How to Create a Triangle in Adobe Illustrator

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Illustrator may seem complicated at first, but it’s easy once you know the basics.


make-a-shape-with-a-ruler

Adobe Illustrator is the go-to tool for creating any digital art. While it sounds intimidating, this handy tool is pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it.

Since Illustrator is a vector program, learning to create shapes in Illustrator is a necessary skill. In this tutorial, we’ll teach you exactly how to create a triangle in Illustrator. There are different ways, as you will see below.

How to Create a Triangle in Illustrator: Getting Started

To get started, open a new document with Adobe Illustrator. The software allows you to choose from the available presets with parameters suitable for the medium for which the illustration will be.

For example, the RGB color the preset is best suited for digital artwork, while CYMK color works best for prints. Raster effects determine the resolution of effects and raster filters.

Since you will only be doing simple shapes, a Screen (72ppi), which works for raster images for web pages, would suffice.

To open a new document:

  1. Open Adobe Illustrator.

  2. Click on Create a new. A pop-up window with document presets will open. You can choose the medium for which you will use the illustration, for example the Web, To print, and Art and illustration. Once you have chosen the size you prefer, select Create.

    Adobe Illustrator Create a new document

If you want to make a perfect triangle or a triangle with one side and 90 degree angle, we have to use the Rectangle Tool in the Tools panel.

  1. Select the Rectangle Tool. Click and drag on the artboard to create a rectangle.

  2. Go back to the Tools panel and choose the Pen tool. Click on it to display the shape’s anchor points. These are solid blue squares that determine the shape of the object.

  3. Hover your mouse over one of the anchor points. You should see a () appears. Click it anchor to delete it. Removing an anchor point will turn your rectangle into a triangle with a 90 degree angle.

    Adobe Illustrator removes anchor point from rectangle to create perfect triangle

To note: If you don’t see a bounding box around the shape, go to the menu bar, choose View> Show bounding box. If you don’t see the magenta smart guides, go to View> Smart Guides.

Look for the Rectangle Tool in the Tools panel on the left. Select it and choose it Polygon Tool. There are two ways to create a triangle with this tool:

Option 1: Tap and drag to create a polygon. Look for the side widget on the bounding box that controls the number of sides of the polygon. You should see a (+/) appears when you hover the mouse over it. Drag the side widget to collapse the sides to three.

adobe illustrator Polygon Tool Manually adjust sides

Option 2: Choose the Polygon Tool, then select your artboard. A context menu will appear – enter Three on the Sides entry field.

Adobe Illustrator Create Triangle with Polygon Tool, Contextual Side Number Options

Related: How to Crop an Image in Adobe Illustrator

If you want to take full control of the size of your triangle, you can create one manually with the Pen tool.

  1. Select the Pen tool from the Tools panel.

  2. Click on the artboard to add your first point.

  3. Drag anywhere on the screen and click to add two more points. You can also hold the Change touch to constrain the line to 45 degrees, making sure your lines aren’t at an odd angle.

  4. Connect the last line to your first point by hovering over it. Once the word anchor is displayed, click on it to connect it to the existing anchor point.

    Adobe Illustrator Draw a triangle with the Pen tool

How to change the appearance of the triangle

You have the option of changing the appearance of the shape by giving it a solid color or an outline. You can also increase the thickness of the outline, as well as create rounded edges.

Make a solid shape

Change the look of your shape by changing the fill and outline of your shape. To create a solid color, choose the Properties tab and select the sample next to Fill under Properties. Choose your desired color.

Adobe Illustrator creates a solid shaped triangle with color fill

You can choose a different color for the outline using Hit. If you don’t want an outline on your shape, tap [None], or the white sample with a red slash.

Create a drawn triangle

To draw the outline of a triangle, go to the Properties tab once again. But this time press [None] for the fill and choose the desired outline color from the swatch for Hit.

Related: Cool Illustrator Effects You Can Use To Create Interesting Wallpapers

Round the edges of the triangle

There are widgets that look like tiny targets at each corner of the shape. Drag the widget while the shape is selected to create rounded corners.

Adobe Illustrator Round Triangle's Corner with side widgets

Create endless varieties of shapes with Illustrator

With Adobe Illustrator, you are not tied to a single shape. Find out what you can do with the tools above, and learn more about Adobe Illustrator’s tools to create even more complex illustrations!


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