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Changing Shape of Dots in Adobe Illustrator

written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 7/6/2010

When using Adobe Illustrator, you can change round dots to square dots by using a simple technique. This Adobe Illustrator tutorial gives you step-by-step instructions with illustrations that guide you through the process of changing round dots to square dots.

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    Changing Round Dots to Square Dots in Lines

    Within Adobe illustrator, how to change round dots to square dots can be a discussion that applies to lines. Here you will see how to draw a dotted line with round dots and then convert the round dots into square dots.

    Create a dotted line with round dots.

    1. Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document. Open the "Stroke" window by clicking "Window" on the main menu bar and then click "Stroke." To save time, you can also open the "Stroke" window by holding down the <Control> key while pressing <F10>.

    dots01 2. Draw a straight line. Grab the "Line" tool from the Adobe Illustrator toolbox and draw a straight line. You can hold the <Shift> key down as you draw to make this easy to do.

    dots02 3. Leaving the line selected, set "Weight" to "4" and Click the "Round Cap" option on the right. Check the "Dashed Line" box. Found in the window.

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    At the bottom of the box, type "0." In the "gap" box, type "8." If you need to change this, make sure you set the "gap" to double the value entered in "Weight." You now should have a nice dotted line with round dots.

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    In Adobe Illustrator how to change round dots to square dots takes just a few changes.

    Changing round dots to square dots

    With the line selected, in the "Stroke" window, click the "Butt Cap" option and set the "Dash" field to "4" and leave the "Gap" set to "8." Your round dots have now changed to square dots.

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    Expand and Modify Individual Dots

    If you need to expand the line into dots in Adobe Illustrator, you will have to choose, the "Flatten Transparency" option from the "Object" menu on the main menu bar (choosing the "Expand" option from the "Object" menu won't work). This will allow you to change the colors of each individual dot. Here is how to do it.

    1. With the line you created selected, click "Object" from the menu bar and the select "Flatten Transparency." You can adjust the options in this box if you want to, but in this example, keep the default settings. Click the "OK" button.

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    2. Next, right click on the line and choose "ungroup"

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    3. Right click on the line and click on the "Release Compound Path."

    4. Change the dots as you see fit.

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    In this Adobe Illustrator tutorial you have learned with Adobe Illustrator how to change round dots to square dots in a line and then expand the line so that each dot can be individually modified. As promised at the beginning, learning in Adobe Illustrator how to change round dots to square dots is a fairly simple process.