With Adobe Illustrator, it's easy to draw zig-zags and wavy lines on a canvas with a brush tool, but if you want more precise and professional results, you'll need to adopt a more methodical approach. In this practical guide, we've shared how to make wavy lines in Illustrator, using the handy Pen tool and some clever techniques.
- First, choose the Pen tool from the main toolbar, or press the P key. Click on the artboard to create a corner point, and then click again while holding down the Shift key to create another point and draw a horizontal path between them.
- Next, you'll need to select "Object" > "Path > "Add Anchor Points", which will create a new point at the midpoint of your path. If you choose the option again, another anchor point will be created at a midpoint, so we recommend repeating this until you have enough points to make your wavy line possible. Just think of each line segment as a change of direction in the wavy line, and you'll have a better idea of how many points you need.
- To deselect our anchor points (so that we can edit each one individually), just choose the Direct Selection tool (it looks like a grey mouse cursor) and click on the far-left anchor point while holding down the Shift key. Then, click on all of the other anchor points from left to right.
- Now, you can start shaping your wavy line. To do this, click on any of the anchor points, and while holding down the Shift key, drag the cursor up or down to change the angle of the adjacent path segment. By alternating the direction you drag on each anchor point, eventually you'll end up with a path that looks like a zig-zag.
- Finally, to transform your zig-zag into a wavy path, draw a marquee around all of the path's anchor points, except for the two corner points. Then, press Shift+C to select the Convert Anchor Point tool. In the tool's options bar, select "Convert Selected Anchor Points to Smooth" and Illustrator will curve the angles so that they become an undulating sine wave.
For even more control over the final wave, click on individual anchor points with the Convert Anchor Point tool still selected, and then drag horizontally while holding down Shift. This will adjust the wideness of an individual curve.