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Double Line Stroke in Illustrator

Blogged in Web Design by Andrew · Sunday April 5, 2009

My girlfriend, the darling over at Spleen Chronicles, was lamenting the lack of line styles in Illustrator today, specifically the ability to put a double-line stroke on a path.  I being a big fat cheater, gave her a way to get the effect she was looking for at the expense of the inside area between the two lines not being transparent.  After the break you’ll find my walkthrough for the double-line stroke, screenshots are from Illustrator CS4, but it is possible to achieve the same effect in CS3 and perhaps earlier.

Step 1

To start off, draw a line with the pencil tool or create a shape.

Step 2

Increase the width of the stroke to accomodate the width of both lines plus the gutter between them, I used 5pt.

Step 3

Next you need to add a second stroke to the line to serve as the gutter.  Click the Add New Stroke button (1), then change the color of the stroke to match your background (2), and set the width to the width you want the gutter (3).  You should now have the appearance of a double line stroke!

Step 4 (optional)

If you’re noticing and annoyed by a faint line at the end, you can change the cap on the gutter stroke to a round cap and it will disappear.

17 Responses to “Double Line Stroke in Illustrator”

  1. Stoke Directorys says:

    Nice little tutorial

  2. k says:

    You can just go object>path>path offset

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks for your suggestion, but that doesn’t seem to quite do what I was looking for. I suppose you could remove the line segments on the ends afterwards and achieve the desired look, but you do complicate future editing of the path as that will leave you with two actual lines to edit.

    • chas says:

      awesome just what I needed as I needed the outer path to be heavier!

  3. JCB says:

    May I ask you a question?


  4. shannon says:

    thank you for the tutorial – it was a big help!

  5. jackcf says:

    This really helped me! I had been trying to do this for ages and after reading this it was done in seconds. Thanks a lot! Jack

  6. Lawra says:

    Thanks, really helpfull

  7. @dalrimple says:

    Thank you!, I've been trying to do lines with arrow heads that have a stroke around them. This technique combined with the effect/path/outline stroke and effect/path/offset stroke works perfectly. Thanks again.

  8. boop says:

    perfect for creating "engraved" fonts, thanks a ton!

  9. Derf says:

    Thank you very much. This is the best way to do it.

  10. davide c says:

    very very very thanks

  11. Andy M. says:

    Thanks a bunch, was having trouble finding the best way to do this.

  12. Bonnie says:

    Loved this tutorial. It's exactly what I needed to do a celtic cross. (I was following another tutorial and got stuck on how to make these double lines). I love the fact that you explained it step by step. So many leave out the smaller details.

    Could you perhaps show us how to make a celtic cross in Illustrator with these double strokes that cross over each other? How do you use the pain tool to remove some of the lines?

  13. aryansao says:


    Nice post. Thanks for sharing such type of valuable article. Keep sharing this type of informative post.

  14. sidraali1213 says:

    really i love this blog and happy to there you share illustrator cs6 free download and its your sharing is best

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