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Draw and edit shapes using paths

  1. Illustrator User Guide
  2. Get to know Illustrator
    1. Introduction to Illustrator
      1. What's new in Illustrator
      2. Common questions
      3. Illustrator system requirements
      4. Illustrator for Apple silicon
    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Learn faster with the Illustrator Discover panel
      3. Create documents
      4. Toolbar
      5. Default keyboard shortcuts
      6. Customize keyboard shortcuts
      7. Introduction to artboards
      8. Manage artboards
      9. Customize the workspace
      10. Properties panel
      11. Set preferences
      12. Touch Workspace
      13. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      14. Undo edits and manage design history
      15. Rotate view
      16. Rulers, grids, and guides
      17. Accessibility in Illustrator
      18. Safe Mode
      19. View artwork
      20. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      21. Files and templates
    3. Tools in Illustrator
      1. Tools at a glance
      2. Select tools
        1. Selection
        2. Direct Selection
        3. Group Selection
        4. Magic Wand
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        6. Artboard
      3. Navigate tools
        1. Hand
        2. Rotate View
        3. Zoom
      4. Paint tools
        1. Gradient
        2. Mesh
        3. Shape Builder
      5. Text tools
        1. Type
        2. Type on a Path
        3. Vertical Type
      6. Draw tools
        1. Pen
        2. Add Anchor Point
        3. Delete Anchor Point
        4. Anchor Point
        5. Curvature
        6. Line Segment
        7. Rectangle
        8. Rounded Rectangle
        9. Ellipse
        10. Polygon
        11. Star
        12. Paintbrush
        13. Blob Brush
        14. Pencil
        15. Shaper
        16. Slice
      7. Modify tools
        1. Rotate
        2. Reflect
        3. Scale
        4. Shear
        5. Width
        6. Free Transform
        7. Eyedropper
        8. Blend
        9. Eraser
        10. Scissors
        11. Dimension
    4. Generative AI (not available in mainland China)
      1. Generate a vector graphic using a text prompt
      2. Recolor your artwork using a text prompt
    5. Quick actions
      1. Retro text
      2. Neon glow text
      3. Old school text
      4. Recolor
      5. Convert sketch to vector
  3. Illustrator on the web (beta)
    1. Illustrator on the web (beta) overview
    2. Illustrator on the web (beta) FAQ
    3. Troubleshooting issues FAQ
    4. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the web (beta)
    5. Create and combine shapes on the web
    6. Add and edit text on the web
    7. Apply colors and gradients on the web
    8. Draw and edit paths on the web
    9. Work with cloud documents on the web
    10. Invite collaborators to edit on the web
  4. Illustrator on the iPad
    1. Introduction to Illustrator on the iPad
      1. Illustrator on the iPad overview
      2. Illustrator on the iPad FAQs
      3. System requirements | Illustrator on the iPad
      4. What you can or cannot do on Illustrator on the iPad
    2. Workspace
      1. Illustrator on the iPad workspace
      2. Touch shortcuts and gestures
      3. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the iPad
      4. Manage your app settings
    3. Documents
      1. Work with documents in Illustrator on the iPad
      2. Import Photoshop and Fresco documents
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Create repeat objects
      2. Blend objects
    5. Drawing
      1. Draw and edit paths
      2. Draw and edit shapes
    6. Type
      1. Work with type and fonts
      2. Create text designs along a path
      3. Add your own fonts
    7. Work with images
      1. Vectorize raster images
    8. Color
      1. Apply colors and gradients
  5. Cloud documents
    1. Basics
      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
      3. Share documents for review
      4. Upgrade cloud storage for Adobe Illustrator
      5. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  6. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing and dimensioning
      1. Drawing basics
      2. Edit paths
      3. Draw pixel-perfect art
      4. Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool
      5. Draw simple lines and shapes
      6. Draw rectangular and polar grids
      7. Draw and edit flares
      8. Image Trace
      9. Simplify a path
      10. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      11. Adjust path segments
      12. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      13. Create and edit a perspective grid
      14. Draw and modify objects on a perspective grid
      15. Use objects as symbols for repeat use
