I have a file with a large amount of small objects. I want to inset their outlines to make them smaller and discard the original paths. I do not want to use outline stroke or have any extra paths that are visible or not. Is there a way of doing this without having to go and manually select the original paths to delete them. Kind of like inset path in InkScape. Thanks

3 Answers 3



Select the objects and choose Effects > Path > Offset Path and enter your negative value. ... notice its the Effects menu and not the Object Menu item.

Note the Appearance Panel. The Effect must be applied to the Fill:

enter image description here

This won't work if it's applied anywhere else in the Appearance stack. If your object have "Mixed Appearance" you may need to use Select Same to target those with similar fills first and apply the effect.

Once the effect is in place, choose Object > Expand Appearance and the offset should be "baked in" without any left over, residual paths.


Using Offset Path is perfect for your scenario

  • Select all Objects
  • Object→Path→Offset Path→( - #) important to be a negative number
  • Now hit Ctrl/Command+X (to cut the smaller items)
  • Select all other items
    • delete
  • Paste in exact position Ctrl/Command+F (the cut items)

enter image description here


If you have objects on seperate layers and you want to keep it like that, apply the offset, hit cmd+3 to hide, then marque over the original shapes and delete. Then hit Alt+3 to show the offset paths.

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