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If I try to add shortcuts to Adobe Illustrator, when I select the app (inside the folder /Applications/Adobe\ Illustrator CC 2017) I get the following message:

You cannot add keyboard shortcuts for the application
Adobe Illustrator CC 2017.app.

See image:

enter image description here

What can I do to add shortcuts? I'm aware that you can do it from Illustrator, but can I do that from the Mac System Preferences?

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Plainly & simply, Adobe don't want you to try fight their very comprehensive keyboard shortcut system from System Prefs. You can't even see Adobe apps in the shortcuts Applications list unless you select 'Other...'.

Presumably the reasoning is to prevent potential clashes.

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