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You can't use effects or brushes with entire rectangles. Simply create one side, then draw the other three sides of a rectangle. Create the triangles easily by drawing a path and choosing Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag Choose Object > Expand Appearance Grab the Pen Tool and draw the other three sides of a rectangle.


In Photoshop CS6 or newer, you can simply set the Stroke Options for a vector path....


Ok do this: Make a line about the length of the ZigZag size you need(use the line tool or pen tool). Make sure to put a color on the Stroke or Fill of the line before the next step. Go to Effect > Distort & Transform > ZigZag Click the preview checkbox and adjust the Size and Ridges per Segment sliders until satisfied. Once you've hit OK you'll have ...


You can also do it with other CS6 compatible scripts: Select Open Paths Close All paths Select Open Paths And this super nice one that lets you select open paths, gradients, transparencies, etc: Extended Select


As I said, a task better suited for AI, but this is how I would do this in PS. There may be a better way to go about this, but I don't use PS for this kind of stuff, so I don't know about it, if there is. The initial shape: I made a duplicate of the shape and decreased the Fill to 0%. This is the shape that I then applied my stroke to. I then selected ...


Make sure that the initial jpeg and the CS6 file resolution are both on inches. The conversion done on Adobe's cut/paste between software usually works best on the same suite (within CS6 all around, etc.).


You can't include the text elements into the symbol - they will (as you said) be altered on all instances if you change the text on one of them. I often create the symbol with the graphics only and add text to each of the instances.


There are some graphical bugs in Illustrator. If you, for example, create a text box that's really small, the red '+' can remain on the screen even though you've deleted the text box. To see if it's a graphical bug - zoom in and out back again, this will remove graphical bugs.

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