How to create a dotted line in Illustrator tutorial

How to create a dotted / dot line in Illustrator for a stroke by using the dash settings and transforms etc in CC 2018 2017 etc

Dotted lines in Illustrator

dotted circle path in Illustrator line design
  1. Create a line path using the line segment tool in Illustrator (or any path for the dotted line in Illustrator)

  2. Window menu and stroke

  3. Set stroke color to black and set weight to 10pt

  4. Set dashed line ON for the dotted line

  5. Set dash to 1pt and 20pt gap for a single dotted line path in Illustrator

Basic path using dash styles

panelFirst step, create a single line path. Set the stroke color to black and set the stroke weight to 10pt. Click on the stroke underline and you will see the weight, cap, corner etc.


Set the Cap to "round cap". Set the corner to "round corner" Set the dashed path to ON by clicking the checkbox.


Set the dash to 1pt or 0.5pt (at least something low) and the first gap to 20pt or 10pt for the gap between the dots.


Buy Price : $3.49 US or equivalent. 100 Wonderful royalty free artworks for your projects in truetype font and EPS format - all kinds of amazing spot artworks for your work (V184) gallery


Creating graphic styles : profilesYou now have your dotted path in CC 2018 2017 2015 2014 etc. You can see the dash / gap settings in the appearance panel for the selected path.


Go to the graphic styles panel and add a new style with that stroke / gap etc.


Creating this as a graphic style means the style can be re-applied at any point to a single linear path or any other type of path such as a circular path or star design.


Width profile : strokesYou can create many interesting variants of the Illustrator dotted path artworks by using the width profile which can be found in the top bar of the application.


Select a linear path with the spots. Select the first width profile and then you will see small ellipses at the start of the path with the full size spots in the center and then again small spots at the end of the art.


Or use the width profile 4 option in the dropdown list to create a large spot at the start shrinking to a smaller spot at the end of the path.


You can also just modify the width profile by using the width tool in Illustrator to modify the selected spotted artwork path.


The result of the width profile or use a tool like the widthscribe plugin from Astute graphics to create some truly amazing and unusual spotted work.


If you start with a set of spots with the same size then the width profile approach means that you can have a small spots as well as large spots and these can be varied along the path


Examples to work with : largeOf course, you don't have to use just the above and other settings work great such as


Stroke 60pt and dash 1pt and gap 120pt

Stroke 20pt and dash 1pt and gap 120pt

Stroke 10pt and dash 0.5pt and gap 120pt



You can also create some more interesting combinations of gaps etc by duplicating the paths and then shifting them slightly but keeping the paths on the same alignment


Multiple strokes : effects appearanceYou can also use the appearance panel to add multiple strokes to a single path and then you can also add multiple spots to the same path so you can generate say a pink ellipse and then a black ellipse and then a pink ellipse and then a black ellipse and so on.


Select a path and set stroke to white, add the spots as described before (using dash settings say) and go the appearance panel and add a new stroke via the right menu and set the color of the new stroke to black. Go to the effect menu and use the distort and transform command and use the move option to interactively move the added art


You can also select the art and expand the appearance (via the object menu) and then ungroup the artwork to create a row of separate elements


Just set the gap in the stroke to increase or decrease the gap between the elements in your artwork.


Blend tool approach : blendYou can use the blend tool to create a dotted line in Illustrator by just selecting two paths such as an ellipse and then selecting the blend tool and blend between the two by clicking the first and second object.


You can double click the blend tool to modify the number of paths generated. You can add more or less spots by using different settings


Transform effects menu : transformYou can select a single circle path and then go to the effect menu and distort and transform and then set the move settings to 10pt etc and then set the copies to 20.


The artwork is live so you can change the number at any time as well as the gap and also the size of the art and also the color.


Saving the work : The dotted line for Illustrator can be now saved to the symbols library and the symbol can then be used with the symbol sprayer or used just as a standard instance by dragging the artwork to the artboard. The artwork can also be dragged to the brushes panel and then used as a new brush stroke. You can also use the same design as a swatch by dragging it to the swatches panel and then setting it as a tile. You can also drag the artwork to the CC library and saved to the Adobe servers for safe keeping. Once the artwork has been added to the library, you can then quickly access the artwork in tools such as Photoshop and Indesign and Adobe After Effects and Premiere as well as other apps that use the CC library.


You can also use the save command to save the artwork as an AI file for import into applications such as Photoshop or Painter. You can also save it as a PDF and SVG file and the SVG file can be quickly imported into a web page in Dreamweaver. You can also use the export command to export the Illustrator dotted line as a raster format PNG or JPG file and then use the graphic in Affinity Designer, Krita, GIMP, Affinity Photo etc


Keywords : How to create a dotted line in Illustrator tutorial



Commercial use - Royalty free (c) 1995-2018 Andrew Buckle, Maidstone artist, tel: +44 1622 / 688 375 E-mail: support@