I am wondering if anyone knows of a way to take a dashed line and quickly turn it into multiple lines, retaining its dash pattern. Maybe I need to get into some kind of scripting? If anyone could point me in the right direction that would be great. Thanks.

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    I think the question is quite unclear, you can get a better answer if you edit your question. As you can see youve allready gotten 2 different iterpretations for your question. Surely you can get a better answer by clarifying. Its by the way also possible to get the stroke expanded (or atleast close) without making the individual segments expanded to closed paths.
    – joojaa
    Apr 21 '15 at 20:20

There is a extetendScript that can do this effortlessly and precise: breakDashes.jsx

If you take five minutes to learn where to paste scripts into the right folder and then inside Illustrator go to File → Scripts → BreakDashes

You might also need to sign up to GitHub too in order to download the file.


Use the options on the Stroke Panel to create a dashed line....

enter image description here

Then choose Object > Expand Appearance and then Object > Expand to create shapes for each of the dashes.

enter image description here

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    Note that with this solution, the single strokes becomes a series of little rectangles, NOT a series of smaller strokes.
    – Ideogram
    Feb 9 at 12:43

You can easily duplicate an object by doing a transform.

You can duplicate an object by going to object - transform - move, select the amount you want to move the line. Make sure to click copy. You can then do transform again to make more lines.


Since you said you want to have multiple lines, I assume you want to cut your line into multiple separate lines.

You can do that with the Scissor Tool (C). Click with it on the part, where you want to cut your line and it will be separated into two independent lines.


When I did this for the Cricut to upload into Design Space, I wanted to use the dashes as cut marks for a folding line. To do this efficiently, I needed to make sure the lines ended up as a compound path. For those facing a similar need, hopefully this will work for you. Note: I am using Illustrator CS6.

Making a dotted single cut using a brush pattern (mine was a very thin line)

  1. Object -> Expand appearance
  2. Object -> Compound path -> Make

Making a dotted single cut using a dashed stroke 1. Object -> Expand 2. Object -> Compound path -> Make


To convert a solid line into a series of smaller lines (not paths), use the method described at: https://community.adobe.com/t5/illustrator/transform-dashed-lines-into-separate-small-lines/td-p/2876098

I quote the answer given there:

Correct answer by tolyn_dayana

I know this is an old post. Just to share my method. I found the best solution for this problem :

1- create a single line i.e. 12pt long 1pt thick

2- make a pattern brush from the line

3- In pattern brush options dialog box, put 50% in spacing box.

4- apply the pattern brush to your desired shape.

5- you can still adjust the gaps in spacing box and hit apply to stroke

6- You can also change stroke weight !

7- go to object -> expand appearance.

Done !

Hope this will help.

  • Tolyn

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