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Skill Level Intermediate
One of the reasons that people seem to fear the pen tool inside of Illustrator is because the pen tool's behavior can be a little unpredictable. But, in this latest version of Illustrator CC, there's a new feature called pen tool preview which allows you to see almost a rubber band-like preview of what the pen tool is going to create before you actually create it. Let's take a look. I'm going to go the file menu, choose New. Just going to hit OK. Doesn't matter how bigger how small, this document is.
Once I have the document created, I'm going to press the letter p on my keyboard to get the pen tool or simply grab it from the tools panel right over here on the left. And then, what I'm going to do is just click anywhere on screen to create a point. And then I'm just going to move my mouse around, and you can see, that I get this little preview of what the pen tool is going to draw. So in this case it's going to draw a straight line. If I click and hold and draw out, I can see the curve, just like I always could, but now, when I go to make my next point, I can actually see, what this curve segment is going to look like all over the art board.
So, this is going to hopefully eliminate all of those little unnecessary whip movements that are created with the pen tool. So, if you don't know what I'm talking about, I'm talking about like when people create interesting looks with the pen tool and then, you know, they get to the point to where they just don't understand how it going to react and it creates almost like this. Whip-like effect, where it just kind of juts out somewhere. And you don't really understand why. Well, this is going to give you a live preview of what the pen tool is going to do every single time before you do it.
Now if you don't see this happening with your pen tool. Then either one or two things is going on. Either you haven't updated to the latest version of Illustrator CC or somehow it got turned off in your preferences. So just bring up the preferences by hitting Cmd or Ctrl+K and then go down to selection and Anchor display. And then down here at the bottom there's this little check box that says enable rubber band for pen tool. And it tells you, it'll show path preview with the pen tool. So, if you have this checked, you have that little preview I just showed you.
If you don't have it checked, you don't have it. So hit OK, once you turn that on, and then come out and test it again with the pen tool just to make sure that you always see exactly what the pen tool is going to do before you do it.
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