TIP:Dingbat efficiency in illustrator

Dingbat fonts can be extremely useful, for both beginners and professionals.  The problem is it can be tough remember what all dings you have and what all is exactly in each one.  For example, how are you going to remember what letter equals the Van.



 So the way I deal with these "ding" fonts is with templates in illustrator.  I use a lot of templates, mainly for exporting forms, cads and customer proofs. (But the following method is a slightly different usage) In this case, templates are nice because they are a super fast way to open (shift+cmd+N or shift+ctrl+N) a file without cluttering what you already have and you don't have to worry about losing the file or accidentally saving over the file.  Below is the "how to"

Start off with a basic, blank illustrator file and type out A-Z, then you can copy drag it below to make another, then just set one to uppercase and one to lowercase. (Type>Change Case) Then below those type out the numbers and shift numbers, @ $ & ect. Most dings don't support these characters, but its precautionary. The image below is what this should look like



Now just save this file > Save as Template.  Like all templates, Illustrator will automatically save this in a secure "hidden" location.  Now you are ready to go.

Next time you are in the middle of something and you need splatters, stars or random decorations at will, open from template > New from Template (shift+cmd+N or shift+ctrl+N).  The file with all the characters will open up, and from there you can select all (cmd+A or ctrl+A) then start picking ding fonts. Like below,with DingsBumBats



Basically from here you can just pick out the pieces you need, copy them to your working file and close when you are done (without saving).  For any beginners, don't forget to create outlines, Type > Create Outlines (shift+cmd+O or shift+ctrl+O) to make your font a regular vector object.

Check this post from WebDesignLedger: 20 dingbat fonts that are actually useful, for some good dings.

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