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How to Make a Drop Shadow on Illustrator

Illustrator is a vector drawing program included with Adobe Creative Suite software. Charts, diagrams, illustrations, logos and art are easily drawn in a format that allows infinite scaling without loss of resolution like a bitmap image. A drop shadow effect on an image adds depth and dimension to what would otherwise be a flat piece of work of art. Illustrator's drop shadow effect can be adjusted to create the depth and distance that fits your artwork.


1 Open a new or existing Illustrator document from the File menu. Choose Show Tools from the Window menu.

2 Select an image on the artboard or draw a shape using one of the drawing tools from the Tool Palette.

3 Click the Direct Selection tool in the Toolbox. Select the image that you want to apply a drop shadow to.

4 Select "Effect," then scroll to "Stylization Filters." Select the drop shadow submenu.

5 Customize your drop shadow effect in the Drop Shadow dialog box. Select "Normal" from the "Mode" pull-down menu. Choose from the darkness of the drop shadow with the "Opacity" slider.

6 In the pull-down menu, select the distance of the drop shadow from the original element by selecting "X" and "Y" offsets. Select the drop shadow, Blur, by dragging the slider from "0" to "2" inches.

7 Click OK to apply the drop shadow effect.