Adobe CS5 Illustrator Pen Tool Fundamentals - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

The Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator Pen tool can be used to create elements, such as straight lines, curves, and closed shapes, which you can then incorporate into illustrations.

  • Bézier curve: Originally developed by Pierre Bézier in the 1970s for CAD/CAM operations, the Bézier curve became the underpinnings of the entire Adobe PostScript drawing model. A Bézier curve is one that you can control the depth and size of by using direction lines.

    Bézier curves are controlled by direction lines.
    Bézier curves are controlled by direction lines.
  • Anchor point: You can use anchor points to control the shape of a path or object. Anchor points are created automatically when using shape tools. You can manually create anchor points by clicking from point to point with the Pen tool.

  • Direction line: These lines are essentially the handles you use on curved points to adjust the depth and angle of curved paths.

  • Closed shape: When a path is created, it becomes a closed shape when the start point joins the endpoint.

  • Simple path: A path consists of one or more straight or curved segments. Anchor points mark the endpoints of the path segments.