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Deleting stray anchor points

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Deleting stray anchor points

Obviously I have made a little bit of progress. I have done some drawing off camera, for the sake of moving along with things. There is no sense in me making you watch me draw every single one of the spikes and the feet and so on and so on. I'm working inside of a document called Mishi paths.ai found inside the 09_pen_tool folder. And I want to show you a few additional things about drawing here inside of Illustrator. We are going to see how to cut a path in twain and how to keep paths separate from each other and how to close off a path in progress as well.

Deleting stray anchor points

Obviously I have made a little bit of progress. I have done some drawing off camera, for the sake of moving along with things. There is no sense in me making you watch me draw every single one of the spikes and the feet and so on and so on. I'm working inside of a document called Mishi paths.ai found inside the 09_pen_tool folder. And I want to show you a few additional things about drawing here inside of Illustrator. We are going to see how to cut a path in twain and how to keep paths separate from each other and how to close off a path in progress as well.

So let's just get a sense of the landscape here. So you can see what paths I have created. I'll go ahead and switch over to my Black Arrow tool and click on this outer path here. And this path incorporates much of the beast, as you can see it. It traces around the head, along the spikes in the back, along the underbelly, down here the front rear hoof of the creature and then back up its neck and so on. So this is one big close path. And then we have this path that goes up the back right here and then around the muscle and then we have independent paths for the remaining three legs, as you see them right here. All right, so and those paths are all open. So there is just one big closed path in the background.

I am going to go ahead and zoom in on this path and let's say that I want to cut the back path right here. I want to cut it away from the muscle path. How might I go about doing that? Well, I would switch to the White Arrow tool and just click some place along this path just to make it active and then I'm going to go down here to the Eraser tool, click and hold and choose the Scissors tool from the flyout menu. I could also just press the C key. Then I'll click with the Scissors tool, about this location here, I figure and Oh! Look at that. Isn't that nice? This dialog box warning is coming out to tell me that I missed the path, but it does it in the most confusing way possible. Please use the Scissors tool on the segment or an anchor point, but not an endpoint of a path. Thereby insinuating somehow that I did click on an endpoint, when in fact I did not.

Leave this up because you don't want to say Don't show again, because otherwise the tool just misbehaves without letting you know what in the world up is up. But what this means is you missed the path dude. That's what it should say. So click OK. I can see that I've got the right anchor point selected, the one that goes with this segment right there. So I can just press the Backspace key or the Delete key on Mac to get rid of it, but let's say that it didn't work out so nicely. So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac, instead we ended up getting something like this. I'll go ahead and switch to the Arrow tool and instead we ended up selecting this point.

This was the one that remained selected and I needed to select this point and get rid of it and I can't just select a segment. You don't want to do that. You don't want to marquee the segment and press Backspace or Delete, because what do you do? You leave behind a rouge anchor point and you do not want rogue anchor points, although Illustrator does help you with rogue anchor points. You can go up to the Select menu and you can choose Object, I believe it is and you can choose this command right there Stray Points. So if you've got a problem with stray points, like you just tend to leave a lot of stray points inside of your illustration or you are working with some sloppy artist who just can't get it through their head that they are not supposed to leave stray anchor points around, then you might even want to assign a keyboard shortcut to this guy.

But I'm going to go ahead and select it and see what happens. Ah, ho, who is this sloppy artist? I left behind a stray anchor point. This is an honest-to-goodness mistake, people. I'm filled with shame and grief. I'm sorry, pardon me. And then you would press the Backspace key or the Delete key to get rid of it. All right, let's go ahead and move backward here. That's not the best way to work. Let's go ahead and undo, a couple of clicks there. All right so let's say this point right there is selected and you want to make this point selected instead. That is the point that's immediately underneath it. This is what you do. You would marquee both of the points, to select them both like so. I'll zoom out a little bit. So we can see what's going on. Then you would press the Shift+Alt keys or the Shift+Option keys on Mac and you would click on this path right here, the one that you want to deselect.

You click on it. So this is the first Shift+Alt-click. It selects the entire thing. That's a Shift+Option-click on the Mac. The second Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option-click on the Mac deselects the entire thing and then we are left with just this point selected. Then you press the Backspace key to deselect it. What about this point that was left right there? I would marquee it, the same rational essentially, I would marquee it in order to select it. And then I would Shift+Alt-click on the path that I want to ultimately deselect and it will select the entire thing. That's a Shift+Opt-click on the Mac and then do it again. Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Opt- click again to deselect it and then we are left with the stray.

Oh! Dear. All right we have seen how to break a path apart and also how to get rid of stray anchor points inside of an illustration, much to my dismay. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to keep paths separate and how to close them off. Join me please.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

182 video lessons · 37873 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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