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Edit anchor points and segments

After you select one or more anchor points on one or more paths, you can move them to change the object's shape. You can also reshape the curved segments between two points, even when those anchor points are not selected.

To move an anchor point

  1. On the Toolbar, select either the Direct Selection Cc294918.a4e92365-1fd6-473c-b727-1487d8a466c9(en-us,Expression.10).png or Lasso Selection Cc294918.81bef400-2dac-4493-9ff4-8a9fc9153a33(en-us,Expression.10).png tool.

  2. Select an anchor point and drag it.

If you have more than one anchor point selected, moving any one anchor point will move all the selected points.

Cc294918.alert_tip(en-us,Expression.10).gifTip:

For more controlled positioning, you can press the arrow keys on the keyboard to move the anchor points by one nudge increment at a time. Alternatively, you can hold down the SHIFT key when you press the arrow keys for a larger 10x increment, or hold down the CTRL key when you press the arrow keys to move in a smaller 1/10 increment.

To set nudge increments

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Options, and then click Units and Grids.

  2. On the Units and Grids panel, under Arrangement, adjust the Nudge increment setting. To increase the setting, move the slider up or to the right, and to reduce the setting, move the slider down or to the left. You can also click and enter a numeric value.

Each anchor point on a Bezier curve has two control handles (also named tangent handles). In corner points, the handles are fully retracted, and in curve points, the handles are extended.

To move a control handle

  1. On the Toolbar, select either the Direct Selection or Lasso Selection tool.

  2. Select a handle and drag it.

When you change one handle, the other handle usually changes too. However, you can move a handle without moving the opposite handle by switching to the Convert Anchor Point tool. For more information about anchor point control handles and the Convert Anchor Point tool, see About corners versus curves.

You can scale, rotate, or skew selected anchor points as if they were objects.

To resize or rotate anchor points

  1. On the Toolbar, select either the Direct Selection or Lasso Selection tool, and then select one or more anchor points.

  2. On the Toolbar, select the Selection Cc294918.959a05a6-5a4b-4b0e-98a3-fb628d2c03a2(en-us,Expression.10).png tool (or press V). Microsoft Expression Design then displays the Resize and Rotation handles around the bounding box of those anchor points.

  3. Use the handles to resize or rotate the anchor points.

For more information about these controls, see Use resize and rotation handles.

You can also apply transformations to the selected anchor points by using the Action Bar underneath the main document window.

To transform anchor points using the Action Bar

  1. On the Toolbar, select either the Direct Selection or Lasso Selection tool, and then select one or more anchor points.

  2. On the Action Bar, modify any one of the variables to change the shape. For example, you could select the right side of a shape, and then use the Action Bar to scale it.

Three anchor points on this circle are selected (left) and then stretched by adjusting the W value in the Action Bar (right)

Cc294918.1145d47b-7b4d-4ece-bbbd-289d92595021(en-us,Expression.10).png

Instead of moving a selected anchor point, you can reshape a selected path or shape by dragging a line or curve segment between two anchor points.

To move a line or curve segment between two anchor points

  1. On the Toolbar, select the Direct Selection tool.

  2. Select a segment of a path between two Bezier curve points (or between a curve and a corner point), and drag it.

When you drag a segment between two corner points, Expression Design reshapes the curve closest to the point where you clicked.

You can also convert one or more anchor points to reshape a path.

To reshape a path with the Magnet Selection tool

  1. Select one or more anchor points in a path.

  2. From the Toolbar, select the Convert Anchor Point Cc294918.5c1ad0bc-3b2a-4b7d-82f9-5668009e29e0(en-us,Expression.10).png tool. (You may have to click the arrow on the Pen tool to display the selection.)

  3. Hold down the ALT key to activate the Magnet Selection Cc294918.7de9a8d8-73a0-4499-804d-f3a9069a7d67(en-us,Expression.10).png tool. The Magnet Selection tool lets you move the selected anchor points and the adjacent anchor points.

Anchor points close to one or more selected anchor points are moved the most. Anchor points farther away are moved the least.

A single anchor point is selected (left). When you hold down the ALT key when you drag the anchor point with the Convert Anchor Point tool, you also move nearby anchor points. The anchor points farther away are moved less or not at all.

Cc294918.5445451f-3c1b-4b20-92c1-f809cfb481e3(en-us,Expression.10).png

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