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Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Lesson 27 of 56

Editing Paths: Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Brian Wood

Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Brian Wood

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Lesson Info

27. Editing Paths: Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:01:23
2 What is Adobe Illustrator? Duration:06:24
3 Explore the Interface Duration:11:45
5 Zoom and Navigate Duration:07:23
6 Working with Artboards Duration:18:11
7 Introduction to Layers Duration:18:53
8 Rulers and Guides Duration:09:05
9 Shapes and Drawing Duration:45:27
10 Aligning and Combining Shapes Duration:15:31
11 Pen Tool Duration:30:59
12 Manipulating Stroke and Fill Duration:14:39
14 Painting with Gradients Duration:10:36
15 Getting Started with Patterns Duration:08:11
16 Adding Text To Your Document Duration:08:43
17 Formatting Text Duration:11:35

Lesson Info

Editing Paths: Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator

We have a lot of tools that we can work with, right. And today we're gonna focus a little bit more on the pen tool. We're gonna dive into that in just a few minutes here. But what I'd like you to do is come to the pen tool and click and hold down on the pen tool, and you're gonna see that we've got a series of tools under here. If we're trying to edit paths, these can be really useful. We have the pen tool itself, which is used for drawing and editing. We have the add anchor point and the delete anchor point. These are exactly what they sound like. If you have a point in a path and you wanna get rid of it, select it, the delete anchor point path tool right there, hover over the point, click and you're done, it's gone. Okay, so it's kinda easy to use. Add anchor point allows us to go out and add anchor points. This anchor point tool is, I use this thing all the time. The anchor point tool allows you to go to an anchor point and do the same thing as those buttons up there by converting i...

t from a corner to a smooth, okay. Tell you what, why don't you go to the pen tool here. Select the pen tool. When we edit with the direct selection, the white arrow, you're basically kinda messing with the points that are already there. That's one of the ideas with that tool, okay. So we can edit the points that are there. What if we decide I need some more, or I need to get rid of some, I need to clean this up a little bit for instance. If you take the pen tool out here with a path that you select, that's what it's gotta be, hover over the path, and you see we get a little plus, that means we can add an anchor point somewhere. So for instance, if I decide that I wanna put a point right here so I can reshape the path, I can click to add an anchor point. Now the issue or the thing with the pen tool is, once you do that, my first instinct, I just put a new point out there, I'm like, oh great I wanna go move it, right. Well I got the pen tool selected, if I hover over it what's it gonna make me do, what's it gonna have me do right now,? It's gonna want to delete it, you see a minus sign, right. So as we're working right now without holding any keys down, this is all it's gonna do. This is the combination of things that we're gonna use a lot, okay. I'm gonna use the pen tool to edit paths if I want to. Why don't you go ahead and hold the command key down. Now it's control on Windows, okay. So if you hold the command key down, you are temporarily getting to the last selection tool you selected. Everybody tells me that if you hold that key down you go right to the white arrow, I hear that. That's not true. If I had the black arrow selected, the selection tool, it would go to the selection tool. So it's whatever was last selected. So if we have the pen tool and we add a point and we're like, oh I wanna edit it now, hold down the command key, you can click drag, you can adjust the handles if you want to, you can do different things like that. I can then let go of the command key, and I'm still on the pen tool. I can then start to edit further. So if I want to, I'm like, oh I don't want this point right here. I can hover over it, see a minus, click and I've got it gone. Once again, command key, go back, start to edit, adjust the curves, kind of work with it a little bit, start to work with this thing and see what it looks like, let go of the command and I've got my shape. People always ask me, why don't you show me how to draw first. One of the things that I do more of, I think, is editing. I do a lot of editing. I create shapes, but I spend tons of times editing. So understanding these different techniques is super important. It really, really is. Now we do have other tools we can work with, like I said before, when we go through the pen tool I'm gonna introduce more of these tools and more techniques and more shortcuts for working.

Class Description

The world’s top designers use Adobe® Illustrator® for its powerful, vector-based drawing environment – and now you can gain fluency in it, as well! Join Brian Wood for a dynamic course on everything you need to know about Adobe Illustrator.

By walking you through a series of projects on Adobe Illustrator, Brian will give you a comprehensive toolkit that will answer any need, including:

  • Getting started in Adobe Illustrator and familiarizing yourself with its workspace
  • Creating color using a variety of methods
  • Creating and transforming artwork, working with text, and importing images
  • Tricks and techniques for drawing: selecting and editing, and working with layers
  • Creating custom patterns, brushes, and symbols
  • Exploring built-in visual effects libraries
You’ll also tackle more advanced Adobe Illustrator topics, like the perspective grid, Creative Cloud libraries, effects, live paint groups and selection, blends, and the shape builder tool.



I am a pretty computer literate person but an Ai beginner i.e. I am completely new to the Creative Cloud/Adobe Illustrator. (This is also the first time I've used CreativeLive.) I think this course it is fantastic. The pace is good as is the content which progressed logically and covers all the basics you'd hope it would. The course is 2 full days' worth of material but it is broken down into segments so you can revisit or skip through as you need to. The presenter is really personable and easy to watch (even for me, a Londoner!). I would also say I think it is pretty good value for money -- I am currently enrolled on a part time course, basically doing the same sort of stuff, and I have to say this is better and a bit cheaper! I definitely recommend it to you!


A brilliantly designed course. it's almost magic. It's everything you hope for in a follow-along software class. Brian Wood has engineered it so that you start on a project that just needs basics, and then you move on to more & more complicated projects, and almost without realizing it you've learned Illustrator. This doesn't just happen -- Wood has clearly put a LOT of effort into creating this course. Here's one trivial example: he doesn't overload you with a lot of keyboard shortcuts right at the beginning -- you start with the actions themselves, using the (admittedly tedious but easy) pulldown menus, and then after you're comfortable with what you're doing, he'll throw in the shortcut. It may seem obvious, but so many instructors feel they have to give you an extensive foundation of definitions, shortcuts, interfaces, etc., before you ever do anything. Good stuff to know, but you'll never remember it. Wood has you up and working almost immediately. And he's a joy to listen to, at a perfect pace. Highly recommended.

Philippe LIENARD

Top course. Very well explained, clear, good examples, pleasant teacher. I like it and recommend it. One suggestion, it would be nice to have a detailed table of content of the course in the material. For instance, it took me quite a while to find back the part of the course where how to make a gear was explained.