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Draw and edit 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

Learn how to use Pen, Pencil, Brush, Eraser and Direct Selection tool in Illustrator on the iPad to easily draw and edit your vector artwork.

Take your vector drawing and painting to the next level with Illustrator on the iPad and Apple Pencil. Illustrator's popular drawing and painting tools – Pen, Pencil, Paint Brush, Blob Brush, Eraser – will provide you a smooth and precise design experience on the iPad. It's very simple to find and use them – they are available in your left toolbar just like Illustrator on desktop. For details, see Illustrator workspace on the iPad.

Draw and paint

Drawing and painting tools

Draw with Pen tool

  • In the left toolbar, tap the Pen tool  .
  • To create an anchor point, tap on artboard to create corner points or tap and drag to create smooth points. While working with the Pen tool, you can also adjust the handles of a smooth point without changing to a different tool.

Useful tips and tricks

To use the primary touch shortcut, touch and hold the touch shortcut circle. To use the secondary shortcuts, touch and hold the shortcut, then drag your finger or thumb to the outer ring. For more information on the touch shortcuts, see Touch shortcuts and gestures

Here are some handy touch shortcuts that you can use with the Pen tool:

  • Break handle pairing: When drawing with the Pen tool, activate the primary touch shortcut and drag the handles of an anchor point to break the pairing. 
  • Add anchor points: Tap anywhere on the path to add a point. You can reposition the new anchor point using a secondary modifier.
  • Delete anchor handles: Select the end of a direction handle, then select Delete in the Taskbar on the right to remove the anchor handle.
Break handle pairing

  • Move a point along a path: To move an anchor point along a path when drawing, enable the secondary touch shortcut (outer circle ring).
  • Convert corner to a curve: Double-tap on points to convert points from corners to curves and vice versa. 

 When drawing with the Pen tool, you can use keyboard shortcuts to control anchor points.

See also: Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool in Illustrator on the desktop.

Draw with Pencil tool

  1. In the left toolbar, tap the Pencil tool  .
  2. To draw a free path, drag the Pencil tool freely on the artboard.
  3. If you hold while drawing and then continue from that point, you create a corner point.
  4. If you press the primary modifier anytime while drawing with the pencil tool, you create straight lines at 45˚ or 90˚.
  5. If you press the secondary modifier while drawing with the Pencil tool, you can create freeform straight lines.

Set smoothing for Pencil

To set the smoothing of the Pencil tool, tapat the bottom of the toolbar. 

Simply specify a smoothing value or use the slider to choose a value that works the best for you. The minimum smoothing is 0 and maximum is 10, which means smooth curves.

Smoothing for Pencil
Pencil smoothing at 0 and 10.

Draw with Paint Brush tool

Use Paint Brush tool to stylize the appearance of paths. You can apply brush strokes to existing paths, or you can use the Paint Brush tool to draw a path and apply a brush stroke simultaneously.

The different types of brushes are displayed in the Paint Brush tools panel: Document, Art and Calligraphic. You can achieve the following effects using these brushes:




Collection of default brushes for new or existing paths.


Create strokes with artistic patterns on new or existing paths. 


Create strokes that resemble those drawn with the angled point of a calligraphic pen and are drawn along the center of the path.

USe paint Brush tool

Paint Brush tools panel
Paint Brush tools panel

Here's how you get started with the Paint Brush tool   :
  1. Double tap   and select   to use the Paint Brush tool.
  2. Choose a brush from the All section in the tools panels.
  • Add your favorite brushes to the Favorites section.
  • Click to create your own art or calligraphic brush.

Create your own Brush

Create document, art or calligraphic brush.

Here's how you create your own brush:
  1. Tap   to select the object you want to use as a brush.
  2. Tap    and then click + at the bottom of the Paint Brush tools panel.
  • Add new Art Brush: Set the parameters like Brush Scale Options, Directions and Colorization and then click Save Brush to create your new Art Brush.
  • Add new Calligraphic Brush: Set parameters like Roundness, Angle, Size and Pressure dynamics and then click Save Brush to create your new Calligraphic Brush.

Apply brush style to a path

Apply document, art or calligraphic brush.

Here's how you apply brushes on the path:
  1. Tap   to select the path you want to apply brush on from the artboard.
  2. Tap   to choose a brush as Document, Art or Calligraphic.
  3. Tap    on the right toolbar to modify the appearance and stroke of the brushes using the Properties section.

Add to Favourites

Here's how you add a brush to your favorites:

  1. Tap   on the toolbar on your left. 
  2. Tap again to choose   and avail the Paint Brush tools panel.
  3. Click the Art or Calligraphic brush option you want to add.
  4. Click on the star icon to save your selected brush in the Favorites section.

