Editing path segments works similarly in Adobe applications. You can edit a path segment at any time, but editing existing segments is slightly different from drawing them. Keep the following tips in mind when editing segments:
If an anchor point connects two segments, moving that anchor point always changes both segments.
When drawing with the Pen tool, press Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) to temporarily activate the last used selection tool (Illustrator) or the Direct Selection tool (InDesign and Photoshop) so that you can adjust segments you’ve already drawn.
When you initially draw a smooth point with the Pen tool, dragging the direction point changes the length of the direction line on both sides of the point. However, when you edit an existing smooth point with the Direct Selection tool, you change the length of the direction line only on the side you’re dragging.
- Drag the anchor point to the desired position. Shift-drag to constrain the adjustment to multiples of 45°.
In Illustrator or InDesign, if you’re simply trying to make a rectangle wider or narrower, it’s easier to select it with the Selection tool and resize it using one of the handles on the sides of its bounding box.
- To adjust the position of the segment, drag the segment. Shift-drag to constrain the adjustment to multiples of 45°.
- To adjust the shape of the segment on either side of a selected anchor point, drag the anchor point or the direction point. Shift-drag to constrain movement to multiples of 45°.
You can also apply a transformation, such as scaling or rotating, to a segment or anchor point.
- To create a corner point, position the Pen tool where you want to end the new segment, and click. If you are extending a path that ends at a smooth point, the new segment will be curved by the existing direction line.
In Illustrator, if you extend a path that ends in a smooth point, the new segment will be straight.
In InDesign, you can also use the Pathfinder panel to join paths. To close the path of an open path, use the Selection tool to select the path and click Close Path in the Pathfinder panel. To close the end points between two paths, select the paths and click Join Path. You may want to click Join Path a second time to join the second endpoint.
Illustrator CS5 provides the option to join two or more open paths. To join one or more open paths, use the Selection tool to select the open paths and click Object > Path > Join. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J (Windows) or Cmd+J (Mac).
When anchor points are not overlapping, Illustrator adds a line segment to bridge the paths to join. While joining more than two paths, Illustrator first looks for and joins the paths that have end points stationed closest to each other. This process is repeated until all paths are joined. If you select only one path to join, it is converted into a closed path.
In this process, you may lose complex aspects of your art styles.
The output path has the appearance of the topmost path in the selection.
The join option only results in a corner join regardless of whether you select anchor points to join or the entire path. However, for overlapping anchor points, if you want the option to select a smooth or corner join, then use Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J (Windows) or Cmd+Shift+Option+J (Mac OS).
In Illustrator and InDesign, you can change the distance of a nudge by changing the Keyboard Increment preference. When you change the default increment, holding down Shift nudges 10 times the specified distance.