Illustrator 3.3 [pen tool]

“Working with the Pen Tool”


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  1. Begin by selecting the pen tool in the toolbar to the left.[premium content]
  2. Now click where you would like to begin your path. This becomes the starting point.
  3. The next time you click, you will create the next point on your path. By just clicking, you will create a straight line segment. If you would like to constrain your line to be perfectly horizontal or perfectly vertical (or 45° lines), simply hold down shift while you click the next point.
  4. If you would like to add curvature to your path, click, hold and drag the next point. You will have the opportunity to adjust curvature with the handles you will create. (Note: you can always go back and adjust curvature or add curvature later!)
  5. Practice, Practice, Practice! Working with the pen tool takes time to learn and quite a bit of patience, though it will pay off in the end.
  6. There are several options available while working with the pen tool or with the direct selection tool (white arrow). These options allow you to change the selected anchor points to a corner or to smooth making the line curvy or straight segments. Likewise, it allows you to show or hide handles for selected anchor points (useful for adjusting curvature). You can also remove selected points (removes the point on the curve), connect selected points (connects two points, making two curves into one curve), and cut at selected endpoints (making a new curve between the two selected points).[premium content]
  7. You can add or delete points on a path by using the “Add Anchor Point Tool” or the “Delete Anchor Point Tool.” Both tools are hidden under pen tool in the tool palette on the left.

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