Easy Lined Paper Template PDF In Illustrator CC

With my easy lined paper template, you can create your very own lined paper PDF and print it off as many times as you like. Out of lined paper in your notepad? No problem!

I follow the college-ruled guidelines in this tutorial, but once you know how to do it, you can set the margins and measurements to whatever you like.

Watch the Lined Paper Video Tutorial

Use my easy-to-follow video tutorial below to watch along or continue on to the written tutorial.


Step-by-Step Tutorial

Document Setup

Step 1 – Open Illustrator, go to ‘file > new’, then under the ‘new document’ settings, select ‘letter’ under the ‘print’ options, and make sure your measurements are set to mm. Click ‘create.’

Step 2 – Go to your fill and stroke colors in the bottom left of the left-hand toolbar and remove your fill color and keep your stroke color black (or whatever color you desire).

Step 3 – Go to Illustrator > preferences > general (or ‘file > preferences’ in Windows).

Step 4 – Under ‘units’ set your stroke to ‘millimeters’, then click ‘ok’.

Create Margin Lines

Step 5 – Select the line tool.

Step 6 – Go to ‘view > smart guides’ and make sure your smart guides are turned on.

Step 7 – Using the smart guides to guide you, draw a line the length of the page, holding shift to keep the line at a perfect angle, then release.

Step 8 – With the line selected with the selection tool, go to ‘window > stroke’ to bring up the stroke panel. Set your desired weight, now in mm. For my lined paper, I set my line weight to 0.3mm.

Step 9 – With the line still selected, go to ‘window > align’, select ‘align to’ to ‘artboard’, and left align the line.

Step 10 – With the line now left aligned, go to ‘object > transform > move’.

Step 11 – Set the horizontal position to 32mm, leave the vertical as 0mm, use ‘preview’ to double check the positioning, and once happy, click ‘ok.’

Step 12 – Repeat for the vertical axis. Select the line tool and draw a line the width of the document, again using shift to keep it perfectly straight.

Step 13 – With the line selected, return to ‘window > stroke’ and make sure the stroke is the same as the first line.

Step 14 – With the line selected, again go to ‘window > align’ and with ‘artboard’ selected align your line to the top of the document.

Step 15 – Select the line with the selection tool, and go to ‘object > transform > move’ to return to the move panel. Set your horizontal to 0mm, your vertical to 32mm, and ‘preview’ to double-check. Once happy, click ‘ok’.

Step 15 – Go to ‘file > save’ at any time in the process to save your .ai file.

Create Lines

Step 15 – Create a duplicate of your vertical line. Select it with the selection tool and go to ‘edit > copy.’

Step 16 – Then go to ‘edit > paste in front.’

Step 17 – Return once again to the ‘move’ panel via ‘edit > transform > move’ (make sure the duplicated line is selected), and in the panel, set horizontal to 0mm and vertical to 8.7mm (or whatever spacing you want between each line). Use ‘preview’ to see it in action, and once happy, click ‘copy.’

Step 18 – Use ‘cmd/ctrl d’ to duplicate the lines at the set spacing.

Step 19 – Continue until you reach the bottom of the page.

Step 20 – Select the vertical line with the selection tool, right-click, and ‘arrange > bring to front’.

Change Line Color and Opacity

Step 21 – With the selection tool, highlight the lines you would like to change color or opacity of.

Step 22 – Once selected double click the stroke color (bottom left) to bring up the color picker panel.

Step 23 – Choose your desired color and click ‘ok’. You can also change the opacity in the top bar (see in center: opacity at 100%).

Export as PDF

Step 24 – Once you are happy with your lined paper, go to ‘file > save as.’

Step 25 – Set a save location, set your format to ‘adobe pdf print’, set your filename in the ‘save as’ box, and once ready click ‘save’.

Step 26 – In the ‘save adobe pdf’ options under ‘general’, set your preset to ‘pdf/x-1a:2001’ and leave all other options as they are (unless you added bleed). Click ‘save pdf’.

Step 27 – Finally, locate your newly saved PDF on your computer and double check you are happy with the file.


Simple, easy, and customizable, now you can generate your very own lined paper at home and set the margin and distance size you desire.

Remember, a normal home printer will struggle to print all the way to the edge of the page, even if you set it to print full size. So you probably see a slight reduction in size or a cut-off of the lines before the edge of the page. You can send to a professional printer with bleed if you want professionally printed lined paper.

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