As said in the title I need to know how to make it so a shape does not show outside its stroke in Illustrator.

As you can see in the image. The black shape, which is a circle, is going outside of its stroke. How can I make it so it does not do that?

enter image description here

5 Answers 5


You might want to separate the stroke and the fill here, in order to edit the fill. Duplicate the shape, and have one be a strokeless fill and the other a fill-less stroke. Edit the fill object so it doesn't show beyond the stroke.

  • I hope you don't mind me adding a small observation, that the downside to this method is having 2 distinct objects instead of 1, so care should be taken when the shape of one of them is being adjusted.
    – thebodzio
    May 7, 2014 at 14:54
  • @thebodzio that's what object grouping is for, isn't it? :)
    – Vincent
    May 7, 2014 at 14:58
  • good 'nuff for transformations, but I meant adjusting the “shape” specifically, like, moving nodes around and such :}
    – thebodzio
    May 7, 2014 at 15:00

Two quick possibilities (by no means a complete list :}):

  1. Depending on the brush, you could try to set the stroke alignment to “outside”.
  2. You could add “Offset Path” effect (Effects > Path > Offset Path IIRC) to the stroke (positive offset) or black fill (negative offset), to make one of them, respectively, bigger or smaller than the other.

Copy the black circle.

Select the red brush stroke

Edit > Paste in Front

Select the red brush stroke and the newly pasted black circle.

Object > Clipping Mask > Make


You could separate the outline (stroke, on top) from the fill (circle, beneath) and adjust the circle's size.

Or you could convert the stroke to paths and – using the Pathfinder tool – clip off the excess parts of your circle.


Or in the Strokes Options you can set "Align Stroke" to the outside edge rather than the centre as shown, this will shift your stroke effect from sitting centred on the stroke of your shape to to further out, keeping it all asone object and live so you can scale it. And move it easily .

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