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How to create my own arrow effects in illustrator CS 2

Is there an easy way of creating thin perpendicular lines capping the end of a line segment in Adobe Illustrator CS4? The sort of effect I'm looking for is this:

|------------------------|

(but without the dotted effect!). This is useful for example for adding dimensions on technical type drawings.

I would have expected I could do this easily either with add arrowheads or with line cap type options, but I can't find a way in Adobe Illustrator CS4. Obviously I'd prefer not to draw three separate line segments every time. I am struggling to investigate this as I'm not even sure what the proper term is for this type of line decoration.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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marked as duplicate by Scott, JohnB, e100, Bakabaka, Brendan Jan 31 '13 at 20:16

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can make your own custom "end caps" with a pattern brush.

To do so, start by drawing each segment. In your case, we need a "line" segment and an "end cap" segment:

Pattern Brush Segments

Now we need to create a swatch for each of these. Do so by selecting one of them and using Edit → Define Pattern. Alternatively, you could select one and drag it to the Swatches pane. Give each of them appropriate names to avoid confusion, something like "End Cap" and "Line Segment". You should end up with two new swatches in the Swatches pane:

Swatches Pane

Now we can create our pattern brush. Create a new brush from the Brush Definition Dropdown:

Brush Definition

Choose Pattern Brush from the New Brush box that pops up.

For the Side Tile, choose your Line Segment swatch. For the Start Tile and End Tile, chose your End Cap swatch. You can ignore the corner tiles. You can also set the Colorization Method to "Tints":

Pattern Brush Settings

Now, when you apply that brush to a line segment, it will have your custom end caps. Since we set the Colorization Method to "Tints", you can change the color of the stroke pattern easily.

Measuring Sticks

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hmmmm.......... –  Scott Dec 24 '13 at 21:34

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