The Pencil tool works primarily the same way in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. It lets you draw open and closed paths as if you were drawing with a pencil on paper. It is most useful for fast sketching or creating a hand-drawn look. Once you draw a path, you can immediately change it if needed.
Anchor points are set down as you draw with the Pencil tool; you do not determine where they are positioned. However, you can adjust them once the path is complete. The number of anchor points set down is determined by the length and complexity of the path and by tolerance settings in the Pencil Tool Preferences dialog box. These settings control how sensitive the Pencil tool is to the movement of your mouse or graphics-tablet stylus.
As you drag, a dotted line follows the pointer. Anchor points appear at both ends of the path and at various points along it. The path takes on the current stroke and fill attributes, and remains selected by default.
You don’t have to position the cursor over the starting point of the path in order to create a closed path; if you release the mouse button in some other location, the Pencil tool will close the shape by creating the shortest possible line back to the original point.
You can edit any path using the Pencil tool and add freeform lines and shapes to any shape.
You can tell you’re close enough to the endpoint when the small x next to the pencil tip disappears.
For best results, drag from one path to the other as if you were simply continuing the paths in the direction they were created.
You can tell you’re close enough to the path when the small x disappears from the tool.
Depending on where you begin to redraw the path and in which direction you drag, you may get unexpected results. For example, you may unintentionally change a closed path to an open path, change an open path to a closed path, or lose a portion of a shape.
Double-click the Pencil tool to set any of the following options:
Controls how far you have to move your mouse or stylus before a new anchor point is added to the path. The higher the value, the smoother and less complex the path. The lower the value, the more the curves will match the pointer’s movement, resulting in sharper angles. Fidelity can range from 0.5 to 20 pixels.
Controls the amount of smoothing applied when you use the tool. Smoothness can range from 0% to 100%. The higher the value, the smoother the path. The lower the value, the more anchor points are created, and the more the line’s irregularities are preserved.
Fill New Pencil Strokes
(Illustrator only) Applies a fill to pencil strokes you draw after selecting this option, but not to existing pencil strokes. Remember to select a fill before you draw the pencil strokes.
Determines whether to keep the path selected after you draw it. This option is selected by default.
Edit Selected Paths
Determines whether or not you can change or merge a selected path when you are within a certain distance of it (specified with the next option).
Within: _ pixels
Determines how close your mouse or stylus must be to an existing path in order to edit the path with the Pencil tool. This option is only available when the Edit Selected Paths option is selected.