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Chapter 4. PATH TOOLS > Modifying Paths and Points

Modifying Paths and Points

As you draw paths, you may find that you need to add or delete points. You may discover that you need to change a straight line into a curve or vice versa. Fortunately, the Pen tool not only creates points, it can also modify them — even as you are still drawing the path.

Tip

You cannot use these techniques on rectangles unless you first ungroup them.


To add points to a path:

1.
If you are not currently working on the path, use the Subselection tool 37 to select the path. (See Chapter 5, "Selecting Paths" for more information on working with the Subselection tool.)

Figure 37. The Subselection tool in the Tools panel.


2.
If not already active, choose the Pen tool and position the cursor on the segment where you want to add the point. A plus sign (+) appears next to the cursor 38.

Figure 38. Click with the Pen tool to add a point to a path.


3.
Click. A new point appears.

To delete points from a path:

1.
If you are not currently working on the path, use the Subselection tool to select the path.

2.
If not already active, choose the Pen tool and position the cursor over the point that you want to delete. A minus sign (-) appears next to the cursor 39.

Figure 39. A selected point on a path can be deleted by pressing the delete/backspace key.


3.
Click. The point is deleted.

Tip

If the anchor point has control handles, you must first click to delete the handles, then click again to delete the point.

Tip

Hold the Shift key before you click with the Pen to override the add points or delete points features of the Pen tool 40. Hold the Shift key after you click with the Pen to constrain the movements of the Pen tool.

Figure 40. Hold the Shift key as you use the Pen tool to continue drawing a path without adding or deleting points.


You can also use the Pen tool to change between the two types of anchor points: corner and curved. For instance, you can change a curve point into a corner point.

To convert a curve point:

1.
Position the Pen tool over the point you want to convert. A small caret (^) indicates that the point will be converted 41.

Figure 41. Click with the Pen tool to convert a curve point to a corner point.


2.
Click. The Bézier handles of the point retract.

It's a little trickier to convert a corner point into a curve point. This is because you have to ignore the delete point icon.

To convert a corner point:

1.
Position the Pen tool over the point you want to convert. Although the minus sign appears, ignore it. You are not going to delete that point.

2.
Press and drag (do not click) with the Pen tool. Bézier handles will appear as the point is converted into a curve point 42.

Figure 42. To convert a corner point to a curve point press and drag with the Pen tool to extend the Bézier handles. (Ignore the minus sign.)


Tip

You can also hold the Shift key to avoid the minus sign.

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