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Editing Paths in Adobe Illustrator CS4

Chapter Description

David Karlins shows you how to use selection and editing techniques in Adobe Illustrator CS4, including selecting paths and path segments, grouping paths, and aligning anchors.

#33 Selecting, Editing, and Aligning Anchors

You can select an anchor point and move it to reshape an object. For example, you can turn a circle into an oval by selecting an anchor point and dragging it (Figure 33a).

Figure 33a

Figure 33a Moving a selected anchor.

To select an anchor point, move the Direct Selection tool over a path. As you do, the anchors will become visible (Figure 33b).

Figure 33b

Figure 33b Identifying anchors in a path with the Direct Selection tool.

To select a single anchor, click on it. To select multiple anchors, you can:

  • Draw a marquee with the Direct Selection tool.
  • Shift-click to select more than one anchor.
  • Draw a marquee with the Lasso tool around the anchors (hold down the Shift key to draw additional Lasso tool marquees).

You can align anchors within a path. So, for example, if you've drawn a waveform and you want all the tops of the waves to align vertically, you can do that.

To align anchors, first select a set of (at least two) anchors. With the anchors selected, align them by using the alignment tools in the Control panel or by using a similar set of alignment tools in the Align panel.

Horizontal and vertical alignment lines up all selected anchors, either horizontally or vertically. Distribution creates even spacing between anchors. By default, anchors align along the bounding box—the rectangle that defines the selected group of anchors. So, for example, if you choose to align anchors vertical align top, they align along the top of the bounding box (even with the top selected anchor) (Figure 33c).

Figure 33c

Figure 33c Aligning selected anchors vertical top using the Align panel.

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