How To Create A Dotted Line In Illustrator

In this short tutorial we will learn how to create a dotted line in Illustrator. It's really easy and once you know how the possibilities are endless.

In this short tutorial we will learn how to create a dotted line in Illustrator. It’s really easy and once you know how the possibilities are endless.

You most likely know about dashed lines and how to add them to a stroke, but what about dotted lines? They look great with badges or emblems, even on your printed sticker, so let me show you in this Illustrator tutorial how to create those pretty dotted lines.

Step 1

First open up Adobe Illustrator and create a circle with the ellipse tool (L). Set the fill to none and the stroke to black. The thickness is up to you.

dottedline_0008_step 1

Step 2

Next create another circle in the center of the first one, make it smaller and then set the stroke width to 5pt.

Tip: Create a copy of the first circle by using the shortcut CMD(Ctrl) + C +F (copy in front) and then resize it with the Transform Tool.

dottedline_0007_step 2

Step 3

Now select the inner smaller circle and check “Dashed Line” in the Stroke Panel. For the dash value put 0 and for the gap value but 9pt. Then select the Cap option “Round”. Now you have your first dotted line. Play around with the gap vlue to see which look you like and also play with the stroke value. You might like smaller dots or bigger dots.

dottedline_0006_step 3

Step 4

Then create another circle but bigger on the outside.

dottedline_0005_step 4

Step 5

Then repeat Step 4 and add another circle, just a bit bigger. We will now add some effects.

dottedline_0004_step 5

Step 6

Go to Effect > Distort & Transform > ZigZag. Here set the Size value to 10pt, the Ridges per segment value to 4 and select “Smooth“. We now have a wave line circle. Since Effects in Adobe Illustrator are live effects, you can always change the value via the Appearance Panel.

dottedline_0003_step 6

dottedline_0002_step 7

Step 7

Next we will make a copy of the wave circle and make it a bit bigger. The we need to expand the appearance by going to Object > Expand Appearance. Then we will add another dotted line, just like we did in Step 3.

dottedline_0001_step 8


Here is a final badge I created with dotted lines and some text. Dotted lines are fun and I hope this little tip will inspire you to create some great stuff!


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Simona Pfreundner has been teaching Adobe Creative Suite since 2008 through written tutorials, instructional video courses and classroom teaching. With 15 years experience in the graphic design field as an agency, in-house and freelance designer, her love for art and drawing has enabled her develop an approachable and intuitive style of teaching that helps people learn graphic design software in a fun and easy way.

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