Paint with Blob Brush tool

Use the Blob Brush tool to paint filled shapes that you can intersect and merge with other shapes of the same color.

Blob brush
Blob Brush settings

How's how you get started with the Blob Brush tool:
  1. In the left toolbar, double-tap or long press the Pencil tool. The Blob Brush tool   is displayed in the nested tool group. Click Blob Brush.
  2. Choose the brush type or roundness in the options that are displayed after you select the Blob Brush tool. The default brush type is Basic round (8 pt).
  3. To create a point on the artboard, tap on the artboard. Drag the anchor points to edit them.

See also: Blob Brush in Illustrator on the desktop.

Set the size for Blob Brush

To set the size for Blob Brush, tap at the botom of the toolbar. Type a size (in points) or use the slider to choose a size that works the best for you. The default size is 8pt.

Set smoothing for Blob Brush

To set the smoothing of the Blob Brush, tapat the bottom of the toolbar. 

Simply specify a smoothing value or use the slider to choose a value that works the best for you. The minimum smoothing is 1, which means zero smoothing, and the maximum is 100, which means smooth curves.

Stroke Smoothing in blob Brush
Stroke Smoothing in Blob Brush

To learn how to set smoothing effect in Blob brush while or after drawing a stroke, see Manage app preferences.

Set Blob Brush options

Blob brush
Blob Brush options

 To view brush settings, click the  icon on the toolbar that is displayed when the Blob Brush tool is selected.

In the Brush settings,

  • Roundness: Sets the roundness of the brush. Drag a black dot in the preview away from or toward the center, or enter a value in the Roundness text box. The higher the value, the greater the roundness.
  • Angle: Determines the angle of rotation for the tool. Drag the arrowhead in the preview, or enter a value in the Angle text box.
  • Pressure dynamics: Specify the pressure for your stylus (Apple Pencil) to draw dynamic brush strokes. The thickness of your brush strokes changes according to the pressure you apply on the stylus when drawing your iPad. See also: Manage app preferences.
  • Merge brush strokes: Tap this option to merge the new strokes drawn over existing ones, if they have the same fill color.
  • Taper ends: Control the impact of brush stroke and modify the begining and end of brush strokes.

Modify taper ends

Follow the below steps to modify the Taper ends:

  1. Tap Taper ends to view more options.
  2. In Taper mode, select Length or Velocity based on how you want to control the impact of your brush strokes. 
  3. Drag Begin Taper or End Taper sliders to modify the beginning and end of brush strokes.

Edit with Eraser tool

For quick editing, Eraser tool is available upfront in the toolbar. Tap  to use the Eraser tool. To set the size of the eraser, specify the size in the Eraser size option at the bottom of the toolbar or choose a value using the slider.

To use the Eraser tool, drag over the area you want to erase.

See also: Eraser tool in Illustrator on the desktop.

Edit path with Direct Selection tool

To view anchor points on a path, tap   on the toolbar. 

With the Direct Selection tool, you can easily create angles and curves in your designs or change the path direction.

When you select an anchor point, a contextual widget showing common actions is displayed on the canvas. Tap the following options in this widget to quickly edit the path directly from the canvas. Alternatively, you can tap an anchor point and choose these path editing options from the taskbar.

See also: Adjust path segments.

Edit path using contextual options

To edit the path, use the Heads Up Display (HUD) that appears on selecting the path or use the path editing options by tapping in the taskbar.

Illustrator on iPad
Edit path options

A.) Cut Path: Tap this option to delete the anchor point on the path to cut the path. See also: Cut, divide, and trim objects in Illustrator on the desktop.

B.) Convert to Curve: Tap an anchor point and then tap this option to convert the connecting path into a curved line.

C.) Convert to corner: Tap the anchor point and then tap this option to convert the curved path into a corner point. The path joining this anchor point will convert into straight lines.

D.) Join path: Tap this option to join two paths together through an anchor point. See also: Join two or more paths in Illustrator on the desktop.

E.) Simplify path: Tap this option to remove unnecessary anchor points and generate a simplified optimal path for your complex artwork, without making any significant changes in the original path shape. See also: Simplify a path in Illustrator on the desktop.

F.) Smart delete: Tap an anchor point and then tap this option to delete the anchor point without breaking the path. The path is auto-joined with the nearest anchor point.

G.) Delete: Tap the anchor point and then tap this option to delete the anchor point.

Delete an anchor point

See also: Edit paths in Illustrator on the desktop.

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