How to Create Zig-Zag Lines in Illustrator

3 simple steps to create zig zag chevron lines in adobe illustrator tutorial screenshots video fast

In today’s tutorial, I’ll be showing you how to make zig zag lines (also called Chevron) in Adobe Illustrator using 3 simple steps. It’s super quick.

You can watch the full video below, or scroll down for written directions with screenshots.

It’s easy to create zig zag lines in Illustrator, and there’s no pen tool required. Have you ever tried using the pen tool to create something symmetrical in Illustrator? Beyond, say, a straight line? Bravo to you if you have! Personally, I find it to be a total pain in the you-know-what.

To achieve a perfect, symmetrical zig zag line, we’ll be using a combination of the Line Segment Tool and the powerful Zig Zag Effect in the Distort & Transform menu bar. So simple, fast, & easy!

I’m going to be using Illustrator Creative Cloud for this tutorial (which is a fancy way of saying that I’m using a cloud-based Illustrator with all the latest & greatest features), but creating zig zag lines is a basic process that can be duplicated in older versions of Illustrator. Keep in mind that depending on which version you’re using, it may require a few additional steps. Some of the tools, toolbars, or various features might be located in a different place, so don’t give up before you have a look around.

How to Create Zig Zag Lines in Illustrator

How to Create Zig Zag Line in Illustrator Step #1: Draw A Straight Line

Choose the Line Segment Tool from your toolbar and drag out a line while holding down the Shift key. Holding shift keeps the line perfectly straight/level.

3 simple steps to create zig zag line in illustrator step 1 draw out a line with the line segment tool easy tutorial

How to Create Zig Zag Line in Illustrator Step #2: Create Peaks

From the top menu bar, select Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Check Preview so that you can see the changes in real-time and get the effect you want.

3 simple steps to create zig zag line in illustrator step 2 choose effect distort and transform zig zag easy tutorial
  • Size affects the height of the line.
  • Ridges per Segment will give us more or fewer peaks.
  • For sharp zig zags, ensure that Corner is selected. Otherwise, if you select smooth, you’ll have wavy lines (like ric rac).
3 simple steps to create zig zag line in illustrator step 3 adjust the size and ridges per segment with the corner option selected tool easy tutorial

When you’re happy with the result, click OK.

How to Create Zig Zag Line in Illustrator Step #3: Adjust the Zig Zag

Using the Selection Tool (keyboard shortcut: V), click on your line. In the top bar, you can adjust the stroke up or down to achieve your desired thickness.

Finished Zig Zag Line in Illustrator | Wondernote

From here, you can adjust the color, or you can select the Zig Zag effect from your Appearance Menu  (if you don’t see the appearance menu, go to the top bar > Window > Appearance. Make your zig zag line taller, shorter, or increase the number of peaks and valleys.

That’s it!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, be sure to follow my Wondernote Youtube Channel, where I create graphic design tutorials using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & more.

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