The Liquify Tools in Adobe CS5 Illustrator

When you use the Liquify tools in Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator you can bend objects — make them wavy, gooey, or spiky — by creating simple to complex distortions.

The Liquify tools can accomplish all sorts of creative or wacky (depending on how you look at it) distortions to your objects. You can choose from eight Liquify tools. You should experiment with these tools to understand their full capabilities. Here are some tips:

  • A variety of Liquify tools are available by holding down the mouse button on the default selection, the Width tool. If you use the tools frequently, drag to the arrow at the end of the tools and release when you see the tooltip for Tearoff. You can then position the tools anywhere in your work area.

  • Double-click any Liquify tool to open a dialog box specific to the selected tool.

  • When a Liquify tool is selected, the brush size appears. Adjust the diameter and shape of the Liquify tool by holding down the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key while dragging the brush shape smaller or larger. Press the Shift key to constrain the shape to a circle.

    New in CS5 is the Width tool. Using the Width tool, cross over a selected path. When a hollow square appears, click and drag outward (or inward), and the stroke width at that location is adjusted.

    Use the new Width tool.
    Use the new Width tool.

If you want a little more accuracy, you can double-click the stroke by using the Width tool and create, modify, or delete the width point by using the Width Point Edit dialog box

Customize the Width tool in this dialog box.
Customize the Width tool in this dialog box.
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