Task 2 How to Create a Curved Path

Although the straight-line path you learned to create in Task 1 is good for basic shapes, you will no doubt want to create paths with curved lines as well. This task shows how to draw paths with curved segments, enabling you to create more complex and detailed paths.

  1. Open the File

    Choose File, Open to launch the desired file. Select the Pen tool from the toolbox (you may have to select it from the pop-out menu that appears after you click the tool in the toolbox).


  2. Place the First Point

    Position the pen over the image area at the spot where you want to start the path. Click once to place an anchor point.


  3. Create the First Curved Segment

    Click and drag while placing the second point to create a curved path segment. Two handles appear out of the second point as you drag, showing the direction of the curve.


  4. Modify the Curve

    Press and hold the graphics/common.gif key (Mac users) or Ctrl key (Windows users) to change the Pen cursor into the Direct Selection tool. Click and drag either of the handles to change the shape of the curve.


  5. Complete the Path

    Continue adding points to create additional straight or curved segments as necessary. Click the first point again to close the path, if desired.


  6. Save and Name the Path

    Open the Paths palette by choosing Window, Paths. In the palette, double-click the tile for the path you just created (the tile has the name Work Path). In the Save Path dialog box that appears, type a name for the path and click OK to save the path.


How-To Hints

Editing Curved Segments

Instead of editing each curved segment as you make it, you may find it easier to approximate all the curve points and fine-tune the segments all at once. When you work this way, you can select the Direct Selection tool directly from the toolbox instead of pressing the graphics/common.gif key (Mac users) or the Ctrl key (Windows users) as you did in Step 4.