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I am struggling so hard trying to do a simple thing.

I've drawn a rectangle with a stroke of 1 pt. I basically want to make that rectangle taper on the end by grabbing the corner anchor points of that rectangle and pulling them in close to each other (on one side). Every time I grab them, it moves the whole rectangle. I've tried the 'convert anchor point' tool but every time I choose the tool, the anchor points disappear so I have nothing to grab. I've tried the 'add anchor point' tool and clicked in the stroke to artifically add one and then grab it but that doesn't work either.

When you draw a rectangle in Illustrator, do the four corners act the same as anchor points if you drew a shape with the pen tool? I've Googled this but nobody seems to have a concise answer for what I'm looking for. Thanks for the help.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, when you draw a rectangle in AI the 4 corners will act exactly the same as if you drew a rectangle with the pen tool.

Illustrator's Direct Selection Tool is sorta' lame sometimes. If the object is selected (which it will be, immediately after creation) - click-dragging an anchor point will move the entire shape. You have 2 easy options...

  1. Deselect your shape, then click-drag the anchor point you wish to move.
  2. Click (without dragging) on the anchor point you wish to move. This will select just the 1 anchor. Then you can click-drag that anchor to your heart's content.

This goes for any shape you make. If the shape is selected, you need to click or shift-click anchor points (or deselect the whole object) before you can drag them around.

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Great! Thank you. That's exactly what I needed. – MxmastaMills Mar 2 '12 at 3:30
I've also tried to find this out. I found this: and someone suggests to use the warp tool. Is this also possible? – BBking Jan 22 '14 at 13:07
Oh man thanks for this! I've been struggling with it for 20mins and found this via Google :) – Vidur Dec 30 '14 at 2:49

Also: if working with the Pen tool, you can temporarily switch to the last active selection tool by holding down the Command key on a Mac. I like to choose the Direct Selection tool before activating the Pen tool, makes editing paths on the fly much easier.

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Farray is spot on.

Another option... click drag with the Direct selection Tool (white arrow) to select both the anchors you want to move. Switch to the Free Transform Tool (e) and then hold option/alt and drag the top or bottom handle inward.

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