Adobe Illustrator/length of a path


QUESTION: I want to measure the length of a eclipse shape.  Will you please show me how to use illustrator to do this?  I would appreciate your prompt answer.

ANSWER: Hi Tammy.

I don't know what version of AI you're using and it's different in different versions.

There's a ruler tool at the bottom of the tool palette. Sometimes shares a square with another tool so it might be hiding.

There's also a Window called Transform. Window > Show Transform.

Click on your ellipse and look at the measurements in that window and you'll get your exact answer. If the result is shown in units you can't use, I believe you can change the units used to inches or pixels or mm, etc by using the flyout menu on the Transform window.

I can't remember for certain and I don't have a copy of Illustrator on the machine I'm using right now. If you can't change units there, I know you can change them globally in Preferences...

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: My Adode Illustrator CS2 version 12.0.0.  I looked into window> transform but it show heigh and width, not length of the circumderence/ parameter of the path.  No option measurement in tool palette.
Thanks again.  Tammy.

Hi Tammy,

There is no way to find the exact circumference/perimeter of an ellipse. Not in Illustrator... not even in Geometry.

You could use some complex formulas to get an approximation.

That link shows some options for you!


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I can help troubleshoot your Illustrator 9 through CS3 (and most CS4) problems and suggest the best way to get the results you need. Although I can help with some installation issues, my forte is prepress and how to use the tools and functions in the application itself.


I've been a graphic artist for over 20 years. Oh my God, 20 years.

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