In this guide, we've shared how the Adobe Illustrator Reshape tool can help you to tweak a path with a single anchor point, instead of adjusting multiple segments.
Direct Selection vs. Reshape
With the Direct Selection tool, you have more control over segments in your drawing, but it requires you to tweak multiple anchor and direction points on an individual basis. On the other hand, the Illustrator Reshape tool allows you to transform a large selection from a single point, which can produce smoother results.
Using the Reshape Tool
1. First, load your current Illustrator project and choose the Selection tool (black arrow) from the Tools panel. Then click (or drag) on all the points and segments in a path that need reshaping. If you've accidentally selected an area that you don't want to change, click on it again to deselect it.
2. Next, choose the Reshape tool from the Tools panel (it looks like a black arrow hovering over a curved line). If you don't see it in the panel, click and hold your mouse over the Scale tool, and you'll see the Reshape tool in the submenu.
3. With the Reshape tool selected, move your cursor over the anchor point that you want to adjust, and click on it. Depending on your needs, you can also click on a path segment, or press Shift+click to add more segments to your selection.
4. These selected areas are also known as focal points, and when you hover your Reshape cursor over a path, it will change to an arrow with a white square next to it. That means if you Shift+click, the segment will be added to your selection of focal points.
5. Finally, click and drag on any point in the highlighted section to start reshaping the path according to your needs. Remember: your path needs to be selected with the Selection tool before choosing focal points with the Reshape tool, or else Reshape will only adjust one anchor point and path segment at a time.
Copying the Selected Shape
With the Reshape tool, you can also duplicate entire paths and create complex repeating shapes. Just hold down the Alt key (Option on Mac) while dragging on your Reshape selection, and the shape will be copied every time you click. From there, you can drag each path so the group intersects in a pleasing pattern.