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Using the Pencil Tool

Unlike the Pen tool, which uses mathematical principles to draw paths, InDesign’s Pencil tool works more like a traditional Pencil. However, the Pen tool is a little more precise than the Pencil.

To draw with the Pencil tool:
  1. Click the Pencil tool in the Tools panel square30.gif.

    A small cross next to the Pencil cursor indicates that you are about to start the path square31.gif.

  2. Press and drag with the Pencil square32.gif.
  3. To close the path, hold the Opt/Alt key. A small circle next to the cursor indicates that the path will be closed square33.gif.
  4. Release the mouse to create the path.

The Pencil tool can also be used to edit existing paths and reshape paths.

To edit paths with the Pencil tool:
  1. Select the path that you want to reshape.
  2. Move the Pencil tool near the selected path. The cross next to the cursor disappears. This indicates that you are about to edit the path.
  3. Drag along the path. When you release the mouse button, the path is reshaped square34.gif.

You can change how the Pencil tool responds to the movements of the mouse as you drag. The preferences also control how the Pencil tool edits paths.

To set the preferences for the Pencil tool:
  1. Double-click the Pencil tool in the Tools panel. This opens the Pencil Tool Preferences dialog box square35.gif.
  2. Set the amount of Fidelity using the slider or field. The lower the amount of Fidelity, the more the path will follow the motions of the mouse square36.gif.
  3. Set the amount of Smoothness using the slider or field. The higher the setting for Smoothness, the more the path will follow curved shapes square36.gif.
  4. Check Keep Selected to keep the path selected after you have drawn it. This makes it easier to reshape the path.
  5. Check Edit Selected Paths to turn on the reshape option.
  6. If the Edit Selected Paths option is turned on, use the slider or field to set how close the Pencil tool must come, in pixels, to the path you want to reshape.
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