What causes outlines like this to change when the stroke is outlined or expanded? Surely when the stroke is outlined it shouldn't change the appearance of the artwork. Is there something I can do to mitigate this issue?

The original artwork with paths with fills and outlines underneath.

enter image description here

Then after expanding or outlining the stroke, the result seems to be the same and spikes out.

enter image description here

  • Align to pixel grid?
    – Scott
    Mar 12 '20 at 20:06

Open or improperly closed paths most likely. Double check your shapes and make sure what's supposed to be closed, is in fact, closed — and not just apparently closed.

This is not a 'glitch'.


I usually find this happens because the expanding process creates two or more overlapping anchors in a place where one should be sufficient.

First off, try expanding a simple object without any of the additional strokes applied and add those outlines afterwards. Use a graphic style if you need this operation repeatedly.

If the problem persists, it is most probably a double or triple anchor created by the expanding. Try and remove the offending anchor by clicking it with the Remove Anchor Point tool (part of the Pen group, hotkey -). If after a single click with that tool your shape is still intact, you've found your duplicate anchor. Repeat as necessary for triple and quadruple anchors. Don't laugh, I've seen them.

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