12 Replies Latest reply on Apr 1, 2010 5:27 AM by graph22

    Taking apart a letter

    graph22 Level 1

      Hi,

       

      I'd like to take the horizontal line that's part of the letter A. I've created outlines so it's now a shape.

       

      I've tried to use the pen tool to get rid of the anchor points for the line but that adds more black fill.

       

      Can anyone please instruct me on how to just get rid of the horizontal line?

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Taking apart a letter
          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          graph,

           

          You may (starting from Live Type as an A):

           

          1) Type>Create Outlines (as you have);

          2) Object>Compound Path>Release and Object>Ungroup;

          3) Hide either part (the counter (hollow part) or the rest) and use the Scissors Tool to cut the other part at the ends of the bar, and remember to delete the orphaned lines (cut both parts);

          5) Select the nearest Anchor Points from each part with the Direct Selection Tool and Object>Path>Join in both sides;

          6) Consider removing Anchor Points and other cleanup.

           

          In some cases, you may just cut the counter at the top and the rest at the bottom to get straight lines in between.

           

          The exact choices depend on the font.

          • 2. Re: Taking apart a letter
            graph22 Level 1

            Thanks very much Jacob. I really appreciate it. Still a little confused though. When I do step 2 from your directions it fills in the hollow part on top of the horizontal line. I also don't have experience with the rest of the steps. I tried hiding the hollow part (now filled with black after doing step 2) in the layers panel but there was more black underneath it so I wasn't sure what else to do.

             

            I don't have experience with the scissors tool. Is there anyway you could break it down more for a beginner?

             

            I really appreciate your time.

            • 3. Re: Taking apart a letter
              Userbak610 Level 3

              You could also type the letter, convert to outlines, then use the path eraser tool to delete the middle portion. Then fine tweak the points with the select arrow to get them lined back up again.

              • 4. Re: Taking apart a letter
                Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                graph,

                 

                It seems the terseness was overly successful. Hide and Show is done in the Layers palette/panel.

                 

                The shape of a letter such as A may be seen as an outer shape and one or more (two for a B) inner shapes to give the closed hollows which are termed counters, both bound by a path; the two paths together form a Compound Path when outlined as in step 1) and can be separated as in step 2).

                 

                After that separation you have two independent paths, both with a black fill (and grouped until you Ungroup them) which may seem a bit confusing.

                 

                When you hide the outer part (the A shape), you have more or less a triangle (usually there will be two Anchor Points at the top); if you cut the path at the two Anchor Points at the bottom and delete the straight path between them, you have an open path with the same shape; if you cut the right one first you will have the straight path selected so you can just delete it (use the Delete key twice to see everything disappear) as in step 3) first part.

                 

                When you hide that shape and show the A shape, you will see that the counter is gone so the upper part is filled (no need to worry);  if you cut the path at the two Anchor Points at the bottom of the bar and delete  the straight path between them, you have an open path with the same  shape; if you cut the left one first you will have the straight path  selected so you can just delete it (use the Delete key twice to see  everything disappear) as in step 3) second part.

                 

                When you show both, you cannot see the triangular shape because both are black, but the Anchor Points will appear when you drag over them with the Direct Selection Tool as in step 5); to make both visible, you may change the colour of the A part (to 50% K or whatever).

                 

                Remember to deselect everything before you use the Direct Selection Tool; you can do that by clicking in an empty area.

                 

                The missing step 4) was the repetition of step 3) which became a additional sentence.

                 

                You do not want to know what causes the Right/left thing, at least not today.

                • 5. Re: Taking apart a letter
                  graph22 Level 1

                  Thanks Jacob, I really appreciate it. I'm have a few more questions if you'll bare with me.

                   

                  Here is your last e-mail with my questions in bold:

                   

                   

                   

                  The

                  shape of a letter such as A may be seen as an outer shape and one or

                  more (two for a B) inner shapes to give the closed hollows which are

                  termed counters, both bound by a path; the two paths together form a

                  Compound Path when outlined as in step 1) and can be separated as in

                  step 2).

                   

                  After that separation you have two independent paths,

                  both with a black fill (and grouped until you Ungroup them) which may

                  seem a bit confusing.

                   

                  When you hide the outer part (the A

                  shape), you have more or less a triangle (usually there will be two

                  Anchor Points at the top);

                   

                  I'm good up until this next part.

