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Say, an arc with radius r centered at o, from angle a to angle b.

I don't see how to use Arc tool in Adobe Illustrator this way. What's the best way to draw it?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

AI sucks for this. Illustrator doesn't draw "real" circles (ie., using centerpoint and radius) either, it makes an Ellipse using bezier curves.

Your best bet is to make a Ellipse with equal width & height (ie., a circle) and use 2 Line Segment shapes to intersect the Ellipse. It takes 3-4 steps instead of 1, but it will allow you to use specific dimensions.

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Use the pie graph tool! It's a bit of a hack but it works.

Example: Creating a 30° angle.

  1. Create a pie graph with the dimensions you want.
  2. Calculate the angle in terms of revolutions of a full circle. 30°/360° = 1/12 revolutions.
  3. Create a pie graph with the values 1 and 11 (1/12 + 11/12 = 1 or 100%)
  4. Ungroup the graph object and select the wedge that corresponds the angle.
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Can you please explain how it is to use? –  Kurt Feb 10 '13 at 23:23
Or, as an easier alternative to step 2 (revolutions of a full circle) if you don't have a calculator handy, enter the angle you want in the first cell, then 360 minus that number in the second. So, 30 and 330 for 30°, 85 and 275 for 85°, etc. And when you're done, select the centre point with the direct selection tool (a) and delete it, leaving just the arc instead of a wedge. –  user568458 Feb 11 '13 at 15:48

Farray's answer is the standard way. Another way is to use scripting. One script that could help is the "Circle" script from here http://shspage.com/aijs/en/#ovalize. It will create a circle with a given number of equal segments, want a 60° arc, make six segment circle and delete all but one segment. Another option (if you have some programming skills) could be to creating your own script. Scriptographer is a scripting plugin for Illustrator that adds some constructors to allow you to create arcs in your own scripts.

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Unless things were improved, you have to still draw a symmetrical ellipse (circle) then use the "c" (scissors) to to cut it to size. The "scientific" way takes about as many steps and is less visual. A black hat is a hat black (French proverb.) It would be nice if you could specify and angle and radius then move the results into position.

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By eye? The question is about precise specification. –  e100 Nov 1 '12 at 13:38

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