How to create a zigzag in Illustrator tutorial

How to create a quick zigzag in Illustrator using effects in CC 2018 2017 2015 2014 CS6 CS5 etc

Create a zigzag

how to create zigzag tutorial in illustrator
  1. Select the line segment tool and draw a line in Illustrator (horizontally or vertically, hold shift down)

  2. Set stroke weight to 10px and stroke color

  3. Effect menu and distort category

  4. Zigzag

  5. Set corner ON

  6. Set size to 66px

  7. Ridges per segment to 25

  8. Preview ON

  9. Click OK to create the zigzag in Illustrator

  10. Object menu

  11. Expand appearance

  12. Object menu

  13. Expand

Video tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


Appearance panel : appearanceTo change the artwork, you don't have to expand it but you can simply go to the appearance panel and click on the entry associated to the line segment and then change the number of ridges as well as change the size etc via the effect entry.


You can also use the appearance panel to add all kinds of other settings such as fills and strokes as well as adding transforms etc to those to create shadow effects and more


Width profiles : width profileYou can also add to the artwork by selecting the artwork and then using the width profiles (if the created zigzag is not expanded) which can be found in the top bar of AI.


All kinds of graphics can be achieved by adding those profiles and you can also use the width tool to further manipulate that.


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Pen tool : penOf course, there are other ways to do this - go to the pen tool and click up and down to create the artwork (perhaps using a grid to aid in the creation of a more regular design).


If you use a grid then you can click on the grid intersections to make a more regular design such as a simple up one and across one and up one and across one approach. Once you have generated the vector path, you can then scale or shear or rotate the design to create yet more art from that.


You can find the grid in the view menu in AI


Using Mirrorme : mirrormeYou can use the third party plugin to create the design. Simply select the line segment tool and draw a single line and angle it at 45 degrees (or 50 or 60 degrees -some angle other than a straight horizontal line)


Go to the mirrorme tool in the toolbar (it is an Astute Graphics plugin) and then set it to work creating a reflection or mirror.


The mirror will be 45 degrees in the other direction. Drag the Mirrorme along the path and mirror that and you can create a super fast design


Mirror plugin : mirrorYou can do much the same with the mirror tool that comes in the plugin set Kimbo. Select the mirror tool and set the rotate setting to 0.


Create a line segment at 45 degrees or 60 degrees (for a more intense design). Move the mirror across the design to the left to create the initial zag. Release and then continue to move left creating more and more up and down paths with the tool.


You can create all kinds of wonderful mountain range and intense artwork with the tool.


Coloring the artwork : fillYou don't have to leave the artwork as it is. You can always embellish the design in numerous ways such as adding styles or filling the art with gradients or pattern swatches.


You can also use other paths such as circles etc and add those to the design and group the art


You can also modify the art further by using the pathfinder to add spots and dots and stars etc to the design



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Andrew Buckle, Maidstone artist, tel: +44 1622 / 688 375 E-mail: support@