The Width Shape Tool in Illustrator can be used to create some very interesting shapes and icons. And it just plain cool to use, and easy too. I had done a previous post on using the Width Shape Tool in one of my posts on creating a wood-block effect but this post is about the Width Shape Tool and what it can do.
The Width Shape Tool works only on lines and paths and can create variable width lines. I call it the Chicken on a Skewer since that is what it looks like.
The first line is just a line. Second and third lines have a zig zag effect applied to it to show how the Width Shape Tools works on smooth curves or lines/path with corner points.
Using the Width Shape Tool click on the end of a line and 2 lines will come out of the point.
This line has rounded ends that give the ends a bulb when the width is varied.
With the Zig Zag effect applied to the line, you can use the Width Shape Tool and the effect will be change as well.
If the line or path has curved point, the entire line will be adjusted when using the Width Shape Tool.
If the line or path has corner points, with Width Shape will only adjust to the corner and not the entire line or path.
Any point along a path can have a point landed to adjust the width. Select the line or path with the Selection Tool then select the Width Shape Tool and click anywhere on that line.
Several point can be added to the line.
These width profiles can be saved for later use. In the Control Bar next to the line width, there is the Line Profile drop down menu. Click on the hard drive icon at the bottom of the width profile menu to save a profile.
Lines with end caps can create some interesting effects.
This is the same line with no end cap, rounded end cap and a full capped end.
To control the points using the Width Shape Tool, click on the point that was created by the Width Shape tool with the Width Shape Tool.
This is the dialog box that you can enter in measurements to control the line width.
Here are 4 lines created with the Width Shape Tool with rounded caps.
To change the shape just on one side of the line, hold OPTION to pull the width off to one side. Default is pulling the handles creates equal width on both sides of the line.
This is a curved shape with a taper to zero at one end.
Take the shape and rotate and copy it around at a 45° angle then duplicate the rotate to form the shape.
This is selected with the Direct Selection Tool and the the corners are changed to create a different shape.
A set of "lollipop" shapes nested together, created using the Width Shape Tool.