"Expand Appearance" does not expand my blend tool results
Ive created the below highlighted graphic using the line tool, then applying arrowheads. I used the blend tool to create the in-between lines but needed the lines to be individually editable. Any reason why expand appearance messes up my arrowheads?
Drew, there are several Expand operations in Illustrator, and it’s easy to get confused with them, because they all are named in a similar fashion.
'Object > Expand Appearance' here will turn your complex appearance into a set of simpler objects. So you live arrowheads and live adjusted dashes get converted into real circles and series of connected lines. So 'Expand Appearance' disassembles complex appearance into a simpler appearance.
'Object > Expand' should convert complex objects into simpler objects. Strokes to fills, blends to arrays of copies, gradient fills to flat fills or meshes. But notice that here you can’t use this command, it’s grayed out! This happens (and I can’t agree with that, I'll explain why below) because you use complex appearance, arrowheads specifically. Illustrator can’t expand strokes before you expand appearance, because it may alter the appearance.
But what to do then?
Use 'Object > Blend > Expand'! Normally 'Object > Expand' on a live blend does the same, but here Ai gets confused with arrowheads. This will make your blend into an array of intermediate steps as lines, with live appearance, which you later can expand with 'Expand appearance', AFTER you expand the blend.
See, the problem is that when you Expand Appearance first, the blend stays live (Expand Appearance never expand blends, as stated above, it’s a different aspect). So now Ai have to blend your expanded adjusted dashes and separated arrowheads — and because these new shapes don't exactly match, the blends goes awry.
TLDR: first expand blend, with the dedicated command, and the appearance after to have consistent result.
Does it help you to solve the problem?