The Control panel
The Control panel houses many frequently used controls conveniently under one roof, and changes contextually depending on what type of object is selected (a couple of variations are shown below). For example, you can use this panel to apply fill and stroke colors; change an object’s opacity; apply basic type attributes, such as font and point size; align and distribute multiple objects; access controls for editing symbols, Live Trace, and Live Paint objects; and embed or edit linked images.
When no objects are selected, you can choose default fill, stroke, brush, style, and opacity settings for the current document, as well as quickly access the Document Setup dialog or Preferences dialog by clicking a button on the panel.
To move the Control panel to the top or bottom, respectively, of the Application frame or your screen, choose Dock to Top or Dock to Bottom from the panel menu at the right end of the panel. Or if you prefer to make the panel free-floating, drag the gripper bar on the far left side.
And finally, to control which options display on the panel, uncheck or check any of the items that are listed on the lower part of the panel menu.