7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 24, 2012 9:06 AM by Larry G. Schneider

# Noob Alert: How Do I Draw A Symmetric Arc/Curve?

Maybe this is a total noob question, but how does one draw really nice McDonalds arches? I always struggle with simple stuff like this that I -know- y'all ninjas can do it in like 3 moves. So... what's the trick?

I was told about XPath... and the demo looks -great- but with everything in Illustrator, it -can't- require a \$150 plug just to do something like this, right?

TIA,

---JC

• ###### 1. Re: Noob Alert: How Do I Draw A Symmetric Arc/Curve?

Easiest way that I can think of, especially for beginner's is draw out a circle, split the sides and delete 1/2 of the circle. If you want 2 arches, copy/paste the 1/2 of the circle and move it into place and merge the two points.

It can take a bit of practice to do the same with the pen tool, and draw the arches, but it can be done. Just try, try, try...

• ###### 2. Re: Noob Alert: How Do I Draw A Symmetric Arc/Curve?

The split circle trick is great. Thanks for reminding me! (I use Illustrator just infrequently enough to forget where things are... like the scissors!)

I figured there was some sort of alt or shift 'constraint' that would let me 'pull' an arc in the same way I can pull a semi-circle. IOW: is there a 'trick' that will let me stretch both handles of an arc in one go and -know- they are symmetrical? Like I said, XTream does this but it was driving me -nuts- trying to get both sides of an arc 'balanced'.

Thanks,

---JC

• ###### 3. Re: Noob Alert: How Do I Draw A Symmetric Arc/Curve?

there are many ways of doing it, for beginner's it may be easy to start with straight lines, then convert corner anchors to smooth.

grab the Pen Tool (P) and click-release 5 times as shown

then grab the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift+C), and click and drag Anchor Point 2 (top of first arch) to the right until curve looks right

then grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), and click-drag the left handle to the left until the curve looks just right

• ###### 4. Re: Noob Alert: How Do I Draw A Symmetric Arc/Curve?

Also you may want to look into

Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform

• ###### 5. Re: Noob Alert: How Do I Draw A Symmetric Arc/Curve?

As c.pfaffenbichler is also pointing out he is usin a single stroke and using the width tool to adjust the thinkness of the stroke rather than trying to create a closed path.

• ###### 6. Re: Noob Alert: How Do I Draw A Symmetric Arc/Curve?

Thanks, these are all good ideas!

Follow up: Is there a way to type in numerical values to make -sure- the two arches are identical? IOW: Is there a way to type in an angle for each path rather than doing this by eye?

---JC

• ###### 7. Re: Noob Alert: How Do I Draw A Symmetric Arc/Curve?

Just draw one half of the arch and use the Reflect tool (letter o shortcut) to duplicate it on the vertical axis.