Dashed Lines (updated for CS4)


1. Making dashes might not be like the craziest effect to do on Illustrator, but you will be suprised by the number of e-mails I get about how to do it. First of all, I am going to draw out a circle on Illustrator. Of course yours doesn’t have to be a circle. Select the shape first then go to step 2 of this tutorial.

2. Now go to your STROKE panel and you should see settings like this. If you don’t see the STROKE panel in your document then go to WINDOW > STROKE and it should appear right away.

3. Now what you have to do is click on the DASHED LINE box and check it off. And then you can adjust the dash length and the gap length in the boxes below. You can get really specific or just repeat the numbers.

4. I know in this screen shot the dashes don’t look even but it’s just the quality of the image. That’s all you have to do to make dashed lines. Now all you have to do is import that into Photoshop and use it on your website or other graphic design projects.

5. Now if you want to edit this, you can. Go to OBJECTS > PATHS > OUTLINE STROKE. This will turn the stroke into an editable object with anchor points.

6. Now get the white arrow tool and select the area where you want to edit or remove.

7. As you can see in this screenshot, only part of the dashed circle gets selected.

8. My final result of picking and choosing where I want to delete.

10 Responses to “Dashed Lines (updated for CS4)”

  1. connie said:

    I am just starting to use illustrater and i need help.
    iam using cs3

  2. Chris said:

    contact me if you like. chris@dreaminfinity.com. i can try my best to help.

  3. Ahsan said:

    I think your tutorials are informative and good, i have just started using illustrator 4 months ago, and i learned a lot of techniques from your site…..
    I don’t know why people are so aggressive in their comments regarding your Tutorials……..
    One more thought, they are not too much detailed but they are explained in a nice way.

  4. Bettina said:

    I am looking for adobe illustrator tutorials and luckily I found your site. The tutorials are basic and yet very very important. Thank you very much for sharing!

  5. shiry said:

    thank u so much!!!

  6. hailee said:

    OMG thank you so much I always wondered how to do that, I used to drop it in photoshop and bucket it, omg my life is so awesome. THANK YOU

  7. salman said:

    I want to make dotted text ! the whole paragraph for my daughter to improve her writeing becouse our national language is urdu & I dont want my daughter to end up like me who can not read & write proper english , could any one please guide me , Ill be greatful to you regards

  8. Daniel Lunsford said:

    I’m having a problem with dashed lines in CS5.1. I am trying to modify a dashed polyline that came in from AutoCAD. When I use the whole Stroke-Dashed Line thing it only changes part of the shape. One small section shows the changes but the rest of the shape does not. Any idea why it is behaving like this?

    (If you’re not familiar a polyline in ACAD is like a closed shape one might draw with the Pen tool in Illustrator: a series of individual lines that are connected by nodes and act like one object).

  9. Chris Takakura said:

    @Daniel Lunsford: Daniel, I think it is because it is a series of individual lines that are connected by nodes and Illustrator does not read it as a whole shape. That would be the only thing I can think of that will cause such behavior. I am not an ACAD expert so sorry for the lack of answers on my end.

  10. Lesley said:

    Thank you so much for this great tutorial! This really helped :)

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