I'm very new to Adobe Illustrator, and having problems with the pen tool.

I have a path created that is a single straight line.
(appears as a light blue line, with anchor points at both ends, within a blue bounding box)

This path is very precisely created exactly where I need it, relative to another object.

I have been unable to assign it "ink", so it only appears as the light blue path, but doesn't actually appear in my graphic. I believe I need to assign a "stroke" to it, but have been unable.

In my experiments with the Pen tool, it seems paths only get a stroke / ink when they have at least 3 points, and represent a closed path. Is this right?

If so, how can I "color" the line-segment I've created.
(note: precise placement is important, not just an approximate position via the mouse)

  • A path does not have to be closed and can be stroked with as little as 2 anchor points. What methods have you tried to assign a stroke to it? – Farray Oct 7 '11 at 19:24
  • In the "Stroke" window, there is a setting for "Weight: 1pt.". When I change the setting to something obvious (15 pt), it affects the nearby object, but not the blue line-segment path. – abelenky Oct 7 '11 at 19:28
  • Can you post a screenshot? – Farray Oct 7 '11 at 19:55
  • @abelenky Based on your comment, it sounds like 1 of 2 things happened: 1)you accidently selected the nearby object or 2)you created the line segment as a "part" of the nearby object, effectively creating a group. – joshmax Oct 7 '11 at 22:33

To ensure that your line segment is not attached to any other object:

  1. Use your Selection Tool (V) to deselect all elements (click in a blank area)
  2. Next, using the Selection Tool (V) again, click once on the path
  3. Go to Object > Ungroup (Shift + ctrl/cmd + G), if it's already gray-ed out, move to next step
  4. Now at the top of your screen, your menu should change to the Path options:
    • you now have the choice of selecting a stroke color (2) or selecting a stroke size (1), either way it will create a stroke w/ color on the path. enter image description here

If after doing this, you still aren't getting a color on the path, I suggest you delete the path, make sure you have deselected all objects (Step 1) and redraw your path, but this time, make sure you have selected a Stroke Color (see #1 on image) first.

You can always use reselect the path with the Selection Tool (V) and then use your arrow keys to move the path into place.

Good luck!

  • 1
    It may also be worthwhile to right-click the path and see if Release compound shape is an option. If it is, the path may be "grouped" without being an actual Group – Farray Oct 8 '11 at 1:08
  • True. Didn't think about that. – joshmax Oct 10 '11 at 14:21

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