The Control panel
The Control panel houses many frequently used controls conveniently under one roof, and changes contextually depending on what tool and kind of object are selected. Two of the many variations are shown below. For example, you can use this panel to apply fill and stroke colors; change an object’s variable width profile, brush stroke definition, or opacity; apply basic type attributes, such as the 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 use this panel to choose default fill, stroke, brush, style, and opacity settings for the current document and quickly access the Document Setup or Preferences dialog by clicking the button of the same name.
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 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. To control which options display on the panel, uncheck or check any of the items on the main part of the panel menu.