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Turn expanded strokes back into simple editable strokes?

Community Beginner ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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I purchased a 30 piece clip art set. All the strokes are expanded. Yikes!

Is there a way to turn them into simple editable strokes?

This way I can resize them any way I want but adjust the strokes so all art looks consistent.

MANY tthanks in advance!

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Draw and design , Feature request , Print and publish

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

You could use Offset path to adjust line thickness.

 

Clipart companies usually demand that all open paths are outlined and their artists often also outline close paths.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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Nope.

 

Mylenium

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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You could use Offset path to adjust line thickness.

 

Clipart companies usually demand that all open paths are outlined and their artists often also outline close paths.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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Thanks so much for your reply. I've wondered why so much clip art has the outlined paths. I've noticed at Vecteezy some art has an EDITABLE STROKE icon on it. (Yay!) I know if I was selling clip art I would do that - and IMO I'd be SO popular! Yes, I have used outline stroke but this has some problems on complex art, like mandalas. Easy to thincken black lines - but no way to make them thinner. And that's what you need to do if you enlarge the art but don't want fat strokes that don't match the art you didn't enlarge. Yes, you can outline the stroke with white but that often creates weird gaps. I also tried rasterizing, then image tracebut that did not work. Again, many thanks for your response.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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Rasterizing and tracing the artwork makes it all even worse, because there's currently no autotrace that can do this sensibly.

Some of the clipart on sale is very old and then it was just common practice and demanded by the companies. The behaviour of strokes when scaling is something that causes a LOT of questions in user forums. So keeping strokes editable will make it easier for pros like you, but might be an issue for beginners.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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Hmmm. I'm just wondering, what downside could there be to strokes over expanded strokes? I'm just asking because I'm a bit confused by this. Wouldn't non-expanded strokes enlarge or grow smaller the same way - visually - as expanded strokes? Again, thanks for your answers!

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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There is a setting in Illustrator in the Preferences > General "Scale Strokes & Effects". Depending on whether it's turned on or off, stroke width will either scale proportionally with the object or it won't

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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That would be a very simple message to add to the stock file to avoid confusion.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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You would probably have to add that message for a couple of vector applications. And then keep the message updated. I would assume that the companies just went the easy route.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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I guess so, making it easy is making it worse...

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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The best practice is to read the license of every clip art, typography, photo, resources pages... that you want to use, and make sure that we can do changes on it. For example, buying a music CD does not give you the right to modify it, copyright exist. You can always create a clip art by yourself and make all changes what you want.  

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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music CD ≠ clip art

Clip art is meant for you to take apart and make changes.

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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It was only a copyright example, I know that are different things but both are cretive works and they have licenses, copyrights, copylefts, etc. Even if you buy the artworks they don't belong to you, they belong to the creator.

If you are a designer you have a duty to know the copyright laws, terms of license and respect them, otherwise I understand that it is a common thought, people think when they buy art, icons, typefaces, design stuffs, etc they can do what they want with them because they have paid.

In short, if the clip art has an expanded stroke, it is surely because the author does not want it to be modified. read the terms and conditions of use of what you download even if it is free.

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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quote

If you are a designer you have a duty to know the copyright laws, terms of license and respect them, otherwise I

 

By @marcosbr

 

I know about copyright, thank you very much.

 

Please read the guidelines for vector artwork of all those clipart companies. This discussion is not about custom artworks, this is about clipart. It is made to be fully editable. The clipart companies particularly point out the easy editablity as a reason for expanding everything in a vector file.

 

I understand that designers and illustrators don't want people to edit their artworks. I understand why they want to do that. And I wouldn't want that either by the way. But if you offer clipart, then you have to accept that editing it is part of the deal.

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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quote

It is made to be fully editable.


By @Monika Gause

 

This is your assumption. I insist, clip art have the same rights as custom art, you have to read the terms and conditions of each specific case. Each company, resource website, author is a diferent world.

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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OK. Vecteezy, Adobe Stock, gettyimages, istockphoto, envato. Would you mind linking to the parts in their license agreements where they don't allow editing?

Or would you ming linking to any example where they sell clipart that doesn't allow editing?

Referring to clipart for design purposes, not to "Just for Press".

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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You're the one who has to make sure you can edit clip art, not me. Look in the contract where it says
that you can edit the clip art and work with total security. I'm sorry for the retort bothering you
but I was just trying to help.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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So to sum this up: you don't have any example of clipart that doesn't allow editing.

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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LATEST

Do what you want, I am out

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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Adam,

 

The wish to unOutline Stroke has led to many threads; suggestions have included simple use of negative offset to mimic stroked paths (which shorthens open paths) and blends (leading to stroked paths), and also the Stroker action by Kurt.

 

As it appears, the often suggested roundabout way of using negative offset to get an apparent stroke weight has two fundamental limitations/flaws:

 

1) You can only work indirectly, unintuitively, and somewhat inaccurately, by trying to choose a negative offset of (approximately) half the difference between the width of the outlined path and the desired stroke weight, often on slanting and/or curved lines; in other ways working backwards;

 

2) The fundamental shape of every single open path will be changed, shortened by the negative offset in both ends, and all combinations involving one or more ends of such paths will be changed, such as abutments, small gaps, projection of one past another.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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Most vendors selling clip art require any line stroke effects (among other types of effects) to be expanded into raw paths. That's because the artwork may be imported into any number of graphics applications. Not all will treat live line strokes in the same manner. Some settings built into those line strokes could be disregarded. That's a big danger.

One of the very first things anyone does when placing a piece of clip art into a layout is they re-size it. Line strokes in various pieces of artwork are very often not set to scale automatically when the art is re-sized bigger or smaller. The strokes remain at the same size. That forces the user to go back and manually expand the line strokes or change the stroke settings. If the artwork is complex that can lead to a big waste of time. Such things can get really infuriating fast.

So, yeah, I'm firmly on the side of the clip art vendors requiring line strokes to be expanded into raw, scaleable paths.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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Adam,

 

I believe the fact and emphasis of such clipart being vector artwork will lure many into believing that it is fully and easily editable/flexible, ready to be used directly in connexion with new artwork, rather than just as a fixed appearance that can be scaled.

 

A double delivery, one with editable and one with outlined strokes might make more merry.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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Yes, a double delivery, togheter with some education should make everybody happy.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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I like the way you think!!!!

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2023 Jan 29, 2023

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Thanks, I like the way I think too 🙂

But I may be living in an Adobe bubble. Scaling lineweights is not an attribute of an object, but an application setting so that is not baked into the file.

I wonder what applications are causing the confusion? Or is the habit of outlining strokes as outdated as EPS?

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