24 Replies Latest reply: Dec 30, 2014 8:45 AM by iamwickedtall1 RSS

    17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.

    rcraighead MVP

      Ok, the pencil tool has changed. That's great, but what if you really liked the the way it worked before? If I just want to "smooth" out a line a little, I used to hold "option" while tracing the line. AI would reduce the number of anchor point, while keeping the relative position of the line. Can I still do that? How?

       

      Ok, here's the explanation:

      http://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/enhanced-pencil-tool.html

       

      The "smooth tool" is now a separate tool. Thanks, Adobe! (not really). Why not leave "Alt/Option" for Smooth and access the "Straight line" feature with something else? Is this REALLY what your beta testers asked for? I can't believe it.

        • 1. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
          Brandong

          Absolutely, 100% agree.  If anything, let me set a custom shortcut for setting the Option/Alt key as my smooth tool again.  Or...put the option in the pencil settings panel, or even in preferences.

          • 2. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
            rcraighead MVP

            Agreed.

             

            I set a shortcut key for the "Smooth Tool" but it's NOT the same as simply pushing Option then popping back to the pencil tool. What in the WORLD is Adobe thinking? I want to know who makes these decisions. I just don't believe a power users/beta tester would agree to this change.

            • 3. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
              Emerald Granny Smith

              Absolutely agree with you rcraighead!

               

              The new Pencil Tool is just a poor man's Dynamic Sketch (from Astute Graphics) tool. You can use the Dynamic Sketch tool as your default Pencil Tool by choosing the setting of "None". What is even more cool & fun is that all your drawn paths are dynamic in nature - ie, you can go in anytime and change the Accuracy and Smoothness setting for the selected path and the path will change accordingly.

               

              Do check it out (a free trial is offered at their site http://www.astutegraphics.com). You will be amazed! And you won't want to go back to Adobe's own Pencil Tool.

              • 4. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                I hve to agree with what is being said here.

                • 5. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                  dougofakkad MVP

                  are you just an Astute shill account?

                  • 6. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                    Emerald Granny Smith Community Member

                    Well, I am not! And neither am I an Adobe fan boy who laps up whatever crap it spews out, without putting one's intellectual brain to use & evaluating the smarter competitive offerings out there.

                    I respect my time, effort and creativity too much to be swayed by whatever shape and form the features are put out by anyone. Mind you, I am a long time Adobe user having used Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom, Acrobat, and a ton of other Adobe products. Carefully evaluating the options and rightly spending some money upfront to save tons of money, time and effort down the line is what I look forward to, rather than struggling day-in-day-out with imperfect tools and finding workarounds.

                    I believe any self-respecting pro worth his weight will do precisely that.

                    • 7. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                      rcraighead MVP

                      dougofakkad wrote:

                       

                      are you just an Astute shill account?

                      I know you were addressing Emarald, but I use these tools (especially the Pencil/Smooth tools) daily and I don't appreciate Adobe's presumptive changes. I've looked at the Astute tools and they ARE impressive. At $80.00 VectorScribe might be worth it. My problem is, I'm paying $50.00 a month to Adobe for software that is rendered more unusable with every "upgrade". It's exasperating as a self-employed graphic designer/illustrator. Adobe, wake up!!

                      • 8. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                        Herbert2001 Community Member

                        rcraighead wrote:

                         

                        The "smooth tool" is now a separate tool. Thanks, Adobe! (not really). Why not leave "Alt/Option" for Smooth and access the "Straight line" feature with something else? Is this REALLY what your beta testers asked for? I can't believe it.

                        This is a typical programmer's approach, rather than listening to how designers use the tools. Instead of consolidating tools in a simpler workflow, new tools are added which cause a fragmented workflow. That is how a programmer's mind works, not a designer's mind.

                         

                        Astute knows and really listens to what designers need in their workflow - the Adobe Illustrator dev team just does not get it (oftentimes).

                        • 9. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                          rcraighead MVP

                          I looked at Astute VectorScribe2. At $80.00 it is a sizable investment. I needs to be fully functional in CS5. It also includes a learning curve.

                           

                          Edit:

                          Just installed the trial version of VectorScribe 2. After a few minutes AICS5 bombed. That's what scares me about plugins.

                          • 10. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                            Walker, Andy Community Member

                            I myself have been using the VectorScribe Tools for a couple of years now. Those 80 dollars provide some really incredible functionality that Illustrator still does not provide by itself. The PathScribe tool itself has recovered that money many many times over for me which the new (and stupidly lame) Segment Reshape feature could never ever match. They have recently added the Smart Remove Brush Tool to the VectorScribe mix and it really works, much better than Illustrator's Simplify command and giving you a lot more control.

                             

                            The bombing you experienced could be something other than becoz of the plug-in. Are you running CS5 on Mavericks by any chance? But even if it is because of the plug-in, just let them know. You will receive an update so much sooner than what Adobe takes to fix bugs!!

                            • 11. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                              rcraighead MVP

                              No Mavericks here. Still trying to get CS5 to work again. Thanks for the comments.

                              • 12. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                ssalln84 Community Member

                                I had stopped using the Pencil & Pen Tools in Illustrator a long time ago. Instead, I use Dynamic Sketch & InkScribe Tool respectively to do the kind of work I am paid for by my clients. Since I started using these tools from Astute, my productivity has gone up leaps and bounds. And I have recovered the little money I paid for these tools within a week of my purchase. And whatever I am now earning is just a bonus.

                                 

                                These tools are really game changers. It makes vector building far easier, fun and more intuitive than Adobe's own unimaginative & clunky tools.

