Have you ever needed to offset an open path in Adobe Illustrator and after running Illustrator’s Object > Path > Offset Path… function, needed to clean up a lot of extra paths? It happens to me, too, several times a day, sometimes several times per hour. Or at least it used to!
The ToolShed plugin now includes a menu item Object > Offset Open Path… that lets you offset an open path with another open path, just as it did through about version 6, and on nearly all other illustration or CAD software. Create additional offset paths by increasing the “Number of offsets” and see the result of your settings with the help of a live preview before you commit to the changes. Fine tune your values by pressing the arrow up or down keys along with shift, Alt/Option, and Ctl/Cmd modifiers for larger or finer steps. You can even customize the values of those steps to save in your preferences, working in points, mm, inches, whatever your preferred measurement among Illustrator’s options.
There’s even an option to choose “Offset mirroring” to add offset paths to both sides of a path.
For even quicker results, try the Path Offset tool to drag an equidistant path and use the up and down arrows to add intermediate steps or Alt/Option to mirror offsets to both sides of a path. If the modifier keys are too cumbersome to remember, optional context-sensitive help text following the cursor can remind you of your options.
It also works on closed paths, so it can serve as your all-purpose path offset tool. Of course, this is in addition to the six other functions already bundled in ToolShed at the same insanely low price!
It’s only $15 for an individual license for all tools in the ToolShed plugin, or free for Productivity Pack licenses.