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  • Trouble converting stroke to shape

     Ginnie MacPherson updated 7 years ago 3 Members · 3 Posts
  • Mike Sussman

    May 20, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    I have vector shapes forming a logo with a stroke creating a border. I want to change the stroke/border into its own vector shape so that it can be independent of the original shape.

    Not that I think this should matter, but the reason I want to do this is because I want to then remove anchor points on the inside of the border-shapes to create a solid “backdrop” that the original shape will then sit on top of. I will then take this new Illustrator file and import it into Zaxwerks and the border will act as a slightly receded backdrop to the main logo.

    Anyway, I selected one of my shapes with a border and then chose Object > Path > Outline Stroke. This should have worked, right? But what happens is that while the original shape remains as is, the border shape that is created in a different location, slightly closer to the center of the original shape than it was before. In other words, if the stroke was previously on the outside of the object path, the new shape is created where a centered stroke would have been. If the stroke was previously centered on the object path, the new shape is created where an inside stroke would have been, and so forth. Creating a shape from the stroke never creates a new shape in the same shape (size/location) of where the border was. But I need it to be, or else it won’t look exactly the same as the original graphic.

    So what gives? Is this normal for Outline Stroke to not give you a vector shape layer that exactly matches the original stroke? How do I get what I need?


  • adolf witzeling

    May 21, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    This maybe worth a shot:
    1:To make it easier duplicate one shape and copy on a separate layer.
    2:On bottom layer select the shape and make sure that “ALIGN STROKE TO CENTER” is selected.

    3: From the menu choose: OBJECT…PATH…OUTLINE STROKE

    4: Select the shape again and go: OBJECT…UNGROUP

    5: Select both ungrouped shapes

    6: From the menu choose the “PATHFINDER” panel (if you don’t have it open already), and with both shapes still selected in the Pathfinder window choose “MINUS FRONT”in the “Shape Mode” section. This should leave you with the inside shape only.

    7: Select the shape from the top layer and as before convert the stroke to outlines…again make sure “ALIGN STROKE TO CENTER’ is selected-then ungroup .

    8: Select the inside area of the shape and delete. That should be it.
    hope that helps,


  • Ginnie MacPherson

    January 6, 2014 at 4:31 am

    I’ve found this post and tried the suggestions in the reply, it didn’t work for me.

    I had shapes that need to have a stroke added behind them, and then the original shape removed so only the out-side aligned stroke remains, visually suggesting the inner shape but actually having it removed. The same problem occurred—-when converting the stroke to an outline, it acted as if it was center–aligned—thus cutting into the main shape visually. But I wanted all of the original shape to be seen visually, with the stroke turned into an “outlined” shape outside of it.

    I went about painstakingly drawing over the stroke which aligned to the outside and making a new ‘shape’ based on it, using that new shape as the bottom one for the “cut-out”pathfinder tool.

    But then realized a center-aligned stroke with a 2 point stroke weight looks the same as an outside-aligned stroke with a 1 point thickness.
    I was then able to:
    1) copy/paste in place the shape (with shape and stroke) directly over the top of itself, then remove the stroke on that duplicate
    2) change the original outside-aligned stroke shape to center-aligned, double the stroke weight, and convert stroke to shape
    3) use the pathfinder tool to cut the top shape (no stroke) out of the bottom shape (with outlined stroke just converted to a shape).
    4) visual result is an outline around my shape with the desired width not cut into the shape itself, and the original stroke now a shape of it’s own.
    Whew, hope that makes sense. Good luck to others with the issue.

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