Offset Path Explained – The Right Way – Adobe Illustrator

As we all know Adobe Illustrator one of the best vectors based software in the industry and have various options available to us in the help to ease in our design process. Offset Path is one of the strongest option Illustrator offers us to help us. Thanks to the Illustrator.

In today’s topic, we will be covering Offset Path in Adobe Illustrator and explore it how this works so.

An offsetting path can be applied to both the vector objects as well as on text also. Let’s take a look at the vector objects first. I will draw a rectangle and make its corners round. You can apply on any vector shape but just to explain how well this works I am making corners around intentionally. If you like to learn about round corners check out How to make round corners in older versions of Illustrator to learn more in detail.

select stroke

I will also increase the stroke up to 10px and fill to none (Stroke can be any size you want). You can do this by going on the top control panel.

Select Offset Path  Offset Preview

Now while the object selected go to > Object > Path and then select Offset Path. Upon clicking you will have this window pop up from where you can select the size of the offset. You can specify any size here but we are choosing it 10px same width as the stroke size.

Make sure to click on the Preview to make sure you can see the live changes.

Click OK to have the offset path and if we give a different color to outer shape and you can tell you have to objects with the same width of your current object and you can repeat the process to have as many offset paths you want.

Now let’s take a look another way of doing this. This time we are going to have the effect on it and try to have some space between the objects. I am going to select the object again and have the Offset Path option again.

As we just created the offset path same size of pixels of our stroke but now we are going to have the same size of pixels. We are also going to have the same size of a gutter (space) between the paths. To do this we have to double the size of our current pixels size of stroke as we have 10px stroke set.  We are going to change this to 20px and see what we get.

preview check

Yes, we have now this affect the space between the objects. You can continue doing this to achieve your desired effects.


Remember you can also have any size of the gutter (space) between the paths. You may face one issue while scaling this down or up especially when you have strokes as this can be mess up with its proportions.

To fix this you just have to follow the following steps: Go to Object> Expand> make sure Fill and Stroke selected and click OK. Now all the strokes have been expanded and turned into the shape and Illustrator will not recognize them as a stroke anymore. This will keep all the proportions if you scale them up or down.

expand-stroke  fill&stroke checked






We have created few effects options for your to check it out.

sample1    sample2

Offset Path on Text:

Now we will see how to apply this effect to the text but before applying this effect you must make your text outline as Illustrator does not apply this effect directly on the Text so we must convert our text to outline by going > Type > Create Outlines (Keyboard key for this is Shift + Ctrl +O) you can also expand this by clicking Object > Expand> make sure the Fill and Stroke is checked this will also create your text to outline.

create outlines    expand

Now you can follow the same steps to offset the path on the text also. This will work same as any vector object as we created earlier.



Hope you will enjoy this tips and tricks. leave us a comment what you think about it.

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Check out more Adobe Illustrator Tips and tricks How to make round corners in older versions of Illustrator