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Trouble grabbing handles that hide behind anchors.

New Here ,
May 26, 2023 May 26, 2023

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Hi, I'm having trouble accessing (short) handles that hide behind their anchors. I've already adjusted the size of my handles to 100%. Every time I try to grab the handle(s), the anchor highlights instead, and I can seem to grab it without zooming out to 2400%. Is there an easier way to get to those pesky short handles without zooming out every time?

 

BTW... I've googled this question every way I can think of and found nothing, so either this isn't a thing anyone else has ever encountered, and I'm just "special" in the most frustrating way, or it takes the prize for the silliest question ever, and the answer is-- Zoom, you lazy arse! lol. 

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Community Expert ,
May 26, 2023 May 26, 2023

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If there is a stubborn segment along a path with really short or hidden direction handles I might use the Direct Selection tool to select the anchor points on either end of the segment and then take a couple of approaches. One option would be to convert the anchor points to corner points and then use the Direct Selection tool to drag on the path segment to pull the direction handles into view. Another option is using the Scissors tool on the selected anchor points to sever and thus isolate that path segment. Again, the Direct Selection tool can be used to tug on the path to pull the hidden direction handles into view without affecting other parts of the path. Everything can be joined back together quickly using the Direct Selection tool and the Ctrl+J command to join anchor points.

I like using Astute Graphics' Vector First Aid plugin on various kinds of artwork (often customer provided). One feature in that plugin is eliminating short handles in paths among other problems. That one plugin can be a serious time saver.

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Community Expert ,
May 27, 2023 May 27, 2023

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Jane Ericka,

 

Depending on what exactlyu you wish to achieve with the Handle adjustment, you might also consider the possibly far too silly way, Smart Guides being your friends to show you when you are within snapping distance:

 

1) Create a copy of the path and lock & hide the original, maybe after giving it a contrasting colour, see 5);

2) Direct Select the path segment in question to reveal the Hanle at the other end, then with the Line Segment Tool ClickDrag from that Handle into its Anchor Point (snapping to both (Smart Guides saying handle and anchor) to create an auxiliary path that is a copy of it(s length and direction) to be used in 4);

3) Direct Select the path segment in question again and ClickDrag in the relevant direction to reveal the hidden Handle;

4) ClickDrag the other Handle along itself to snap to the end of the auxiliary path (Smart Guides saying handle and anchor) to restore it, then Hide/delete the auxiliary path;

5) Adjust the revealed hidden Handle as desired; it may be convenient to show the the original path so that you can compare the altered shape directly with the original shape directly.

 

You can look up relevant explanations by a search here (empty, ready for insertion, ignore error message), add Illustrator to avoid hits for other applications, choose pages and read/search in them:

https://helpx.adobe.com/search-results.html?q=&scope=%5B%22helpx%22%5D&subscope=%5B%5D&limit=10&star...

 

 

Edit: Hi Bobby.

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