I was working in Adobe Illustrator, making some lines around a photo using the Pen Tool. it worked fine, but for some reason, after I created a new layer and pasted in some shapes, the Pen Tool automatically fills in itself when there are more than 2 sides to it. (see drawing below)


This didn't happen before, and no matter how many times I looked it up, there simply wasn't a conclusive answer to how to disable it. All that I know is that it probably has something to do with "Shape Mode"? (which I can't find any mention of anywhere on the internet) The cursor when making lines is red (it was blue I think) for some reason.

(Sorry if this is a dumb question, I've never used Adobe Illustrator and I'm only using it now because I'm working on someone else's project.)

How can I prevent this from happening?

  • Have you tried simply removing the fill?
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 7:59

1 Answer 1


You have a fill colour set while drawing your shape. Set the fill colour to 'none' (red slash symbol) and try again.

To do so, in the toolbox, simply click once on the fill colour (the top left of the two squares, the one that is a solid colour) to select it. You can see that the fill icon is selected: it is on top of the stroke icon.

enter image description here

...an then click the 'none' button just below it, on the right. You can also push the / (forward slash) key.

enter image description here

Should this result in a shape that doesn't have fill nor stroke, select the stroke icon in a similar way and then double click it to bring up the Color Picker and choose a stroke colour.

This also works when you have used the black arrow tool to select an object and want to change its fill or stroke colour.

  • Thanks! I'm a total beginner at this so I didn't know basic stuff like this. :P
    – BeardWix
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 10:09
  • Also, View > Preview. (View > Outline does not show color.) Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 1:04

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