View Full Version : Illy, outline object: What does it do?

Oct 28, 2006, 08:04 AM
I can't figure this one out at all. I cannot see any difference apart from the little sign appearing in the 'Appearance' palette.

I'm not talking about 'Outline Stroke' in the Object>Path menu but Effect>Path>Outline Object and Outline stroke. I can't see any difference at all when I apply these effects.

Blue Velvet
Oct 28, 2006, 10:53 AM
Apparently, it creates a compound path as an effect to type although I can't quite grasp how it works after a couple of minutes of playing with it.

The Create Outlines command (and the same command as an effect--Outline Object) lets you turn type into a set of compound paths that you can edit and manipulate as you would any other graphic object. Create Outlines and Outline Object are useful for changing the look of large display type, but they are rarely useful for body text or other type at small sizes.

vaguely unhelpfully from Illustrator Help

Oct 28, 2006, 10:55 AM
Object->Expand Appearance will give you a better idea of what really happens.

Blue Velvet
Oct 28, 2006, 11:03 AM
Object->Expand Appearance will give you a better idea of what really happens.

OK, but if it's a destructive change, then how does it differ from vanilla 'creating outlines'? Still unsure what a real-world use this would have... maybe I'm slow today. :o

Oct 28, 2006, 11:18 AM
It's mostly useful for imported objects, e.g. from Photoshop, to turn them into more normal paths. And yeah, it's mostly redundant with other commands. One thing you can do with it (if you don't expand) is drag the attributes around among different objects.

Oct 29, 2006, 03:17 AM
OK thanks for that explanation. But even reading the illy bible and the help files I'm still not 'getting' this. I see now when it is expanded that it is in fact an outline... so you apply the filter and it creates and outline *but* you can't see this outline if you don't expand and you can't stroke it or even know that it is there unless you look in the attributes palette...

Oct 29, 2006, 08:50 AM
Here's one semi-practical example. Make a new canvas and drag in a bitmap object with transparency (your 'tar will do). Try to drag an item from the brush palette to it, nothing happens. (it's there, just invisible).

Now, select the angry little apple, copy and place in front. Effect->Path->Outline Object on the new copy, and the stroke appears.

Oct 29, 2006, 09:16 AM
Whoa, that's fantastic, much appeciated. I'll probably never use that one but at least I'll be able to die happy. I've decided to find out about all the bits of illy that I sort of ignore because I'm convinced I end up doing a lot of stuff the hard way.

OK so that was 'Outline Object', got that, I'll see if I can work out what the 'Outline Stroke' is myself.

I'm getting an illy lesson on one browser window, a physics lecture on another while watching India get spanked at cricket in a third. Isn't this the best time to be alive?

Oct 29, 2006, 11:32 PM
outlining stroke is just turning the stroke (measure in stk weight) into an actual object. So instead of a 1 or 2 pt stroke, it turns that stroke into an actual vector object instead of just a line with a stroke value applied to it.

the nice thing with outlines is, say, with type... creating that type into outlines, makes it so its printable without adding the fonts to the document. its just another shape as far as a printer is concearned, no longer a font file (although once outlined, its no longer "editable" as type).

Oct 29, 2006, 11:56 PM

Yes, that's 'Outline Stroke' for the Object>Path menu but what's the difference between that and the Outline Stroke under the Effect>Path menu? which also has ouline object as explained above by iMeowbot. The transparent gif refered to above, was an 'object' but what is this 'stroke' that can be outlined as opposed to the ordinary stroke that gets outlined under the 'Object' menu? I mean you can't stroke the Effect> 'Outline Stroke' until it is expanded but once expanded it's the same as using the Object>Outline stroke, it seems.

Oct 30, 2006, 12:09 AM
I was looking around to see if anyone had a real live practical use for the effect version of Outline Stroke, and trapping seems to be the big one. And that one won't show up on the screen either :D