How To Make Waves In Illustrator

Are you bored of all the straight lines and want to do something more fun? To add to the fun, introduce wavy lines into your work. Need to know how to do so? We’ve got your back!

To make a wavy line, draw a straight line first. Go to the control panel on top > Effect > Distort and Transform > Zig-Zag. In the window that opens, choose the number of ridges and sizes according to your preference and hit OK. 

To learn more about the wavy lines, please continue reading. 

Making A Straight Line In Illustrator

An important prerequisite to drawing any line is learning to draw a straight line. Most other lines build upon this basic component. You may already know this, but read the following instructions to brush up on your knowledge. 

  1. Open a new document.
  2. Select the line tool.
  3. Click on the canvas and hold down the Shift key.
  4. Now drag the cursor across the canvas to make a straight line as long as you like it. 
  5. Release the mouse. 

Making Wavy Lines In Illustrator

Let us get into the real deal that you are here for. There are multiple methods of making wavy lines. Some involve extensive manual work to draw the line with the pen tool, but we think the ideal one is this method we will introduce to you. It helps you stay in control and saves you plenty of time. 

To make wavy lines in Illustrator:

  1. Draw a straight line as long as you wish for your wavy line to be. 
  2. Now select this line.
  3. Go to the control panel on your screen and choose Effect.
  4. In the drop-down menu, go to Distort and Transform. 
  5. In the menu that opens up further, choose Zig-Zag. 
  6. A window will appear. 
  7. The first thing you need to do here is to click on the Preview button to see the changes. 
  8. The line will appear to be a zig-zag line. Choose the Smooth option in the window to turn this into a wave. 
  9. Your wavy line is ready. 

To watch a detailed demonstration of this visually, refer to this Youtube video: 

How To Increase The Number Of Ridges In The Wavy Line In Illustrator?

You may be happier with how wavy the wavy line is. Some people prefer flatter waves, and some prefer higher ones. To change this and change the number of highs and lows in one wave, we will show you how to increase the ridges of the line. 

To do so, follow the steps below. 

  1. Draw a straight line and select it.
  2. Go to the control panel > Effect > Distort and Transform > Zig-Zag.
  3. In the window that now opens, turn on the preview button.
  4. Select smooth to make the line look like a wave.
  5. Now in the settings, look for the section which says “Ridges per segment.”
  6. Increase the number here to as many as you want. 
  7. You can also change the wave size by sliding the slider in front of the Size option. 

Sometimes you may have already drawn a line and may not like it after doing the work. Going back and drawing a new line may compromise the workflow and the artwork. If you wish to change the wavy line after it is drawn, do the following. 

  1. Look for the Appearance option on the right side of your screen. 
  2. Now select the wavy line.
  3. In the series of effects shown, go to Zig-zag and make the necessary changes. 
  4. In the “Ridges per segment” option, choose the number of ridges you wish to add or subtract. 

How To Make Multiple Blended Waves In Illustrator?

  1. Select the wave that you have drawn. 
  2. Hold down the Alt and Shift keys, or the Option and Shift keys, and drag from the wave downwards. 
  3. Move the duplicated wave as far away as you want or as big as your waves look. 
  4. Now, select the Blend tool, or hit the W key. 
  5. Select the two wavy lines. 
  6. There will be multiple blended waves that will appear in between the two original wavy lines that you made. 

How To Add Color To The Wavy Lines In Illustrator?

To add color to the wavy lines:

  1. Select the wavy line that you wish to work on. 
  2. Now go to the tools panel on the left side of your screen. 
  3. At the bottom, look for the Fill option. 
  4. Click on this, and a color picker will appear. 
  5. Choose the color of your choice and make the changes that you prefer. 


Wavy lines add to the geometry and structure of any art piece you are working on. Knowing the correct and easy way of introducing these into work helps greatly, especially when you are a budding artist.