8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 28, 2009 7:08 AM by Jacob Bugge

    How do I turn an outline to a path?

    Curt Curseo

      First off please excuse my forum etiquette. I am learning.

       

      On Windows 7 64bit in Illustrator CS4

      I am trying to make an outline or even multiple outlines that are actually paths (for option of cutting on plotter)

      Or creating a contour around objects to create a cut path for my printer/cutter (Summa DC4).

       

      1. Clicked text tool
      2. typed word
      3. right clicked & selected create outlines
      4. navigated to >>effect >>path >>offset path >>pressed ok

      Now I have what looks to be an outline but it is not a path (with nodes)

       

      How do I create outlines or which are paths.

       

      I hope my post is ok. please forgive me.

       

      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: How do I turn an outline to a path?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Object --> Expand will convert all dynamic effects to persistent paths, where possible.

           

          Mylenium

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How do I turn an outline to a path?
            Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            curseo,

             

            You may try this (always use a copy when destroying artwork) with the path selected:

             

            1) Object>Expand Appearance;

            2) Delete the unfilled path in the resulting Group;

            3) Ungroup and clean up if needed.

             

            Edit: Hi Mylenium.

             

            I believe the plotter will prefer just one path.

            • 3. Re: How do I turn an outline to a path?
              Curt Curseo Level 1

              Mylenium,

                     Thanks for the quick response.

               

              When I try to select object >> expand is not available. so i tried >> expand appearance and it splits each letters outline into a seperate shape (which I can weld) but removes the original letters ( which I could copy ahead of time and then paste and minus front ).

              Is there a reason expand is grayed out? I am sure I am missing something. Just wondering if there was a shorter way.

              So far it worked for this "word example"

                                but I will have to try if I was to outline (contour) an image or the like.

               

              Thanks guys!

               

              Message was edited by: curseo

              • 4. Re: How do I turn an outline to a path?
                Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                curseo,

                 

                You may try this instead, starting with the live Type without offset:

                 

                1) In the Appearance palette flyout Add New Stroke, and adjust by setting the Stroke Weight in the Stroke palette;

                2) Type>Create Outlines;

                3) Object>Expand Appearance and remove the empty Group;

                4) Object>Expand;

                5) Pathfinder>Merge and remove any empty paths.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: How do I turn an outline to a path?
                  Curt Curseo Level 1

                  Jacob,

                  Not sure I Follow.

                  When I delete the empty group from the appearance flyout it deletes the work.

                  If I skip the delete empty group step and continue to step 4 I get three paths.

                  the inner most (part of the stroke) I would like to eliminate. I try to ungroup but to no avail.

                   

                  what am I doing wrong?

                  • 6. Re: How do I turn an outline to a path?
                    Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    curseo,

                     

                    Have you tried selecting it by clicking the corresponding ring in the Layers palette/panel and then Delete?

                    • 7. Re: How do I turn an outline to a path?
                      Curt Curseo Level 1

                      Thanks for all your help.

                      Is there a tutorial, lesson, or book that could help me hone my skills in this department that you might know of?

                      I get a bit lost in dealing with the stroke turning into 2 paths and how to deal with removing the inner one.

                       

                      Thanks again.

                      • 8. Re: How do I turn an outline to a path?
                        Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        curseo,

                         

                        I am not sure about tutorials/books/whatever for this.

                         

                        I have made the following screenshot showing the different steps in post #4:

                         

                        You may try this instead, starting with the live Type without offset:

                         

                        1) In the Appearance palette flyout Add New Stroke, and adjust by setting the Stroke Weight in the Stroke palette;

                        2) Type>Create Outlines;

                        3) Object>Expand Appearance and remove the empty Group;

                        4) Object>Expand;

                        5) Pathfinder>Merge and remove any empty paths.

                         

                        In this case, there was no empty Group to remove in 3), but there were empty paths to remove in 5), namely the counters (hollow parts) of the letters.

                         

                        As you can see, LAB came to form one Compound Path.

                         

                        I reversed the order of the sublayers, with all steps selected,  for easier interpretation.