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Convert a solid filled shape into a single line.

New Here ,
Oct 05, 2015

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Hello,

I am trying to convert a solid fill object (see attached image) into a single line.

The reason I want to do this is so that I can make the solid fill object thinner.

If it was a single line, this would be easy, because I could simply reduce the stroke of the line and have control over how thin the line was.

Is this possible please without having to re-draw it.

Thank you.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 4.07.00 pm.png

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Correct answer by Jacob_Bugge | Most Valuable Participant

James,

Here is an improved description, and a set of screenshots (using a Helvetica S):

1) With the Direct Selection Tool (first deselect by Clicking an empty spot and then) Click each end path segment and press Delete (that will give you two paths forming the curved parts);

2) Select everything and switch from Fill to Stroke in the Toolbox (that will give you stroked paths (and you can see what you are doing));

3) Object>Blend>Blend Options, set Spacing to Specified Step with 1 step (that will prepare the right blend);

4) Select everything and Object>Blend>Make, then Object>Blend>Expand, then Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+G to Ungroup, then hide or delete both the original paths (that will give you the stroked path midway between the curved paths), then set the Stroke Weight as desired (in the screenshot both paths are kept to show that the middle path fits).

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Convert a solid filled shape into a single line.

New Here ,
Oct 05, 2015

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Hello,

I am trying to convert a solid fill object (see attached image) into a single line.

The reason I want to do this is so that I can make the solid fill object thinner.

If it was a single line, this would be easy, because I could simply reduce the stroke of the line and have control over how thin the line was.

Is this possible please without having to re-draw it.

Thank you.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 4.07.00 pm.png

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Correct answer by Jacob_Bugge | Most Valuable Participant

James,

Here is an improved description, and a set of screenshots (using a Helvetica S):

1) With the Direct Selection Tool (first deselect by Clicking an empty spot and then) Click each end path segment and press Delete (that will give you two paths forming the curved parts);

2) Select everything and switch from Fill to Stroke in the Toolbox (that will give you stroked paths (and you can see what you are doing));

3) Object>Blend>Blend Options, set Spacing to Specified Step with 1 step (that will prepare the right blend);

4) Select everything and Object>Blend>Make, then Object>Blend>Expand, then Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+G to Ungroup, then hide or delete both the original paths (that will give you the stroked path midway between the curved paths), then set the Stroke Weight as desired (in the screenshot both paths are kept to show that the middle path fits).

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Oct 05, 2015 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 05, 2015

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Antistandard,

You may (save a copy of the original path so you can fall back on it):

1) With the Direct Selection Tool Click each end path segment and press Delete (that will give you two paths forming the curved parts);

2) Select everything and switch from Fill to Stroke in the Toolbox (that will give you stroked paths (and you can see what you are doing));

3) Object>Blend>Blend Options, set Spacing to Specified Step with 1 step (that will prepare the right blend);

4) Select everything and Object>Blend>Make, then Object>Expand Appearance, then delete both the original paths (that will give you the stroked path midway between the curved paths), then set the Stroke Weight as desired..

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Oct 05, 2015 0
New Here ,
Oct 05, 2015

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Thank you Jacob,

I can't seem to get this to work sorry.

I deleted all 4 end corners of my path, then changed the object to stroke

not fill, then did the blend options but the 'preview' button is disabled

at this step and after changing the options to what you suggested nothing

happened.

thank you though, i'll keep trying.

James

On Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 4:22 PM, Jacob Bugge <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

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Oct 05, 2015 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 06, 2015

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James,

What happens if you click the end path segments as suggested in 1), not the Anchor Points (just Click between them), then go on as suggested? That should ensure that you only have the two curved paths.

As far as I can see the (negative) Offset Path will make the resulting path shorter, and it will still result in a filled path instead of a path with an easily (re)adjustable Stroke Weight.

And as far as I can see, the filled path must have started out as a stroked path that was Object>Path>Outline Stroke. So if the original path is hidden somewhere, you can just use it again. Without that, the 1 step blend may be seen as the reversal to it (as accurately as can be done).

