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Mixing Straight and Curved Path Segments

Although most frames utilize regularly shaped paths—ellipses, rectangles, or polygons—InDesign's use of paths enables you to create frames of any shape. Anchor points exist in two states, corner and smooth, which can be mixed to create path segments of any shape.

Smooth anchor points form a seamless connection between two curved segments. The direction lines of a smooth anchor point are tangent (touching at a single point) to the curve segments (Figure 3.20).

Corner anchor points form the intersection of any two segments that meet at an angle—the point between two straight-line segments, between one straight and one curved segment, or between two curved segments that join at an angle (Figure 3.21). Hybrid anchor points that fall between curves and straight-line segments are considered corner points.

  1. Choose the Pen tool and click-drag an anchor point in the direction of the curve (Figure 3.22).

  2. Click-drag a new anchor point to complete the curve (Figure 3.23).

  3. To create a straight line as the next path segment, click once on the last anchor point (Figure 3.24).

  4. Click (don't drag) to complete the line (Figure 3.25).

  5. To transition from a straight line to a curve, click-drag on the last anchor point in the direction of the curve (Figure 3.26).

  6. Click-drag a new anchor point to complete the curve (Figure 3.27).


Click and drag an existing anchor point (with the Direct Selection tool) to move it. Click an anchor point and drag the end of a direction line to adjust a curve. If you want to adjust the overall height or width of an entire path, use the Selection tool to select the path and adjust the size of the bounding box.


With the Pen tool, two clicks in a row without dragging are always connected by a straight-line segment. Alternating clicks with click-drags creates curved segments. You can click and click-drag segments in any order. Here are some threeÐanchor-point examples (Figure 3.28).

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