I would like to be able to move the two handles for the bezier curve with the direct select tool the same way they are moved on initial creation of the anchor point.

When a new anchor is created, moving the mouse both extends the bezier handles and rotates them. When selecting an anchor point's handle with the direct select tool, both handles rotate, but only the select one extends.

Is there a way to extend both of them simultaneously without creating a new anchor point?

  • Xara has a tremendous feature that allows the curve itself to be dragged and dropped to the desired shape and size. I always wondered how they achieved this, then when I was playing with Blender Bézier curves, I realize that pretty much the same behavior can be achieved by holding to the inner handles of two points bounding the curve and dragging these simultaneously. I tried to do this with Inkscape but unfortunately only one handle can be selected at a time. I think OP is trying to do something similar. – user54556 Nov 22 '15 at 0:28

With the Pen tool, hold down Command-Option-Shift or Ctrl-Alt-Shift and click-drag an anchor.

Or use the Convert Anchor Tool located under the Pen Tool in the tool bar to click drag on the anchor.

This will basically reset the anchor to a symmetrical anchor where both handles extend as you drag. It will cause any existing curve to be redrawn.

There is no method in Illustrator to automatically convert a non-symmetrical or corner anchor to a symmetrical anchor with equal length handles.

There are additional plug ins (which cost) that can do this.... XtremePath, VectorScribe, Point Central, all offer more control over anchor points and their handles.


You can scale the point. Select the point, hit s and drag with the mouse. Both handles will now extend simultaneously.

  • That's the much missed ticket. Resetting the anchor sucks. – plainclothes Mar 4 '14 at 21:27
  • You can also rotate the tangents, which keeps their scale intact. – joojaa Apr 8 '15 at 11:31

If you switch to the Anchor Point tool (Shift-C) you can click on a single point and drag, to reset the point and move both handles simultaneously.

  • While you are doing that, use the Command key as needed, to quickly edit by switching from the Direct Selection tool and the Anchor Point tool. (Oh, these are Mac commands; pretty sure it's doable on PC.) – Chris H Feb 2 '17 at 14:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.