25 July 2010
Use the Pen tool in Adobe Flash Professional when you want to draw precise paths as straight lines or smooth, flowing curves. When you draw with the Pen tool, click repeatedly to create points on straight line segments. Click and drag to create points on curved line segments. Edit straight and curved line segments by adjusting anchor points on the line.
There are several Pen tool states:
The simplest path you can draw with the Pen tool is a straight line: Click the Pen tool twice to create two anchor points; continue to click to create a path made of straight line segments connected by corner points.
Note: The first segment you draw is not visible until you click a second anchor point (unless you've specified Show Pen Preview in the Drawing category of the Preferences dialog box).
To access the Pen tool, select it from the Tools panel. To draw a curve, add an anchor point where a curve changes direction and drag the direction lines that shape the curve. The length and slope of the direction lines determine the shape of the curve.
Curves are easier to edit and your system can display and print them faster if you draw them using as few anchor points as possible. Using too many points can also introduce unwanted bumps in a curve. Instead, draw widely spaced anchor points; practice shaping curves by adjusting the length and angles of the direction lines.
You can also use the Pen tool to edit custom ease curves in the Motion Editor.
To learn more about working with the Pen tool, watch this video tutorial on YouTube describing how to use the Pen tool in Flash. Also see the section titled Drawing with the Pen tool in the Flash documentation.