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Oct 06, 2015 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 06, 2015

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James,

Here is an improved description, and a set of screenshots (using a Helvetica S):

1) With the Direct Selection Tool (first deselect by Clicking an empty spot and then) Click each end path segment and press Delete (that will give you two paths forming the curved parts);

2) Select everything and switch from Fill to Stroke in the Toolbox (that will give you stroked paths (and you can see what you are doing));

3) Object>Blend>Blend Options, set Spacing to Specified Step with 1 step (that will prepare the right blend);

4) Select everything and Object>Blend>Make, then Object>Blend>Expand, then Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+G to Ungroup, then hide or delete both the original paths (that will give you the stroked path midway between the curved paths), then set the Stroke Weight as desired (in the screenshot both paths are kept to show that the middle path fits).

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Oct 06, 2015 4
Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 07, 2015

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James,

And here is another way using Offset Path to get the full length and (also) accurate shape of the stroked path, here starting with the original stroked path (as 0) to show the fundamental identity:

0) Select the original stroked path and Object>Path>Outline Stroke (this is what has been done already, in the past);

1) Select the filled path and switch from Fill to Stroke in the Toolbox (that will give you stroked paths (and you can see what you are doing));

2) With the Direct Selection Tool (first deselect by Clicking an empty spot and then) Click each end path segment and press Delete (that will give you two paths forming the curved parts), then Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+G to Ungroup;

3) Select one of the paths and increase the Stroke Weight to equal the distance between the paths (identical to the original Stroke Weight);

4) Object>Path>Outline Stroke;

5) Switch from Fill to Stroke;

6) Cut at the ends of the desired mid path with the Scissors Tool and delete the unwanted part/path with the end segments;

7) Select the mid path and increase the Stroke Weight to the original value; now it is identical to the original.

The original shapes of the filled path are kept (visible) so you can see the development and accuracy clearly.

It is crucial to use Object>Path>Outline Stroke on an open path as here to keep the full length, because the path will be shortened for a closed path as you can see on the additional image below.

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Oct 07, 2015 3
New Here ,
Aug 05, 2016

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This was just a 'stroke' of genius!

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Aug 05, 2016 2
Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 25, 2017

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Thank you for the kind words, yatrikb.

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Oct 25, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 05, 2015

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To make it thinner just use Object > path offset path or Effect > Path > Offset path with a negative value.

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Oct 05, 2015 1
New Here ,
Oct 05, 2015

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Thank you Monika,

A negative value doesn't seem to do anything in my version of illustrator

unfortunately.

Thanks for the help though.

James

On Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 4:35 PM, Monika Gause <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

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Oct 05, 2015 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 06, 2015

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Antistandard schrieb:

Thank you Monika,

A negative value doesn't seem to do anything in my version of illustrator

unfortunately.

Then the value is probably too high.

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Oct 06, 2015 0
New Here ,
Apr 15, 2016

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James,

To convert all the shapes to lines is almost impossible, as you know all the shapes have X and Y dimension. For example how can you convert an ellipse to line?
Ok, maybe, a line with a good profile can do that. But what about the star? The result is smaller shape.

If you have one or two shapes, you can use all above mention methods. But what about some lines of text?

There is another approach that can convert shapes to lines, but it works best with letters and numbers.

First you Rasterize  (object>Rasterize), and then you Image trace, using LINE ART preset.

I hope this helps!

line art.JPG  line art2.JPG

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Apr 15, 2016 1
Mentor ,
Apr 15, 2016

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Monika is correct — just use Offset Path if you want to make the shape thinner. Incidentally, if you really want to turn this particular shape into a single path, it should take you about 30 seconds to make it from scratch. Take a circle, delete one of the four arcs, rotate 45°, flip and duplicate, connect two of the endpoints, and extend the others a bit.

infinity.jpg

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Apr 15, 2016 2
New Here ,
Jan 09, 2020

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Step 1 - Create Object without stroke

Step 2 - Select your solid filled shape & newly created object

Step 3 - Using the shape builder tool deselect the unwanted object and delete the solid filled shape.

Step 4 - Convert a remaining object into stroke.

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Jan 09, 2020 0