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Library Research Guides

Designing Professional Posters with Illustrator

Learn the six basic tools for designing and creating posters with Adobe Illustrator.

Creating Dotted Lines

For more information on options available in the Stroke Tool visit the Adobe Illustrator Help Center.

Color Resources

Need help choosing colors?


Adobe Kuler allows users to browse and create color themes

Learn how to use the Illustrator color swatches

About Stroke and Fill

A fill is a color, pattern, or gradient inside an object. You can apply fills to open and closed objects and to faces of Live Paint groups.

A stroke can be the visible outline of an object, a path, or the edge of a Live Paint group. You can control the width and color a stroke. You can also create dashed strokes using Path options, and paint stylized strokes using brushes.

The current fill and stroke colors are displayed in the Tools panel.

Fill and Stroke controls

Apply Fill Color to an Object


You can apply one color, pattern, or gradient to an entire object, or you can use Live Paint groups and apply different colors to different faces within the object.

  1. Select the object.
  2. Click the Fill box in the Tools panel or the Color panel. Doing so indicates that you want to apply a fill rather than a stroke.


    Fill Stroke


  3. Select a fill color by doing one of the following:
    • Click a color in the Control panel, Color panel, Swatches panel, Gradient panel, or a swatch library.

    • Double-click the Fill box and select a color from the Color Picker.

    • Select the Eyedropper tool and Alt‑click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) an object to apply the current attributes, including the current fill and stroke.

    • Click the None button  to remove the object’s current fill.

    You can quickly apply color to an unselected object by dragging a color from the Fill box, Color panel, Gradient panel, or Swatches panel onto the object.

Apply Stroke Color and Width to an Objenct


  1. Select the object. (To select an edge in a Live Paint group, use the Live Paint Selection tool.)
  2. Click the Stroke box in the Tools panel, the Color panel, or the Control panel. Doing so indicates that you want to apply a stroke rather than a fill.


    Stroke box


  3. Select a color from the Color panel, or a swatch from the Swatches panel or Control panel. Alternatively, double-click the Stroke box to select a color using the Color Picker.
    If you want to use the current color in the Stroke box, you can simply drag the color from the Stroke box onto the object. 
    Select a weight in the Strokes panel or Control panel.
  4. If the object is a closed path (and not a Live Paint group), choose an option from the Stroke panel to align the stroke along the path:
    •  Align Stroke To Center 

    •  Align Stroke To Inside 

    •  Align Stroke To Outside