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How to use the width tool in Illustrator

Learn how to use the width tool in Illustrator CC 2017 2015 CS6 etc

Width tool

How to use width tool in Illustrator
  1. Go to the Illustrator toolbar

  2. Select the width tool (halfway down the toolbar)

  3. Goto to a path with a stroke (weight such as 10pt etc)

  4. Hover over the actual path (not the stroke) and click and drag outwards or inwards to modify the width of the stroke

  5. Click with width tool in a different position along line to drag inwards or outwards to modify the width

The width tool can be used to create all kinds of amazing designs in Illustrator with a path with a stroke. The width tool can be used with all kinds of paths such as closed paths and open paths as well as circles, curves, etc. The width tool results can then be expanded via the object menu and expand (though sometimes the result can have vast amounts of points)

Adding width points to the stroke

adding width points to the path using width tool
  1. Select a path in Illustrator (any path, open or closed) such as line segment or spiral or circle etc

  2. Go to the width tool

  3. Make certain there is a path stroke (it will not work otherwise)

  4. Go to the path and hover over the path and you will see a + appear

  5. Drag outward (hold down the alt / option to just drag one side of the width)

  6. Go to another part of the path and see the '+' appear again

  7. Drag out the width profile

Modifying the width using the width tool in the Illustrator toolbar

modifying the stroke width using the width tool

You can use the width tool to create all kinds of unique shapes in Illustrator by using the width tool to modify the selected artwork.

  1. Click the center of one of the added points with the width tool

  2. Drag the width point and move back and forth along the path. You will notice that the point can only be dragged so far (in some cases) but this depends on the width. Sometimes the center 'width' point can be dragged over multiple points.

If you wish to modify the outer points of the width

  1. Click the side of the width (with the width tool) you wish to change and drag

  2. Hold the alt / option to alter just one side

Brushes to buy for use with Illustrator

1. Selection of 16,000 brushes for Illustrator

Other tutorials

1. Curvature tool and curves / paths in Illustrator

References and sources

1. stroke widths in Illustrator at Adobe

 

width tool in Illustrator add additional pointsalt hold down width tool in illustrator

 

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Updated: September 2017