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Chapter 16. Strokes and Brushes > Applying a Stroke from the Stroke Palette

Applying a Stroke from the Stroke Palette

The following steps explain how to use the options in the toolbox and Stroke palette to apply a stroke to a selected path or text object:

Select the objects that you want to stroke.

If no object is selected, editing the stroke changes the setting for the next object that you create.

Click the Stroke icon in the Color palette or the toolbox.

This moves the Stroke icon to the front and makes the stroke the active feature. When the stroke is active, the Stroke icon overlaps the Fill icon, as shown in Figure 16.4.

Figure 16.4. Select the Stroke icon in the toolbox or the Color palette to set the stroke color.

You can also press the X (when you're not using the text tool) key to activate the Stroke icon.

Choose a color.

To color a stroke, choose a color from the Color palette. To remove the stroke, click the None icon or press the slash key (/) on the keyboard.

You can't apply a gradient to a stroke. So if you click the Gradient icon, you will apply the gradient to the fill of the object.

If desired, apply a tint from the Color palette.

Use either the Swatches palette or the Color palette as described in Chapter 14.

You can also drag a swatch from the swatch list in the Swatches palette and drop it onto the Stroke icon in the toolbox. The Stroke icon doesn't have to be selected.

You can apply a stroke directly to an unselected object. Just drag the swatch directly onto the object. If the Stroke icon is not selected, hold the Shift key to apply the color as a stroke.

Change the Weight value.

The Weight value determines the thickness of the stroke (also known as stroke weight).

Click the icons to set the Cap and Join options.

These option buttons appear in the upper-right corner of the Stroke palette, as shown back in Figure 16.2. You use the Cap icons to determine how the stroke wraps around the ends of an open path. You use the Join icons to control the appearance of the stroke at corner points. The Miter Limit option box appears to the left of the options only when the first Join icon is selected. Otherwise, the option box is dimmed. (I'll explain this option in a few moments.)

If you do not see the Cap and Join options, choose Show Options from the Stroke palette menu. Or click the arrows in the Stroke palette tab to cycle through the palette display options.

Select the Dashed Line check box to create a dashed outline.

Then enter values into the Dash and Gap option boxes along the bottom of the dialog box to specify the length of each dash and each gap between dashes. (This option, too, will be explained just up ahead, good and patient reader.) If you don't want a dashed stroke, leave it unchecked.

Press the Enter key (Return key on the Mac), or click inside the illustration window.

Illustrator returns its focus to the illustration window.



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