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Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Lesson 14 of 34

Pencil, Smooth and Erase Tools


Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Lesson 14 of 34

Pencil, Smooth and Erase Tools


Lesson Info

Pencil, Smooth and Erase Tools

You might want to actually draw a little more freehand, a little more just loose, and we can do that with the Pencil tool. So the Pencil tool actually let's us draw by hand. So I'm going to come in here and just click and drag, just draw it out. I was putting little dash lines there for a minute. And then when I let go, it's going to fill it in with whatever the size of the stroke that I had originally listed here. And, I can look and see, that those are little segments that are here, joining the different points together. And those are all smooth corner points. So it just did that for me because I drew it with the Pencil tool. Now, to try and draw this, using the Pen tool, I couldn't do it. It's possible, I just couldn't do it. For instance, I couldn't draw a circle with the Pen tool, it's definitely doable, because we would just do four separate angles that are exactly the same, but getting them to line up exactly and make a nice circle doesn't usually happen either. So it's basicall...

y giving us the same thing in the end. It's giving us a stroke, or a line with a stroke applied to it, and it just is different tools for creating it. Whether it's the Pen tool, the Pencil tool, or the Shape tool. Now, when I'm working with this, I might've wanted this to be a little bit smoother. In fact, one of the things that we can set, is if we double-click on the tool, we can choose how smooth or how rough this Pencil tool is going to be. So, this is the default that's here. I can make it super smooth if I want, but then what happens is, even if I give it a little bit of a line, it doesn't necessarily follow exactly as I want it to. So I can play with that. The smoothness and also the fidelity. So I can just ramp that up really high, and then as I draw, like that, you notice I made several points, I'm really making that jaggy, when I let go, it's really not all that jaggy. It smooths it out for me. And if I don't like the way it was set when I drew it, I can use another tool underneath here, which is the Smooth tool. So the Smooth tool let's me go over something that has several points, and just sort of draw over it. And I just got rid of a lot of those points. So it's smoothed it out nicely. You can actually do it with this one as well. Let's select it first. And then the Smooth tool, and run this over, and we can just keep running over it. You notice I'm just smoothing out that curve that's there. So again, select it with the Direct Selection tool, then select the Smooth tool, and just, I just sort of ran straight through. It's never gonna straighten it out, but it gets rid of a lot of those extra points. And, every time there's an extra point, especially if you were drawing by hand, using a mouse with the Pencil tool, your lines are not going to be very smooth, even if you're trying to be careful. You come in here and you're gonna stop for a second, it's gonna just make sort of that little point. When I come to it, if I didn't have a, such a smooth setting on there. Let's do that again. If I draw that here, and I just hesitate for a second, it's gonna show up and make this real kind of bumpy line that I didn't really want. So, for me, when I'm using the Pencil tool, I tend to come back with the Smooth tool afterwards, and just sorta run over that and try and fix that. Before I start playing with the handles, now I could do that, again, I could use the Pen tool afterwards and actually work with that. So come in here and select those points and try and work with those, but seriously, trying to drag those handles is not going to work for me usually. So the Smooth tool just kind of, again, fixes all those little errors I might've created. And the Erase tool let's me actually just run the eraser right through it. Now it's going to actually delete lines that are, or pixels that are there. So it's going to split that tool, and now I actually have this split into two. So I ran that eraser across that, and it split those, split the item right in half. I don't use this very often, to be honest. I do if I've created something and realized it was easier to create one thing and then just split it in half with the Eraser tool. But I don't do that very often. All right, so then we can take that line if we wanted to, and we can put a, like I said, type on it, using that type on a path. These are simple, simple tools. Let's actually come in here though, and look at something that I've created here. And I'm actually going to, whoops this is a placed item. Let's not do that. Let's come in and find something we have created here. I've just got some simple shapes that are here, but again, I might want to change that, and make it so that I only wanted the line to come partway, instead of being completely surrounded by this color. I might want, maybe I want a line to come halfway across. I could've drawn, instead of this green shape that's here, I could go ahead and draw with the Pen tool, holding my Shift key down. I'm just going to hold down the Shift key. And I'm just tracing on top of what's already there. And we're just going to come this way. Let's go this far. And it's already set to be filled with that orange. So now I've just created that shape and that's great. I'm not even going to put a stroke around it, which is what I was going to do originally. 'Cause now when I look at it, I think, okay, that doesn't look so bad. I just created that shape to go on top of this other shape that's here. All right, so again, it's simple drawing. Instead of creating that elsewhere, say in Illustrator, and bringing that in, sometimes it's easier and makes more sense to draw it here because I know it will be drawn exactly to the shape or to the size that I need it to. So, those are the few of the drawing tools, like I said, there's not a whole lot. You want something a little bit more intense, you're definitely going to go over to something like Illustrator.

Class Description

Learn Basic Design Skills.

Adobe® InDesign CC® is the industry's go-to tool making for layouts that combine images and text. Learn the most efficient way to work with this indispensable software in Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet.

In this beginner-friendly class you’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate the Adobe InDesign CC workspace
  • Work with text, images, and color
  • Export and Print

Erica will show you how to execute layouts that include text, graphic elements, and images. You’ll learn basic design skills you can use to create professional-looking magazine layouts, newsletters, flyers and more.

If you want to take charge of your graphic design, Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet will get you started.

Level: Beginner, No prior Adobe InDesign experience required.

Don't have Adobe Creative Cloud yet? Get it now and save 20% so you can follow along with the course!


Adobe InDesign CC 2018



Fantastic course. I have used Illustrator and photoshop, but learned when under tight deadlines. We are going to begin using inDesign to publish a more extensive multipage newsletter, and I wanted to build a better knowledge foundation of this tool, rather than just diving in. The course was comprehensive and I feel that I'll be able to make a better product after taking the course.


Have loved Erica since I was a baby designer. She is a great educator, and even though I have been using ID for about 8 years, I just changed from CS6 to CC. This was a great refresher as well as a mental upgrade to new options and effects.

Gilbert Beltran

I enjoyed these classes. Learned the Indesign toolbox and picked up a few smart tricks. Erica is great at keeping up the pace and being very clear and easy to follow.