February 9, 2007

Learn to use the Pen tool

I was searching for some files on an old hard drive and came across this file that I created many years ago to help teach people to learn how to use the Pen tool. They are just some simple exercises, but if using the Pen tool frustrates you, you might find these six step-by-step examples useful.

The file is zipped and contains a single Illustrator CS2 document (although you should be able to open it in older versions as well). Enjoy.

PenTool_Exercises.zip - 328kb


Anonymous said...


I am proficient with the pen tool but I find that most people don't know how to use it and I feel it is a very valuable part of Illustrator, I probably use it everyday or close to it. I think these exercises will help people understand the tool a little more. I would also nominate the pen tool as "the most valuable yet underused tool" in Illustrator (Stole that nominating stuff from David and Ann-maire)


patrick said...

Thanks Mordy. This site is my favourite resource for Adobe info, you go right to the heart of the apps. Can't express how much I appreciate you sharing your knowledge, your insight makes things crystal clear.

Is there a red "Batphone" at Adobe HQ that flashes whenever you contact them?


George said...

I have always suggested to people that to learn to use the pen tool, you should be able to create a solid, freehand letter "S" - doing so requires to you learn about every advanced Pen tool and Pen tool sub-tool technique.

I am also surprised to read that so many Illustrator users aren't proficient with the Pen tool. I use it above all others, in fact to the detriment of my knowledge of and experience with the other drawing tools.

I have recently forced myself to work on projects with those tools (which is how I learned the Pen tool), but there's something that so far just does not satisfy that control-freak part of me when using the more free-form tools.

Mordy - any brush & pencil tool exercises?

Anonymous said...

That is really helpful, thank you!

As a Photoshop user, I have tried on and off for many years to get upto speed with Illustrator - this is always the challenge - the Mighty Pen!!


Anonymous said...

Great! I would love more of these exercises. Maybe some advanced ones? Thank you for these lessons.

priteesh said...


i found the zip is a broken link. i need the tutorial mordy fix the link


Anonymous said...

I like to throw in the points first and worry about the curves later.


Norv said...

Great exercises. I am guilty of under utilizing the tool. Thanks.