I can't believe that I couldn't even find somebody asking this question. I just signed-up to stackexchange to ask this...

I know I can change the default appearance of objects in Illustrator. But is it possible to change the default stroke alignment from "center" to "inside" or "outside"?

I'm using CS6.

enter image description here

Thanks a lot in advance internet ;-)

  • The problem is that nonclosed paths do not have a side as far as illustrator is concerned. Even if they did (Yes mathematically they do), it would end up randomly on one side of the line. Okay so you can predict the side but its asfully technical. Anyway what illustrator does is it falls back to center anligned if you ever have a path that does not qualify as sided. So the setting would keep resetting to center.
    – joojaa
    Nov 19, 2014 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, you cannot change default stroke align. The only option to change that in normal circumstances is after you create some object. In normal I mean without scripting/code intrusion etc.

Try to imagine how the program should decide where to apply the "inner" "outer" stroke on the open line or path which is not closed.

  • Easy its out is the counterclockwise side of a counterclockwise curve and vice versa or other way around if you wish. It works for art strokes why not here. Anyway that is what they have chosen to do offset could also work on one side, but works on both. Many CAD apps have the one side function, so its just politics. But awfully technical stuff...
    – joojaa
    Nov 19, 2014 at 17:01
  • @joojaa Try to apply your comment on the circle :)
    – Ilan
    Nov 19, 2014 at 17:12
  • the closed loop like the cirle still has a direction, depending on winding order igs either clockwise or counterclockwise. Remember points must have an order. It is this direction that defines inside from outside, a bit more complicated is the infinity sign like self crossing shape. Anyway its politics mathematically any behavour of sidedness is easily handled in 2d. Not trivial in 3D however... about thousand of lines of explanation needed for that.
    – joojaa
    Nov 19, 2014 at 17:42
  • I can understand for the "pen tool" it would not make too much sense. But for tools like "Rectangle Tool" or "Ellipse Tool" it should be possible to set a default. Or at least that if I create a rectangle and change the stroke alignment from center to inside stroke, then the next time that I draw a rectangle Illustrator would keep the same previously used style... But Illustrator always draws the strokes centred... This exact behaviour can be found in Sketch, it is a shame that Sketch is still so buggy. Nov 20, 2014 at 15:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.