                   

                  if you cut the path at the two Anchor Points

                  at the bottom and delete the straight path between them, you have an

                  open path with the same shape; if you cut the right one first you

                  will have the straight path selected so you can just delete it (use the

                  Delete key twice to see everything disappear) as in step 3) first part.

                   

                  When you say cut the path at the two anchor points at the bottom I'm not sure where exactly you mean to do that? And what tool are you recommending to use?The scissor? If so, I have no experience with it yet...which may be part of the problem. I don't think I'll be able to get to your next section without first grasping this one.

                   

                  Will the end result of doing this by your instructions get me a

                  more exact result than the other person who answered the question and said to use the erase tool?

                   

                  Thanks!

                   

                  When

                  you hide that shape and show the A shape, you will see that the counter

                  is gone so the upper part is filled (no need to worry);  if you cut the

                  path at the two Anchor Points at the bottom of the bar and delete  the

                  straight path between them, you have an open path with the same  shape;

                  if you cut the left one first you will have the straight path

                  selected so you can just delete it (use the Delete key twice to see

                  everything disappear) as in step 3) second part.

                   

                  When you show

                  both, you cannot see the triangular shape because both are black, but

                  the Anchor Points will appear when you drag over them with the Direct

                  Selection Tool as in step 5); to make both visible, you may change the

                  colour of the A part (to 50% K or whatever).

                   

                  Remember to deselect everything before you use the Direct Selection Tool; you can do that by clicking in an empty area.

                   

                  The missing step 4) was the repetition of step 3) which became a additional sentence.

                  • 6. Re: Taking apart a letter
                    Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    graph,

                     

                    When you say cut the path at the two anchor points at the bottom I'm not sure where exactly you mean to do that? And what tool are you recommending to use?The scissor? If so, I have no experience with it yet...which may be part of the problem. I don't think I'll be able to get to your next section without first grasping this one.

                    Yes, the Scissors Tool. You may select the path (with the normal Selection Tool) so you can see the Anchor Points, switch to the Scissors Tool and just click each point; in this connexion, ticking View>Smart Guides may assist you: when you get close to the point, there will be a little tag saying Anchor so you know you are there.

                     

                    Will the end result of doing this by your instructions get me a

                    more exact result than the other person who answered the question and said to use the erase tool?

                    I am still with 10, so the shiny new Erase Tool in CS4 may do a better job than in older versions; in other words, I cannot tell how exact, and suitable, it is. I believe learning the Scissors Tool is a good thing in any case, for many purposes.

                    • 7. Re: Taking apart a letter
                      graph22 Level 1

                      Ok. Thank you. You're right. Better to learn the tool than go for a shortcut in this case. I followed these instructions, but it didn't have any effect except now the bottom right anchor point is a blue point  (as opposed to being filled with white)...so that means you it will be the only point that moves if you want to move it. But it didn't cut anything. Am I missing something?

                      • 8. Re: Taking apart a letter
                        graph22 Level 1

                        Thanks very much. Really appreciate it. I've actually never used the path eraser tool. Just the regular eraser tool. When I used the path eraser tool there were times when it erased the right parts, others when it didn't erase anything and even others when it erased too much. Does the shape need to be selected when you use it.

                         

                        And when you say tweak the points using the select arrow you mean the direct selection tool, not the regular selection tool right?

                         

                        Thx!

                        • 9. Re: Taking apart a letter
                          Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Look at this. Is this what you are trying to do?

                           

                          Picture 4.png

                          • 10. Re: Taking apart a letter
                            graph22 Level 1

                            Thanks very much for the response. I want to do exactly what you've done here. I tried doing what you said but it didn't work exactly the way yours did. The A I'm using is the capital from Murray Hill Script (and the horizontal bar on the A goes beyond the diagonal lines on both sides. If I tried shift clicking on the top and bottom of only the inside section and hit delete, it deleted the entire letter. When I did the same thing on the parts that extended outside the diagonal lines it deleted most (though not all) of the line. So there is now space between the top and bottom halfs. I take it that's happening b/c it's got the outside parts? But why is it not taking the whole bar?

                             

                            Thanks again.

                            • 12. Re: Taking apart a letter
                              graph22 Level 1

                              Thanks alot JET!  This did it perfectly.