transform dashed lines into separate (small)lines

New Here ,
Jul 22, 2010 Jul 22, 2010

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I need to transform a lot of dashed (single) lines into separate lines... Who can tell me how to do this in a few clicks. I don't need an outline of the dashed line. So the black dashes I need, the white in between the dashes I want to loose.

A little complicated to explain... See the example. I need the second lines.

Afbeelding 2.jpg

Kind regards, Ellen

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

New Here , Jan 09, 2018 Jan 09, 2018

I know this is an old post. Just to share my method. I found the best solution for this problem :

1- create a single line i.e. 12pt long 1pt thick

2- make a pattern brush from the line

3- In pattern brush options dialog box, put 50% in spacing box.

4- apply the pattern brush to your desired shape.

5- you can still adjust the gaps in spacing box and hit apply to stroke

6- You can also change stroke weight !

7- go to object -> expand appearance.

Done !

Hope this will help.

- Tolyn

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New Here ,
Mar 15, 2018 Mar 15, 2018

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only with blend option....after expand.

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New Here ,
Jun 08, 2018 Jun 08, 2018

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I needed much the same when creating a cut file for a Cricut machine.

In that case I needed to make the dashes into a compound path so it would import correctly.

  To do this:

Making a dotted single cut using a brush pattern (made with a line)

1. Object -> Expand appearance
2. Object -> Compound path -> Make

OR you can use the dash function:

Making a dotted single cut using a dashed stroke
1. Object -> Expand
2. Object -> Compound path -> Make

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New Here ,
Aug 23, 2018 Aug 23, 2018

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I had the same problem and I found a (what I think easier) method to convert a dashed line into single dashes:

  1. Set thickness of line to 0.0001 pt
  2. Menu Object > Expand (if greyed out, choose Object Expand Appearance first, as the object has appearance attributes applied to it)
  3. Set thickness back to original value

Voilà!

- Andy

Note: With my Illustrator CS6/Win it only works with setting thickness to 0.0001pt (see above). It does NOT work with a thicker line (like 0.001). Why: If it's too thick, the Expand command converts the single dashes to thin RECTANGLES instead of LINES. But if the line is thin enough, Illustrator thinks "This rectangle is so incredibly thin, I can hardly see it, let's make it a line" 😉

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 23, 2018 Aug 23, 2018

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Your approach doesn't work for me, Andy.

Expanding the dashed strokes always produces separate filled paths, not separate stroked paths. They do look like stroked lines, but they aren't.

What am I missing?

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New Here ,
Aug 24, 2018 Aug 24, 2018

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Sorry to hear it doesn't work for you, maybe you're using another version than my CS6/Win? Maybe you try with even a thinner thickness like 0.000001pt?

If it doesn't work, try the other solutions using brush pattern.

Good luck.

- Andy

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2018 Aug 24, 2018

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I'm not looking for a solution in this case, Andy. I just cannot reproduce your findings on Mac OS, no matter which version of Illustrator is being used.

Perhaps it does only work on Windows OS, but I doubt it a bit and cannot try it right now.

Can anyone else with a Windows version of Illustrator confirm that the procedure described in post 26 actually works?

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New Here ,
Sep 26, 2018 Sep 26, 2018

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Kind of amazing that this thread has been open for 8 years and still no *simple* solution to the problem has been found.
Creating a pattern brush with a short stroke, applying it, and then expanding the appearance seems to be the only workaround at this time.

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New Here ,
Oct 03, 2018 Oct 03, 2018

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 03, 2018 Oct 03, 2018

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  schrieb

Expand Dashed Line - YouTube

Awesome.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 20, 2018 Dec 20, 2018

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YemZ  wrote

Expand Dashed Line - YouTube

Thank you for this video... it has helped immensely.

The best part being that you can choose the brush to stroke the path then use the "Dashed Line" property in the Stroke window as usual. This allows for the technically accurate spacing that @SmartGraphicArt (and myself) are looking for.

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New Here ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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There is a python script that can do this effortlessly and precise: [breakDashes.jsx]

[https://github.com/shspage/illustrator-scripts]

If needed take a few minutes to learn where to paste scripts to the right folder and restart Illustrator. You can now select dashed lines and go file > scripts > BreakDashes

 

You might also need to signup to GitHub too in order to download the file package with the script you want.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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The YouTube video linked above works effortlessly, but I also need to have the gaps filled with a different color. I used the gap color function in InDesign, but when I open that exported file into Illustrator, the dashed line is duplicated copy of the gap color. 

This first image shows the two paths.

 

Screen Shot 2021-12-17 at 10.32.22 AM.png

This second image shows the dashed path, see how it was just covered up by the pink path?

Screen Shot 2021-12-17 at 10.32.28 AM.png

This third image shows how I need the gap to appear. (I did this manually.)

Screen Shot 2021-12-17 at 10.33.21 AM.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 17, 2021 Dec 17, 2021

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I was able to use the Art Brush tip demonstrated in the YouTube video. I just butted two different lines (different colors) next to each other, without any overlap. Then I made an art brush, applied it, and expanded the appearance.

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Explorer ,
Jun 12, 2022 Jun 12, 2022

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I think this answer (and the collection of scripts that the answer is part of) deserves much more exposure.

 

Technically, the script is not Python though, but 'extetendScript' which is a "flavour" of JavaScript.

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