How to Use the Polygon Tool in Adobe Illustrator 

You can find the Polygon tool in Adobe Illustrator in the same menu as the Rectangle Tool. Once you find it, there are two ways to use it. 

  • Select the Polygon Tool, click and drag out the shape on your Artboard.
  • Select the polygon tool, then click once on the artboard to see the dialogue box (edit the Radius and Sides to suit your design needs).

A vector-based program like Adobe Illustrator is great for making custom shapes, and you can create many different shapes using the Polygon Tool.

My name is Rita. I have been using Adobe Illustrator for over five years. The polygon tool is my all-time favorite shape builder tool in Adobe Illustrator because you can create a custom shape with many sides. 

In this tutorial, I will show you how to use the Polygon Tool in a few quick steps.

Key Takeaways

  • You can use the up and down arrow keys to add or subtract sides while drawing a live polygon on your artboard. 
  • The Radius refers to the size of the polygon, and the Sides refer to the polygon’s number of sides. 
  • You can use the Polygon Tool to make a triangle.

How to Use the Polygon Tool in Illustrator: Step-by-Step Guide

The polygon tool allows you to draw shapes with many sides. You can create a polygon shape with up to 1000 sides. You can also create unique custom shapes for designs like logos by editing the polygon shape.

Let’s use the polygon tool in a few simple steps.

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

Step 1: Select the polygon tool

You will not see the polygon tool in the overhead menu or the sidebar. To access the polygon tool, click on the Rectangle tool. You can right-click or double-click the Rectangle tool to see the polygon tool.

Once you select the polygon tool, you can draw a live polygon by dragging the cursor on your artboard or clicking the artboard once to see the dialogue box. Changing the values of the Radius and Sides will determine the appearance of the polygon. 

Step 2: Define the Values

Once you have activated the polygon tool, the next thing is to define the values. You will see the polygon tool dialogue box when you click once on the artboard. 

The polygon tool dialogue box is where you define the values of your polygon shape.

Double-click on the shape to display the dialogue box if you did a live drawing.

Let’s use this dialogue box to set the Radius of our shape and the number of sides.

Can you see that you have to fill in two values? Yes, the Radius and Sides values.

Note: Sides refers to the polygon’s number of sides. Radius refers to the size of the polygon.

Let’s see the difference between these two polygon values in practice. I will set different figures for the Radius and Sides values so that you can see the difference. 

If you want to make a triangle, change the number of sides to 3

Click OK to save your changes (After inputting your preferred figures into the Radius and Sides fields). You won’t see your polygon shape show up if you don’t click OK

Alternatively, you can also directly click and drag on the Artboard to make a polygon. 

Remember we said you can create custom shapes using the polygon tool?

Let’s use the Direct Selection Tool to edit this polygon shape. 

Select the shape with the Direct Selection Tool selected, click, and move the anchor points to adjust the corners. 

You will notice a dialogue box in the overhead menu when you select the shape. Use these tools to customize your polygon.

These options allow you to customize the details of the shape like the corners, lines, etc. You can create beautiful corners like Inverted Round, etc. 

See what I created with the polygon tool.

You can play around with all the settings to see what you can create. 


Are you just trying out the Illustrator Polygon Tool? See answers to some frequently asked questions about the Polygon Tool.

How to change the number of sides in the Adobe Illustrator polygon tool?

To change the number of sides in the Illustrator polygon tool, select the polygon by clicking on it or using the keyboard shortcut V. Go to the overhead menu and click on Shape.

You will see this window pop-up.

Move the slider to the right to increase the sides and to the left to reduce it. You can also type in your preferred number.

How do you know the Radius to choose for my polygon?

Try out a random value, then see if you are okay with the size of your shape. You can continue changing it till you are satisfied.

Alternatively, you can input a random number, and then go back to scale the image to meet your needs.

What is the minimum number of sides a polygon can have in Illustrator?

A polygon cannot have less than three sides. Both in Illustrator or other situations.

Final Thought

The Polygon Tool makes it easy to create beautiful custom shapes. What you achieve with the polygon tool depends on how well you use it. Adjusting the settings, editing the corners, etc. helps you to create a unique shape that you can use to add some personality to your designs.

Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comment section below.

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