How to Use Advanced Pattern Editing in Adobe Illustrator CS6 - dummies

How to Use Advanced Pattern Editing in Adobe Illustrator CS6

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

In Adobe Illustrator CS6, you have more control over patterns than ever before. Once you start your pattern, what if you want to create the perfect repeat? Or what if you want to align your repeated tile in a different offset — like stacking bricks — instead of just tiling one pattern right next to the other? With Illustrator CS6, you can!

These steps show you how to take advantage of the new, powerful Pattern editor. To do so, first create your pattern art. If you don’t have a pattern available, you can use one of the default patterns or locate a sample pattern file at the Dummies website have your pattern, follow these steps:

  1. After you add the pattern to the Swatches panel, double-click the swatch. The Pattern Options panel appears, and the artboard switches to Pattern Editor Preview mode.


  2. Click Save a Copy in the upper-left corner of the screen.

  3. When the New Pattern dialog box appears, type a name to keep a copy of your original Pattern swatch. Click OK.

    Keep in mind that the Save a Copy feature allows you to keep a copy of your original pattern swatch, but you’ll still be editing your original pattern.

    When you click OK, a dialog box appears, indicating that you’ve just created a copy of your original pattern swatch.

  4. Press OK again.

  5. Locate the Pattern Options panel and change the name of your pattern, if you want.

    In this example we changed the pattern name to Fish_Brick, to save a copy before the tile is going to be changed.

  6. Click open the Tile Type drop-down menu and select Brick by Row.

    The artboard displays the change in the pattern repeat.


  7. If you want, you change the default Brick Offset by opening that drop-down list and selecting another option.

  8. You can also edit the size of the repeat by manually entering a size in the Width and Height textboxes.

    Keep in mind that you can return to the original size by selecting the Size Tile to Art check box below at any time.


  9. Change the type of overlap — that is, which item is on top of the stacking order — by using the Overlap section in the Pattern Options panel.


  10. (Optional) Make further adjustments to the pattern and edit the artwork if needed.

    In the lower section of the Pattern Options panel you can control the visual look of the pattern preview you’re seeing, from the amount of copies that you see, to how dimmed the non-original pattern tiles appear.

    You can edit your artwork using the drawing and editing tools, just like you would if you weren’t in the Pattern Editor Preview mode. You can see that a pen path is being created, and the change is reflected in all the pattern tiles instantaneously.


  11. When you’re finished making changes to your pattern, click Done, located to the right of Save a Copy at the top of the editing window.