Reshape a path with one tool

Reshape a path with one tool

2 minute read

The Reform tool (part of the Reform plugin) allows you to simply reshape and sculpt paths without fiddling with anchor points and their handles. You can sculpt a path by dragging the offset markers around, previewing what the path will look like before you confirm any changes.

Quick start guide to the Reform tool:

  • To add the Reform tool icon to your Illustrator toolbar, you need to have the Advanced tool bar selected (Window > Toolbars > Advanced)

  • You can also open the panel by navigating to Window > Astute Graphics > Reform and clicking inside the panel to activate the tool.

  • Hover over a path to see the target line light up.

  • Drag out an offset marker to sculpt a path. Continue to do this to mould the path without adding/moving anchor points or fiddling with bezier handles. Click Apply in the panel to confirm, or Reset to remove the markers.

  • Hold down the Alt (macOS) / Option (Windows) before you make your first offset marker to enter looped mode. This will constantly offset the entire shapes path, which you can then add extra sculpting offset markers to. Click Apply in the panel to confirm, or Reset to remove the markers.

  • To constantly offset one edge of a shape, hold down the Alt + Shift (macOS) / Option + Shift (Windows) keys as you drag out from the target path. Ensure the Smart Joining button is on in the panel (which it is by default) and Reform will follow the original paths trajectory and trim the overflow. Click Apply in the panel to confirm, or Reset to remove the markers.

The Reform panel offers different corner types, a transition curve slider, and the ability to toggle cusp points plus much more. To find out everything this tool can do, please refer to the full written manual available here.

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