You use the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke) to specify whether a line is solid or dashed, the dash sequence and other dash adjustments if it is dashed, the stroke weight, the stroke alignment, the miter limit, arrowheads, width profiles, and the styles of line joins and line caps.
You can apply stroke options to an entire object, or you can use Live Paint groups and apply different strokes to different edges within the object.
Layers Magazine instructor Dave Cross shows you how to apply fill and stroke in Illustrator and some handy shortcuts to work with fill and stroke in this tutorial.
Click the Stroke box in the toolbar, the Color panel, or the Control panel. Doing so indicates that you want to apply a stroke rather than a fill.
If you want to use the current color in the Stroke box, you can simply drag the color from the Stroke box onto the object. Dragging does not work on Live Paint groups.
Align Stroke To Center
Align Stroke To Inside
Align Stroke To Outside
Available in the toolbar, the Width tool enables you to create a variable-width stroke and save the variable width as a profile that can be applied to other strokes. You can now adjust or expand the variable-width strokes easily with fewer anchor points as Illustrator applies simplified paths on the strokes.
When you mouse over a stroke with the Width tool, a hollow diamond appears on the path with handles. You can adjust the stroke width, move the width point, duplicate the width point, and delete the width point. For multiple strokes, the Width tool adjusts only the active stroke. If you want to adjust a stroke, make sure that you select it as the active stroke in the Appearance panel.
To create or modify a width point using the Width Point Edit dialog box, double-click the stroke using the Width tool and edit the values for the width point. If you select the Adjust Adjoining Width Points check box, changes to the selected width point affect neighboring width points as well.
To automatically select the Adjust Adjoining Width Points check box, press Shift and double-click the width point. The Width tool distinguishes between continuous and discontinuous width points while adjusting the variable width.
To create a discontinuous width point, do the following:
Create two width points on a stroke with different stroke widths.
Drag one width point on to the other width point to create a discontinuous width point for the stroke.
For discontinuous points, the Width Point Edit dialog box shows both sets of side widths.
Do any of the following:
After defining the stroke width, save the variable-width profile using the Stroke panel, the Control panel, or the Properties panel.
A. Uniform Width Profile option B. Save Width Profile icon C. Delete Width Profile icon D. Reset Width Profile icon
Do any of the following:
Restoring the default width profile set in the Stroke Options dialog box removes any custom saved profiles.
If you apply a variable-width profile to a stroke, it is indicated with an asterisk (*) in the Appearance panel.
For Art and Pattern brushes, the Width Points/Profile option is automatically selected for size in the Stroke Options dialog box after you edit a brush path with the Variable Width tool or apply a Width Profile preset. To remove any width profile changes, select the Fixed option for size or one of the tablet data channels, such as Pressure, to restore the tablet data options.
You can create a dotted or dashed line by editing an object’s stroke attributes.
A. Preserved exact dash and gap lengths B. Aligned dashes to corners and path ends, adjusting lengths to fit
The numbers entered are repeated in sequence so that once you have established the pattern, you don’t need to fill in all the text boxes.
A. Butt cap B. Round cap C. Projecting cap
See this video to learn how to create perfectly dashed strokes.
A cap is the end of an open line; a join is where a straight line changes direction (turns a corner). You can change the caps and joins of a line by changing the object’s stroke attributes.
If the options aren’t showing, choose Show Options from the panel menu.
Creates stroked lines with squared ends.
Creates stroked lines with semicircular ends.
Creates stroked lines with squared ends that extend half the line width beyond the end of the line. This option makes the weight of the line extend equally in all directions around the line.
Creates stroked lines with pointed corners. Enter a miter limit between 1 and 500. The miter limit controls when the program switches from a mitered (pointed) join to a beveled (squared-off) join. The default miter limit is 10, which means that when the length of the point reaches ten times the stroke weight, the program switches from a miter join to a bevel join. A miter limit of 1 results in a bevel join.
Creates stroked lines with rounded corners.
Creates stroked lines with squared corners.
In Illustrator, you can access arrowheads from the Stroke panel and associate controls to adjust size. Default arrowheads are available from the Arrowheads drop-down list in the Stroke panel. Using the Stroke panel, you can also easily swap arrowheads.
You can resize the tip and end of the arrowheads independently, using Scale option. If you want to link the start and end of the arrowheads scale, click the Link Start and End of Arrowheads Scales icon, adjacent to the Scale option.
You can also adjust the path to align to the tip or the end of the arrowhead, using the Align options. The options are:
Extend arrow tip beyond end of path
Place arrow tip at the end of path
Note: To remove arrowheads from objects, choose the None arrowhead option from the drop-down list.
To define custom arrowheads, open the Arrowheads.ai file, which is located under ShowPackageContent\Required\Resources\<locale>\ (for Mac) and \Support Files\Required\Resources\<locale>\ (for Windows). Follow the instructions in the file to create custom arrowheads.
Place the updated Arrowheads.ai file at: <Illustrator home>\Plug-ins\ and avoid replacing the existing Arrowheads.ai file.