updated on 10 January 2019 | reading time: 3 minutes

Basics

Modify paths

Break curve

Cuts the path at the selected anchor points.

  1. Select one or more anchor point
  2. Choose Modify > Path > Break curve
  3. The path is separated at the selected point(s)

Expand/Shrink

This command offsets path outline inside or outside of the shape depending on the inserted value in the text field. A positive value will outset the contour, a Negative value will inset the path contour.

Note: The path order influences how the offset direction works, so sometimes the opposite will be true: negative value – outset, positive value inset

Simplify path

Reduces the number of the anchor point in the path while trying to keep the overall look of the curve. Destructively smooths path by removing unnecessary points. Useful for reducing point produced with the freehand tool or after image vectorization operations.

Modify > Path > Simplify path

Convert to path & RAW path

If you want to edit Preset shapes (Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, Star, Triangle) the same way you edit any other path you should convert them to normal paths first. All the special properties of Preset shapes (for example Number of sides or Arcs angle) will be lost and the path anchor points will be exposed for editing with Subselect tool. Convert to path also works with Compound shapes and will turn them to a single vector object losing the opportunity to edit the subobjects. Note that this is destructive operation.

Convert to path will keep editable corners.

To convert selection to a path use Convert to Path command in the context menu, or go to Modify > Path > Convert to Path or use the button  on the toolbar or use shortcut keys  / CTRL / SHIFT + P

Convert to Raw path does the same but it will not keep the editable corners and convert them to bezier curve points.

Here is an example with a Rectangle primitive where we can edit corner radius with its control points, but it is always in rectangular shape. When it is converted to a path the corner points become freely editable, but the corner rounding is kept. When the rectangle is converted to RAW path all the points become regular bezier anchors.

Convert to Outline

Convert to Outline command creates a new object representing only the outline of the original shape with defined “stroke” thickness. The outline is drawn around the center of the object’s contour. The new object inherits the same appearance properties as original shape. It is similar to the Vectorize border but works on paths without borders as well.

To Convert path to Outline go to Modify > Path > Convert to Outline and in the dialog box type a number of the desired thickness of the outline.

Vectorize borders

Converts a border (a shape outline or an open path) into a filled vector shape.

 

Note: Not all borders properties are converted. For example, dashed borders, arrowheads are omitted.

 

Connect path lines

You can join multiple selected lines (or any paths) using Modify > Path > Connect Paths Lines.

Note, however, that paths have a start point and an endpoint, and this operation always connects the end of one path with the start of the next.

If the lines are not drawn in the correct direction, unexpected connections might occur – note in each example how the end of the first vertical line is connected with the start of the next line in drawing sequence.

To “fix” this you can swap the start and end points of a path with Modify > Path > Reverse Order.