10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 9, 2009 10:14 AM by pugzlyplus RSS

    Straighten ONE side of smooth curve on closed path

    quoz Community Member

      I'm sure this is posted somewhere, or in Help... darned if I can find it.  Using InDesign CS3 (5.0.4) on a Mac.

       

      Click and drag 3 times to create an open U-shape with three smooth points, then click on the starting point to close the path.  What you now have is a kind of a U-shape with all curved path segments and smooth points (except the very first point; it has only 1 handle).

       

      Then a bit later I realize I want the final (top) segment of the U to be perfectly straight. So I need to get rid of the LEADING direction handle on the third point, WITHOUT DISTURBING AT ALL THE CURVE LEADING UP TO THAT POINT. (Because that curve is already very carefully aligned with something else and I SO don't want to have to realign it.)

       

      I can do this easily in Illustrator by clicking with the convert tool on the HANDLE ITSELF--the handle I want to delete.  In InDesign, clicking with the convert tool (whether I access it directly or via a keyboard shortcut) on a handle does nothing. I've tried variations on tools/keyboard shortcuts but can't seem to come up with a solution.  

       

      Am I really stuck with using the convert tool to drag the leading handle back to the point, then going REAL close, and closer yet, to try and drag it completely back to the point?  There has to be a better way...  Thanks for listening.

        • 1. Re: Straighten ONE side of smooth curve on closed path
          Scott Falkner Community Member

          For an existing path, hold Option/Alt as you adjust the control handle. For a new path, drag out the curve on the third point normally, then press Option/Alt without releasing the mouse button and drag back down to the anchor point.

          • 2. Re: Straighten ONE side of smooth curve on closed path
            quoz Community Member

            Hi, thanks for the reply... Hmmm.  You say "For an existing path, hold Option/Alt as you adjust the control handle."

             

            Your suggestion works for me on an OPEN path. Not a CLOSED one...?  And that's my problem.

             

            If I have the Direct Select (open arrow) tool and hold down Option, I get the plus arrow, which doesn't help. If I have the convert tool and hold down Option, I see the Duplication Arrows and I end up duplicating my shape when I try to manipulate the handle.

             

            I don't really want to "adjust" the forward (leading) control handle of that third point. I want it to go away entirely--like in Illustrator--so I can be assured that the segment following the point is straight.

            • 3. Re: Straighten ONE side of smooth curve on closed path
              Tom Usrey Community Member

              Alternatively, you could draw a rectangle, position it over that side, then use the Pathfinder to subtract the rectangle area from your original shape.

              • 4. Re: Straighten ONE side of smooth curve on closed path
                Scott Falkner Community Member

                I used the Direct Select tool (white arrow) to drag the control handle of the third point down while holding Option. Since I was moving it straight down, I could have just used Shift instead.

                 

                Screen shot 2009-10-22 at 11.47.01 AM.png

                • 5. Re: Straighten ONE side of smooth curve on closed path
                  quoz Community Member

                  Wha--??  OK, how'd you do that?   Geez, I feel stupid.

                   

                  I create a shape exactly like yours, with 3 smooth points (except that first one has one handle).

                  I get the direct selection tool (hollow arrow).

                  If I click on handle of the third point (a smooth point) with it, it moves both control handles simultaneously, thereby changing BOTH sides of the curve.

                  If I click on the handle of the third point (a smooth point) while holding down the option key, I get Arrow-plus, which also moves both handles simultaneously, thereby changing BOTH sides of the curve.

                   

                  And the closer I get to the anchor point, the more the opposite handle whips around and alters the curve on the other side of the point. And you don't get that?  Can I come over and use your computer?

                   

                  (As far as I can tell, on your figure the opposite curve is unaltered.)

                   

                  Now if I use the Convert Direction Point Tool, I can do what you did, and only the one handle moves, but I'm stuck repeatedly going really close up to make sure I dragged that little handle ALL THE WAY BACK to the point.  Which is really, I guess, what I'm whining about.  Got spoiled rotten in Illustrator, I guess...

                  • 6. Re: Straighten ONE side of smooth curve on closed path
                    Peter Spier CommunityMVP

                    The same shortcuts (nearly) for the pen tool work in in both Illy and ID. Select the pen tool then hold Cmd (ctrl) and you'll get the direct select tool, hold Opt (alt) and you'll get the convert tool.

                    • 7. Re: Straighten ONE side of smooth curve on closed path
                      quoz Community Member

                      I think I'll go back to my original question:

                       

                      To Straighten ONE side of a smooth curve on a closed path... Am I really stuck with using the convert tool (or WHATEVER tool) to drag the leading handle back to the point, then going REAL close, and closer yet, to try and drag it completely back to the point?  There has to be a better way...

                       

                      And it's starting to sound like the answer is NO, there is no better way.

                       

                      Unlike in Illustrator, which lets you simply delete the leading handle, thereby quickly straightening ONLY that line segment.

                       

                      Rats. Well, thanks for trying, everyone.

                      • 8. Re: Straighten ONE side of smooth curve on closed path
                        pugzlyplus

                        here's the solution; i'm using cs3.

                         

                        1. use the direct selection tool (shortcut 'a') and click on a point to show its handles.

                         

                        2. make sure 'view > snap to point' is checked (shortcut cmd + option + 'l'), without this you will get the behavior described whereby a handle just gets really close to its anchor.

                         

                        3. now click on the handle you want to get rid of, and if you don't want to disturb the position of the other handle on the anchor, hold down option, but this is not strictly necessary.

                         

                        4. drag the handle towards the anchor. when you get close enough the cursor will change, i use precise cursors which means it changes to a vertical and horizontal crosshairs with a tiny carat in the lower right corner. if you release while the cursor is in that state, the handle will no longer exist as it is 'absorbed' into the anchor.

                         

                        so what people said earlier was correct, but you have to make sure that 'snap to point' is on. does that work for you?

                        • 9. Re: Straighten ONE side of smooth curve on closed path
                          quoz Community Member

                          Hi pugzlyplus, and thanks for the reply.

                           

                          Are you using INDesign? I don't have "Snap To Point" under View.  I'm using INDesign CS3 Version 5.0.4.  Under Grids&Guides I have Snap To Guides. That's the closest thing I can find to Snap To Point. I also don't have a Preference Setting for precise cursors in INDesign.

                          • 10. Re: Straighten ONE side of smooth curve on closed path
                            pugzlyplus Community Member

                            i didn't notice this was an indesign question, the solution i provided was for illustrator. indeed, the behavior in indesign is different; for example, using the direct selection tool with option held down doesn't isolate that handle unless it has been 'broken' from the opposite side with the convert anchor tool, etc.

                             

                            it seems that there is no 'snap to point,' and that the closest thing, 'smart guides' with 'snap to guides' turned on, only comes in cs4, so i can't check to see if that does what you're looking for. but i would say that if you're making complex paths, do it in illustrator, then just paste to indesign when you work on layout and scaling.