How to Draw a Grid in Illustrator

Written by amanda tromley
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Once upon a time, drawing a grid in Illustrator required drawing and manually adjusting multiple lines. Today, Adobe Illustrator CS5 offers two tools to make drawing grids quick and precise: the rectangular grid tool and the polar grid tool. If you're drawing on the fly and just need a generic grid, you can select the appropriate grid tool and simply click and drag to draw a complete grid. On the other hand, if you need a precise grid, Illustrator's grid tools also offer a lot of control.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Instructions

    Draw a Rectangular Grid

  1. 1

    Select the rectangular grid tool and click on your document to set the reference point. The grid tools are a subset of the line drawing tools in the tool bar. Illustrator shows the line segment tool by default. Click and hold that icon to access the rectangular grid tool.

  2. 2

    Choose a square on the reference point locator in the resulting dialogue box. This is the point from which the grid will be drawn.

  3. 3

    Set the height and width of the whole grid.

  4. 4

    Type in the number of horizontal and vertical dividers you want to appear in the grid.

  5. 5

    Set the skew values if you want the dividers weighted to the top, bottom, left or right side of the grid.

  6. 6

    Click "Use Outside Rectangle As Frame" if you want to replace the outside segments of your grid with a separate rectangular shape.

  7. 7

    Click "Fill Grid" to fill the grid with your current fill colour.

  8. 8

    Click "OK."

    Draw a Polar or Circular Grid

  1. 1

    Select the polar grid tool and click anywhere in your document to set the reference point.

  2. 2

    Select square on the reference point locator.

  3. 3

    Specify the height and width of the grid.

  4. 4

    Set the number of concentric and radial dividers to appear in the grid.

  5. 5

    Specify the skew value to set how the dividers are weighted toward the inside, outside, clockwise or counterclockwise on the grid.

  6. 6

    Select "Create Compound Path From Ellipses" to convert concentric circles into separate shapes and fill alternating circles.

  7. 7

    Click "Fill Grid" to fill the grid with your current fill colour.

  8. 8

    Click "OK."

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