How to Change Brush Size in Adobe Illustrator

You can change the brush size in Adobe Illustrator by using the bracket keys, the brush tool option, and the stroke tool in the properties panel.

The brush tool comes in handy when you want to stylize your artwork. The brush tool’s custom features like color, shape, and size allow you to experiment with your design.

Choosing the right brush is vital to making the most of the brush tool. Although there is no brush size option in the toolbar, there are three easy ways to change your brush size.

Hi, I am Rita. I have been using Adobe Illustrator for over five years. The brush tool is one of my favorite tools in Adobe Illustrator. I love to use the brush tool to add a touch of personality to my designs.

In this tutorial, I will show you three quick ways to change the brush size in Adobe Illustrator with screenshots.

Note: All screenshots are taken from Adobe Illustrator CC Windows Version. Mac or other versions may appear different. 

Method 1: Keyboard Shortcut

You can use the keyboard shortcut (brackets) to change the brush size in Adobe Illustrator. This method helps you work faster especially if you are using different brush sizes.

Step 1: Select the Paintbrush tool from the toolbar or hit B on your keyboard.

Step 2: Press the [ key to reduce the brush size and ] to increase it.

When pressing either of the bracket keys [ ], you will notice that the circle around the brush increases or decreases based on the action taken.

Method 2: Brushes Panel

You can change the brush size in Adobe Illustrator using the Brushes panel. 

Step 1: Click on Window>Brushes from the overhead menu. The brush settings dialogue box will pop up. You can use these settings to customize your strokes.

Step 2: Go to the hidden menu on the brushes panel and select Brush Options. The brush settings dialogue box will pop up.

You will notice a slider for the brush size. Move the slider according to the size that you want.

You can click on the preview box to see how your stroke looks if you are changing the size of a stroke you created earlier.

Note: This method may not be suitable if you want to change the size of a single stroke. When you change the size from the brush options all stroke sizes will be changed.

Method 3: Change the Stroke Size in the Properties Panel

This method of changing brush size is hands-on if you want to change the brush size of a specific stroke.

Step 1: Select the brush stroke.

Step 2: Go to the Properties panel > Appearance > Stroke. You can change the size of your stroke by clicking the drop-down menu or by typing it in point units.

The default size is usually 1pt, but you can either select common options by clicking on the arrow. You can see that I just changed my stroke to 5 points.


Changing the brush size in Adobe Illustrator is easy. In case you are still not clear, see the answers to questions you might want to ask.

Can’t change the brush size in Adobe Illustrator: what to do?

There are a couple of reasons why the brush size in Illustrator won’t change. First, you may be changing the brush size from the wrong place.

For example, if you click on the brush tool twice from the icon, a window will pop up. There is an option to change pixels.

If you drag the slider, the changes will not affect the brush size. Follow any of the methods above to change your brush size.

You may also be trying to change the size of the brush by clicking on the stroke. Selecting the stroke and using the keyboard shortcut won’t work.

Rather select the stroke and use the stroke option in the properties panel.

How to change the brush color in Illustrator?

You can change the brush color by selecting the stroke and going to the overhead menu to change the stroke color. A color palette will open when you click on the stroke icon. You can select your favorite color from there.

Final Thoughts

What you paint with a brush is called a stroke. So, a brush size is also called a stroke size. The three methods for changing brush size in Illustrator are best for different situations.

If you want to change a particular stroke, selecting the stroke option in the Properties panel is the best option. If you are going to change your brush size while you draw, then the keyboard shortcut is the best option.

Which of the methods did you like the most? Let us know in the comment section. 

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