You can apply strokes, or line settings, to paths, shapes, text frames, and text outlines. The Stroke panel provides control over the weight and appearance of the stroke, including how segments join, start and end shapes, and options for corners. You can also select stroke settings in the Control panel when a path or frame is selected.
If you frequently use the same stroke settings, you can save the settings in an object style, and quickly apply the same settings to any object. For more information, see Object styles.
A. Stroke applied to text frame B. Stroke applied to text outline C. Stroke applied to circle
If you want to change the stroke’s color, use the toolbox and Swatches panel. See Apply color.
Stroke panel options
Specifies the limit of point length to stroke width before a mitered join becomes a beveled square join. For example, a value of 9 requires the point length to be 9 times the stroke width before the point becomes beveled. Type a value (between 1 and 500) and press Enter or Return. The Miter Limit does not apply to a round join.
You can include miter limit and stroke alignment settings in a paragraph or character style. Click the Character Color section, and then click the stroke icon to make the options available.
You can specify a cap option for a closed path, but the cap will not be visible unless the path is opened (for example, by cutting with the Scissors tool). Also, cap styles are easier to see at thicker stroke weights.
You can specify miter options for a path that doesn’t use corner points, but the miter options will not apply until you create corner points by adding them or by converting smooth points. Also, miters are easier to see at thicker stroke weights.
Specify a color to appear in the space between dashes, dots, or multiple lines in a patterned stroke.
Although you can define dashed strokes in the Stroke panel, it’s easier to create a dashed stroke using a custom stroke style.
Add start and end shapes
You can’t edit the available start and end shapes, but if you’ve obtained plug‑in software that adds more options, the Start and End menus in the Stroke panel can include additional shapes.
Start and end shapes are sized in proportion to the stroke weight. However, adding a start or end shape does not change the length of the path.
Start and end shapes automatically rotate to match the angle of an endpoint’s direction line.
Start and end shapes appear at endpoints of open paths only; they won’t appear on individual dashes of a dashed stroke.
If you apply start and end shapes to a compound path that includes open subpaths, each open subpath will use the same start and end shapes.
You can apply start and end shapes to a closed path, but they won’t be visible unless you open the path.
Sample start and end shapes
Use the Start and End menus in the Stroke panel to add an arrowhead or other shape to the end of an open path.
Define custom stroke styles
You can create a custom stroke style using the Stroke panel. A custom stroke style can be dashed, dotted, or striped; in the style, you can define the stroke’s pattern, cap, and corner attributes. You specify other stroke attributes, such as weight, gap color, and start and end shapes, after the custom stroke style has been applied to an object.
A. Dashed B. Dotted C. Striped
Creating a dashed line in New Stroke Style dialog box
Click the ruler to add a new dash, dot, or stripe.
Drag a dash, dot, or stripe to move it.
To adjust the width of a dash, move its ruler markers . You can also select the dash and then enter values for Start (where the dash starts on the ruler) and Length.
To adjust the position of a dot, move its ruler marker . You can also select the dot and then enter a value for Center (where the center of the dot is positioned).
To adjust the thickness of a stripe, move its ruler markers . You can also select the stripe and enter values for Start and Width, both of which are expressed as a percentage of the stroke’s weight.
To delete a dash, dot, or stripe, drag it out of the ruler window. (However, a custom stroke style must contain at least one dash, dot, or stripe.)
A. Clicking to add a dash to the pattern B. Dragging a marker to make the dash wider C. Dragging the dash to adjust the white space between dashes