General Question

makemo's avatar

Illustrator: how to paint consecutive strokes without deselecting each new path?

Asked by makemo (531points) August 24th, 2008

Using the pen tool:

How do I paint consecutive strokes (i.e. without worrying if they connect or not), without having to deselect each new stroke before being able to make a new?

I’m using a Wacom tablet to paint with. Right now, every time when I paint a stroke, then release the pen and directly paint a new stroke, I seem to end up deleting the previous stroke.

Is there a workaround or a solution, if I want to simply ‘paint’, and afterwards join those anchors that I wish to stay connected?

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10 Answers

paulc's avatar

With the pen tool you should only be able to place anchors (tapping the stylus on your tablet) and adjust the curve handles of anchors (tap and drag). With the brush or pencil tools, every time you place your stylus down it should be the same as clicking with the mouse and a new path should begin without requiring that you de-select the old one.

I really have no idea how you’re ending up deleting the old stroke – I’ve just tried each tool to be sure and I can’t get it to do that. My only thought is that possibly your tablet’s pressure sensitivity is too high or you’ve got some sort of setting causing this.

Anyhow, if you get it to stop deleting your previous strokes, you can join anchors simply with the pen tool. Click on one anchor, click on the next: they join.

Bri_L's avatar

I used the brush tool and it worked fine for that. Would that tool not work for what your trying to do? Also, double click on the tool and make sure “keep the stroke selected” is not checked. Otherwise if your close to the stroke you just drew it will reposition it to the new one and the old one will dissappear.

makemo's avatar


Bri_L completely solved my issue. That was what I meant to say: that the strokes get redrawn/edited if I’m drawing on or too close to another path.

Thanks a lot! (and same to you, paulc!)

benseven's avatar

There’s also a modifier key you can use to get the same funtionality, so that you don’t have to switch off what can sometimes be a useful tool.

It’s one of Ctrl, Alt, or Apple/win just before you paint the stroke. Can’t remember exactly which though.

Bri_L's avatar

No prob Makemo – glad to help.

@ Benseven – Thanks to you to. I had forgotten about that functionality.

benseven's avatar

Well, that said, I couldn’t work out which modifier it was! Any luck?

Bri_L's avatar

i’ll be darned if I can find it

makemo's avatar

No luck here either, find that modifier key.

gcoghill's avatar

Also, in the Brush prefs (double click the tool) you can set a larger gap for “Edit selected paths), or deselect the tool completely.

gcoghill's avatar

And I don’t know of a modifier key to temporarily toggle the “keep selected” option, I tried everything here on Mac/CS3 Illustrator and I do no see that functionality.

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