This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to use the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator to draw a straight line

If you have tried to use the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator to draw a simple straight line, and have been frustrated, don't be. You are in good company with just about everyone starting out with Adobe Illustrator. Using the pen tool, and ultimately mastering it, is what Adobe Illustrator is all about. Once you get the hang of it, everything else in Adobe Illustrator comes easily. And if you are using the "line" tool to draw a line, you will never get very good at Adobe Illustrator. Learn to use the pen tool.

The first mistake that people make when attempting to draw a straight line in Adobe Illustrator with the pen tool is to do a click-and-drag. If you've tried this, only to see a dot appear and another line with a smaller dot appear, and then disappear, don't feel bad. To be fair, in just about any other graphics program, that is how you draw a line, with a click and drag. That's not how you do it in Adobe Illustrator.

Select the pen tool, go on the page and click and let go. Then go somewhere else on the page and click and let go. I've taught classes where I've had people literally let go and hold their hands up in the air after they click the mouse. Do not drag the mouse.

Clicking-and-dragging with the pen tool establishes a vector direction, which is the subject of another post. This takes you into curved lines, which are really quite fun, again, once you get the hang of it. Start with a straight line. And make friends with the pen tool.

If you would like to get personal on-site software training in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Dreamweaver in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, please contact me. Paypal accepted, morning appointments only.

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