      16. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
      17. Measure and plot dimensions
    2. 3D objects and materials
      1. About 3D effects in Illustrator
      2. Create 3D graphics
      3. Map artwork over 3D objects
      4. Create 3D Text
      5. Create 3D objects
    3. Color
      1. About color
      2. Select colors
      3. Use and create swatches
      4. Adjust colors
      5. Use the Adobe Color Themes panel
      6. Color groups (harmonies)
      7. Color Themes panel
      8. Recolor your artwork
    4. Painting
      1. About painting
      2. Paint with fills and strokes
      3. Live Paint groups
      4. Gradients
      5. Brushes
      6. Transparency and blending modes
      7. Apply stroke on an object
      8. Create and edit patterns
      9. Meshes
      10. Patterns
    5. Select and arrange objects
      1. Select objects
      2. Layers
      3. Group and expand objects
      4. Move, align, and distribute objects
      5. Stack objects    
      6. Lock, hide, and delete objects
      7. Copy and duplicate objects
      8. Rotate and reflect objects
      9. Intertwine objects
      10. Create realistic art mockups
    6. Reshape objects
      1. Crop images
      2. Transform objects
      3. Combine objects
      4. Cut, divide, and trim objects
      5. Puppet Warp
      6. Scale, shear, and distort objects
      7. Blend objects
      8. Reshape using envelopes
      9. Reshape objects with effects
      10. Build new shapes with Shaper and Shape Builder tools
      11. Work with Live Corners
      12. Enhanced reshape workflows with touch support
      13. Edit clipping masks
      14. Live shapes
      15. Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
      16. Global editing
    7. Type
      1. Add text and work with type objects
      2. Create bulleted and numbered lists
      3. Manage text area
      4. Fonts and typography
      5. Convert text within images into editable text
      6. Add basic formatting to text
      7. Add advanced formatting to text
      8. Import and export text
      9. Format paragraphs
      10. Special characters
      11. Create type on a path
      12. Character and paragraph styles
      13. Tabs
      14. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      15. Arabic and Hebrew type
      16. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      17. Create 3D text effect
      18. Creative typography designs
      19. Scale and rotate type
      20. Line and character spacing
      21. Hyphenation and line breaks
      22. Spelling and language dictionaries
      23. Format Asian characters
      24. Composers for Asian scripts
      25. Create text designs with blend objects
      26. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    8. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Appearance attributes
      4. Create sketches and mosaics
      5. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      6. Summary of effects
    9. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Slices and image maps
  7. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Place multiple files
      2. Manage linked and embedded files
      3. Links information
      4. Unembed images
      5. Import artwork from Photoshop
      6. Import bitmap images
      7. Import Adobe PDF files
      8. Import EPS, DCS, and AutoCAD files
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator 
      1. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator
    3. Save
      1. Save artwork
    4. Export
      1. Use Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
      2. Export artwork
      3. Collect assets and export in batches
      4. Package files
      5. Create Adobe PDF files
      6. Extract CSS | Illustrator CC
      7. Adobe PDF options
      8. Document info panel
  8. Printing
    1. Prepare for printing
      1. Set up documents for printing
      2. Change the page size and orientation
      3. Specify crop marks for trimming or aligning
      4. Get started with large canvas
    2. Printing
      1. Overprint
      2. Print with color management
      3. PostScript printing
      4. Print presets
      5. Printer's marks and bleeds
      6. Print and save transparent artwork
      7. Trapping
      8. Print color separations
      9. Print gradients, meshes, and color blends
      10. White Overprint
  9. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  10. Troubleshooting 
    1. Known issues
    2. Crash issues
    3. Recover files after crash
    4. File issues
    5. Supported file formats
    6. GPU device driver issues
    7. Wacom device issues
    8. DLL file issues
    9. Memory issues
    10. Preferences file issues
    11. Font issues
    12. Printer issues
    13. Share crash report with Adobe
    14. Improve Illustrator performance

