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How to Smooth Lines in Illustrator

How to Smooth Lines in Illustrator

While Illustrator is common among those in the graphic design industry, the more basic aspects of it can be difficult for the average user. Although the program is complex with many tools, the benefits are many to those who want something that is based on vectors rather than pixels. With Illustrator, vector-based graphics are created based on mathematical equations and the program is ideal for logos, banners and anything else that needs to be printed in different sizes.

If you need to create smooth lines in Illustrator, there are simple ways to do so. The following steps will help you quickly discover the user-friendly program and how you can smooth lines in all your designs. We have two simple ways to smooth out your lines when using the program.

Paintbrush and Pencil Tool Settings

First, double click in the tools palette on the pencil tool. This should bring up a panel of preferences that allow you to choose which smoothness you are looking for. If you want something really smooth, drag each slider to the maximum setting. As the fidelity rises, Illustrator creates less anchor points. 

Once you have chosen your fidelity, just click the okay button and you can smooth out your lines. If you choose to use the paintbrush tool rather than the pencil tool, you can access the exact same options. The smoothness tool is straight-forward and easy to use.

Using the Smooth Tool

Illustrator also has a smooth tool that allows you to straighten out your lines. If you click the pencil tool and hold, the smooth tool will open. This will have its own smoothing and fidelity options, and you can access them by double clicking on them to access the preference pane of the smooth tool.

You may not know up front what settings you need, but you can play around with the preferences to find the smoothness that you need. You can try out the smooth tool by using the following steps.
  • Scribble or draw a rough path with the paintbrush or pencil
  • Keep the path selected and select the smooth tool
  • Click then drag the smooth tool across your selected path
  • Repeat the steps until you get the result you want

The more you use the smooth tool, the less anchor points you will have on your path. While the accuracy may not be as strong on the paintbrush, pencil and smooth tools, you can save extensive amounts of time by using them.

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