Learn the basics of using the drawing tools in Adobe Illustrator, including how to use the Pencil and Curvature tools, how to edit paths, and more.
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What you learned: Paths and curves
- Paths are made of anchor points that connect with line segments.
- You select paths for editing with the Selection tool in the Tools panel. A bounding box appears around the entire path for transforming.
- The Direct Selection tool in the Tools panel is used to select anchor points and paths.
- A curved path is controlled by an anchor point with direction handles. The direction handles control the shape of the curve.
- Shapes are closed paths because all the anchor points on the path are connected.
What you learned: Draw with the Pencil tool
- Click and hold the Paintbrush tool in the Tools panel and select the Pencil tool in the menu that appears.
- Double-click the Pencil tool to set tool options.
- Drag in the document to create a path with the Pencil tool.
- As you draw, return to the beginning of the path to close it and make a shape.
- Position the Pencil tool on the path to redraw part of it. Drag to redraw, ending back on the path.
- To draw a straight path with the Pencil tool, Alt-drag (Windows) or Option-drag (macOS).
What you learned: Draw with the Curvature tool
- Select the Curvature tool in the Tools panel.
- Click to set anchor points in a path. The anchor points create curved paths by default.
- To create a straight path with the Curvature tool, double-click to set an anchor point, or double-click an existing anchor point to make the path straight.
- To add points to a path, move the pointer over the path. When a plus (+) appears next to the pointer, click to set a point.
- To move anchor points, drag them.
What you learned: Edit paths
- Select the Selection tool in the Tools panel. Click or drag across a shape to select it.
- Select the Direct Selection tool in the Tools panel to edit the anchor points of a path. Click the edge of a path to show its anchor points. Drag an anchor point to see its effect on the shape. Drag a path to adjust the curve if it’s part of a curved path. Drag a path to move the path if it’s part of a straight path.
- Select the Curvature tool in the Tools panel to edit existing paths. Double-click an anchor point to convert from a straight path to a curved path and back. Move the pointer over a path and click when a plus (+) appears next to the pointer to add an anchor point.
What you learned: Join paths
- Select two paths and choose Object > Path > Join to join the ends closest to each other.