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Is there any way for to add an additional handle to an anchor that has one already, without interfering with the current position of the existing handle?

If you draw a circle in illustrator, you can use the anchor point tool to remove one or both handles of any given anchor.

Currently, if I want to add them back, I have to click-drag, (in a clockwise fashion), to pull the anchor(s) back out, but it distorts the pre-existing handle for the anchor.

What I would like to do is click-drag out an anchor for the segment that doesn't have one already assigned, and in a way that it is an asymmetrical curve.

Closely Related: Create one handle from anchor point in Illustrator

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    With vanilla AI there's no mechanism to pull only one side of a smooth (symmetrical) point. There are third party plug ins that will aid such a thing (VectorScribe, XtremePath, et al.) but they aren't free. You can pull only one side of a corner (asymmetrical) point though. – Scott Mar 17 at 23:03
  • Well. There is a trick that might work for you. Select the segment you want to manipulate cut and paste in front (ctrl+c, ctrl+f) drag your point, its now isolated from the original cos its not connected. Then join the shapes back (ctrl+j). – joojaa Mar 18 at 19:42
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Yes, it's possible with Smart Guides enabled, and if you still have one handle left as a reference.

After you have deleted one handle with the Anchor Point tool, click on the Anchor and begin dragging until the Smart Guide shows "handle".

Example

enter image description here

If you've deleted both handles, you could use a guide to mark the handle position using one of the other anchor's handles as a reference. Then you can click and drag the handles to intersect with the guide.

Example

enter image description here

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  • Thank you! Would this only work for circle shapes or others with 90/45 degree handles? – elika kohen Mar 18 at 3:16
  • @elikakohen - the first method will work for handles at any angle, however you will need to move the handle around a bit to find where it is. The second one relies upon guides, so no. – Billy Kerr Mar 18 at 10:49

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