Convert Anchor Point Tool with the Pen Tool in Illustrator
now this is all fine and dandy, and I can take my selection tool and convert my points right here. But I'm a little bit quicker and I want Teoh. Go ahead and use my convert anchor point tool. It's great to have them in the control bar. I use them. But sometimes when I'm in the middle of making a path to convert Anchor Point Tool works even better. And this is how the convert Anchor Point Tool works. I don't have to keep switching in between here in my toolbar. I can. But the shortcut for the convert anchor point tool is going to be my option or my old key. So there's my normal pen tool option, or Alter gives him a convert anchor point tool and they convert Anchor Point Tool is going to do two things. First of all, I have to have a point selected. I'm gonna hold down my option or Alte. It may convert Anchor Point tool, and that is going to allow me to take an active point that has handles in this case option or all to click on that handle, and that will suck the handles right back in no...
handles means no curves, no curves means I have a corner point. So I've just taken all of my corner points where my smooth points turned them into corner points. If I come up across a point that has no handles and I would like handles first of all, you need to make sure that I've selected it with my selection tool. And if I want handles coming out of here, I'm gonna hold down my option or my old key and I'm going to optional click. But I'm going to also pull on my handle to get the points to come back out. And if I have points in the Old Army optional click, it sucks those handles right back in. Now if you use the pen tool. One of the things I had mentioned is that I'm left handed, so I always draw counterclockwise. And that's important because if I go in with my direct selection tool and I select that point, hold down my option key to get making for anchor point tool and I click and pull. I get a crossover, and the reason why is because I'm pulling the handle to the right and That's not the direction that I created my original file when I had created my points here. I always pulled my handles to the left or I created my shape to the left. And therefore, when I use my convert anchor point tool to pull handles out of here, it knows the direction was counterclockwise. So when I pulled that out, I'm going to get the nice curve. If I pull the opposite direction, it just gives me a little twist over right there. And I know a lot of people get so confused and they say, You know, why does this happen on I politely tell them that it's all about the driver behind the wheel. So little did you know the direction that you draw actually correlates to what direction you pull your handles. So knowing that I'm always going to pull to the left or down, or to the right or up, depending on where these are based on my object. So I'm gonna hold down my option key again, and I'm going to option click and drag to pull the handle down because that's the direction I was drawing around. And when I do this on all of my points. This is going to pull my handles out there. I have it. And now I'm back to my rounded shape again. Again. Option or alter. Click sucks the handles back in very easy optional. Click and drag. Pulls your handles back out. If you don't have active handles on there and you want a rounded shape, take same thing. I can select those handles. I can use the convert up here in the control bar. This is just another method of doing the exact same thing. I like the shortcut with a pen tool that why I don't have to keep working with these little icons up here, but either will work just fine so I can draw a shape that has smooth corners. I can have are smooth points, corner points, no handles. But then I run into interesting situations where I need both a smooth off one side and not off the other. So what happens if I do something like this? I'm gonna draw wave, so I'm gonna start here. I'm gonna come up to the top of my wave right here. I pulled my handle, so I get a nice curve and Then I'm gonna come over here to the very tip of my wave, and I'm going to stop now. What I'd like to dio is I would like to go, and I would like to put my wave to come back here now. What's interesting is when I came up here and I pulled my handled, I came over here and if I pulled my handles out, the direction I pulled my handle is the way my curve is going to go. The distance is how far it's going to come out. I want this to come back, and I wanted to stop at a point there and then come back. But since I pulled a handle out of that, I get a curve so we can solve this problem. In many ways, I can stop what I'm doing right now. I can hold down my option key and I congrats, that handle that's coming out here and I can turn that handle the direction that I wanted to go, which in this case is going to stop and is gonna come right back here. So now when I draw another line there, it's going to come in, and that's going to give me a very sharp point at the end, Okay? Whatever direction my handle goes is the direction my line is going to go. Some to try that once again, I'm gonna do a nice curve. Come out here and I'm gonna come to the point here, and I pull that handle to get that curve. So the 1st 1 was holding the option key down to change that handle. But what I'm gonna do here instead is I'm going Teoh not change that handle. I'm going toe option. Click on my last point right here, which is going to suck that handle back in. And now you see that my point only has one handle, which is nice, because now this portion is going to be a curve. And since I held down my option key and option click, it pulled that handle back in. So now I can go any direction that I want here. And I don't have to worry about having a curve come out of that handle. If I want a curve to come out of that handle, I can always pull and come around. So what's interesting is now I've been able to draw with both a curve and a straight line going through my object. And I know people are like, I'm gonna have to rewind this. So here's what I have. I draw curve by pulling handles. Every time I pull a handle, I get a curve If I get to a place where I've got a curve But my subsequent line coming out of there, I do not want to have a curve. I do one of two things. Either hold down my option key to get my convert anchor point. And I turned the handle the direction that I wanted to go. If I don't quite know what direction I wanted to go, I'm just going to option click on that point. It sucks. Out sucks in the handle that was coming out of there. And now this allows me to have a corner point anywhere that I want. Teoh. Like so And then I can click and pull a handle out to get my curve and away I go with my objects. So when I look at this and I select this point, I only see one handle. I see one handle because this portion of the curve is dictated by my handle. Therefore, it has a curve. There is no handle coming out here because any time that I have a corner point, you're not gonna have a handle. So every once in a while you're going to see a point that only has a single handle. And most likely it's because you have a smooth line meeting in a point followed by a corner like so. So what I'm gonna do now is I'm going to draw shape here, and I'm going to go in and I'm going to do this two different ways. I'm gonna draw heart, but I'm going to draw this just by using kind of a very geometric shape really quick. There is my shape and I've drawn straight lines. So now I'm gonna convert my points after I've drawn everything. So I'm gonna hold down my option key. I'm gonna option click on my tops here, and I drew around to the right hand side. So if I pull off to the right, that's what I get. So I'm gonna pull those handles off to the right, and I now have my little rounded heart. If I want to do these ends as well. Again, I need to pull the direction that I drew. And if I pull up here, that wasn't the direction that they drew. And there's my quick little heart. Okay, that's one way of doing it. But now I'm gonna draw this free form using the pen tool without just clicking and drawing the line segments. So I'm gonna start down here and I'm in a draw. And so I'm gonna come over here and I want this rounded corner. So I'm gonna click and drag on to get the rounded corner If I pull my handle over here, whatever direction I turned, my handle is the direction my line is going to go. So I'm gonna come up here, and I would like to add the first bump of the heart. So I click and drag and I come over here and I am going to then come down right to here. Now if I click and drag here, my handle is pointing down. So the subsequent line that's gonna come out is also going to be down. So my two options are hold down my option key and drag this handle to go where I wanted to go the direction that I wanted to go or option click to suck that handle in. And now I can go any direction anywhere that I want to. I'm now going to come up to the other lump right here. Click and drag to form that curve, come down to the side. Here is well, click and drag to form that turn the handle, the basic direction that I want that line to G. O and there is my object. Not totally symmetrical, but we're just doing free form here and now. There's my basic heart, very loosely drawn. Now I can select any one of my points here and with those handles, I can see that I've got a little bit of a lump there, and that's because I have my handles not pulled out to my 50% method. So this pulls out about halfway the distance, and that's halfway between this point here, and that works really good. That's about halfway in between this point and that point, and that's going to give me a much more smooth looking curve and adjust the points that one needs to go in a little bit to kind of make these things symmetrical, but you get the point. So now I've got this shape where I can change direction at any point and create a smooth stop and create a corner and then come back to a split with one as well.