                                 

                                I use the Dynamic Sketch tool to create fluid shapes and get a lot of control over how I build them. Since the paths that are drawn are dynamic in nature, I can always select them and dial-in different values for the Smoothness and Accuracy of the path. The fun part is that I can actually use my Wacom Intuos tablet to draw using the various Pressure settings. The paths that I draw could have the Variable Width applied automatically to them as I draw, along with the Pressure settings. This, as you know, is not possible with the Pencil Tool (even now the New Pencil Tool - strange name?!) does not provide.

                                 

                                The InkScribe Tool is a smart, elegant & permanent replacement for the clunky Pen Tool - why do you need four tools (Pen, Add Anchor Point, Remove Anchor Point, Convert Anchor Point) when you can get all in one elegant tool. Even after so many years, Illustrator's own Pen Tool does not give me the 'Rubberband' functionality. It does not give me the 'Smart Delete' of anchor points with which I can simply delete extra unneeded anchor points without affecting my vector shapes. It does not give me the ability to 'lengthen just one handle' of a Smooth point without affecting the other handle (both its length and its angle). It does not give me the facility to add anchor points only at the 'tangencies' of a path. It does not give me the ability to change from Smooth to Corner (or Cusp) and vice-versa WITHOUT modifying the segments. And so much more.

                                 

                                Your time, effort and creativity are of essence in this demanding & changing world and one can't afford wasting them, dealing with Illustrator's own silly and short-sighted tools and trying to find one's way in the maze. I would much rather spend that time to create beautiul art in less than a quarter of the time, using competitive offerings.

                                • 13. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                  Herbert2001 Community Member

                                  Sometimes I feel Illustrator is built for Illustrator users, not for illustrators, if you catch my drift. ;-)

                                  • 14. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                    dougofakkad MVP

                                    I completely agree, and I use Astute tools too, but they're literally all he/she has posted about so far.

                                    • 15. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                      Reido

                                      But seriously can we change this back to the way this was adobe?

                                      • 16. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                        iamwickedtall1 Community Member

                                        Bring back the smooth tool "alt" funtionality! I've been using the alt modifier on my wacom for years, as the first button, which makes it incredibly intuitive and quicker to draw. Now everytime I hit it, it makes a straight line... which are easy to make using the pen tool, and not what I go to the pencil tool for anyway.

                                         

                                        On second thought, why not give users the ability to set what their modifier keys do? As a PC user, I'm already handicapped with only 3 shortcut keys, instead of 4, and illustrator boils that down even more by reserving 2 of the keys for shortcuts. But it'd be a great revise especially if you tend to use 2 tools together all the time, like I had with smooth and pencil, but imagine the possibilities!

                                         

                                        While talking shortcuts, I wish they'd offer the ability to disable "alt" menu shortcuts on PC, considering half the time you're trying navigate shortcuts in any of the Creative Suite, you trigger a menu, and keep getting the error noise.

                                         

                                        Lastly, I too love everything astute graphics does. Dynamic rounding of corners and bending paths without using the anchor points was something adobe just integrated, but has been needed for years. I don't even use their tools as much as I'd like, but they are awesome, between creating vector halftones, getting accurate snapped path measurements with angles, accurately smoothing paths and the ability to draw symmetrically with ease, they are second to none. And they also created relinking embedded images before adobe.

                                         

                                        Hopefully, from now on Adobe realizes they set the bar with the touch type tool, and only releases things that are more innovative, and easier to use. Changing the pencil tool was unneccessary, and actually has given us subscribers less ability to customize it. Before we had what seemed like endless amounts of pixels to revise, and now we're handed 4 points on a scale of accurate to smooth... shouldn't it at least be an odd number? So I can have an average of the 2?

                                        • 17. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                          Walker, Andy Community Member

                                          rcraighead,

                                           

                                          Please see if this helps you get back to the way you used to work in your (our) favorite application, Illustrator: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1398516?tstart=0

                                          • 18. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                            BienzBliemer Community Member

                                            Arrrgh, Adobe what ever you want. But let me keep the "alt-to-smooth"-Option. That was intuitive to draw with. Or at least let me configure it…

                                            • 19. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                              Reido Community Member

                                              Adobe just added a function to CC to install different versions of your favorite app. Yay. Now it's more streamlined so we don't have to go through with all of this. I've been waiting so long for a change for this.

                                              • 20. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                                Radserg Community Member

                                                I'm down-shift to Ai CC 17.0.1 version. Like (E) free transformation.
                                                I like to have full control of line with hot-keys A, N, Alt (with N pencil), P (with + and - buttons) , shift+c, shift+w.
                                                Anyone know will they fix all that? Or when next update will be released?

                                                On Flash situation even worst, sit on cs6 version, CC is unusable. Bone tool is gone and all work slow.

                                                • 21. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                                  Neeraj N Adobe Employee

                                                  Pencil Tool Options dialog in Adobe Illustrator CC 2014 release has an option to enable toggle to Smooth Tool with Opt/Alt.

                                                  ToggleToSmoothTool.png

                                                   

                                                  With this option checked, press of Opt/Alt with Pencil Tool will toggle to Smooth Tool and will not create un-constrained straight-lines.

                                                  • 22. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                                    rcraighead MVP

                                                    Neeraj N and Adobe Illustrator team,

                                                     

                                                    Thank you for listening and returning this important feature to Illustrator.

                                                     

                                                    Ray

                                                    • 23. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                                      Ralph Barnes

                                                      This answer doesn't help me at all. My dialogue box doesn't even look the same. I'm really tiring of Adobe. I really am.

                                                      • 24. Re: 17.1 pencil tool: Is old "option/alt" function still available.
                                                        iamwickedtall1 Community Member

                                                        Ralph have you updated to the most recent version of Illustrator? As mentioned it's in the CC 2014 release. Please also be aware you may have CC and CC 2014 installed on your computer, updating doesn't necessarily replace the old program.