How to use the width tool in Illustrator tutorial

Learn how to use the width tool in Illustrator CC 2018 2017 2015 CS6 etc

Width tool

How to use the width tool in Illustrator tutorial
  1. Select the width tool (halfway down the Illustrator toolbar)

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

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

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


videoVideo tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


Basics : moving pointsFind the tool in the toolbar (halfway down). It can be used to create all kinds of amazing designs in Illustrator with a path with a stroke. It can be used with all kinds of paths such as closed paths and open paths as well as circles, curves, etc.


Buy $4.50 16,000 Amazing strokes for your projects, all royalty free for commercial use AI Illustrator brushes collection


Add to a path : addYou can use the tool with all kinds of paths and you can make as complex and as basic modifications to the artwork as you wish once you start using the tool. There are no options available. It is interactive and can be used as little and as much as required.


You can modify the profile in many ways by hovering over parts of the 'path'.


Select a path in Illustrator (any path, open or closed) such as line segment or spiral or circle etc and apply. Make certain there is a path stroke (it will not work otherwise). Go to the path and hover over the path and you will see a + appear. Click and Drag outward (hold down the alt / option to just drag one side of the profile). Go to another part of the path and see the '+' appear again. Drag out the profile


Move added point : moveClick the center of one of the added points. Drag the point and move back and forth along the path (or up and down). You will notice that the point can only be dragged so far (in some cases) but this depends on the path and the other points (you cannot stretch it beyond its limits).


Sometimes the center point can be dragged over multiple points. Click the side of the stroke profile you wish to change and drag


Modify only one side : sideIf you wish to modify the outer points of the profile. Hold the alt / option to alter just one side


You can click on the curve at any point and hold the alt / option key and then shift the curve. You can also use an existing point and modify that as well.


On the right, you can see the artwork is very different on the right to the left.


Expand artwork : expandGo to the object menu and use the expand appearance command.


Once you have expanded you can then manipulate the artwork as a normal path and use curvature etc to manipulate the anchor points and segments


Excess points : smoothOne of the key issues with the feature is that generates a lot of excessive points.


I would suggest using a plugin like smart remove brush from Astute graphics or perhaps use the in built smooth feature to remove some of the points.


Use to create unique frames : frameYou can select a rectangle or circle and you can create amazing frames simply by clicking on the path and shifting the generated curve and adding points (you can click anywhere on the stroke or where you see the + indicated.


You can make all kinds of frames in seconds which can then be saved to the CC libraries and used in applications such as Photoshop


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