Again, coming from CorelDraw background, working with paths and their anchor points in Illustrator, seems to me very unpractical, but hey I am willing to learn. However, I could not find how to achieve this basic functionality in Illustrator, and oh boy I searched a lot. So here we go, maybe you guys can give me a hint.
Basically in CorelDraw, anchor points can be: cusp, smooth or symmetrical, and connecting path segments can be lines or curves, all these can be set pretty quick individually and for me somehow normal.
Now, in illustrator, I know how to use convert tool to shwitch from a smooth anchor point to a corner anchor point or the other way around. But many times, after converting to a corner point, I would like to have the posibility to make one or the other path segments line or curve. How can I do this in Illustrator?
Also is there a way to replicate symmetrical node functionality in Illustrator, that is the handles for a specific anchor point, are same lenght, move in-sync and always 180 deg one from another.
Thanks and sorry if my questions are obvious, I just cannot find my way around quicly in Illustrator.
Many procedures which are practical in some other programmes are unpractical or absent in Illustrator (or only available when you buy additional plugins).
But first, which version of Illustrator are you using?
I am using CS5.
What I need mostly is to convert a corner point to a smooth point (or convert a smooth point to a corner point) but only one connected path segment to be curve, the other one to be a straight line.
If needed I can capture some images to explain better.
I know it may sound crazy, but just found out a the answer...
To create hybrid anchors, in which one control point is smooth and the other is angled, select a control point with the Direct Selection tool and drag it back into the anchor. I’ll show other tricks for this tool in the next section.
No need to apologise :-)
To move only one handle of a smooth point, hold down the Option/Alt key before you click on the handle.
If you have a coner point with no handles, use the Convert Anchor Point tool to drag on the corner point and produce handles. Hold down Shift while dragging to constrain the angle. Then switch to the Direct Selection tool (A) and hold down the Option key and drag on one of the handles as before.
Some people have complained that the management of anchor points in Illustrator leaves much to be desired, but you were correct in experimenting with modifier keys.
I am really sorry for posting this.
Don't apologize. Your points are not invalid.
Fact is, Illustrator simply does not provide an explicit anchor type which ensures tangency between a straight and a curved segment (your third screenshot in your initial post). Draw does. FreeHand does (called Connector Points). Not Illustrator.
Illustrator does not provide a proper means by which to extract a single handle from an anchor. You almost aways end up disturbing the curvature of the adjacent segment.
Illustrator does not provide for constraining anchors to symmetrical, same-length handles. You can make this initially result from dragging with the Convert Tool, or (only recently) from clicking the Convert To Smooth button in the Control Panel. But again, there is no special anchor type to ensure that symmetry persists with future adjustments.
If you continue carefully studying the differences, you'll find many similar omissions and/or limitations in Illustrator's Bezier interface, for things taken-for-granted in other programs. For example, you can't constrain a handle length adjustment (by dragging) to its current angle. It's always beeen that way. Illustrator's Bezier interface is worst-of-class. Too many tools; too little functionality.
While it's unfortunate that Adobe shows no interest in offering native solutions for this kind of thing (and CS6 does not look to help), 3rd-party plug-ins can relieve a lot of your frustration. You may want to take a look at VectorScribe, which includes a tool called PathScribe which can enable you to do the sorts of technical, precise point and handle manipulations to which you are accustomed, as well as a lot of other stuff. Without it, I would get very cranky.
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