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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 3.40 ).
    fig_0340_crnrpttom.jpg

    Figure 3.40 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 Toolbar, 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 3.41 ).
    fig_0341_cnvrtcrvptto.jpg

    Figure 3.41 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 Toolbar, 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 3.42 ).
    fig_0342_deleteanchrpt.jpg

    Figure 3.42 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.

To add new anchor points to a curve segment:

  1. With the path you want to modify selected, choose the pen tool from the Toolbar.
  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 3.43 ).
    fig_0343_addanchrpts.jpg

    Figure 3.43 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.

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