Sharing resources to learn the PEN TOOL

Sharing with you a Worksheet I have put together to help you learn the Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator 2020. More coming soon :slight_smile:

If you want your beziers to stay straight and even, hold the shift key while pulling them.

Am I missing something? Orange?

Depends on your monitor maybe? I see a hot red too, but wasn’t caring enough about the exercise to care about the color.

There is that!

But just because I am an eensy bit obsessive:
RGB: 231 48 42
HEX: #E7302A
CMYK: 1 90 91 0

That’s fairly red.

Only on a design forum debates can start on how much magenta vs yellow is there in a colour. I thought I was obsessive, glad to see Im not alone

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Just to ‘aggravate’ the comments section here is my second worksheet sufficiently blue blue :slight_smile:

I’m guessing you mean the leftmost blue circle, where the instruction should be to click and hold (while using the shift key to keep the bezier handle perpendicular.) What are these for?

I can spend hours refining the curve on a counter. CMYK breakdowns don’t even begin to scratch the surface!

Very comforting to know this! Collective ‘design madness’ :slight_smile:

Goes with the territory I guess. Every designer I have ever know who I have respected has always been more than a little OCD.

Okay well, I know this wasn’t posted expressly for critique, but seeing as we’re obsessing over details, I’ll bring my own brand of retentiveness to the thread…

@Designeringpixels, if you aspire to produce learning aids or any kind of instructional materials, pay closer attention to your writing.

A. While “Click on the…” is not inaccurate in a literal sense, it’s not always necessary to be that literal, and it’s better to differentiate clicks by adding context. When a click is made to select a tool, I’d suggest “Choose the Pen tool”
B. Here again, additional context would improve it; “Click once on the Orange Circle to set the first anchor point.”
C. “towards” is the way a lot of English-speaking people talk, but it’s tantamount to saying “move forwards,” which frankly sounds a bit sub-cerebral, if you know what I mean. When writing as a professional, (which should be every time you write), always leave the ‘s’ off “toward”.
D. Establish a very specific convention for the way you designate the various click/ actions and stick to it ruthlessly throughout a piece. Where you had “Click once” (item B.), I’d suggest "Click/Release, and here, I’d suggest “Click/Hold/Drag to the right, along the Blue Line.”
E. Never use the word “once” this way; only use it to express one time. “Release (the mouse button) when you reach the end of the line.”
F. There are several "Orange Circle"s. Technically, this is a design flaw. You can really only speak of “the Orange Circle” if there is only one. Subsequent “circles” should be differentiated in some way; another color, or Orange Circle A, Orange Circle B, etc. Here, I’ll add that those are not actually “circles”.
G. Be wary of instructing to simply “Repeat”. You know what you mean; I might know; 100 people might know; 5 might figure it out by noticing the second set of circles and lines in the visual aid; but, not everyone will. Your goal must always be to leave NOTHING to question, for anyone, especially the most under-initiated.

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My local butcher could not have taken it apart any better, @HotButton! Lovin’ it! :pig:

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I may well have to appropriate that phrase at some point! It’s fantastic. Love it.

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I think it’s grammatically acceptable to use the word once as a subordinating conjunction meaning as soon as. I agree that it might be confusing in those instances where it could be interpreted to mean one time.

In the sentence in question, I’d be more concerned about the tense of the word reached.

I’m not quite sure why we’re discussing this in a thread about using the pen tool, though. :thinking: :grinning:

Looks like it’s more instructional than using.
Instructions should be clear
I think HB spends a lot of time doing just that. LOL!

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Thanks … now this is going to be stuck in my head all day! LOL


I don’t disagree if the context is “general,” but when writing instructions, it’s best to avoid it. It’s even more important to avoid it if there is any possibility that it will be read by someone whose primary language is not English, or if it will be translated to languages other than English.

Well, it’s always interesting when we express our perceptions of what’s welcome or unwelcome in terms of topic steering in a forum thread. It often seems implied that staying on topic is a courtesy (extended to primarily the OP, I suppose), but whether it should be considered a rule of sorts is another question entirely. In this case I’d say the straying occurred well before my post, and, I would use my up-front acknowledgement as a defense:

Plus, I was sincerely trying to be helpful, so there’s that. (I can’t always make that claim legitimately.)

I think we agree.

My cubicle was next to the copy desk when I worked at a newspaper. The copy editors would regularly get in heated disagreements over things like this. Events came to a head one day when one of the copy editors stood up, hurled his desk phone across the newsroom striking a reporter, then stormed out while screaming that the other copy editors were nothing but a bunch of “pig f***ers.”

That was such a fun job. :smiley:


Thank you all for the comments, I appreciate the feedback and I really dont mind off topic discussions, on the contrary! I am not a native English speaker, as you probably gathered by now, therefore I know I will always have areas to work and improve upon! language is one of those skills that always need development! plus I enjoy these types of debates! Ive been around design long enough to know not to take things personally! To give you a bit of background info on my decision to post these these sheets, Ive uploaded them as my students mentioned they find them very helpful (pen tool scares them); they usually come with a video demo (I still need to figure out how to post MP4s here/I wonder what pandora boxes will that open).

Reflecting on this discussion, I know wonder now, how many of my students even read the instructions!

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