Is there a way to offset the line path in illustrator? I want to evenly stagger the lines horizontally lines, I am trying to draw an escalator. I've tried offset path but it creates a stroke on the lines.

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  • Did you try to use two separate steps and use the Blend tool to create the other steps? I think you're going the wrong way.
    – LeoNas
    Aug 14, 2020 at 0:15

2 Answers 2


Option One: An Effect

  • Draw one path.

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  • Select it and choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform from the menu.

  • Tweak the values there. (Note the settings in the screenshot below)

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Then, if you need or want direct access to each iteration, choose Object > Expand Appearance from the menu and you will be left with a collection of individual paths.

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Option Two: A Blend

  • Draw the first and last line

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  • Select both and choose Object > Blend Make from the menu.
  • Then choose Object > Blend > Blend Options
  • Set the dropdown menu to Specified Steps and alter the number to your liking.

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Again, if you need or want direct access to each iteration, choose Object > Expand Appearance from the menu and you will be left with a collection of individual paths.

Note that with a live Blend you can alter the position or size of one, or both, of the end paths to change the blend...

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Most appearances can be created using the Effect, but the effect method is not directly editable the same as when using a blend.

  • 1
    Option three repeat last transfomation?
    – joojaa
    Aug 14, 2020 at 4:02
  • True Joojaa, but for me that's typically the least beneficial method if the above two work for a project.
    – Scott
    Aug 14, 2020 at 7:30

This was not asked, but you can use a kind of engineering approach if you have a clear idea how the stairs are placed in relative of each other. 3D effect Extrude & Bevel makes a proper perspective view which at least can be used as a reference for the final drawing:

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You can easily try different views, perspectives and even lights.

The stairs are here rectangles. It's inaccurate. See a more proper explanation here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jfNIBtfWDY An equally inaccurate side panel is inserted by drawing one with the Pen and by applying Pathfinder panel's Unite. The result got Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel.

A group can also be extruded as one if you want to keep the parts separate. The front-back layering order becomes critical if you extrude a group.

Making multipart assemblies of separately extruded parts is very difficult in Illustrator, use a proper CAD program for it. But extruding simple items can help substantially to find the right look.

The dialog can be reopened by double clicking in the Appearance panel. The effect can be fixed to a 2D drawing by applying Object > Expand Appearance.

  • +1...when you have a bit of the time,..please, can you see my recent question? Thank you very much.
    – Sebastiano
    Aug 14, 2020 at 8:55

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