Chapter 5. Using the Pen Tool and Placing Images

In This Chapter

  • Familiarizing yourself with the Pen tool

  • Creating paths, closed shapes, and curves

  • Using the hidden Pen tools

  • Tracing some artwork

  • Placing images in Illustrator CS5

  • Working with Layer Comps

You've seen illustrations that you know are made from paths, but how do you make your own? In this chapter, we show you how to use the Pen tool to create paths and closed shapes.


Using the Pen tool requires a little more coordination than do other Illustrator tools. Fortunately, Adobe Illustrator CS5 includes new features to help make using the Pen tool a little easier. After you master the Pen tool, the possibilities for creating illustrations are unlimited. Read this chapter to build your skills using the most popular feature in graphical software: the Bézier curve.

Pen Tool Fundamentals

Pen Tool Fundamentals
  • Bézier curve: Originally developed by Pierre Bézier in the 1970s for CAD/CAM operations, the Bézier curve (shown in Figure 5-1) became the underpinnings of the entire Adobe PostScript drawing model. A Bézier curve is one that you can control the depth and size of by using direction lines.

  • Anchor point: You can use anchor points to control the shape of a path or object. Anchor points are created automatically when using shape tools. You can manually create anchor points by clicking from point to point with the Pen tool.

    Figure 5-1. Bézier curves are controlled ...

Get Adobe® Creative Suite® 5 Design Premium all-in-one for Dummies® now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.