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Draw with the pen tool

The Pen tool lets you draw lines and curves by creating anchor points which are then connected by either straight or curved lines. Closed paths can also be created, to create shapes of great complexity. Along with the shape tool, the pen tool creates the content within a canvas tag.

Images inside canvas elements, such as the graphics created with the Pen and Shape tools, can't be changed using timeline animation. The enclosing canvas tag can be animated (to move the entire tag), but the color or shape of the image in the canvas tag can't be animated.

Drawing lines

Drawing straight lines

To draw straight lines:

  1. Click the Canvas tool in the toolbar.
  2. Select the Pen option from the pop-up menu.
  3. Click the stage where you want the first line segment to begin.
  4. Click again where you want the segment to end.
  5. Continue clicking to set anchor points for additional straight segments. The active anchor point appears larger, indicating that it's selected. Previous anchor points become deselected as you continue to add new points.
Drawing curved lines

You draw a curve by creating anchor points, and dragging to create control handles that shape the curve. The length and direction of the control handles determine the degree of curvature.

To draw curving lines:

  1. Click the Canvas tool in the toolbar.
  2. Select the Pen option from the pop-up menu.
  3. Click the stage where you want the curve to begin and drag to create a control handle.
  4. Continue clicking and dragging to create anchor points and curved lines.
Drawing a closed path

To draw a closed path, create a shape with the pen tool. To close the shape, make your final click on the initial anchor point.

Adding and removing anchor points

You can add or remove anchor points from your paths by using the pen tool options  in the options bar.

To add points to your path, either select the add point option or hover over the line until your pen cursor becomes an add point cursor. Then click the path to add another anchor point.

To remove points from your path, select the remove point cursor, and then click the point you want to remove. The path will change to fit the remaining points.

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