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Converting, Removing, and Adding Points

In some graphics programs, you select pen modifiers to convert, remove, and add points. In Flash, the pen tool automatically turns into a modifier as it hovers over a path or an anchor point. The subselection tool can change corner points to curve points. The pen tool can add new points between existing curve points, can reduce a curve point to a corner point, and can reduce a corner point to no point at all.

To convert corner points to curve points:

  1. Using the subselection tool, click the path you want to modify.

    Flash highlights the path and its anchor points.

  2. Position the hollow-arrow pointer over a corner point.

    The anchor-point modifier appears.

  3. Click the anchor point to select it.

  4. To pull Bézier handles out of the point, Option-drag (Mac) or Alt-drag (Windows) away from the selected corner point.

    Flash converts the corner point to a curve point (Figure 3.48).

    Figure 3.48Figure 3.48 To change a corner point into a curve point (one with Bézier handles), use the subselection tool to Option-drag (Mac) or Alt-drag (Windows) a selected corner point (top). You actually pull a Bézier handle out of the point instead of relocating the point. When you release the mouse button, Flash redraws the curve (bottom).

To convert curve points to corner points:

  1. With the path you want to modify selected, in the Toolbox, choose the pen tool.

  2. Position the pen pointer over a curve point.

    The convert-to-corner-point modifier (a small caret) appears next to the pen icon.

  3. Click the curve point.

    Flash converts the curve point to a corner point and flattens the curved path (Figure 3.49).

    Figure 3.49Figure 3.49 When you position the pen tool over a curve point, a small caret appears next to the pointer (top). With the caret modifier active, click the curve point to reduce it to a corner point (bottom). Flash redraws the path accordingly.

To delete anchor points:

  1. With the path you want to modify selected, in the Toolbox, choose the pen tool.

  2. Position the pen pointer over a corner point.

    The remove-point modifier (a minus sign) appears next to the pen icon.

    (Note that if the point you want to delete is currently a curve point, you must follow the steps in the preceding exercise to convert it to a corner point.)

  3. Click the corner point.

    Flash removes the anchor point and reshapes the path to connect the remaining points (Figure 3.50).

    Figure 3.50Figure 3.50 When you position the pen tool over a corner point, a small minus sign appears next to the pointer (top). With the minus-sign modifier active, click the corner point to reduce it to no point at all (bottom). Flash redraws the path accordingly.

    TIP

    You can also delete one or more anchor points by selecting them with the subselection tool and pressing Delete.

To add new anchor points to a curve segment:

  1. With the path you want to modify selected, in the Toolbox, choose the pen tool.

  2. Position the pen pointer over the path between two curve points.

    The add-point modifier (a plus sign) appears next to the pen icon.

  3. Click the path.

    Flash adds a new curve point (Figure 3.51).

    Figure 3.51Figure 3.51 When you position the pen tool between existing curve points, a small plus sign appears next to the pointer (middle). With the plus-sign modifier active, click the curve to add a new curve point (bottom). Note that the pen tool cannot add points between corner points.

    Tips

    • If you need to add points to a straight-line segment, first convert the corner points that define the segment to curve points. Then you'll be able to add another curve point between them.

    • To add points to the end of an open path, position the pen pointer over the end of the path. When the x to the right of the pen pointer disappears, click the last anchor point and then continue clicking to add more points.

    • You can select an open path with the pen tool by clicking the anchor point at either end of the path. Flash won't convert or delete the end anchor point; it just highlights the path the same way that the subselection tool would.

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