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Three Ways to Make a Grid in Illustrator — Like a Boss

Three Ways to Make a Grid in Illustrator — Like a Boss

So you want to make a grid in Adobe Illustrator, but you aren’t quite sure where to begin. Or maybe you’re a bit rusty and need a refresher course.

The first thing you need to decide is what kind of grid will best suit your design needs.

In this tutorial, you will be learning how to make Rectangular, Isometric and Circular Polar grids.

 

Making A Rectangular Grid In Illustrator 

Right-click on the Line segment tool icon, then click on the Rectangular Grid tool icon. Click anywhere on your artboard to open the Rectangular Grid Tool Options Window. Use this window to adjust the size of your grid, as well as the number and skew of the dividers in it. Finalize your measurements by clicking the “OK” button at the bottom of the window.

This grid works well for two-dimensional vector designs and designs that require more detailed layout than average.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a Rectangular grid. 

 

Step 1:

Find and select the Rectangular Grid tool. Look for the Line Segment tool on the toolbar on the left side of your screen. Right-click the Line Segment tool icon and click on the Rectangular Grid tool icon that pops up.

How to Make a Grid in Illustrator Step 1 

Step 2:

Adjust your grid settings. With the Rectangular Grid tool equipped, click anywhere on your artboard to open the Rectangular Grid Tool Options window. Once opened, enter the height and width of your grid under the “Default Size” tab. 

Next, enter the amount of horizontal and vertical dividers your grid should have in their respective tabs. The number you enter should be one less than the number of rows and/or columns you want your grid to have.

You can also use the sliders under the tabs to determine how far the horizontal and vertical lines in the grid will be skewed to one side or another. 

 

Step 3:

Finalise your grid design. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the Rectangular Grid Tool Options window to finalise your settings.

How to Make a Grid in Illustrator Step 3

Making An Isometric Grid In Illustrator 

Make a Rectangular grid as per the steps listed above. Align the grid to the center of your artboard. Press the “V” key to equip the selection tool and use it to rotate your grid 45 degrees. Next, open the Scale window by right-clicking on your grid, then go to “Transform” and click on “Scale…”. Scale your grid horizontally by 100% and vertically by 60%. Finally, use the Scale window to size your grid up to cover your entire artboard.

This grid is most useful for Isometric illustration. 

Here’s a guide to creating an Isometric grid in nine steps.

 

Step 1:

Make a Rectangular grid. To start off your Isometric grid, follow the steps listed above for making a Rectangular grid. Make sure to put a high number of rows and columns in your grid.

How to make a Grid in Illustrator Step 4

 

Step 2:

Open the Align panel. On the menu at the top of your screen, go to “Window”, then click on “Align”. To speed things up, you can also press “Shift+F7” on your keyboard to open the panel.

How to make a Grid in Illustrator Step 5

 

Step 3:

Align your grid. With your grid selected, click the icons under the “Align Objects” section of the Align panel to align your grid to the center of your artboard.

How to make a Grid in Illustrator Step 6

 

Step 4:

Find and select the Selection tool. Look for the Selection tool, located on the toolbar on the left side of your screen. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut “V” to quick-select the tool. 

How to make a Grid in Illustrator Step 7

 

Step 5:

Rotate your grid. While your grid is selected, its border and the dividers running through it should be highlighted. There should also be anchor points visible on and mid-way between the corners of your grid. 

With the Selection tool equipped, hover your cursor outside the border of the grid near any visible anchor point. Hold the “Shift” key while clicking and rotate your grid 45 degrees so it goes from a square shape to a diamond shape.

How to make a Grid in Illustrator Step 8

 

Step 6:

Open the Scale window. Right-click on your grid, then go to “Transform” and click on “Scale…”. This will open the Scale window.

How to make a Grid in Illustrator Step 9

 

Step 7:

Scale your grid. In the Scale window, select “Non-Uniform” and scale your grid horizontally by 100% and vertically by 60%. Next, click the “OK” button at the bottom of the window. 

How to make a Grid in Illustrator Step 10

 

Step 8:

Size your grid up. Right-click on your grid and open the Scale window again. This time, select the “Uniform” option and enter the value of the percentage you need to scale up your grid to cover your entire artboard. It helps to keep the “Preview” option selected while you do this. After you find the correct value, click the “OK” button at the bottom of the window.

How to make a Grid in Illustrator Step 11

 

Making A Circular Polar Grid In Illustrator 

Right-click on the Line segment tool icon, then click on the Polar Grid tool icon. Click anywhere on your artboard to open the Polar Grid Tool Options Window. Use this window to adjust the size of your grid, as well as the number and skew of the dividers in it. Finalize your measurements by clicking the “OK” button at the bottom of the window.  

This method works well for circular designs and infographics. 

Here’s how to create a Circular Polar grid in three easy steps. 

 

Step 1:

Find and select the Polar Grid tool. Look for the Line Segment tool on the toolbar on the left side of your screen. Right-click the Line Segment tool icon and click on the Polar Grid tool icon that pops up.

How to make a Grid in Illustrator Step 12

 

Step 2:

Establish your grid settings. With the Polar Grid tool equipped, click anywhere on your artboard to open the Polar Grid Tool Options window. Like with the Rectangular grid, you can use this window to adjust the size of your grid, as well as the number and skew of the dividers in it.

How to make a Grid in Illustrator Step 13

 

Step 3:

Finalize your grid design. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the Polar Grid Tool Options window to finalize your settings.

How to make a Grid in Illustrator Step 14

 

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Make A Grid In Illustrator

 

How do I keep my grid from getting in the way while I work?

Lower the opacity of your grid so it’s easier to see through and create a new layer under it to work on.

 

Is there another way to place my grid?

Yes. Simply click on your artboard while the Rectangular or Polar Grid tools are selected and drag your cursor until your grid reaches the desired scale.

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