# Symmetrical objects: how to edit them?

New Here ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Hello!

Let's say I want to make a heart shape: I draw a half and then reflect it.

Now: I want it to be a closed shape AND I want to edit the curves symmetrically, but I can't find how.

First I found there is a "Global Edit" function that allows me to edit the two parts symmetrically (see here: YouTube video), but this is not a closed shape.

Then I found I need to average and join the overlapping points: I made so, it is now a closed shape, but I lose the symmetrical editing!

What can I do?

Even though the Global Edit feature introduced in CC 2019 wasn't meant to be used for this but it turns out it gives us a new method to draw in symmetry and ...
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Engaged , Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021
Shepard Hi. To move your handles at the same time and keep your anchor in the same place. Helpful to turn on Smart Guides, Direct select your anchor with Direct Selection tool.Switch to the Scale tool, move your handles wherever you want. K

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Shepard,

Given your closed symmetrical shape, you can use good old ways to work with corresponding Anchor Points and/or segments, such as these, each time time starting out with the object deselected and being able to see what you are doing while doing it:

To move up/down, you can ClickDrag over a pair/set of corresponding Anchor Points/segments with the Direct Selection Tool and ShiftClickDrag up/down or use the up/down Arrow key.

To move apart/together, you can ClickDrag over a pair/set of corresponding Anchor Points/segments with the Direct Selection Tool and then switch to the Scale Tool and ShiftClickDrag either out/in.

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New Here ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Hi Jacob,

that's what I thought of, too, but I don't seem able to select the two handle and move them together! 😞

Think of my heart made of just two points with curvature: I want to modify the curvature by moving handles, the anchor should stay where they are.

Can you help?

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New Here ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Unfortunately, there is no way to edit handles in a symmetric fashion once they are pulled out. Also you can not edit the handles of more than one anchor point. However, I would suggest adding another two anchor points in the paths to adjust the curvature.

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New Here ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Oh, man!

So there's no solution?

Any suggested workflow? Should I make all the editing one-sided and then reflect it?

BTW: it very difficult to post here!!! Many times "Post button" has no effect, I have to play with preview and post a little, than it works!

Some times it says

"Your post has been changed because invalid HTML was found in the message body. The invalid HTML has been removed."

But I have no HTML!

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New Here ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Engaged ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Shepard Hi.

To move your handles at the same time and keep your anchor in the same place.

Helpful to turn on Smart Guides, Direct select your anchor with Direct Selection tool.

Switch to the Scale tool, move your handles wherever you want.

K

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New Here ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Yes!!

I'm not sure why the scale tool works like this on both sides, but that's ok for me!

Thank you!!

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Shepard,

Just returning after leaving right after posting.

I can see that I ought to have included Handles in my such as these list.

But luckily you got it from K.

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Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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There are several ways to do symmetrical in illustrator, one of the easiest is with the help of the transform panel via appearance panel, see in my picture attached the basic parameters.

When finished editing your shape, just duplicate it and expand the appearance for final toches if needed, keep the original for other editions.

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New Here ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Hello Mario,

if I get your method right, I need to make all the adjustments before mirroring the part, is this correct?

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Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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No, you can do adjustments at any time.

Here in this video you can see another way to do it

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Shepard,

I (mis)read your first question to mean that you wished to work with the actual whole shape as a closed path.

It is quite possible to create a symmetrical drawing live with the help of Illy, with the inbuilt tools, without any external plugins, if you just start in the right way. Obviously, it is much better to see the whole appearance while you create it.

Depending on the number of reflexion/rotation axes, there are different ways.

For a simple one to two mirroring such as a heart, you may see the reflection live after each Anchor Point if you start out as follows (for Pen Tool with vertical reflection to the right, similar for other directions):

1) Create the first two Anchor Points of your basic path;
2) Effect>Distort&Transform>Transform>ReflectX with 1 copy and the middle right side Reference Point chosen;
3) With the Pen Tool ClickDrag (or Click) anew from the second Anchor Point and go on;

If you wish, you may:

4) Object>Expand Appearance and Ctrl/Cmd+J to join the half paths.

Ctrl/Cmd+Z Undo is your friend: you can just go back and redo while drawing the basic path.

For multiple reflexion/rotation axes and plugins, you may have a look at solutions in this thread, including the links to external solutions below:

Or you can have a look at the MadPattern templates,

Or you can use the MirrorMe plugin from Astute Graphics,
http://www.astutegraphics.com/software/mirrorme/

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New Here ,
Mar 12, 2021 Mar 12, 2021

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Jacob,

I need it to be closed, indeed!

I would like to fill the heart with say gradient fill and then be able to adjust its shape.

But the scale tool on the handles seems to work as I need.

Thank you all!

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