Illustrator anchor point tool

by Design Workshop Sydney

Adobe Illustrator’s Anchor Point tool is used to modify and edit existing artwork. We show you how it’s used in our Illustrator training courses.Illustrator-anchor-point-tool
In the example here we use the Anchor point tool to modify a basic rectilinear shape to create the road curving over the hillside. First select the Pen tool and click on four points to create an irregular box shape.
Next we choose the Direct Selection tool (the white arrow) to select each of the four points to move them into position, close the the edges of the hillocks.
Now right-click on the Pen tool to reveal several tools stacked behind: the Add Anchor Point tool, the Subtract Anchor Point tool and the Anchor Point tool, previously known as the Convert Anchor Point tool.
We wish to change the sharp corner points in order to create smooth curved lines. Select the last tool in the stack and click and drag on a point to pull out the handles. Note that equal handles are created on both sides of the anchor point. We can further adjust the curve by clicking and dragging with the Direct Selection tool. But we may wish only to change the handles on one side. To do so, press the Alt key on your keyboard (Mac: Option), then click and drag. This effectively breaks the handle into two pieces which can be adjusted separately.
In this way we can create the curved road winding up and over the hill. The opposite effect can be performed by simply clicking on a smooth anchor point to convert it to a sharp corner.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or self-taught, our courses will help you gain self-confidence in your Illustrator workflow, as well as adding to your professional skill-set. See many examples of our Illustrator clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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