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Modifying Paths

Once you create a path, you can still change its shape and the position of the points. You can also split a path into two separate segments or join two segments together. When you move points, you use the Direct Selection tool.

To move individual points:
  1. Click the Direct Selection tool in the Tools panel square13.gif.
  2. Position the tool over the point you want to move.
  3. Drag the point to the new position.
To select and move multiple points:
  1. Click the Direct Selection tool in the Tools panel.
  2. Drag to create a rectangular marquee around the points you want to select square14.gif. The selected points appear solid. The unselected points appear hollow.

    or

    Hold the Shift key as you click to select the points.

  3. Drag the points to the new position.

The Direct Selection tool also lets you change the length and direction of the control handles.

To move control handles:
  1. Click the Direct Selection tool in the Tools panel.
  2. Click a point on the path. This displays the control handles for that point.
  3. Position the Direct Selection tool over the end point of the handle.
  4. Drag the handle to the new position square15.gif.

You may want to separate one path into two parts—for instance, to separate two halves of a circle. The Scissors tool makes it easy to split or break a path into segments.

To split paths:
  1. Select the path.
  2. Click the Scissors tool in the Tools panel square16.gif.
  3. Position the cursor where you want to split the path.
  4. Click to split the path at that point.
To open paths using a command:
  1. Select the path.
  2. Choose Object > Path > Open Path. This opens the path by creating two points, one on top of the other.
To close paths using a command:
  1. Select the path.
  2. Choose Object > Path > Close Path. This closes the path by creating a line segment between the end points of the path square18.gif.

The path direction comes from the order in which you draw the path. You can change the path direction.

To change the path direction:
  1. Use the Direct Selection tool to select the path.
  2. Choose Object > Path > Reverse Path. This switches the start and end points of the path square19.gif.
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