I need help in Illustrator getting my pen tool handles back! They disappeared and I havent been able to get them back on. I click on the anchor point and nothing is happening....
What are your preferences set to? Did something happen since you last had them and now that you don't see them? And the obvious, you are talking about smooth versus corner points that don't have handles.
I was looking at preferences but what would even affect the anchor points being seen? Im using the direct selection tool to tap the anchor to see the handles... but nothing stays selected.
Which tool are you using?
Is it possible that you inadvertently pressed cmd/ctrl+H to Hide Edges? In which case, pressing that combination again will fix the problem.
Edit: I suppose that if you had you couldn't see anchor points, either. Sorry.
That allowed me to see the anchor points but I still can't see the handles...
If you are using the normal/black Selection Tool, no Handles.
If you are using the Direct/white Selection Tool, the Handles ought to show, unless you are holding Alt/Option. Or unless Illy (job description Adobe Illustrator) thinks you are holdeng Alt/Option, in which case you may need to delete/move your Preferences.
Ok what exactly do I need to change in the preferences? I am using the white selection tool and tap the anchor point and I usually see the handles pop up, but I must've pressed something by mistake....
What I believe we may be looking at is a corruption, presumable of the preferences. You can look at the list (truncate to leave out irrelevant parts) and try, including some easier step to start with.
If things that should work simply refuse to (all possibilities exhausted including the A) - C) below (and carefully making sure you are performing (all) the needed things)), you may try (the relevant part(s) of) the list 1) - 8 ) below.
Sometimes, (certain) things may fail or stop working for no apparent reason. When the (other) possible reasons/cures fail to work, it may be some kind of (temporay or permanent) corruption, or even some inconvenient preference setting(s), which may be cured with something on the following list set up in an attempt to provide a catchall solution for otherwise unsolvable cases. It starts with a few easy and harmless suggestions 1) - 3) for milder cases, and goes on with three alternative ways 4) - 6) of resetting preferences to the defaults (easily but irreversibly and more laboriously but more thoroughly and also reversibly), then follows a list 7) of various other possibilities, and it ends with a full reinstallation 8 ). If no other suggestions work, or if no other suggestions appear, you may start on the list and decide how far to go and/or which may be relevant.
The following is a general list of things you may try when
A) The issue is not in a specific file,
B) You have a printer correctly installed, connected, and turned on if it is physical printer (you may use Adobe PDF/Acrobat Distiller as the default printer with no need to have a printer turned on, obviously you will need to specify when you actually need to print on paper), and
C) It is not caused by issues with opening a file from external media.
D) It is not caused by other applications (you may close down/disable everything else running, including browsers and antivirus, then try again). There are quite a few usual suspects that may disturb and confuse Illy (job description Adobe Illustrator) so she moves in mysterious ways (even more than usual, some would say).
You may have tried/done some of them already; 1) and 2) and 3) are the easy ones for temporary strangenesses, and 4) and 5) and 6) are specifically aimed at possibly corrupt/inconvenient preferences); 7) is a list in itself, and 8 ) is the last resort.
If possible/applicable, you should save current artwork first, of course.
1) Close down Illy and open again;
2) Restart the computer (you may do that up to at least 5 times);
3) Log out of your Adobe account and log back in;
4) Close down Illy and press Ctrl+Alt+Shift/Cmd+Option+Shift during startup (easy but irreversible);
5) Follow the instructions here: https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/setting-preferences.html#setting_illustrator_preferences. You can also take a backup of the folders in case you want to. Location is mentioned in the article.
6) Move the folder (follow the link with that name) with Illy closed (more tedious but also more thorough and reversible), for CS3 - CC you may find the folder here:
Even more seriously (this may be serious because you may need to restore plugins and whatnot afterwards if you have customized things), you may:
8 ) A) Uninstall (ticking the box to delete the preferences if applicable), B) run the Cleaner Tool (if you have CS3/CS4/CS5/CS6/CC), and C) reinstall. You may try without step B), but sometimes it is needed, because otherwise things may linger.
As it appears from this thread, it may be worth repeating this if it fails to help the first time:
Before looking at a corruption, I'd rather be looking at a screenshot.