18 Drawing Basic Lines, Paths and Shapes

Drawing Straight Lines

Use the Line Segment Tool when you want to draw one straight line segment at a time. Select the Line Segment tool and do one of the following:

  • Position the pointer where you want the line to begin, and drag to where you want the line to end.
  • Click where you want the line to begin. In the dialog box, specify the Length and the Angle of the line.
  • If you want to fill the line with the current fill color, select Fill Line. Then click OK.

Drawing Paths

To create our illustrations we need to start by drawing basics. As you draw, you create a line called a path. A path is made up of one or more straight or curved segments. The beginning and end of each segment are marked by anchor points, which work like pins holding a wire in place. A path can be closed (for example, a circle), or open, with distinct endpoints (for example, a wavy line).

You change the shape of a path by dragging its anchor points, the direction points at the end of direction lines that appear at anchor points, or the path segment itself.

Paths can have two kinds of anchor points: corner points and smooth points. At a corner point, a path abruptly changes direction. At a smooth point, path segments are connected as a continuous curve. You can draw a path using any combination of corner and smooth points. If you draw the wrong kind of point, you can always change it.

A corner point can connect any two straight or curved segments, while a smooth point always connects two curved segments.

A path’s outline is called a stroke. A color or gradient applied to an open or closed path’s interior area is called a fill. A stroke can have weight (thickness), color, and a dash pattern (Illustrator and InDesign) or a stylized line pattern (InDesign). After you create a path or shape, you can change the characteristics of its stroke and fill.

In InDesign, each path also displays a center point, which marks the center of the shape but is not part of the actual path. You can use this point to drag the path, to align the path with other elements, or to select all anchor points on the path. The center point is always visible; it can’t be hidden or deleted.

Draw rectangle and squares

Select the Rectangle tool or the Rounded Rectangle tool and do one of the following;

  • To draw a rectangle, drag diagonally until the rectangle is the desired size.
  • To draw a square, hold down the Shift key while you drag diagonally until the square is the desired size.
  • To create a square or rectangle using values, click where you want the top-left corner to be.
  • Specify a width and height (and a corner radius for a rounded rectangle), and click OK.


Adobe: Drawing Lines and Basic Shapes


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