From an anchor point I drag out the control handles.
1) how can I delete one handle, without affecting the other one?
2) Once I hit the Alt key to manipulate one handle independently, how can I have both handles moved simultaneously again?
Good questions. I'd like to know the answer to those as well.
My terminology may not be perfect here, but it seems like there are three basic types of anchor points: corner, smooth, and combination.
If you're drawing from scratch with the Pen tool, you can get a good combination point by holding the Alt/Opt key when you click and drag. Removing a single control handle after the fact seems more difficult. One option is to shorten it—to use the Subselection tool to place the control handle above the anchor point. To do this reliably, I had to zoom in to at least 600% view. Holding the Shift key will constrain the movement of the handle, while holding the Alt/Opt key will ensure complete independence from the other handle, if needed.
Another option is to use the Pen tool in its "Convert Anchor Point" mode (on a selected object). However, attempting to use this on a simple circle was frustrating, for me. It's easy enough to convert a smooth point to a corner point just by clicking. And holding the Alt/Opt key will allow you to create a combination point, sort of. The problem is it first converts the smooth point to a corner point, and you have to drag the control handle to re-establish the original curve. It's not an easy or precise method.
Finally, to answer your second question, once those control handles are independent from one another, they're going to remain independent, I believe. If you need a way to work around this constraint, it may be helpful to include an example of what you're trying to accomplish, graphically speaking.
Hey there Mr. groove25
Well for not knowing the answer your remarks were quite elaborate and I thank you for that.
I suppose the issue remains unresolved though. Maybe the remedy lies within getting acustomed to how FW handles the handles .
I do the same thing: Zoom in really close and then place the handle over the anchorpoint. Works ok for me, it just doen't feel right.
I think of FW as a tool much like a chisel is a tool for the sculptor. FW works the way it does and I have to get by with it...
Thank you very much for your input, I really like to see, that ppl from like all over the world (assuming you don't live somewhere near Frankfurt, Germany) share the same technology to bring websites into being.... and actually answer stupid questions from those abroad .
Keep it up!
If you're up for filing a feature request with Adobe, here's the link:
My feeling is that core features like Path editing should match between applications—except where one application offers a unique and viable alternative to the other that conflicts with that goal. For example, deleting an anchor point from a closed path (like a circle) in Illustrator results in an open path. But doing the same in Fireworks results in a closed path (a new shape). Neither approach is necessarily better, they're just different. And it's kind of nice that they both exist.
However, the ability to delete a control handle from an anchor point (the first question you raised) is exactly the type of functionality that one might expect Adobe to include within both applications. It's good user experience, and therefore good business, to do so.
In Illustrator, one can delete a control handle from a selected anchor point using the "Convert Anchor Point" tool, which is part of the Pen tool group. Clicking on a control handle with this tool deletes it—a pretty simple process if you know which tool to use. (Though oddly, the feature fails if using the Alt/Opt key to access the Convert Anchor Point tool from the Pen tool itself... Perhaps a bug report is in order for this?)
Since Fireworks has no dedicated "Convert Anchor Point" tool, one might expect that the Pen tool could perform this function when in "Convert Anchor Point" mode, a mode that's triggered automatically when a user hovers over an anchor point. Unfortunately, when a user hovers over a control handle with the Pen tool, nothing happens at all—it's a dead spot in the interface, where a user might expect functionality, but none exists. This would make it a perfect place to add this mysteriously missing feature.
(Alternatively, if the control handle would at least "snap" to the anchor point when adjusting its position using the Subselection tool, that might offer a workable solution to the problem.)
Incidentally, while researching your original question, I ran across an article indicating that double-clicking with the Pen tool on a control handle should remove it. But I tried this in FW8, CS5 and CS6 (on a Mac), and it didn't work. This might be a feature that's "gone missing", or the author may have been mistaken.
Of course, there may also be a solution to this that we just haven't discovered.
Aha! Here's a late-breaking answer to question #2:
The Path panel (Window > Others > Path) features an option that will allow you to rotate independent control handles. For the version that shipped with CS5, this is part of the Rotate Points option (under the Edit Points category); the interface for it is a little on the clunky side. The version that shipped with CS6 rolled this feature into the Transform Points option and includes both up-and-down arrows and a circular angle adjustment tool, as part of a "live dialog" system. It's pretty nice.
The good news is, developer Aaron Beall has recently released an updated version of the Path panel for CS6 that should work in CS5 as well.
If you're interested in trying this, I'd err on the cautious side and make a backup of the existing Path panel first, then try updating to the new one and see how it works. (The default version for CS5 can be found in the Application > Configuration > Command Panels > Others folder.)
are you serious? Who the heck are you?
I mean out of the blue you show me the most jaw-dropping Fireworks extension site, you solve my problems
with non-existing features by pointing me to just that feature as an add-on, you put thought and patience into your
carefully worded answers, you even "research on my questions".
I have never experienced such a profound help-thread in any forum!
Thank you very much, groove25!
I do want to answer to some of your remarks:
- no, I don't really believe in "make a wish" when it comes to big software companies...
(Except, of course, back in the days when I asked Microsoft to make a really awesome browser ant they came up with IE6 )
- I really do think the same way: The isolated programs in the Adobe Suite should work much more alike:
tools should behave the same, same filters, same menu order and the like (of course only to an extend
where this does not conflict with the base-functionality of the program, e.g. bitmap vs. vector).
- You are absolutely right with the missing convert anchor point tool: hover over a handle, hit e.g. shift+click to delete the handle. easy...
- the article you came across is in fact the same I ran into, when searching for an answer to my problem.
- the CS6 panel does work beautifully in CS5. I really dig a couple other plug-ins like the paths command: blend paths. Just like in AI, sweet!
Or the Group command, the 3d rotate and the modify command, man I really love FW more and more!
Man I really thank you for taking the time to help me, I appreciate that!