Drawing

Edit a Path

Choose the View Mode

Objects in your document can be displayed with all their features or as wireframes.

In many cases, the regular view mode is convenient for editing a path. If you prefer a clear view when no strokes, fills or other effects are visible, you can activate the Outline Preview mode by selecting View > Outline Mode in the main menu.

Object is not selected
An object is not selected
Path is selected in Normal mode
Object's path is selected
Path is selected in Outline Preview mode
Object's path is selected in the Outline Preview mode

Select a Path

To work with a path or anchor point, you should select it. You can select either the entire path, or an individual anchor points, or all anchor points.

To select the entire path, click on it with the Selection tool Icon of the Selection tool. You can also click on the object's stroke or even fill area depending on what is visible and easier to reach.

The Selection tool lets you select a path by drawing a selection frame around it. To do this, place the mouse pointer over an empty space. Press the left button and move the mouse towards the object. Once the selection frame touches the path, the latter becomes selected. Notice that you can select several paths in this way. Also notice that this method selects all anchor points that you outline.

Select Anchor Points

In order to select an anchor point, select the path first. Then click on the anchor point with the Selection tool. To select several anchor points Shift-click on each of them.

You can select multiple anchor points using the selection frame as explained above.

Sometimes it may be difficult to select certain anchor points using the selection frame because anchor points that shouldn't be selected also appear inside the frame. If there are only few of those that were selected unintentionally, you can deselect those anchor points by Shift-clicking on them.

The Lasso tool Icon of the Lasso tool can help you select anchor points when the selection frame is not effective. Outline one or multiple anchor points that you want to select with Lasso. The tool lets you select extra points in addition to those which are already selected. To do this, press and hold the Shift key before using the Lasso tool.

Controls of the Selection Tool

The Control panel displays the following options when the Selection tool is activated.

Controls related to the Selection Tool

1 - Convert a selected anchor point to the corner point type.

2 - Convert a selected anchor point to the smooth point type.

3 - Delete a selected anchor point.

4 - Link anchor points with a straight segment.

5 - Cut the path at a selected anchor point. The tool does not create any visible gap because the ends of the path will coincide at the cut point.

Add an Anchor Point

  1. Activate the Pen tool Pen tool icon.
  2. Click on the Add Point button Add anchor point button in the Control panel.
  3. Click on a path where you want to add a new anchor point. Adding an anchor point will not change the shape of the path.

Delete an Anchor Point

You can use either the Pen or Selection tool to delete anchor points.

Delete an Anchor Point Using the Selection Tool

  1. Activate the Selection tool Icon of the Selection tool.
  2. Select an anchor point.
  3. Click on the Remove Point button Delete anchor point button in the Control panel in order to delete the selected anchor point.

You can select multiple anchor points using the Selection or Lasso tool in order to delete them together.

Delete an Anchor Point Using the Pen Tool

  1. Activate the Pen tool Pen tool icon.
  2. Click on the Remove Point button Add anchor point button in the Control panel.
  3. Click on an anchor point that should be deleted.

The tool can link end points of the same path, or end points of two independent paths. In both cases, the points will be connected with a straight segment.

To close a path, select it with the Selection tool Icon of the Selection tool. Then click on the Link button The Link option of the Selection tool..

To link two independent paths, make sure that none of them is closed. Using the Selection tool Icon of the Selection tool, select one end point of each path that should be linked. Then click on the Link button The Link option of the Selection tool..

Set the Type of an Anchor Point

Anchor points can be of smooth or corner type.

To set the type of an anchor point:

  1. Activate the Selection tool Icon of the Selection tool.
  2. Select an anchor point.
  3. Choose one of the Convert options in the Control panel.
    Butoons to convert a smooth anchor point to corner, and vice versa

You can also convert an anchor point to another type while the Pen is activated. It has the Convert buttons as well.

Finally, you can turn a smooth point to a corner point by changing the angle between the direction lines from 180 degrees to any other angle. To do this, use the method described in the Adjust Direction Lines of a Corner Point subsection.

Manipulate Direction Lines

You can change the length and angle of direction lines using the Pen and Selection tools. To do this, drag the respective direction point to a new position. The difference between the two tools will be explained further.

You should select an anchor point in order to access its direction points. If a selected anchor point displays neither direction lines nor direction points, read the Show Direction Lines of a Corner Point subsection.

It is possible to move one or two direction points at the same time. By manipulating only one direction point, you can change the angle between direction lines attached to the same anchor point. In this way, you will convert the latter to a corner anchor point. By moving both direction points synchronously, you can keep the angle between the direction lines equal to 180 degrees. As a result, the anchor point will remain of the smooth type. Note that the second case is possible only if the original anchor point is smooth.

Adjust Direction Lines of a Smooth Point

Activate the Selection tool Icon of the Selection tool. Select an anchor point. Place the cursor over one of the direction points, press the left mouse button, and drag aside. In this way, you can adjust the length of the direction line whose point you are moving, and also, you can change the angle of both direction lines. The anchor point will remain a smooth point.

Adjusting a direction line of a smooth point.

Adjust Direction Lines of a Corner Point

Activate the Selection tool Icon of the Selection tool. Select an anchor point. Place the cursor over one of the direction points. Holding down the Opt key, press the left mouse button, and drag aside. In this way, you can adjust the length and angle of the direction line whose direction point you are moving. The other direction line will not be affected.

Adjusting a direction line of a corner point.

If you use this technique against a smooth anchor point, you will convert it to a corner point.

The same result can be achieved using the Pen tool Pen tool icon. You should activate the tool and select the Button that lets you manipulate direction lines. option. Drag a direction point in order to adjust the angle and length of its direction line.

Show Direction Lines of a Corner Point

Direction lines become visible when you select an anchor point. However, direction lines may not be visible when the direction points are located exactly over the respective anchor point. This makes the length of the direction lines equal to zero. This is true for corners of a polygon.

Direction lines are not visible
Corner point at the top of the shape
Smooth point displays its direction lines
Smooth point at the top of the shape

You can drag a direction point off its anchor point in order to work with direction lines. By doing this, you will set the length and angle of the direction lines.