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Adobe InDesign CS5 : Using the Pencil Tool

11/29/2011 4:03:20 PM
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Using the Pencil Tool

The Pencil tool is exactly what its name implies...a pencil. If you like to draw freehand or sketch objects, especially with a drawing tablet, the Pencil tool is right for you. You can use the Pencil tool in several ways. You can draw new line segments to create a path, reshape a path, or add to a path. You can customize the way the Pencil tool works by setting preferences in the Pencil Tool Preferences dialog box.

Use the Pencil Tool

Select the Pencil tool on the Tools panel.

Select a stroke color and weight and a fill of None on the Tools or Stroke panels.



Use any of the following methods:


  • New Path. Drag in a blank area to create an open or closed path. To create a closed path, hold down Alt (Win) or Option (Mac) while you finish drawing.

  • Reshape Path. Drag along the edge of a selected open or closed path.

  • Add to Path. Drag from an endpoint of an open path.

Set Pencil Tool Options

Double-click the Pencil tool on the Tools panel.



Drag the slider or enter a Fidelity value (.5-20). Fidelity determines how far the mouse must move before an anchor point is added. A higher value creates fewer anchor points and a smoother path while a lower value creates more anchor points and a rougher path.

Drag the slider or enter a Smoothness percentage value (0%-100%). A high value creates a smoother curve, while a low value creates bends.

Select or deselect any of the following check boxes:

  • Keep Selected. Select to keep pencil paths selected after you draw them.

  • Edit Selected Paths. Select to enable Reshaping for the Pencil tool within the specified pixel range (2-20).

To revert settings back to the defaults, click Defaults.

Click OK.


 
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