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Assume the following situation in Adobe Illustrator, where I have two neighbouring anchor points on the same path. For the left anchor point, only the left bezier-handle is important and for the right point, only the right one. There are no bezier-handles pointing inwards.

enter image description here

Is it easily possible to merge these two points into one point which has two bezier-handles: the left from the former left point and the right from the former right point?

When simply moving one over the other, the two points are still existent and something like simplify path changes the look of the whole path which is not wanted.

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great question! –  Vincent Apr 1 '14 at 11:05

4 Answers 4

Is it easily possible to merge these two points into one point which has two bezier-handles: the left from the former left point and the right from the former right point?

No. Not with the stock version of Illustrator.

Because any alteration to either anchor's position will ultimate alter the path, there's no way for Illustrator to calculate the removal of one anchor and retain the path position. Illustrator, out of the box, is simply not that smart.

A few unworkable methods:

  • Object > Path > Average can position both anchors into the same location. However, since the anchor's move, the path is altered.
  • One could manually move one anchor on top of the other. But, again, moving either anchor alters the path.

In both these cases, after the anchors are on top one another, you could remove one of them. But still, removing one anchor removes it's Bezier handles as well, thus even further altering the path.


The only method I know is to use the Smart Removal feature which exists in http://www.astutegraphics.com VectorScribe plug in. The smart removal feature will allow you to select and remove one anchor and the path position will remain in place, altering the Bezier handles of the remaining anchor to match the path rather than altering the path to coincide with remaining handles.

Some slight alteration may still occur. However, the smart removal features is the only thing I'm aware of which is even remotely capable of doing what you are asking.

remove anchor

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Actually, I'm want the alteration of the path. The two points in question are very close together and the influence on larger scale is small. The tiny path jump between the points on the other hand would be removed this way. OK, so your (and @Pdxd's) conclusion is: move the points over another and don't care that you have two anchor points? –  halirutan Apr 1 '14 at 11:31
I didn't post "don't care". :) I'd average then remove one anchor, then adjust the path. Your question was how to remove and not alter the path... THAT is not really possible. –  Scott Apr 1 '14 at 11:34
Inkscribe by the way has the same feature. I'm just saying because it's slightly cheaper. –  Joonas Apr 1 '14 at 11:44
True. Inkscribe is part of VectorScibe. –  Scott Apr 1 '14 at 11:46

I guess I found one way to achieve what I want. Look at the following example

enter image description here

and assume that the horizontal line at the top is an artefact. Merging the two points into one without loosing the left and right bezier handle can be done in the following steps.

Use the direct selection tool to select the horizontal part between the points in question and press delete to remove it (thanks to Pdxd for pointing out that you don't need the scissors for that).

enter image description here

Now, with the direct selection select the two points we want to merge and use Object > Path > Average to calculate the new position of both points. You see at the gap that we still have two points

enter image description here

Now you can (with the two anchor points selected) merge the two points with Object > Path > Merge and the result is:

enter image description here

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That's always been my method for this problem –  SaturnsEye Aug 21 '14 at 13:21

I only know how to do this with short cut keys but when I have more time I'll update this.

If you are on the Mac, select the 2 points with the white arrow (direct selection) and press Cmd+Opt+J. This will bring up a window to bring the points together in the most accurate way. Select both and click ok.

You can then use the bezier with the minus sign to remove 1 of the points.

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The problem persists. Calculating the average only moves the two anchor points over another. Removing one of the points will remove its bezier handle too. I was after a way to merge them into one point without loosing the bezier information. –  halirutan Apr 1 '14 at 11:26
After you average, try merging the points together with cmd + j. –  Pdxd Apr 1 '14 at 12:07
You cannot merge non-endpoints, but basically this gave me the idea of the solution. (+1 btw) –  halirutan Apr 1 '14 at 12:38
You can select the line between the points and delete to make them into 2 end points before averaging and joining. You don't need scissors. –  Pdxd Apr 1 '14 at 13:01
Ahh.. yes. This is simpler! –  halirutan Apr 1 '14 at 13:25

To merge two vertices in illustrator

Windows platform:- Select two points then press CTRL + Alt + J select one of the checkbox Both, Vertical or Horizontal

Apple: CMD + Opt + J

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