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Pen Tool Anchor Points Connection

New Here ,
Dec 22, 2022 Dec 22, 2022

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I'm practicing using the pen tool. I noticed that when I trace a shape, sometimes a segment of an anchor point accidentally gets either deselected or combines with another anchor point, distorting the outline of the shape I'm trying to trace. I'm not sure why it is doing this. I'm using the ALT and CTRL key to do the tracing. I'm also wondering when I am complete tracing, do I still click on the starting anchor point to finish out the shape? I noticed that when I do this, it also either deselects or combines other anchor points. Thanks for your input. 

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Draw and design , Tools

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Community Expert ,
Dec 22, 2022 Dec 22, 2022

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Is it possible that you create a recording of your process where this happens and upload it?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 22, 2022 Dec 22, 2022

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I experienced similar issues, here is what I changed:

  • I put less points and use the bezier curve as much as possible
  • I drew bigger shapes and 'broke' them in smaller part using the Eraser/Scissors/Knife
  • I used locked layers to separate parts that would not do what I want

 

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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2022 Dec 22, 2022

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What kind of shapes are you doing this for? What if it is a complicated shape. Would you still cut it into smaller parts? If so, how do you put it back together and it make one single shape? Do you use the shape builder tool and merge? 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 23, 2022 Dec 23, 2022

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quote

What kind of shapes are you doing this for? What if it is a complicated shape. Would you still cut it into smaller parts? If so, how do you put it back together and it make one single shape? Do you use the shape builder tool and merge? 


By @Christin273676092kqf

 

It depends. There are pathfinder functions in the pathfinder panel, there is the shapebuilder tool and there is live paint. Depending on the situation, you can use either of those.

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Mentor ,
Dec 22, 2022 Dec 22, 2022

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Turn off snap to point. In fact turn off all the snap tos and smart guides.

Lock all the items before you start tracing...

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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2022 Dec 22, 2022

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Where do I go to do this? Is it best practice to turn it off every time I trace using the pen tool? In what circumstance would you use snap tos then?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 23, 2022 Dec 23, 2022

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I would not turn off Snap to point, because it helps you when you need to work precisely. The Smart guides can indeed get in your way when tracing. Both can be found in the View menu.

 

You might want to watch some good tutorials about tracing with the pen tool and piecing together simple shapes. Von Glitschka has some. https://www.youtube.com/user/5166VRG?app=desktop

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Community Expert ,
Dec 22, 2022 Dec 22, 2022

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You said that you are using the ALT and CTRL keys while using the pen tool. Using those two keys while the pen tool is active changes the pen tool to the group selection tool which when you next click will deselect what you've drawn. Holding just the ALT key will change the pen tool to the anchor point tool and holding just the CTRL key will change the pen tool to the direct selection tool. Use the pen tool by itself and your line should get drawn correctly.

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