How to Add Multiple Strokes in Illustrator CC

Adding a stroke is one of the fundamentals of Illustrator, but if you want to add multiple strokes in Illustrator, you will need a little more know-how.

Fortunately, with my simple tutorial, you will be able to add as many strokes as you like, both to text and objects, in a matter of seconds.

Video Tutorial

If you’d like to watch me demonstrate this technique and follow along, feel free to watch the video tutorial below at your own pace.


Step-by-Step Tutorial

Want to create an effect like the one below? If you’d rather a text and image based tutorial, go through my specific step-by-step tutorial below to find out how.

Add Multiple Strokes In Illustrator

Step 1 – Select the type tool and click and write out your text on the canvas. If you are doing this with objects, you can skip to step 3.

Step 2 – Select the text with the selection tool, then right click and ‘create outlines’.

Step 3 – With your text or objects selected, go to object > compound path > make.

Step 4 – Once the compound path has been made, select the fill color (bottom left) and choose a fill color with the color picker, then click ok.

Step 5 – Bring up your stroke panel by going to window > stroke.

Step 6 – With your object or text selected, apply a single stroke by adding a weight and playing with the various options in the stroke panel.

Step 7 – Change the stroke color by clicking the stroke color option (bottom) left and using the color picker, as with the fill color previously.

Step 8 – Once a single stroke has been applied, bring up your appearance panel by going to window > appearance.

Step 9 – Select the stroke in the panel and click ‘duplicate selected item’ to create a second stroke.

Step 10 – A duplicated stroke will now appear, which you can change and adjust.

Step 11 – Change the stroke color from the panel, either using the swatches or by manually selecting a color using the new swatch option (bottom right of the swatch panel).

Step 12 – Change the weight of the stroke, found next to the stroke color. I have used multiples of 20 in my example, hence 20px then 40px for the second stroke.

Step 13 – You can repeat this as many times as you like, with as many strokes as you like.

Step 14 – At any time, you can adjust any of the stroke layers by clicking ‘stroke’ in the appropriate panel to bring up adjustable options.


Multiple strokes can create some truly fun, whacky, and hypnotic designs. However, using multiple strokes can also serve a purpose for maps, framing, and highlighting key information, among many other options.

Hopefully, my easy Illustrator tutorial has shown you how to do this, all through the appearance panel, so that you can add, delete, and make changes to as many strokes as you like.

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