Any way to fill these shapes with a pattern somehow, and avoid that duplicated line system which looks like a total mess in the keyline view below? Any cleaner way to fill shapes with a pattern like this?

Ideally looking for a solution that works with both rectangular and circular shapes as seen below.

enter image description here

  • I'm not sure which duplicate lines you're talking about. Have you considered using masks?
    – Welz
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 16:06
  • Clipping mask? This is what it is now, repeated lines masked inside these shapes. I was hoping to construct a fill of some kind so i don't see all that junk in keyline mode. It can be tricky to work with.
    – Lucian
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 16:08
  • What about making it a graphic style - in white lines, not a pattern.
    – Welz
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 16:10
  • Not sure how to do that. Is it possible? I'm willing to follow a tutorial of some kind but not sure what to google exactly.
    – Lucian
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 16:11
  • Possibly a silly question, but is there a reason why you're not using custom pattern swatches?
    – Westside
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


Use a pattern...

There are a bunch of line patterns loaded with Illustrator by default (Open Swatch Library → Patterns → Basic Graphics → Basic Graphics Lines).

You can use them as a second fill using the appearance panel and use blending etc to get the effect you want. You can add a Transform effect to that specific fill (make sure to check "Transform Patterns") to get the rotation & scale you want:

enter image description here

...and the same with a different blending mode:

enter image description here

If the default line patterns don't work for you then you can of course make your own pattern; which should be as easy as creating a small section of the lines you want (you could do it with a single line if you really wanted to) and dragging them to the Swatches panel, then double clicking to enter the pattern editor:

enter image description here

Read more here:


You can create a Pattern Swatch and use that pattern as a fill. I would start with what you have already, with two specific notes:

  1. Make a perfect square as your background.
  2. Space the diagonal lines so that they divide the square evenly. (I used a 2 inch square and 1/4 inch spaced lines)

Copy lines by exact amounts

lines over a background

Then create a clipping mask the same size as your background

clipped pattern

At this point you can drag the whole clipping group into the Swatches Panel.

drag into Swatches

When you assign this swatch as a fill to your desired object, double-click on the swatch to edit the options. Select the "Size Tile to Art" option and you're done.

Pattern in action

  • I must be doing something wrong, it works but its not perfectly seamless. See this imgur.com/a/J2GqF Any chance you could share that square you did? :) thanks
    – Lucian
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 18:49
  • 1
    In the spirit of SE, let's try to figure out exactly why it's not working perfectly for you so we can record the answer here (I can update my answer for future readers). I can think of two ways that it might have become misaligned like that while making the lines: Is perhaps "Align to Pixel Grid" (in the Transform window) turned on? And did you use a method where you could type in the exact distance to move the lines while you were copying them?
    – Jory L
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 18:41
  • Aligning to pixel grid might actually make it more difficult to align vector objects, not sure if I made that clear. So you want that to be toggled off.
    – Jory L
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 20:39

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