I draw this arc using pen tool in illustrator

enter image description here

Now I want to apply an image to the pen tool. So I click on "draw inside" then File -> Place, select an image and paste it onto the arc.

enter image description here

Above is what I see. I want to apply image to the arc itself (black line), not to the space above it... how to fix this problem?

Thanks in advance!

  • Expand the path first?
    – joojaa
    Dec 9, 2016 at 7:07
  • @user2277916, your expectation of this ability is not unusual, the way design software works is exceptionally hampered by legacy and profit seeking.
    – Confused
    Dec 9, 2016 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


Conceptually vector drawings since age of plotters have 2 separate properties fill and stroke. A stroke is not a fill and so can not be filled. Whetever is inside the stroke is the fill.

Now in your case you want to expand the path by choosing Object → Expand...

  • With the exception of Flash, which does its best to confuse these issues and, in doing so, empowered new users in ways us old-heads never imagined. Have you ever seen a young person that knows nothing of Illustrator/Corel/Freehand use Flash? They are free in the way a lion is free in the jungle. It's incredible to watch.
    – Confused
    Dec 9, 2016 at 9:24
  • 2
    @Confused well to be honest you can fill the stroke too in illustrator its just not intuitive. Anyway its a tradeof if all your strokes are allways open you lose the ease of composability which is the benefit of the system. Inevitably you will just have other abstractions that dont make sense in other cases. Theres really no reason why we could not have a network as our base primitive for example it would just be more trouble than its worth. Its fine to be free but if you can not do something you can not do something.
    – joojaa
    Dec 9, 2016 at 9:56
  • yeah, I know, @joojaa, it's just fascinating to watch the entirely different workflow and behaviours of those that only know how to draw in Flash. It's fascinating, to me, because I'm deeply interested in what we lost in the rush to the Illustrator paradigm of vector illustration. Which is a lot, lost, that is.
    – Confused
    Dec 9, 2016 at 9:59

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