I have read on a number of blogs that the seams that you see in Illustrator from applying a pattern to an object is due to anti-aliasing and that if you print from Illustrator that it will print fine.

My concern is that when I save my work to PDF the seam shows up there as well. I don't want a client to see the seam and think there is something wrong. I also don't want to tell them not to worry about it. I want it to look correct from the get go.

I am creating invitations for weddings and just started using the pattern tool/feature of Illustrator.

Any ideas or process I should follow?


I am building a simple pattern diagonal line pattern like the one in this tutorial, http://www.bittbox.com/illustrator/how-to-create-a-seamless-diagonal-pattern-in-illustrator

1 Answer 1


There are a couple possible workarounds.

  • Construct patterns so the stitching is in non-critcal locations if possible.
  • Apply a new fill behind the pattern fill which is the primary color of the pattern.
  • Expand pattern fills in order to eliminate the stitching.
  • Turn off "Enhance thin lines" in the Acrobat Page Display Preferences. (Obviously this item can be as problematic since it still requires you to address the issue on the client's system, not yours.)
  • if saving for web/scren, be certain to use the Art Optimized Anti-Alias setting.
  • For print design, these hairlines customarily do not show up and are generally nothing to worry about. They are due to on-screen anti-aliasing.

I find the second item works most of the time provided the pattern isn't a transparent pattern over other elements.

Related: Why does Illustrator add white lines to my pattern when exporting?

Update after question edit:

The tutorial you linked to is rather misleading and, well, less than efficient. There is never, ever a reason to create a diagonal line pattern in Illustrator. Create a vertical or horizontal line pattern, then simply rotate the pattern. You don't need to draw diagonals and line them up.

In any event, if you select the pattern fill and choose Object > Expand you are left with actual objects inside a clipping mask. You can then click the Crop button on the Pathfinder Panel to eliminate the clipping mask. At that point you can select individual objects in the pattern and use the Unite button on the Pathfinder Panel to combine the basic shapes.

  • Could you explain a good way of going about expanding the pattern fill. I tried #3 previously and while do-able, it created so may sub groups and extras that it would take awhile to some effort to wade through everything it generated. Is there a quick way of doing this?
    – hungerstar
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 20:29
  • The issue seems to be a transparent rectangular shape (same size as pattern) in the pattern.
    – hungerstar
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 20:47
  • All patterns have a no fill no stroke bounding box.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 20:59
  • 2
    Your Expand > Crop > Unite method worked perfect! Nice and quick too! Thanks. You're right that a diagonal pattern might not be a good choice for a pattern and I could just blend and rotate instead of what I did. I figured the seam issue might crop up in the future and would still be relevant.
    – hungerstar
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 22:14
  • In terms of the pattern.. if you were to create a vertical stripe pattern, you can apply it and then use Object > Transform > Rotate uncheck Transform Objects, and then rotate the vertical stripes to any degree you want. That's what I meant as being inefficient.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 9:30

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