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Flash Tip: Program Tools: The Pen Tool


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Anchor Points
Flash Tip: Program Tools: The Pen Tool
When you draw with the Pen Tool, you create points with either curved or straight lines between them, depending on what type of point you create. To create a "corner" anchor point, simply click with your mouse and a new point will appear. This point will have no handles, because any line coming out from it will be straight and therefore need no adjustment. You can move it about by using the Subselection Tool to select and move an anchor point.

To create a "curve" anchor point (also known as a Bezier point), when you click your mouse on the location of your anchor point, don't immediately let go; drag a little, until you see the connecting lines between your points begin to curve and two antennae-like "handles" appearing to either side of the point. You can use the Subselection Tool to grab these "handles" and drag them about to control the size and angle of the curves to either side of the point.

There's also a combination of the two called a "Bezier corner", which is an anchor point that has a straight line to one side and a curve to the other side. To create one of these, you need to first have an anchor point that is corner-only; a Bezier point created immediately adjacent to that one will automatically be a Bezier corner with only one handle and a curve to only one side, because one side of it connects to a corner point.

Any lines drawn, whether in a closed shape or just an open path, will be stroked with your selected stroke color.

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