How to Draw a Line in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a powerful tool that allows graphic designers, artists, and creatives to create illustrations, logos, icons, typography, and other graphic designs. One of the basic skills every user should master is drawing lines. 

Lines are essential in creating logos, icons, illustrations, and other graphic designs. By using some of the tools provided in Adobe Illustrator, you will be able to draw both curved and straight lines in your projects.

My name is Kerry, and I love checking our programs, websites, and software to find out which ones are the best for different kinds of projects. One that I have enjoyed using is Adobe Illustrator and II am excited to share tips, tricks, and advice so that even beginners can be successful using it! 

In this post, I’ll explain how you can draw both a straight and curved line using a few different tools in Adobe Illustrator. 

Ready to get started? Great, let’s go! 

Key Takeaways

  • If you want to draw a straight line, click on the Line Segment tool and maneuver your mouse to create a line in the workspace. 
  • You can use the Arc tool to create curved lines by clicking and drawing the line on the artboard.  
  • If you can’t find a tool in the toolbox, it may be “hiding” within another tool. Click and hold the tool’s button and additional options will pop up. 

2 Ways to Draw a Straight Line in Adobe Illustrator

You can use the Line Segment Tool or Pen tool or easily draw a straight line in Adobe Illustrator. Here are the detailed steps. 

Method 1: Line Segment Tool

Step 1: In the toolbar on the left side of the screen, you will find the Line Segment Tool (\). It should be on the same menu as the shape tools like Rectangle, Ellipse, etc.

Step 2: Next, you will want to choose your stroke settings. The stroke refers to the width and color of the line you will draw on your project. 

You can find the stroke settings in the top toolbar. Click on the stroke color box to choose a color, and click on the stroke weight box to choose a thickness for your line. 

Step 3: Now it’s time to draw your line. Click and drag your mouse on the artboard to draw a straight line. You can also hold down the Shift key to ensure the line stays perfectly straight. Release the mouse button when you have drawn the desired length of your line. 

Step 4: If you need to edit your line, you can do so using the Selection tool. Select the line by clicking on it, and then use the options in the top toolbar or Properties panel to change the stroke weight, stroke color, etc. 

Method 2: Pen Tool

If you want to connect multiple straight lines to draw a shape or line work, using the Pen tool can be an easier option. 

Step 1: Choose the Pen tool (keyword shortcut P) from the toolbar. 

Step 2: Click on the artboard to add anchor points, and you will create lines between anchor points. 

If you want to draw a horizontal straight line, click on the artboard to create the first anchor point, hold the Shift key and click to create the next anchor point.

3 Ways to Draw a Curved Line in Adobe Illustrator

Similar to how you are able to draw a straight line, you can click on the Arc tool or Pen tool to create curved lines in their projects. 

Method 1: Arc Tool

Step 1: Select the Arc Tool from the toolbar on the left-hand side of the screen. If you can’t find the Arc Tool, it may be hiding under the Line Segment Tool (\).

Step 2: After selecting the Arc Tool, click and hold on the icon to see the available options. You can choose between three options: Arc, Spiral, and Grid. Make sure the Arc option is selected. 

Step 3: Now it’s time to draw the curved line. Click on the artboard where you want to start the curved line and drag the cursor to create the arc. While dragging, hold down the Shift key to constrain the arc to a perfect curve. 

The arc will appear as a preview until you release the mouse button. 

Step 4: After drawing the curved line, you can adjust it to fit your vision. To do this, click on the curved line to select it. You will see two anchor points and a control point. (The control point determines the shape and direction of the curve.) You can drag the control point to adjust the curve.

There are also other ways to customize the curved line further. You can change the stroke weight, stroke color, and fill color by selecting the curved line and going to the Properties panel on the right-hand side of the screen. 

Method 2: Pen Tool

Choose the Pen tool from the toolbar, the idea as creating a straight line using the Pen tool, you will create and connect anchor points. The only difference is that if you want to draw a curve line when you click on the second anchor point, you should drag it to a direction as you click. 

You can also add additional anchor points by clicking on the curved line and selecting the Add Anchor Point Tool (under the Pen tool) from the toolbar. 

Method 3: Curvature Tool

You can use the Curvature tool to directly draw a curve line or add curves to a straight line. Simply select the Curvature tool on the toolbar, click on a line where you want to add a curve to add an anchor point, then click and drag that anchor point to create a curve.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to draw different kinds of lines allows you to really have a base foundation to build from in your projects. The more you practice, the better you will get and be able to add on additional features! 

Do you have any tips or tricks for drawing lines in Adobe Illustrator? Share your resources, thoughts, and advice in the comments down below!

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