Get started with drawing tools and learn how to create designs and artwork using editable paths.

  Illustrator on the web (beta) is now available for testing and feedback.

Explore new features and share your thoughts.

Note:

The app is available as part of your Illustrator subscription.

Paths and shapes are the building blocks of any artwork or design. You are familiar with shape tools like Rectangle, Polygon, and Ellipse, which allow you to create predefined shapes. With drawing tools like the Quick Pen tool (beta), Pen and Pencil, you can draw freeform paths, smooth curves, and straight lines and create customized shapes. So, let's explore drawing tools and add a hand-drawn quality to your illustrations with ease and precision.

Draw with the Quick Pen tool (beta)

  We'd love to hear from you!

Try the Quick Pen tool (beta) and let us know what you think so we can improve your experience. Open Illustrator on the web (beta)

Play this video to learn how to make shapes with lines and arcs using the Quick Pen tool (beta).

Refer to the keyboard shortcuts that Sarah mentioned in the video as you perform the following steps:

  1. Select the Quick Pen   tool (beta).

    A toolbar appears with Quick Pen tool actions that you can switch as you draw.

  2. Click anywhere on the canvas to set the start point, and then select the actions in the toolbar based on the path you want to draw:

    Toolbar action

    How to draw with it

      

    Click or drag anywhere on the canvas to draw lines.

      

    Click or drag anywhere on the canvas to draw smooth curves or arcs.

      

    Click or drag anywhere on the canvas to draw arcs. 

    Other action

    What it does

      

    Flips the side of the sharp-cornered arc that you draw.

      

    Provides access to actions like Show or Hide toolbar, Reset toolbar, Give feedback, and more.

  3. Drag the   icon from the start or end point of the path to increase or decrease the line or arc length.

  4. Drag the anchor points or the path to edit the object.

  5. To move the Quick Pen toolbar, hover over it until the pointer changes to  , and then drag it.

You can continue drawing from the start or end point of a path. Press Esc, select the start or end point of the path with the Quick Pen tool (beta), and resume your path creation.

Apply more actions in the Quick Pen tool (beta)

When you select the   icon in the Quick Pen toolbar, the following options appear that help you manage and learn more about the tool:

  • Hide toolbar: Hides the Quick Pen toolbar from the workspace. To view the toolbar, right-click the canvas using the Quick Pen tool (beta), and then select Show toolbar.
  • Reset toolbar: Resets the position of the toolbar to its original location on the workspace.
  • Learn more: provides information on how to get started with the Quick Pen tool (beta).
  • Give feedback: Lets you provide feedback on the Quick Pen tool (beta).

To delete a path, select the anchor points, and then right-click the canvas using the Quick Pen tool (beta) and select Delete. Also, you can view all the Quick Pen tool (beta) options when you right-click.

Use the Quick Pen tool (beta) keyboard shortcuts

Action

Windows

macOS

Select the Quick Pen tool (beta)

 Alt + P

Option + P

Switch between each tool action on the Quick Pen toolbar

 Alt

Option

Flip the arc

C

C

Increase or decrease the arc size

[ or ]

[ or ]

Increase or decrease the arc size while using the Trackpad

Ctrl + scroll

Ctrl + scroll

Questions? We have the answers

Sharp cornered arc drawn using the Quick Pen tool (beta).

How is the Quick Pen tool (beta)
different from the Pen tool?

The Quick Pen tool (beta)
allows you to draw and edit lines and arcs effortlessly. You can intuitively draw smooth curves and lines to build any shape.

An arc created with the Pen tool with the anchor and handle highlighted.

Can I continue using the Pen tool?

Yes, select and hold the Quick Pen tool (beta) and then select the Pen tool. You can continue to draw and modify paths and curves using anchor points and handles.

Arc drawn using Pen tool and the Quick Pen tool (beta).

Can I use Quick Pen tool (beta) on a path drawn with Pen tool?

You can continue to draw and edit the same path drawn using the Pen or shape tools with the Quick Pen tool (beta). Select the tool and resume editing easily.

Draw with the Pen tool

The Pen   tool (P) lets you manually draw freehand lines, shapes, and straight or curved edges. You can modify these paths and shapes with anchor points and handles.

Draw a straight line

  1. Click anywhere on the artboard to set the anchor point using the Pen tool.

  2. Move the pointer and click again to draw a line. Press Shift as you click to draw a straight line.

Draw a curve

  1. Drag the Pen tool on the artboard and release it to create direction handles of the anchor point.

  2. Drag again to set the slope of the curve segment, and then release.

You can add or delete anchor points on the path and adjust the handles of a smooth point using the Pen tool:

  • Add anchor point: Select anywhere on the path when the pointer shows this   icon.
  • Delete anchor point: Select the anchor point when the pointer shows this   icon.

Draw with the Pencil tool

  1. Select the Pencil   tool (N) and drag it on the artboard to draw a freeform path. Press Shift as you drag to draw a straight line.

  2. To set the smoothing of the Pencil tool as you draw, select the   icon and use the slider to choose a value that works the best.

Pro tips and tricks

  • Hover over a tool to view a short clip and tip on how it works.
  • Position the tool over the first anchor point, and then click to close the path.
  • Perform actions directly on the canvas using the Contextual Task Bar displayed when you select the path using the Direct Selection   tool.

Finalize your artwork

You can also take your artwork to Illustrator on the desktop and refine it by selecting the Open in desktop app button. Once your artwork is complete, select Share > Publish and export to save it in other formats (PNG, JPEG, AiT, Ai, PDF, and SVG) and share it with anyone, anywhere.

Have a question or an idea?

Ask the Community

If you have a question to ask or an idea to share, come and participate in Adobe Illustrator on the web (beta) Community. We would love to hear from you and see your creations.

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