Good day,

I'm having a spot of trouble with Illustrator CS6, and I hope you all can help. I cannot seem to Direct Select an endpoint on a deselected/inactive path, switch to Pen, and then continue the path. All I seem to be able to so is select the point with the Pen tool to continue the path--but, in doing so I lose one of the handles on the point (like it changes to a corner point). What I want to be able to do (like I can do in Fireworks 2003 and CS6) is direct select the point and be able to carry on with the Pen tool as if I was still making the original path. Instead, when I Direct Select the point and switch to the Pen Tool the cursor shows up as Pen* (which means it wants to make a new path). And Pen/ continues the point but deletes one of the handles.

How can I select the point and just have a plain Pen cursor that will continue where I left off with both handles preserved?


2 Answers 2


You can only continue a path by clicking the end anchor with the Pen Tool.

If you want a handle on the continuation side, then you need to click-drag with the Pen Tool.

Merely selecting the end anchor with the Direct Selection Tool has never had anything to do with continuing the path in Illustrator. I can't speak to Fireworks, never used it.

  • So what you're telling me is that there's no way to preserve the already existing handle on the continuation side when I continue a path via clicking the end anchor with the Pen Tool? Because yes, I can totally make a /new/ handle by dragging one out whether by the Pen or Anchor Point tools, but that one won't be same handle I initially made with that point before deselecting it--and that's what I want, to continue exactly as things were beforehand.
    – Andy
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 17:06
  • @A correct. Illustrator has never preserved both sides of a smooth anchor if you stop, then want to continue the path. That's the way AI has always been and there's no workaround for it with the default AI. You can use 3rd party plugins like InkScribe to retain the smooth point, but nothing in AI out-of-the-box will do that.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 17:08
  • Wow, okay, cool--well, not cool because I've been using this functionality in FW for 14 years and figured it would be basic functionality in AI but okay, that's a relief to know that I'm not just missing something entirely or that something is broken. I'll have to look into InkScape, then, but for now I want to thank you for the clear and precise answer to my question, Scott. You've relieved my headache--and deepened my love for FW, ha!
    – Andy
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 17:16
  • @Andy This is one of those things AI should do because it seems so logical, but doesn't... but, well, that's Adobe for ya! :)
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 17:31

So, you want to continue path AB from the endpoint B so that B has symmetric anchor handles, just the same handles as B had before you started the continuation process. You are NOT going to draw approximately right new handles.

There's a workaround:

enter image description here

Make a 180 degrees rotated copy (=blue) of the curve. Move it so that the copy starts from B. It should snap perfectly if you have Snap to Point and Smart Guides =ON.

Join the original and the copy. You can edit the copy part freely as long as you do not touch the original anchor B nor the curve segment between B and the next anchor in the new part. You can move and adjust the anchors of the new part freely including the next anchor after B. You can draw more new parts as needed. But do not delete the next anchor after B nor insert anything between it and B.

Here's an alternative edit:

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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