pen tool Pencil tool Draw curves and shapes

Vector lines, curves and shapes are easily created using either the Pen Tool or the Pencil Tool. The Pen Tool has several modes that change the way the path is drawn.

Pen tool To draw precise curves with the Pen tool:
  1. Select the Pen Tool.
  2. On the context toolbar, click one of the modes:
    • Pen mode Pen Mode—click-drag on the page to create repeated nodes; repositioning the displayed off-curve control handles at each node defines the shape of the next segment as you lay down nodes.
    • Smart mode Smart Mode—click repeatedly on the page to lay down each node; a best fitting curve is created without need for control handle adjustment.
    • Polygon mode Polygon Mode—click repeatedly on the page to lay down each node; a line is created with sharp nodes made up of straight segments.
    • Line mode Line Mode—click and drag on the page to create a simple single-segment straight line.
  3. To complete the curve without closing it, press the . To close the curve, click on the starting node.

A number of cursor types may appear when using this tool, indicating the outcome of the next click.

Cursor type Description
AsteriskAsterisk—creates a new curve
PlusPlus—creates a new node and curve segment
SlopeSlope—converts to sharp corner or drag to recreate node
CircleCircle—creates a closed shape
Circled asteriskCircled asterisk—creates a new curve from an existing curve’s node.
Circled plusCircled plus—creates a new node overlapping an existing curve’s node.
Node tool To continue an existing curve:
  1. Press the to edit curve or select the curve with the Node Tool.
  2. Place the cursor over the final node on the path that you want to continue.
  3. Click once to select the node.
  4. Release the (or select Pen Tool) and click/drag to place new nodes as needed.
Close Curve To close curves to create a custom shape:

Do one of the following:

To add arrowheads to a stroke:
Example arrowheads added to strokes.

About Dot/Dash Line Styles

The Stroke panel allows you to change your stroke into a dotted or dashed line.

A number grid on the panel sets the line's pattern using two number pairs:

All values are based on the current line width, e.g. a value of 2 is twice the line width.

Dotted line style

Dot line style with Round Cap enabled and Dash settings 0,1,0,0 and 0,2,0,0, respectively.

To create a dotted line, use a setting of 0,1,0,0, 0,2,0,0, 0,3,0,0, etc.

Dash Line Style Pattern

Dash line style with Butt Cap enabled and Dash settings 1,2,0,0 and 1,2,4,2, respectively.

The Phase value allows you to 'shift' the dash line style along so the design begins at a different point in the style's sequence. This can have an impact on how dash lines display for closed shapes (see below).

Dash Line Style Phase

Dash line style 1,2,4,2 with Butt Cap enabled and Phase settings 0 and 4, respectively.