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Graph Paper Practice with

Stroke, Selection, and Swatches

This lesson is meant as an exercise in multiple path selections, created dashed lines, adjusting stroke weights, and in creating swatches.




1. Click File=> New to open a new illustrator document. Set the new document to the following:

  • Name: Graph
  • Size: Letter
  • Units: pixels
  • Orientation: Portrait
  • Color Mode: CMYK

2. Make sure your stroke box on your tool bar is forward and black and the fill box is behind.

Click on your grid tool (fourth down on the left side of tool bar with the line segment tool (\). Click and hold on tiny carrot at bottom right.

Click at the upper left of your art board to open the grid options window.

  • Width at 550
  • Height at 550
  • Horizontal is 24, skew is 0
  • Vertical is 24, skew is 0

Click okay and a grid will show up on your art board. Use your selection Tool (V) to move your Grid so that it is

3. Open your color panel and your stroke panel under the menu windows.

4. Using your direct select tool (A) click on the outside line that frames the grid. With the out line of the grid still selected move your cursor over the CMYK spectrum at the bottom. Choose a color of preference or add  a green color that has the color values of

  • c= 90
  • m= 0
  • y= 100
  • k= 0

5. Open your swatch panel. Back on your color panel choose the color swatch that you just created. Using your cursor place
it over the stroke color box and drag down to blank line below the colors in your swatch panel. The color you choose will appear as a new swatch. The new swatch color will be saved with the ai file, and will not be in other document swatch files.

6. Open your stoke palette. Set stroke weight to 4.
You will notice that as your selected line changes thickness the new color green is more evident.

7. Click outside of your stage to deselect. Using your direct select tool with your shift key held down to add to selection select every 5th vertical line inside the grid frame ( do not count the outside frame).

8. While every 5th stroke within the grid is highlighted, open the Swatch palette. Select the new swatch that appears on the swatch palette from step 5.

9. Before deselecting, Set the weight of the stroke to 3 pt.

10. Click select=> deselect. Using your direct select tool with your shift key held down to add to selection, select every 5th horizontal line inside the grid frame (do not count the outside frame).

Set the stroke to a weight of 3 on the stroke palette and the color to the new swatch by clicking the swatch.

11. Using your direct select tool select one of the narrower, black lines either vertical or horizontal. In your menu above click on select >same>stroke color to select all the black lines, or select=> same=> stroke weight to select all the 1pt strokes.

Go to your color panel and set the stroke to CMYK

  • c = 40
  • m = 0
  • y = 50
  • k = 5

Save this stroke as a swatch on your swatch palette.

12. Now you will set the stroke for the highlighted lines to a dashed line. Open your stroke options in your stroke panel by clicking on the carrot on the tab or using the flyout to view all options.. Check dashed line and add different numbers in the dash and gap box. Since we want an regular dashed line, we only need one dash and one gap between them. Try diffferent settings of dash and gap. Also set the cap to the butt, rounded or projecting cap to see which one will suit your graph paper. Deselect to preview at 100 %. Click select=> reselect to reselect and make changes.

Save your AI file!

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