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Chapter 6. Nodes and Paths

Chapter 6. Nodes and Paths

You use the Shape Tool (Figure 6.1) to manipulate an object's nodes. Nodes are the small, hollow squares that appear on an object's path immediately after the object is drawn or when it has been selected with the Shape Tool (Figure 6.2). A line segment is the line that connects a pair of nodes.

Figure 6.1. Select the Shape Tool from the Shape Edit flyout or press.

Figure 6.2. Nodes appear on an object's path when it's selected.

Nodes may appear to be of no consequence, but, in fact, they are very powerful. You use the nodes to manipulate specific line segments of an object's path, enabling you to make intricate changes to the object's shape. For coarser changes, you can manipulate the line segments.

When you select the Shape Tool, the pointer changes to a triangular, black arrowhead. When you use the Shape Tool to select a node, two things happen: the node changes from hollow to black, and one or two control points attached to the node by levers become visible (Figure 6.3). Control points determine the curvature of the segments of a path. Levers are visual representations that tell you which control point or points go with which node.

Figure 6.3. When you select a node with the Shape Tool, its control points become visible.

In order for a path segment to be bent, it must have control points. If a path segment is not bordered on either side by a control point, the path segment will be straight. A node can have between 0 and 2 control points.



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