Modifying an existing pen tool path in Illustrator.

I have a fairly complex pen tool path that I need to modify, and I want to learn how to do that fluently without starting a new path from scratch. Please take a look at  Ai file I've posted, and let me know the correct way to modify my path.


John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

David BruggeCommented:
Hi John!

This image looks familiar.

I'm a little bit confused about your question and the file that you uploaded.

The two control points that the arrows point to are already connected. Are you wanting to eliminate one of the points so that it makes a smoother line?

your pal,
Use the direct selection tool (shortcut is 'A').  The direct selection tool looks like a white arrow.  Then you can select the point, points or control handles for the points.
John CarneyReliability Business Tools Analyst IIAuthor Commented:
Hi David, yes I want to eliminate one of the points so that it makes a smoother line. I'm not sure how I got the points connected because the problem I run into is that sometimes I end up with a gap between 2 points and  Illustrator doesn't seem to allow me to add a point in a gap.  Is there a way to drag one of the points over to the other and close the path.

Here's the file as it was with the gap.

Thanks, David.
David BruggeCommented:
Hi John,

There can be several types of anchor points on a line. I'm sure you are familiar with the corner point that does not have and Bezier controls. Lines that come out of these points go straight in any direction.

And you know about the curve anchor that has the Bezier control point.

[I'm making these names up by the way. I can't find anything in Illustrator Help that tells me their actual name}

This can be either in the middle of a line or the endpoint of a line. The end anchor point has one control point,. The anchor point in the middle of a line also has one control point, but it can be made longer or shorter on each side of the anchor.

You can use the "Convert Anchor Point Tool" located with the pen tools to change from Corner Anchor to curve Anchor and back.

Then there is the "combo point" This point is either a straight line on one side of the point and a curve on the other, or it can be two curve points that act independently of each other.

The reason that I go though all of this is to point out that you CAN move one point on top of another, but it can cause problems.

There are two different approaches that I take. I either delete on to the points and adjust the other, or delete the connecting line between them, select the two points and average them (Ctrl+Alt+J and select "Both") and then connect them (Ctrl+J). Because the two points are EXACTLY on top of each other because of averaging them, a dialogue box will pop up asking me if I want this to be a straight or a Smooth Point. A straight point is your traditional curve point in the middle of a line, a corner point gives you a combo point. If both control points were curved points, you will have a combo of two curbed points. If it one curved and one straight, that is what you will get, etc.

Hope this answers your question.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Illustration Software

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.