Reconnect to an Existing Path in Illustrator - dummies

By Jennifer Smith

Creating one segment in Adobe Illustrator CC is fine if you want just a line or an arch. But if you want to create a shape, you need to add more anchor points to the original segment. If you want to fill your shape with a color or a gradient, you need to close it, which means that you need to eventually return to the starting anchor point.

To add segments to your path and create a closed shape, follow these steps:

1Create a segment (straight or curved).

You can continue from this point, clicking and adding anchor points until you eventually close the shape. For this example, you deselect the path so that you can discover how to continue adding to paths that have already been created. Knowing how to edit existing paths is extremely helpful when you need to make adjustments to artwork.

2With the Pen tool selected, move the cursor over an end anchor point on the deselected path.

Continue to the next step.

3Click when you see the Pen icon with a forward slash to connect your next segment.

The forward slash indicates that you’re connecting to this path.

4Click someplace else to create the next anchor point in the path; drag the mouse if you want to create a curved segment.

Continue to the next step.

Adding anchor points to create a shape.

5Click to place additional anchor points, dragging as needed to curve those segments.

Remember that you want to close this shape, so place the anchor points so that you can eventually come back to the first anchor point.

The shape shown in this figure is a result of adding several linked anchor points.

Click when the close path icon appears.

6When you return to the first anchor point, move the cursor over it and click when the close icon (a small, hollow circle) appears, as shown.

The shape now has no endpoints.