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Pen tool placement of anchor points not accurate.

Explorer ,
Apr 29, 2018

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Hello, everyone.

I am experiencing a problem with the pen tool in Adobe InDesign. In case the information is relevant I am using Adobe InDesign CS6.

As I try to create an outline on my Notebook the pen tool fails to place the anchor points where I place them. They are reasonably off and seem to have a mind of their own. I am tracing an object placed on a layer below that I have locked. When I do this using my desktop it seems to work fine (the anchor points are placed precisely where I want them) but on my notebook the experience is different.

I couldn't find settings or preferences for the pen tool as I have found for the pencil tool by double clicking on the pencil tool button.

Is there some setting or preference I should adjust to correct the behavior of the pen tool ?

Thank you in advance.

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Pen tool placement of anchor points not accurate.

Explorer ,
Apr 29, 2018

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Hello, everyone.

I am experiencing a problem with the pen tool in Adobe InDesign. In case the information is relevant I am using Adobe InDesign CS6.

As I try to create an outline on my Notebook the pen tool fails to place the anchor points where I place them. They are reasonably off and seem to have a mind of their own. I am tracing an object placed on a layer below that I have locked. When I do this using my desktop it seems to work fine (the anchor points are placed precisely where I want them) but on my notebook the experience is different.

I couldn't find settings or preferences for the pen tool as I have found for the pencil tool by double clicking on the pencil tool button.

Is there some setting or preference I should adjust to correct the behavior of the pen tool ?

Thank you in advance.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 29, 2018

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Try resetting your InDesign preferences.

To do so:

For Macintosh Users: With InDesign closed Launch a Finder Window in column view and click on your home folder. With the Option Key pressed choose Library from the Finder Go Menu. Within the Library folder find the folder called Preferences and within it find the following two files and delete them: “Adobe InDesign” and “com.adobe.InDesign.plist”. When InDesign is next launched it will create new preference files and the program will be restored to its defaults.

For Windows Users: You can try the quick way of resetting on a PC which is to hold down Ctrl + Alt + Shift when launching InDesign and respond affirmatively when asked if you want to reset. There have been some recent reports that the window asking if you want to reset is not popping up but that the prefs are being reset anyway. If this works great but if it doesn’t you may have to manually delete them.

To do so:

On Windows 7 and above the preference files are hidden. To find them go to the Control Panel and open Folder Options and then click the View tab. Then select “Show hidden files and folders” or “Show hidden files, folders or drive options” in Advanced Settings. Then delete (or rename) the folder at the end of this path: C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\<Version #>\<Language>. Make sure that InDesign is closed when you do this. When you relaunch the program it will create  new preference files and the program will be at its default settings.

The advantage of manually deleting preference files is that after you’ve reset up the program (make sure that no document window is open) to your liking, you can create copies of your personalized “mint” preference files (make sure that you quit the program before copying them—that finalizes your customization) and use them in the future to replace any corrupt versions you may need to delete.

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Explorer ,
Apr 29, 2018

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Bill Silbert,

Thank you for your help and detailed reply.

I tried what you recommended but it hasn't fixed the problems. The pen tool's behavior remains quite inaccurate when I try to draw a path and position anchor points.

Can you think of anything else that may be causing this behavior ?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 29, 2018

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I was not able to reproduce your problem with the Snap to Document Grid which was suggested. Nor did any of the other Snap commands.

I would suggest trashing your InDesign cache files (which is not the same as deleting preferences). This can help with interface problems but is possibly a stretch for solving this problem but it may be worth a try.

To do so:

For Macintosh Users: With InDesign closed launch a Finder Window in column view and click on your home folder. With the Option Key pressed choose Library from the Finder Go Menu. Within the Library folder find the “Caches” folder. Within the Caches folder find and delete the entire file “Adobe InDesign”. I find that deleting the cache file completely leads to a lasting change. 

For Windows Users: On Windows 7 and above the caches files are hidden. To find them go to the Control Panel and open Folder Options and then click the View tab. Then select “Show hidden files and folders” or “Show hidden files, folders or drive options” in Advanced Settings. Then delete (or rename) the folder at the end of this path: C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Local\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#]\<Language>\Cache.

If that does not work then try uninstalling the program and then reinstalling it.

To do so:

Open the creative cloud desktop app and click on the “V” next to the name of the app in the Apps section (in this case, InDesign) and in the pull-down menu that appears choose “Uninstall”. Before reinstalling use the Creative Cloud Cleaner tool Use the Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool to solve installation problems . Then reinstall through the desktop app as well.

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Explorer ,
May 01, 2018

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Hi, Bill Silbert.

Thank you again for your help and detailed answer.

Last night I uninstalled Adobe InDesign CS6 from my computer. I couldn't use the Adobe Creative Cloud app to do it because the uninstall option didn't appear next to the CS6 version. I used the uninstall app that came included with InDesign CS6. After I did the uninstall the only thing left inside the CS6 folder was a folder with plug-ins.

After that I tried to use InDesign CC but much to my surprise it behaved in identical fashion. I also used Adobe Illustrator CS6 and Photoshop CS6 but on these two applications the pen tool worked just fine. I also like to point out (again) that InDesign CS6's pen tool works just fine on my desktop computer.

So, I am still puzzled. Any ideas ?

Thank you again.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 02, 2018

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After you uninstalled CS6 did you try using the Creative Cloud Cleaner tool Use the Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool to solve installation problems ? This can help with installation problems that could affect the program performance. Even if you could not uninstall CS6 with the desktop app you will be able to reinstall it using the app since CS6 is part of the Creative Cloud subscription. I would make sure that all previous preference and cache files have been deleted, in the manner described in my earlier posts, before you reinstall. After reinstallation you should have a completely "clean" program. If problems still persist then you may have to contact Adobe Customer Care Contact Customer Care . They will be able to provide more services related to what system or hardware problems might be responsible than can be supplied in the user to user forum.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 29, 2018

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Any ‘magnetic’ (document) grid maybe that is on?

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Explorer ,
Apr 29, 2018

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Frans van der Geest (ACP),

Thank you for your reply and help.

How do I turn magnetic (document) grids off ?

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New Here ,
Apr 17, 2020

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I hope OP solved this problem since it's been years, but posting my answer in case anyone else needs it. Turning off smart grid and snap to grid didn't work for me. Once I changed the units to picas, then this problem went away. Preferences > units then change horizontal and vertical measurements to picas. Hope this helps someone else! I didn't see it written anywhere else.

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