10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2016 6:47 AM by johnr33340969

    Path editing tools/techniques

    Gex14286 Level 1

      Hello all

      I've spent a lot of time working with a program called Flexisign that provides a wonderful set of path editing (if "path editing" is not the correct terminology than please excuse me.) tools. I was wondering if there were easy ways to achieve the same effect in illustrator or if I shoud try and suggest some new tools?


      Heres a couple tools a long with examples of how they work...


      1. Straighten Points -  simply click on a path and drag along the area that needs to be straightened out. Also recuces points. see pic 1


      2. 3 point arc - click on a path and either drag or click again to see the arc. the arc is adjustable by the handle in the middle and you can also slide the side handles to shorten or lenghten the arc. reduces points. see pic 2


      3. Create Corners - click on 2 points which you would like there to be a sharp corner between and the program automatically determines where the point will be depending on the angles of art. see pic 3


      There's also a really handy hatchet tool that cuts things straight through like if you were to draw a line across an object than divide. 


      I often times run into circumstances where I need to use these tools but cant find any quick and easy way to do it in illustrator. Thanks for your help in advance everyone!

        • 1. Re: Path editing tools/techniques
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          I often times run into circumstances where I need to use these tools but cant find any quick and easy way to do it in illustrator.


          ...because there simply isn't any. Sorry, AI is utterly devoid of such smart tools. Part of that could possibly done with the CAD tools plug-in (it definitely has a 3point arc), but beyond that I don't see a way. If you can afford it, stick with Flexi for cleanup and rebuild, that's what it was made for. Also consider affordable CAD programs like EasyCAD and 3D design utilities like MoI 3D. They all also export AI files (legacy Illustrator 8, though) and may considerably simplify some things.



          • 2. Re: Path editing tools/techniques
            Ozzwoman9 Level 4

            As for question #1 there is a smooth tool (under the pencil tool), it's not as accurate as what you are looking for, but it's as close you are probably going to get.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Path editing tools/techniques
              Gex14286 Level 1

              yes I am familiar with the smooth tool, thank you. I use it often and even with adjusting the fidelity and so on, unfortunately it never seems to achieve my deisred results...

              • 4. Re: Path editing tools/techniques
                Gex14286 Level 1

                I am shocked. I figured these sorts of things had to be hidden in illustrator somewhere if flexi can do it! However I am a victim of todays technology and expect one thing to do everything. guess it couldnt hurt to drop a note in adobe's suggestion box though. Thanks!

                • 5. Re: Path editing tools/techniques
                  JETalmage Level 6


                  Just about every program of Illustrator's type provides a proper means for cutting artwork. Illustrator doesn't. Draw and Canvas provide far better corner rounding/chamfering features (and many other things) than Illustrator.


                  Beyond agreeing with the general thrust that Illustrator's basic path drawing features are outdated and limited, I'd offer the following regarding your specific examples:


                  Although not my primary thing, I've done a lot of vinyl cutting in my time. One of the reasons is because I could not tolerate the complete train wrecks that too many sign shops would make out of properly created artwork by using their crude "digitizers" and auto-trace routines in an effort to get paths they could cut.


                  The samples in your screenshots should not be "cleaned up." They should be redrawn. It would actually take less time, and the results would be far superior.



                  • 6. Re: Path editing tools/techniques

                    Hello there, I have tried many different solutions but I can still not find what I am looking for.


                    In Rhino 3D there is a 3-point curve drawing and editing tool. I am baffled that in illustrator this does not exist, it is not in Inkscape either. 3-point curve is where you can drag an invislbe third point between the ancors so that you get perfect curves without any kinks.


                    I'm on the mac, or else I would just run Rhino3D.


                    The CADtools for Illustrator does NOT add this function, you cam only make curves using the 3-point system, but not edit them nor have them chained up together.


                    Mol3D is Windows only.


                    CorelDraw 12 might have it, but it's also only for Windows...


                    Is there literally nothing on the Mac that does three point vector drawing?? Seems like we are stuck in the dark ages!


                    Thank you greatly for any insight you might be able to offer.





                    • 7. Re: Path editing tools/techniques
                      [scott] Level 6

                      www.cvalley.com XtremePath plug-in.


                      Wish it was built into AI.

                      • 8. Re: Path editing tools/techniques
                        schedal Level 1

                        Thank you SW! THis solves what I was looking for... not cheap! I presume Adobe is not planning on getting illustrator out of the dark ages any time soon with CS6 or something, right? Would feel dumb buying a plugin that is this expensive if Adobe will be just including it as their newest "Buzz"


                        Thanks sooo much for this info!


                        BTW I had also in the meantime found the plugin called "Better Handles" much more afforadble but it doesn't have as many features. I'll be deciding this week if I think I really need all the features of Xtreme Path or if better handles is actually suficient.





                        • 9. Re: Path editing tools/techniques
                          [scott] Level 6

                          Xtreme Path has been around for at least the last 6 versions (I've been using it). No steps forward from Adobe with these types of editing tools.


                          Better Handles is nice as well, although completely different than XtremePath. I prefer Worker72a's Point Control (Mac only) over Better Handles though. Neither Better Handles or Point Control offer the rounding and fileting that XtremePath does. I've found nothing on the market currently that matches XtremePath functionality. And while XtremePath has some tools in it I never touch, the 4 or 5 tools I do use are worth the cost.

                          • 10. Re: Path editing tools/techniques

                            “Long Path Tool” is very helpful for this error !

                            You can use to solve this problem