In illustrator I can convert a selected shape to another shape by the Effect > Convert to Shape option. Now I need to convert to custom shapes, e.g. some shapes created myself. Is there any way to do that?


You can do so using the Copy To Multiple Objects script from the awesome http://www.wundes.com/JS4AI/


  • Create your artwork, and the thing(s) you want to convert into that artwork.
  • Bring the artwork to front, and group it
  • Select the artwork and the things you want to convert to it
  • Run the script

It takes all the selected objects, and turns each one into whatever shape or group is at the top of the selection, maintaining the size and position of the original.

Also, if the thing at the top of your selection is a symbol, the converted shapes will be instances of that symbol too - so editing one can edit all of them at once.

It's great for things like complex diagrams - you can get the layout roughly right with appropriately sized blobs, then make your icons, labels etc, then just magically swap them in.

  • Yes, this script helps but sometimes it still can't function as the illustrator's Effect > Convert to Shape option. The converted shape can't maintain the origin shapes' color. – platinor Feb 23 '13 at 12:55

Not via any effect really. There are items that will alter the appearance of a shape such as Effect > Distort & Transform. But they don't create other geometrical shapes.

There are shape tools for basic geometrical shapes, and the Pen Tool us customarily used to create "custom" shapes.

You can't "store" shapes in the menu like you can in Photoshop. However, you can drag artwork to the Symbols Panel and create symbol libraries which will store custom drawn objects.

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