I'm trying to create a quotation mark, and am having trouble aligning my shapes.

The top arc is the arc tool, but I can't figure out how to align the stroke to the inside of the line. Could you help me with this, or let me know a better way to create this graphic?


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  • You can't align an open path to anything but the center of your stroke (since an open path doesn't have an inside or outside). One option is to transform the stroke to the right by half your line weight (either using Object > Transform > Move… or Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform…). Another is to give your circle a stroke (in addition to the fill).
    – Geoff Ball
    Jan 18, 2017 at 17:25

4 Answers 4


You can't align the stroke of an open path, but you can align the path itself!

From Preferences → General check "Use Preview Bounds":

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This will use the visual appearance of objects to create their bounding box, rather than the paths themselves; which means we can align to the outside of our stroke:

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  • Or you can just make the circke smaller and make it have a stroke too ;)
    – joojaa
    Jan 20, 2017 at 11:57
  • Of course! it's not always as simple as a plain circle and an arc though and it's good to have options :)
    – Cai
    Jan 20, 2017 at 12:01
  • you can offset... then its as easy. As a bonus you can niftily change weight later
    – joojaa
    Jan 20, 2017 at 12:02
  • This is perfect and is the solution that I was looking for. Thanks @Cai Jan 20, 2017 at 20:10

Thats because the stroke needs a outline to align to, currently you have none. You could make the path into a outline, that will turn the path into a vectorshape, i.e. a curved box. Select Object>Path>Outline Stroke

Now align works as expected, and you can even snap the 'line' in place. As with vectors its always smart to work with multiple instances of the same object so you can easily go back and forth between steps in your process to change things.


This is by no means the best way to do this, but, to answer your question, there is a way to do this. If you only have to do this in minimal situations, this may help.

Try using the Width Tool.

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With this tool selected, hold down the Option button and select the outside edge/corner of the stroke and drag toward the point. Play around with the tool a bit and you can get the desired result.

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I realize this isn't the best solution. But maybe it will help.


Noticed this is old question, but incase someone looking for a solution with stroke alignment I made this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dm6A-OgEeh4

Basically what I did is create a stroke preset that cut in half using Width Tool and save it on Graphic Styles so you can apply it to any stroke.

Using width tool to cut half of stroke


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