I've been learning Illustrator following a tutorial on Expand and Expand Appearance and it seems that my version (Illustrator 2022, version 26.0.3) doesn't support Object -> Expand anymore. I create a new document, then just draw the most basic shapes like a rectangle, ellipse or a star, change the fill color and the stroke thicknes without using any effects or the Appearance panel at all and nonetheless the only option available is Expand Appearance. Object -> Expand command is greyed out. What might be the reason for this behaviour, it's such a basic thing that I don't expect it to be a bug.

  • Thats because your basic pbjects are special appearances for svg purposes.
    – joojaa
    Commented Mar 10, 2022 at 15:18
  • Thank you, but then when is Object Expand used?
    – c_buk
    Commented Mar 10, 2022 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


Object > Expand (or Expand Appearance) is only available with an object can be expanded.

Sometimes the appearance must be expanded before Expand is available - This is kind of impossible to answer definitively without seeing artwork which is failing.

Simply because you may be drawing simple shapes, that does not mean there's no "special" appearance applied to those shapes

For example... I believe the "live corners" aspect of simple shapes can cause an object to be seen as having an appearance setting which must be expanded (baked in) first.

Or if New Art has Basic Appearance is not ticked in the Appearance panel menu, there may be hold-over Appearance settings from something you previously drew.

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