Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am finding this question particular hard to word, so please bear with me. I have a particular vector object that is irregularly shaped (in this case, it is an "r" that I traced with the pen tool), and I want to create another object that is a certain radius out from the original object... Here's an image to illustrate:

enter image description here

The solid-stroke "R" is the original object, and the dotted-stroke "R" is my desired object. Any way in Illustrator to derive this?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you want a seperate object that you can then do other things with without needing to expand the original, rather than another stroke that is tied to the same object, you can use Offset Path ( Object menu > Path > Offset Path ).

enter image description here

Note how in the example it's adding a new separate object with its own seperate fill.

The new object will usually be grouped with the original - you can either ungroup, or drag the new stuff out from the group in the layers palette, or double-click into isolation mode then cut and paste it out.

share|improve this answer
i come back almost a year later and this is the more useful answer... thanks – AndyPerlitch Mar 30 '13 at 3:59

Add a new stroke via the Appearance Panel.

Highlight the new stroke in the Appearance panel and choose Effect > Path > Offset Path

Tick "preview" and insert a number for the offset you want.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Awesome, thank you! – AndyPerlitch Apr 25 '12 at 15:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.