Illustrator 88's pen tool worked better than this one
Please, please... does anyone at Adobe actually draw with the current pen tool? This is the main tool in your toolbox and it hasn't had a good flow since Illustrator 10. You should be able to draw and use modifier keys to change to the +, - and ^ with ease. Instead, the cursor flashes and gives you one teensy moment when any of those are available resulting in additional points being placed when you might, for instance, be trying to remove a point. The direction handles get in the way of reaching points. Segments are selected too easily when you are trying to get a point. It's just too touchy and a miserable ghost of the original pen tool.
In trying to accommodate "new features", you have reduced the ability to create precision. And you have caused me to throw my Wacom pen across the room ...multiple times.
Bring back simplicity. Mess with other programs.
We would like to understand more about this request. Please me us know if you can talk to us on a call to demonstrate the issues in detail.
Matt Phillips commented
I haven't been using Illustrator since '88, I've been using it since AI7, and one thing that frustrates me is that there doesn't appear to be any option to prioritize pen or scissor tool usage on a selected path when it intersects with another path.
I just can't figure out why anybody would ever be using the pen tool or scissors tool to edit a path with one path selected while intending to edit another path, considering how you need to be within 4 pixels of a path to edit it anyway. I liked that you added the space bar to move a point while editing it, but why do I have to zoom into 2600% just to add or delete a point on a path that I have already selected?
Another issue with the current pen-tool is with sharp corners. The vectors go berserk and throw out crazy sharp-point that extend way past where they should and or the smooth lines are broken up into segments, like they are dashed or something. It's EXTREMELY frustrating, that the "industry standard" vector tool can't handle this.
Illustrator paths used to be so incredibly awesome.
Sally Pfeiffer commented
I strongly agree with those of you who are fed up with the pen tool. Using either a tablet or a mouse, it's almost impossible to select the handles and adjust them. This makes it impossible to finish an illustration in the amount of time it should take, but instead about 50% longer just because of pen tool issues. So I'm losing money using a program I have to pay for each month.
I cannot charge my clients if I provide them with sub-par deliverables, so Adobe needs to fix this ASAP! Of course, I'll gladly accept a refund of my subscription fee each month until they do.
Just watched your video. I don't have that issue at all. Are you using a tablet and a pen? That might be the issue. My last Wacom Intuos had lots of issues and I had to return it.
This tool is not working properly anymore with a Wacom. Turned on "constrain path dragging on segment reshape" option did not help with the flickering tool. It is ridiculous that you have made Illustrator harder to use.
Jean-Michel Le Goff commented
Once again, try using "constrain path dragging on segment reshape" it will help recover one par of the behavior of the pen tool, and make it usable again...
Cuong Tran commented
See I disagree, I love the current pen tool.
Sally Mason commented
I have the same issue.
It doesn't take much effort to reproduce.. just simply try draw anything accurately with the pen tool..
Steps to reproduce:
1. Using the Pen tool, click once and create an anchor point (P1) and try drag out handles
2. Create a new anchor point (P2)
3. Create another anchor point (P3) that coincidentally intersects the handles of (P2)
4. Throw mouse/pen/everything out of the window in frustration!
Here is a video demonstrating the steps:
In the video when I attempt to draw P1 the first couple of times, the issue is very apparent. My frustration is clear even without sound.
It was not immediately obvious that the intersection of the next anchor point was the actual cause; sometimes you can draw a successful series of points IF they don't have handles or points that intersect the handles.
I will be uninstalling the latest version of Illustrator and returning to a previous version until the Pen tool (the most important tool in Illustrator) works as the Pen tool should.
Jean-Michel Le Goff commented
I don't understand all your problems, but pleas began by activate "Constrain Path Dragging on Segment Reshape" and you will get back 99 % of the usability of the Pen tool.
Let me know
Thanks for the reply, Yogesh. I'm going to answer your email. Two things that did help me, although I am still not satisfied with my current work flow in Ai:
• I installed Astute Graphics' plug-in and their pen tool works much better, but need to get used to it
• in the process of doing that, I updated my Wacom tablet driver and (okay, I feel really stupid about it...) that did help a bit with the native pen tool...
