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Create and edit patterns

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Learn how to create and edit patterns in Illustrator.

This article describes the pattern creation and editing workflows available in Adobe Illustrator CS6 and later. For information on working with patterns in an earlier version of Illustrator, see Patterns.

Video tutorial: Define a pattern

Adobe Illustrator deeplink

Try it in the app
Create or edit patterns in a few simple steps.

Before you dive deep, explore Text to Vector Graphic. Powered by Adobe Firefly, Adobe's family of creative generative AI models, this feature helps you to generate scalable and editable vector patterns quickly using a simple text prompt.

Create or edit a pattern

  1. Do one of the following:

    • To create a pattern, select the artwork that you would like to create the pattern from, and then choose Object > Pattern > Make.
    • To edit an existing pattern, double-click the pattern in the pattern swatch, or select an object containing the pattern and choose Object > Pattern > Edit Pattern.
  2. (Optional) In the Pattern Options dialog, provide a new name for the pattern, or modify the existing name.

  3. Modify the other options available in the Pattern Options dialog:

    Pattern Options panel
    Pattern Options panel

    Tile Type

    Choose how to lay out the tiles:

    • Grid. The center of each tile is horizontally and vertically aligned to the center of the adjacent tiles.
    • Brick by row. Tiles are rectangular in shape, and arranged in rows. Centers of tiles in rows are horizontally aligned. Centers of tiles in alternate columns are vertically aligned.
    • Brick by column. Tiles are rectangular in shape, and arranged in columns. Centers of tiles in columns are vertically aligned. Centers of tiles in alternate columns are horizontally aligned.
    • Hex by column. Tiles are hexagonal in shape, and arranged in columns. Centers of tiles in the columns are vertically aligned. Centers of tiles in alternate columns are horizontally aligned.
    • Hex by row. Tiles are hexagonal in shape, and arranged in rows. Centers of tiles in the rows are horizontally aligned. Centers of tiles in alternate rows are vertically aligned.

    Brick Offset

    Apply to:

    • Brick by Row. Determines by how much tile width the centers of tiles in adjacent rows are out of vertical alignment.
    • Brick by Column. Determines by how much tile height the centers of tiles in adjacent columns are out of horizontal alignment.

    Width / Height

    Specify the overall height and width of the tile. Choose various values, smaller or larger than the height and width of the artwork. Values larger than the size of the artwork cause the tile to grow larger than the artwork, and insert empty space between tiles. Values smaller than the size of the artwork cause artwork in adjacent tiles to overlap.

    Size Tile to Art

    Select this option to cause the size of the tile to shrink to the size of the artwork being used to create the pattern.

    Move Tile with Art

    Select this option to ensure that moving the artwork causes the tile to move as well.

    H Spacing / V Spacing

    Determine how much space to place between adjacent tiles.

    Overlap

    When adjacent tiles overlap, determine which tiles appear in front.

    Copies

    Determine how many rows and columns of tiles are visible while modifying the pattern.

    Dim Copies to

    Determine the opacity of copies of the artwork tile previewed while modifying the pattern.

    Show Tile Edge

    Select this option to display a box around the tile.

    Show Swatch Bounds

    Select this option to display a unit portion of the pattern that is repeated to create the pattern.

  4. In the bar below the Control Panel, choose to save  or discard changes to the pattern.

    Note:

    If a new pattern was created, it is stored in the Swatches panel. If a pattern was edited, the definition of the pattern is updated in the Swatches panel.

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