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How to Draw a Circuit Resistor with Adobe Illustrator

© Ugur Akinci

Resistors are common components of many electrical circuit diagrams.

Here is how you can draw a good-looking resistor in Adobe Illustrator:

(1) Draw a straight line with the Pen tool and select it.

(2) Select Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag from the main menu to display the Zig Zag dialog box:

zigzag2

(3) If the zigzag looks a bit flat (as in the above example), increase the size (from 10 to 16 in this example):

zigzag3

(4) Click OK to close the dialog box.

(5) Select Object > Expand Appearance to add anchor points to all the line segments.

(6) Reselect the PEN tool and add straight line segments to the end of the zigzag.

TIP 1: Bring pen close to the end segment and when you see a minus (-) sign appear next to the pen icon you can click add the line smoothly.

TIP 2: Press Ctrl+Shift+A when done with one end of the zigzag and shifting to the other end of the image.

zigzag4

This looks kind of okay except for the fact that the ends of the resistor should be on the same line passing through the center of the resistor.

Here is how you can adjust that:

(8) Press Ctrl + R to display your rulers. Then pull down a horizontal guideline to the center of the resistor:

(9) Select Direct Selection Tool (A). Click on the anchor points of the straight end lines and then pull them up or down to the guide line:

zigzag6

(10) If necessary, select the Selection Tool (V) and shrink or expand the overall length of the resistor, to give it a more pointed or flattened appearance:

zigzag7

And you’re done!

Now you can insert your resistor horizontally or vertically (rotate 90 degrees) into your circuit drawing.


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