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Adobe InDesign CS5 : Working with Points and Paths - Drawing with the Pen Tool

11/3/2011 5:15:33 PM
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When you work with InDesign’s Pen tool, you’re creating a path. The path consists of curved and straight segments connected by anchor points. When you click with the Pen tool, you create corner points and straight segments. When you drag with the Pen tool, you can create smooth points and curve segments, which have direction handles you can use to change the curved segment. The shape of the curve segment is defined by the length and direction of the direction handles. As you create drawings with the Pen tool, you can turn on Smart Guides to help you align the segments.

Draw a Polygon with the Pen Tool

Click the Fill box on the Tools panel, and then click the Color or None button to specify whether you want to fill the object or not.

Select the Pen tool on the Tools panel.

Click to create the first anchor point.

  • To draw segments constrained to 45 degrees, hold down Shift while you click.

Click to create the second anchor point at another location.

A line segment appears between the two anchor points.

Continue to add anchor points.

Do any of the following to complete the shape as a:

  • Open Path. Click the Pen tool or any other tool on the Tools panel, or Ctrl+click (Win) or (Mac) outside the new shape to deselect it.

  • Closed Path. Point to the starting anchor point, and then click it.

Draw Curves with the Pen Tool

Click the Fill box on the Tools panel and then click the Color or None button to specify whether you want to fill the object or not.

Select the Pen tool on the Tools panel.

Click and drag to create the first anchor point.

As you drag, the direction handles move.

Release the mouse, and then move to where you want the second point.

Click and drag to create the second anchor point and a smooth curve.

  • To create the second anchor point and corner curves, hold the Alt (Win) or Option (Mac) key as you drag.

A curve segment appears between the two anchor points. As you drag, the direction handles move, which changes the curve segment.

The shape of the curve segment is defined by the length and direction of the direction handles.

Continue to add anchor points and direction handles.

Do any of the following to complete the shape as a:

  • Open Path. Click the Pen tool or any other tool on the Tools panel, or Ctrl+click (Win) or (Mac) outside the new shape to deselect it.

  • Closed Path. Point to the starting anchor point, and then click it.
 
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