BUT I still say that it doesn't function as well as earlier versions of the program. I need to keep better notes on what exactly is happening so that I can demonstrate it to you.
Scott Madore commented
Yes, please make sure core functionality is working.
I was thinking maybe Adobe should have a new Illustrator program, that has some of the new features that make it easier to draw for new users. They can mess with that all they want. Only put features into the main Illustrator when they work well, with no errors.
Keep the main Illustrator really steady, with no bugs, or constant updates.
Scott Jones commented
Great that someone is finally bringing this up. This and many other issues plaguing the latest versions of illustrator. Why has quality gone out the window?
Von Glitschka (Vonster) commented
Adobe Ai team has already ripped of features from Astute Graphics because they implement functions better than Adobes own engineers do.
But even their rip offs fall short like the corner widget, it sucks and the can easily be triggered accidentally when trying to select an anchor point. Astutes dynamic corners tool never gets in the way and is more intuitive.
Overall ease of base vector building, editing, and selection has deteriorated a lot since CC kicked in.
Smart guides are not very smart and you have to constantly toggle them on/off in order to select things at times. Other times you have to zoom in to select otherwise it becomes impossible.
The main problem with Ai development is no one on their team creates with the software they develop.
Their agenda is driven by another team called ‘The Monetary Marketing Team’ that insists on more features that tie into creative cloud and or Adobe Stock. It’s all about migrating people off stand alone apps and onto their subscription model to get that monthly pound of flesh.
Adobe said at MAX 2016 that Ai user base for the first time in 25 years is larger than Photoshop yet their team for Ai is the the keystone cops of development. Sloppy development means you wait years for a bug fix and they love to release a feature half-baked then never return to it and improve it. Brushes in Ai fall into this category.
Take a well functioning feature and make it so complex that it becomes very difficult to use. I've been using Illustrator since 1986 and each upgrade since 5 has been good at making my job harder and more frustrating. I started out loving Adobe Illustrator. Now I really am trying not to hate Adobe...
Richard Hernández commented
Why I prefer Photoshop.
Patrick Foss commented
And stop being influenced by other companies "add-ons" at the expense of OUR tool set.
I'm glad to find out I'm not the only one to throw my pen across the room. Adobe if you must implement too many bells and whistles give me an option to turn them off! Less is more.
Thanks for noticing my equal frustration, Patrick. I attended Art Center, too (decades ago) and have been using Illustrator since the same iteration. My love of all things Adobe is being tested. I hope they listen to us.
... Nancy Stahl
Patrick Stroupe commented
I have posted a similar post about how difficult it is to use the pen tool. Please "vote" on my post and maybe together we can get them to fix the issue.
The pen tool has become such a problem and it completely slows down my work flow!!!
Patrick Stroupe commented
I have been using Adobe Illustrator since Illustrator 88, basically since the beginning. And for the most part I have enjoyed it's improvements. I've watched it grow into a robust program and I've used it daily since 1988 and lately I've become so incredibly frustrated with the pen tool I actually get anxious thinking about having to use the program!!!!!
It has become super difficult to select points/handles and the simple fact that I have to hit "escape" to stop drawing is absolutely ********! It will snap to points of other shapes located nearby (Yes, I have turned off "snapping" in preferences) and when going back and clicking on a point to stop it from continuing the curve it will create another point right next the one I was trying to click on. It is super difficult to control and causes me to constantly zoom in and out so that I can make sure I clicked on the point, and not right next to it. And it often will not close a path/shape.
I'm pursuing a second career, and attending Art Center College of Design, where I also serve as a "teachers assistant". My experience with Illustrator has caught the attention of my instructors and I'm regularly asked to give demos on it's use. I regularly see the students struggle with using the pen tool. They will often switch over to using Photoshop because it is easier to control. In my demos they will see the issues I presented above and completely reject the program.
I don't know what you guys (Adobe) need to do to fix this problem, but I'm so F@&king frustrated I would gladly jump ship and use/suggest another program if one was available.
In 30 years of use I've never posted in a forum to complain about your products, but I've come to such a point of frustration I can't continue to ignore the problem.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE fix this issue!