How to Make a Grid in Adobe Illustrator

Organizing your workspace using a grid can help you draw precisely and efficiently, especially when it comes to vector drawings that are often made in Adobe Illustrator.

With Illustrator, we have two grid options available to us. The Polar Grid Tool and the Rectangular Grid Tool. Use Illustrator’s Rectangular Grid Tool to build rectangular grids with both horizontal and vertical lines. Use the Polar Grid Tool to produce circular grids.

My name is Aly. I have over five years of experience in Adobe Illustrator, and in this article, I will be showing you two ways to make a grid in Adobe Illustrator.   

Key Takeaways

  • To accurately measure designs, the grid tool is used in conjunction with the ruler tool.
  • The polar grid works in a circle, whereas the rectangular grid makes rectangle grids.

How to Make a Rectangular Grid in Illustrator

Follow the steps below to create a rectangular grid in Illustrator.  

Step 1: Create a new document in Illustrator. Do this by going to File > New. 

Step 2: With a blank document, go ahead and find the rectangular grid from your toolbar. If you cannot find the grid tools, you may have to change your workspace. You can do this by going to Window > Toolbar > Advanced

Step 3: With the rectangular grid selected, click and drag on your artboard to create the grid you would like. You can always edit this by clicking on the grid and resizing it. 

Step 4: The rectangular grid tool also has an options window. If you double-click on the artboard with the tool selected, a window will pop up. This is where you can change the width and height of your grid, add horizontal and vertical dividers, and if you want your grid skewed or not. If you select Fill Grid this will fill your grid with color which can be nice for design purposes. 

How to Create a Polar Grid in Illustrator

Follow the steps below to learn how to create a polar grid in Illustrator. 

Step 1: When working with the polar grid, we follow generally the same steps as the rectangle grid. Find and select the Polar Grid Tool which is located right underneath the Rectangle Grid Tool. 

Step 2: Click and drag on your artboard to create your grid. Again, you can resize your grid by clicking on it and dragging it to resize. You may also with the polar grid tool selected, double-click on your artboard to pull up the polar grid options window. This will be where you can edit the settings just as we did with the rectangular grid tool options. 

Use the Skew slider in the Concentric Dividers section to change whether your concentric circles are heavier on the inside or outside.

Use the Skew slider in the Radial Dividers section to change the weight of the straight lines either clockwise or counterclockwise. 

The fill grid option will fill your grid with whatever color you have in your fill option. 

If you would like to remove your grid, you can always click on it and press the Delete key or go to View > Hide Grid

Pro tip: If you need to work on the same artboard as your grid, a good trick is to click on your grid and turn the opacity level down so you can see to work around the grid. 

Final Thoughts

With Illustrator, using the grid tool is an excellent method to make grids quickly. You can make pixel-perfect grids for your designs with hardly any trouble. Your grids may be entirely perfected to fit your requirements by adding a stroke or a fill. 

You can adjust the fill and stroke just like any other Illustrator object by making sure the fill option is selected.

Any questions about making a grid in Adobe Illustrator? Leave a comment and let me know.

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