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Facing issues while editing a complex artwork with many anchor points? Use the Simplify Path feature in Illustrator to solve your problems related to editing complex paths.
The Simplify path feature helps you remove unnecessary anchor points and generate a simplified optimal path for your complex artwork, without making any significant changes in the original path shape.
Simplifying path gives you the following benefits:
A. The original image B. Image after tracing or importing (maximum anchor points) C. Image after simplifying the path (optimized anchor points)
The unnecessary anchor points are automatically removed and a simplified path is calculated.
A. Slider to reduce anchor points B. Auto-simplify anchor points C. More options
To further simplify and fine-tune the path, use the Reduce Anchor Point Slider. By default, this slider is set to an auto-simplified value. The position and value of the slider specifies how closely the simplified path matches the curves of the original path.
To open the Simplify dialog with advanced options, click More Options ().
Use the Corner Point Angle Threshold slider to control the smoothness of corner points in a path. Move to the left for smoothness and right for sharpness.
Tip: If you want to quickly get smooth corners when the number of anchor points are less, use the Corner Point Angle Threshold slider in synchronization with the Simplify Curve slider.
When you change the anchor points or the corner angle threshold value, Illustrator automatically calculates and shows the number of Original and New anchor points.
Select the Convert to Straight Lines check box to create straight lines between the object’s original anchor points.
If you want to directly open the advanced dialog next time with the current settings, select the Retain my latest settings and directly open this dialog check box.
The corner point remains unchanged when the threshold is at a value greater than the auto-calculated default threshold (90°).
In this example, we'd try to achieve the following using the Simplify Path dialog:
Do the following to get a smooth curve while keeping the opposite curves intact:
To change the amount of smoothing, double-click the Smooth tool and set the following options:
Controls how far you have to move your mouse or stylus before Illustrator adds a new anchor point to the path. For example, a Fidelity value of 2.5 means that tool movements of less than 2.5 pixels aren’t registered. Fidelity can range from 0.5 to 20 pixels; the higher the value, the smoother and less complex the path.
Controls the amount of smoothing that Illustrator applies when you use the tool. Smoothness can range from 0% to 100%; the higher the value, the smoother the path.
A. Corner points with unpaired handles B. Opposite handles paired, resulting in a smooth curve
After you simplify the path, you may want to perform the following tasks: