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Chapter 3. Creating Graphics > Modifying Shapes with the Sub-Selection Tool

Modifying Shapes with the Sub-Selection Tool

Vector shapes are made up of anchor points connected by line segments. There are two types of anchor points: corner points and curve points. Corner points connect two line segments in a sharp angle such as the corner of a square. Curve points define a curve or positions along a straight line and can be modified with Bézier handles. These handles extend out from the curve point and allow for very precise modification of the shape of the curve. The Sub-Selection tool works hand-in-hand with the Pen tool to create and modify shapes and lines in this way.

FL8DS-2.1A

Use the Sub-Selection Tool to Modify a Shape

1.
Create a simple oval shape using the Oval tool.

2.
Click the Sub-Selection tool in the Toolbar.

The pointer becomes an empty (or white) arrow.

3.
Click on the edge of the shape to reveal the anchor points, and then click on an anchor point to select it or drag a selection rectangle to select multiple anchor points.

The anchor points are the little white squares around the edge of the shape. When selected, Bézier handles appear on either side of the anchor point.

4.
Grab one of the handles or the anchor points themselves and drag it, and then release the mouse.

Did You Know?

You can also use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move selected anchor points. Select one or more anchor points with the Sub-Selection tool, and then press the arrow keys to move the anchor point and its connected lines in the direction of the key you press.


Convert Corner Points to Curve Points

1.
Create a simple rectangle shape using the Rectangle tool.

2.
Click the Sub-Selection tool in the Toolbar.

The pointer becomes an empty (or white) arrow.

3.
Click on the edge of the shape to select it and then click on one of the corner points to select it.

4.
Press Option+drag (Mac) or Alt+drag (Win) the point to convert it to a curve point and create Bézier handles.

Convert Curve Points to Corner Points

1.
Create a simple oval shape using the Oval tool.

2.
Click the Pen tool in the Toolbar.

The pointer becomes a small pen.

3.
Click on the edge of the shape to reveal the anchor points.

4.
Position the pointer over one of the curve points.

A small corner icon appears.

5.
Click on the point to convert it to a corner point.

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