I'm trying to create a rounded rectangle with zigzag borders in Adobe Illustrator CS5. This is how I want it to look like:

enter image description here

With the normal zigzag effect on a rectangle with no rounded corners, I get this very ugly effect:

enter image description here

So my question is how I can influence the zigzag around the corners. Do I have to do this by hand?

  • Don't have illustrator at hand but wouldn't deactivating the rounded corners effect fix it? As your corners are rounded "twice" right now? The white part would be anew element on top of course.
    – KMSTR
    Jun 29, 2012 at 13:11
  • 1
    I addition, the number of waves should also "fit" into the length of the side.
    – KMSTR
    Jun 29, 2012 at 13:12
  • @KMSTR The corners of my rectangle are not rounded. I want them to be rounded eventually, but I have not tried to zigzag a rounded rectangle, but a normal rectangle. So what you see in the screenshot is the zigzag effect on a normal rectangle without rounded corners.
    – n.evermind
    Jun 29, 2012 at 13:46

2 Answers 2


On a square, unless there's something else going on, this should be pretty simple. Your "number of ridges" is an even number. To be symmetrical like in the top image, it needs to be an odd number. Turn on "preview" and put the number up or down by one, and it should give the effect you want.

Things get trickier on a rectangle, you might need to overlap solid fill shapes on top of each other to get an even effect all the way round, but for a square just doing this should work.

  • The trick with a rectangle is to start with a square add the zig zag, as you've described, then use Free Transform to change the square into a rectangle. As long as "Scale Stockes & Effects" is checked in the preferences, the zig zag will transform to remain correct in the corners.
    – Scott
    Jun 29, 2012 at 19:16
  • @Scott wouldn't it break horizontal vs. vertical waves proportions?
    – thebodzio
    Jun 30, 2012 at 9:45
  • Yes. But proportional waves aren't always desired.
    – Scott
    Jun 30, 2012 at 11:04
  • @Scott True :) – merely noting the facts.
    – thebodzio
    Jun 30, 2012 at 20:55

You can also drop the “zigzag” idea altogether and use “Pattern Brush” instead. It's quite properly described in Ill's help and e.g. on Vector Tuts. “Pattern Brush” basically gives you a possibility to define how should start, end, straight and corner elements of a given path look like. If defined properly it'll form “wavy” frame as you expect it to regardless of initial rectangle proportions. The only step I'd use “zigzag” at would be to define mentioned brush :).

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