I'm wondering how it's possible to drag only one handle out of an anchor point. Sometimes I have a path and some anchor points have only one handle dragged out. Now I want to adjust the other handle _without_ changing the already positioned handle. Is this even possible?
The "convert anchor point tool" does allow me to drag out handles, but only both at a time. This always results in changing the already positioned handle's position.
ne of the shortcomings of doing this in Illustrator there is no way of getting the handles to act together again without destroying what you have adjusted.
The handles will act independent of each other until you use the covert anchor point tool which will change the geometry of the path.
This is really a little OT but I guess if you use the command to cut the path at the selected anchor point and then join the two segments you get the handles to work together again with jut a slight adjustment to the geometry of the path. But it would be good if you could just use a command or keyboard command to do so.
It's just one element of Illustrator's inferior Bezier interface. Too many tool changes; too little functionality. In too many circumstances, you can't adjust one segment without wrecking the shape of the adjacent one. Related to this is the inability to bend a straight segment by dragging its middle, without introcucing an additional anchorPoint.
Remember the convert anchorPoint buttons in the Control Panel. Instead of switching to the Convert tool and dragging, you can select the anchorPoint(s), click the Convert to Curve button, then drag the unwanted handle back into the anchor. Be sure to have Snap To Points turned on, with a higher-than-default SnapToPoint tolerance set in Selection prefs.
Compare to FreeHand:
Convert one, several, or all selected anchorPoints at once. ((Illustrator still can't do all points of a path in one move.)
Choose whether to auto-extend or auto-retract the associated handles.
Click a button to extend / retract just the ingoing or outgoing handle(s), without worrying whether Snaps are on.
AltDrag to pull just one handle out of an anchor.
Bend a straight segment without changing tools.
Connector points to lock tangency between adjacent straight and curved segments.
Do all the above without changing tools; without need for two different selection pointers.
You can always use a plug-in such as Nineblock Software's BetterHandles to accomplish this and many other Bezier curve manipulations which are not possible natively in Illustrator.
HANDY TIP: When you got an anchor with it's handle connection broken or it's a point with only one handle and you want to convert back to a point with connected handles, snap a helper box (just a rect) to the handle point you want to maintain. Do your conversion. Then use your snapped helper box to snap the respective handle point back to it's previous, exact location.
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