brush libraries when you restart Illustrator:

  • Windows: User/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator <version number> Settings/Brushes
  • Mac OS: Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator <version number> Settings/Brush

You will want to replace <version number> with the values, depending on the version of the program you have on your system. Also, note that if you place the file in a different folder, you can open the library by choosing Window > Brush Libraries > Other Library and then select the file.

You can also find them in the “Open Brush Library” from the panel menu and click on the file that you want to use. Drag the brush you have created into the brushes panel, and you will be able to use it.

How To Install Brushes In Illustrator

If you are just starting in Illustrator, you may want to look into downloading brushes that others have already customized. These brushes can be quite useful and help you out while you are still navigating a new program. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Click the menu on the top right corner
  2. Click “Import Brushes”
  3. Select the file ending in ABR
  4. Click “Open”
  5. Then to install: Go to Window > Brush Libraries > Other Library
  6. Locate the Illustrator brush file ending in a “.”
  7. Your brushes will show up as a separate Brush Panel

There are many brushes that you can install, so you don’t have to edit the brush. Sometimes others have already come across designs you need, so you don’t have to start from scratch.

There are many places you can find these pre-made brushes. The market for brushes has been growing and growing. Some brushes are free, but some are not, so you will have to do a little research.

How To Edit Brushes In Illustrator

Editing your brush may be your best option if you aren’t finding any other brushes that are your style. It doesn’t take many steps to edit a brush, but it will take time if you are trying to find a specific style. It will be a lot of trial and error.

Once you have the Illustrator program open, follow these steps to start editing your brush to what you want:

  1. Open the brushes panel
  2. Click the “+” symbol that represents a new brush
  3. Select the type of brush you want to make
  4. Test it out
  5. Edit the brush again
  6. Test it out again
  7. Edit it until you have it where you want
  8. Save the brush

For those new to editing, a brush you may want to start with is the calligraphic stroke. This brush is the simplest to create and the easiest to start with. As you become more experienced, you can move to other types of brushes.

Where To Find Help?

Sometimes you may need a little help. You can go within the program and click on the “help” button, but that doesn’t always answer your question right away. Sometimes it can be quite annoying to mess with.

You can go online to Adobe’s website, where they have a User Guide, a “Get Started” for basics, and tutorials to help even the most experienced artists. The tutorials are amazing, and there are so many to choose from to help you learn more about the program.

They also have the most commonly asked questions. You can search the website for support and see if you have a similar question to other artists using the program. If you still need assistance, but Adobe isn’t working for you, you can search online or Youtube for visual examples.


Learning a new program can be quite difficult, especially if you are new to digital art. There are so many buttons and things you can edit that can be quite overwhelming. Remember that it is based on trial and error, and sometimes you won’t get things down the first time.

Just get started and continue testing out your brushes. You will never master the program if you don’t start toying with the settings and make a few mistakes. That’s what being an artist is all about.