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Anchor Points and Handles

Anchor Points and Handles

I've placed a scan of one of my sketches into AI, used live trace, and expanded the result.  I'm now trying to clean up the tracing -- connect paths, add missing lines, etc.  I'm using the white arrow tool and joining anchor points, then using the handles to adjust the curves in the lines.

All of this is pretty new to me -- I've taken some tutorials a while ago, but never used these particular techniques before.  I find that sometimes I wind up with an anchor point which has only one handle instead of two.  Is there any way I can restore both handles?  (Also, I don't know how I managed to cause the situation with the missing handles.  So I'd love some help with understanding that, too.)

RE: Anchor Points and Handles

Hi, Andrew -- that's a very good explanation of the pen tool, which I'm also not too familiar with.  That sure clears up a lot of conceptual problems I've had.  But I didn't see anything about adding a missing handle to an existing anchor point.  I suppose I could add a new anchor point, which would have two handles, near the old one and then delete the crippled one.  I think this will work, but if there's any other way, I'd like to learn it.

RE: Anchor Points and Handles

...when a point has one handle, it usually means the connecting lines are curved one side of the point and straight on the other... can't really add a second handle directly to a one handle point and maintain the appearance... have to reset the point to a smooth curve either by using the "convert anchor point tool" and manually dragging a point (alt/option key with the pen tool selected)...

...or selecting a point and choosing the "convert selected anchor points to smooth", button on the toolbar. This changes the appearance of the line however... if you need to maintain the original line one side of the point, you have to do it by eye with the "convert anchor point tool", get the line back to where it was, then adjust the new handle as you need...'s a kind of a "one step back, two forward" approach when needing to add handles...




RE: Anchor Points and Handles clarify further my post above...

...when your using the "convert anchor point tool" to create a new handle on a point, as you drag the guide line is visible, but you also still see the old stroke where the line was... is in that same "dragging movement" you need to eyeball it and get the line back to where it was on one side of the point...

...release mouse and adjust the new handle (if required)...



RE: Anchor Points and Handles

The "convert anchor point tool" solved my  problem.  Thanks a bunch, Andrew -- as usual.

RE: Anchor Points and Handles

to make things easier, copy/paste-in-front the curve you're altering and hit ctrl+5 with it still selected- this will make it a guideline and you can edit your curve using it to keep true to your original. Remember; using ctrl+5 you can make ANY line into a guideline...

'There is no LEASH LAW for the IMAGINATION!'

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