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Offset Paths in Illustrator

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#1
Sam Pepple

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My task is representing scenic byways on top of a road network; I copy the necessary road, paste in front, then change the specs of the line. That seems easy and intuitive enough, but I don't want the byway line to sit directly on top of the roads. Instead, I want the byway to sit at the right side of the line (somewhat butted up against it) . *roads appear white 1pt. byway is orange dashed square butts

I can think of a few ways of doing this:
I can cut the line up into pieces of similar directions and bump it over the width of my line, then rejoin all pieces
I can laboriously move anchor points (see attached a).
Or most preferentially, I can use the Offset Path tool to bump the whole byway over without having to cut or join any lines. The problem is the product of the offset path tool is two lines, one on each side of my road (see attached b); I only want the one on the right side, but can't find anyway to get around this. All of the tutorials on the web are mainly for using offset path to create special effects with the text (which really makes me cringe

Attached File  a.png   170.24KB   58 downloads
Attached File  b.png   64.51KB   64 downloads

#2
Matthew Hampton

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I think you are on the right track with your last option. I recall a rather elegant description of solving a problem like this on Cartotalk that required the use of outlining (a thickened) stroke and using the pathfinder tool to remove part of the line.

I'll try and hunt around for the post...

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#3
Adam Wilbert

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After applying your offset path, you could try Object>Expand Appearance then a couple of snips with the Scissors Tool and delete the side that you don't want.

Adam Wilbert
CartoGaia.com & AdamWilbert.com
Lynda.com author of "Up and Running with ArcGIS"


#4
Sam Pepple

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Adam.

Thanks so much. That did the trick. Brilliant!

#5
Hans van der Maarel

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I could have sworn there was a post by Nick a few years ago showing how he made coastal vignettes. There was a way to add mutliple strokes to a line and then offset them to a certain direction. On the other hand, it could just as well have been an area, which would be a different story. Anyway, I tried to search for the post but couldn't find it.
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#6
ELeFevre

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I could have sworn there was a post by Nick a few years ago showing how he made coastal vignettes. There was a way to add mutliple strokes to a line and then offset them to a certain direction. On the other hand, it could just as well have been an area, which would be a different story. Anyway, I tried to search for the post but couldn't find it.



I believe this is the thread you are looking for: Coastal Vignettes Google search to the rescue (site:cartotalk.com "coastal vignettes") for reference!




#7
Hans van der Maarel

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I believe this is the thread you are looking for: Coastal Vignettes Google search to the rescue (site:cartotalk.com "coastal vignettes") for reference!


I did find that one, but it's not the one I remember (or... think I remember...)
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#8
Matthew Hampton

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I haven't been able to find it either - but was thinking that if you did the trick that Adam mentioned - you could save the linework as a Graphic Style and re-use it without having to offset and clip a bunch of times.

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#9
pfyfield

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An alternative method I sometimes use is to copy the line and paste in front, make that line twice the thickness I want, outline the stroke, then use the outline tool in Pathfinder to "break" the outline where it intersects the original line (I loose all symbology too, but that's easy to fix). Then delete the side of the outline I don't want and join the rest into a polygon.
Paul Fyfield
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