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How Do You Convert A Shape Into A Stroke?

Explorer ,
May 11, 2020

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Hi, Is there any way of turning a long thin shape which is basically a line into to a stroke? I currently have a thin line which is a shape with a fill or a stroke but I want to convert it into a stroke so that I can control the thickness of the line by changing the stoke. Otherwise you just have a thin line but you can’t make it any thinner or fatter. Any help would be great. Thanks.

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Correct answer by Kurt Gold | Adobe Community Professional

You may use one of the common filesharing providers to share your files (e.g. Google Drive or the like).

 

However, I think your screenshot does clarify the matter.

 

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward way to do what you are looking for. In case you are just talking about a couple of filled paths, I would recommend to simply divide them at the (virtual) end "points" of the filled path. That is, take the Direct Selection tool, select both path segments that are located where an end point of a stroked path would be and delete those segments. You will get two separate open paths to which you can apply a stroke attribute. You may then additionally delete one of them or you can do a blend between them to match the exact centre line (see Blend tool).

 

Of course, if you are dealing with a lot of filled paths that are going to be converted to stroked paths, you may have a look at Live Trace. In that case you would first have to convert the filled paths to raster images and then trace them with the option to create strokes turned on. This way may or may not work as expected and it usually requires a good portion of experiments to get good results.

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How Do You Convert A Shape Into A Stroke?

Explorer ,
May 11, 2020

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Hi, Is there any way of turning a long thin shape which is basically a line into to a stroke? I currently have a thin line which is a shape with a fill or a stroke but I want to convert it into a stroke so that I can control the thickness of the line by changing the stoke. Otherwise you just have a thin line but you can’t make it any thinner or fatter. Any help would be great. Thanks.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Kurt Gold | Adobe Community Professional

You may use one of the common filesharing providers to share your files (e.g. Google Drive or the like).

 

However, I think your screenshot does clarify the matter.

 

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward way to do what you are looking for. In case you are just talking about a couple of filled paths, I would recommend to simply divide them at the (virtual) end "points" of the filled path. That is, take the Direct Selection tool, select both path segments that are located where an end point of a stroked path would be and delete those segments. You will get two separate open paths to which you can apply a stroke attribute. You may then additionally delete one of them or you can do a blend between them to match the exact centre line (see Blend tool).

 

Of course, if you are dealing with a lot of filled paths that are going to be converted to stroked paths, you may have a look at Live Trace. In that case you would first have to convert the filled paths to raster images and then trace them with the option to create strokes turned on. This way may or may not work as expected and it usually requires a good portion of experiments to get good results.

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May 11, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 11, 2020

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There may be different approaches (or workarounds) to do that.

 

Can you share the sample .ai file with that specific filled path?

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Explorer ,
May 11, 2020

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Thanks Kurt, I'll have to sort that out tomorrow after work. It's a bit late here in the UK now.  It's basically a thin wiggly line but it's a normal shape not a line. It's from a .ai file illustration of a map of Europe. The borders between counties are lines but they are not actually lines. This is really annoying! I'll get an example sorted out tomorrow. Thanks again.

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Explorer ,
May 12, 2020

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Ok Kurt, I have put one of the lines into a .AI file but I can't attach that so I have exported it as a jpg so you can see it. It is original size but exported at 300dpi. Ideally I would like these lines as 1pt strokes but I will experiment with stroke sizes when I can, or if I can! Thanks for your help.

 

Shape_120520.jpg

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 12, 2020

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You may use one of the common filesharing providers to share your files (e.g. Google Drive or the like).

 

However, I think your screenshot does clarify the matter.

 

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward way to do what you are looking for. In case you are just talking about a couple of filled paths, I would recommend to simply divide them at the (virtual) end "points" of the filled path. That is, take the Direct Selection tool, select both path segments that are located where an end point of a stroked path would be and delete those segments. You will get two separate open paths to which you can apply a stroke attribute. You may then additionally delete one of them or you can do a blend between them to match the exact centre line (see Blend tool).

 

Of course, if you are dealing with a lot of filled paths that are going to be converted to stroked paths, you may have a look at Live Trace. In that case you would first have to convert the filled paths to raster images and then trace them with the option to create strokes turned on. This way may or may not work as expected and it usually requires a good portion of experiments to get good results.

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Explorer ,
May 12, 2020

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Thanks Kurt, I do want to perform this operation on quite a lot of lines (shapes). However, I don’t understand what to do just from your description of either option and both would require investigating a few things before I can try it. They both sound promising but I would to have to ask yet more questions before I could do it.

 

TBH. I don’t think it’s worth the time and effort. I think I will be better off working on this illustration without these lines. It’s a shame but I think they are not worth the hassle! Thanks again for your help.

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