First post here!

What I'm trying to accomplish looks fairly simple but so far I've had no luck in finding a way to accomplish it. Essentially I want to create custom stroke caps (or strke profiles if necessary) that will allow me to create strokes with a shallow rounded end or an angled end as shown below


Is this even possible? If so, how would I go about making this happen? I am working on a typeface where these two shapes will be common, and I prefer to work with pure strokes first, so if I can accomplish this it would be great. Thanks in advance for any tips!


2 Answers 2


You could create end caps by creating custom arrowheads.
[Adobe video tutorial link removed. They changed it to some "pop art" tutorial.]
You can follow the Adobe Help Pages, here's what they say:

To define custom arrowheads, open the Arrowheads.ai file, which is located under ShowPackageContent\Required\Resources<locale>\ (for Mac) and \Support Files\Required\Resources<locale>\ (for Windows). Follow the instructions in the file to create custom arrowheads.

Place the updated Arrowheads.ai file at: \Plug-ins
and avoid replacing the existing Arrowheads.ai file.

Note, you must relaunch Illustrator after editing the Arrowheads.ai file (or replacing it).

Then apply the arrowhead to the strokes via the Stroke Panel.

custom arrowheads

You could also create brushes with end caps (pattern brush) but arrowheads offer the advantage of scaling with the stroke properly and brushes can be hit or miss when it comes to scaling ends without middle pieces.

Art Brushes, with the ability to Stretch Between Guides can be a quick and easy way to create some end items....

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I use what is needed and sometimes the brushes just don't work as expected, especially for non-perpendicular or curved paths. The arrowheads seem to always work as expected.

  • 2
    wow. one learns something new every day, thanks!
    – spiral
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 11:06
  • And how can I find that Art Brush Options? Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 20:18
  • @IulianOnofrei drag artwork to the Brushes Panel and you'll be asked what type of brush you want to create....
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 20:28

You can also use this pretty simple method:

  1. Create Stroke then select
  2. Object > Expand Appearance
  3. With the direct selection tool select two points you want to round
  4. Convert those points to smooth.
  5. Use the the handles to get desired curve on line.
  • Can you please explain a little bit better? Perhaps with screenshots? (Just leave out the leading !, one user with more rep can activate them).
    – Mensch
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 4:11
  • true, but you can find your desired stroke weight first. Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 20:16

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