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Drag only one handle out of an anchor point in a path

New Here ,
Mar 28, 2010

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Hi,

I'm wondering how it's possible to drag only one handle out of an anchor point. Sometimes I have a path and some anchor points have only one handle dragged out. Now I want to adjust the other handle _without_ changing the already positioned handle. Is this even possible?

The "convert anchor point tool" does allow me to drag out handles, but only both at a time. This always results in changing the already positioned handle's position.

Thanks

- Sebastian

Hello Sebastian,

You can always use a plug-in such as Nineblock Software's BetterHandles to accomplish this and many other Bezier curve manipulations which are not possible natively in Illustrator.

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Drag only one handle out of an anchor point in a path

New Here ,
Mar 28, 2010

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Hi,

I'm wondering how it's possible to drag only one handle out of an anchor point. Sometimes I have a path and some anchor points have only one handle dragged out. Now I want to adjust the other handle _without_ changing the already positioned handle. Is this even possible?

The "convert anchor point tool" does allow me to drag out handles, but only both at a time. This always results in changing the already positioned handle's position.

Thanks

- Sebastian

Hello Sebastian,

You can always use a plug-in such as Nineblock Software's BetterHandles to accomplish this and many other Bezier curve manipulations which are not possible natively in Illustrator.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 28, 2010

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Sebastian,

You may drag the other handle back into the Anchor Point, and you may Alt/Option drag either handle leaving the other one as it is.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 28, 2010

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ne of the shortcomings of doing this in Illustrator there is no way of getting the handles to act together again without destroying what you have adjusted.

The handles will act independent of each other  until you use the covert anchor point tool which will change the geometry of the path.

This is really a little OT but I guess if you use the command to cut the path at the selected anchor point and then join the two segments you get the handles to work together again with jut a slight adjustment to the geometry of the path. But it would be good if you could just use a command or keyboard command to do so.

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New Here ,
Nov 15, 2014

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THIS IS THE ANSWER!!

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New Here ,
Jul 07, 2020

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Geeezz. I have needed this, thank you!

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LEGEND ,
Mar 28, 2010

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It's just one element of Illustrator's inferior Bezier interface. Too many tool changes; too little functionality. In too many circumstances, you can't adjust one segment without wrecking the shape of the adjacent one. Related to this is the inability to bend a straight segment by dragging its middle, without introcucing an additional anchorPoint.

Remember the convert anchorPoint buttons in the Control Panel. Instead of switching to the Convert tool and dragging, you can select the anchorPoint(s), click the Convert to Curve button, then drag the unwanted handle back into the anchor. Be sure to have Snap To Points turned on, with a higher-than-default SnapToPoint tolerance set in Selection prefs.

Compare to FreeHand:

Convert one, several, or all selected anchorPoints at once. ((Illustrator still can't do all points of a path in one move.)

Choose whether to auto-extend or auto-retract the associated handles.

Click a button to extend / retract just the ingoing or outgoing handle(s), without worrying whether Snaps are on.

AltDrag to pull just one handle out of an anchor.

Bend a straight segment without changing tools.

Connector points to lock tangency between adjacent straight and curved segments.

Do all the above without changing tools; without need for two different selection pointers.

JET

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New Here ,
Dec 13, 2017

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years later response, but yes, this.

Man I use AI daily in the office but I do all my freelance stuff elsewhere simply because anchor point work in AI is clumsy and under developed, the software has a ton of strengths in other aspects, but for raw bezier curves it's underwhelming to put it politely.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 15, 2017

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All these decades, and I have yet to see any other Bezier interface as elegant as FreeHand's.

Back in the early days of the desktop graphics "revolution," FreeHand was actually based on Altsys Fontograher. (which slightly preceded FreeHand).

Adobe acquired FreeHand by buying Macromedia and promptly thereafter just discontinued it. (If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em and kill 'em).  😉

Fontographer eventually became the property of FontLab, which updated it and still sells it alongside FontLab.

And history repeats itself: Take a look at some of the innovative path-drawing and manipulation features in the just-released version VI of FontLab Studio. Some amazing stuff there.

JET

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 15, 2017

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JETalmage  schrieb

Adobe acquired FreeHand by buying Macromedia and promptly thereafter just discontinued it. (If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em and kill 'em).  😉

That's not true. FreeHand was already dead before the Macromedia aquisition.

You don't need to believe me:

R.I.P. FreeHand » Safe from the Losing Fight

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2018

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Here here. It's inexcusable that in its like 30th year of existence, Illustrator is incapable of doing some really simple, obvious things -- like dragging a handle out from a point without disturbing the other handle.

Another operation I tried to do today was merge two overlapping points. Not possible, apparently.

This curve is comprised of separate segments, to create a smooth flowing line. I'd like to merge each of the pairs without having to reshape the line. Evidently not possible. Crimeny.

Adobe should be sued for buying and burying Freehand, a superior tool in so many regards -- still. But hey, without any competition, what incentive does Adobe have to make a passable program great?

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Participant ,
Mar 28, 2010

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Hello Sebastian,

You can always use a plug-in such as Nineblock Software's BetterHandles to accomplish this and many other Bezier curve manipulations which are not possible natively in Illustrator.

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Enthusiast ,
May 31, 2012

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HANDY TIP: When you got an anchor with it's handle connection broken or it's a point with only one handle and you want to convert back to a point with connected handles, snap a helper box (just a rect) to the handle point you want to maintain. Do your conversion. Then use your snapped helper box to snap the respective handle point back to it's previous, exact location.

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New Here ,
May 31, 2012

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with the direct select tool select the PATH, not the anchor point and drag it, this will cause the handles to apear, which then you can mess around with.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 07, 2020

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This is the best answer in the group. Perhaps not the most elegant way for Illustrator to handle it, but this worked perfectly! Thanks Chris!

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