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Chapter 4. PATH TOOLS > Using the Pencil Tool

Using the Pencil Tool

Like the Brush tool, the Pencil tool lets you draw without worrying about placing anchor points or creating handles. The Pencil tool can also be used in the bitmap mode to color pixels. (See Chapter 13, "Working with Pixels.")

To draw with the Pencil:

1.
Click the Pencil tool in the Tools panel 30.

Figure 30. The Pencil tool in theTools panel.


2.
Move the pointer to the Canvas area.

3.
Drag to create a line that follows the movements of the mouse.

4.
Release the mouse button to finish drawing the line.

Tip

Release the mouse button where you started to close the path.

You can soften the look of Pencil lines by turning on the Anti-Aliased option. This adds lighter colors that blend to the background color or background objects. This softens the edge of the line.

Tip

You can also apply anti-aliasing to the edges of objects (see page 117) or to text (see page 159).


To add anti-aliased edges to Pencil tool lines:

1.
Double-click the Pencil tool in the Tools panel to display the Pencil Options 31.

Figure 31. The Pencil Tool Options panel.


2.
Click the Anti-Aliased option to soften the lines created by the pencil 32.

Figure 32. The difference between drawing with the Anti-Aliased option on and off.


Tip

The anti-aliased option creates additional colors in artwork. This can add to the size of the final Web graphic.

Vectors vs. Pixels

I admit it,I love working with vector drawing tools. They're so precise, so mathematical. That's why I love working with the tools in fireworks.

But many people, especially those used to image-editing programs such as Photoshop, find it difficult to get used to working with vectors.

If you absolutely cannot work with the vector tools, you can switch to the bitmap mode. But you'll miss out on some of the power of Fireworks.


The Auto Erase option lets you erase Pencil lines by drawing over them with the Fill color. (For more information on Fill and Stroke colors, see Chapter 7, "Fills" and Chapter 8, "Strokes.")

To use the Auto Erase:

1.
Double-click the Pencil tool in the Tools panel. This opens the Options panel for the Pencil tool.

2.
Click Auto Erase in the Options panel.

3.
Place the Pencil over a path colored with the current Brush color.

4.
Drag the Pencil. The path changes from the Brush to the Fill color 33.

Figure 33. Dragging with the Pencil tool along a path with the Auto Erase option lets you erase the path by coloring it with the Fill color.


Tip

When working in the path mode, the Auto Erase option of the Pencil does not actually change the colors of the previously drawn path. Rather, it creates a new path on top of the first one.

Tip

The Auto Erase option works best when the path is not Anti-Aliased. This makes it easier to position the Pencil over a pixel colored exactly with the Brush color and not a shade created by the anti-aliasing.

Tip

The auto-erase option works best in the bitmap mode. (For more information on using the bitmap mode, see Chapter 13, "Working with Pixels.")

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