I'm working in Illustrator CS5 and was wondering Is it possible to have varied stroke widths around the same object?

For example a square would have the right side at 1pt and the top side at 3pt the left side at 2pt and the bottom at 4pt.

I don't want objects overlapping each other, I mean one object with varied sized strokes.

I don't know if this is possible to achieve with the stoke width tool but I was hoping to have all the lines (the stroke) uniformed, instead of some parts thin and some parts thicker?

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

2 Answers 2


You don't need to create an additional rectangle if you use the appearance palette:

  • simply add another fill
  • move it beneath the actual fill
  • move and scale the fill via fx/distort & transform/transform
  • Good point. I wasn't thinking about Appearance options. Absolutely better than a secondary object.
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 21:02

You can accomplish this with the Width Tool to a degree. But there will always be some area of transition between width points. In addition, it is actually a bit difficult to target a specific width for the Width Tool. Also, corners with varied widths present many issue with miters and it would be difficult to get the corners to appear smooth.

If I were required to draw a square with those stroke options, I'd simply use two overlapping rectangles - moving the lower rectangle out of alignment to create the appearance of the unbalanced strokes. This would ultimately be much faster than trying to get width points to butt against each other and have a specific width.

  • Yeah that what I thought. I don't need a square to do this, it was just an example to help show the technique I was looking for. Thanks for the tip about the miter joints I didn't even consider that. Thanks.
    – Hunter
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 14:37

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