This is typically a problem I encounter when expanding and uniting a blend in Illustrator, but I can think of other times when this would be helpful. I've deleted the inside points and reconnected the points with a straight path. The simplify tool doesn't do exactly what I'd like. I'm hoping someone can think of a solution to this problem. Again, I would love to select multiple points and turn them into a straight line while removing the excess inside points. Thanks so much! enter image description here

2 Answers 2


Select the inner anchors with the Direct Selection or Lasso tool....

Or select all the anchors, then hold the Shift key down and click the first and last anchor to de-select them, and then.....

Click the Delete Anchors button on the Control Panel across the top of the screen.

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This question is a good example of what an the thinking that leads to XY problem gets you. At the end the question is how to fix the side effects of blend. Well lets explore NOT using a blend for this.

Ok, so its seems that a lot of people use blend for the following shape (ive left the blend steps visible so it evident) , it certainly is expedient.

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Image 1: Blend used a s shadow

So let us explore other options.

But what one really wants is a oblique extrusion. The reason they don't do this is because illustrator does not ship with tangent snapping and does not have a oblique extrude function (though you can find both as a third party plugins and scripts i really cant recommend Hiroyuki Sato's common tangents script enough).

Using legacy 3D

Except it sort of does! Just that its not terribly easy to see that the Effect → 3D and Materials → 3D classic → extrude and bevel actually does this. Its just that it does it with extra steps (this clearly is indicative of a flaw in illustrator devs process, or basic users usage patterns i dont know which).

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Image 2: Oblique extrusion with isometric top transform

But obviously the isometric transform can be undone, with a reverse SSR, in this case rotate by 30, shear by -30 on horizontal, and scale by 115.470053838 on vertical. (you can record this if you wish to do this a lot)

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Image 2: Oblique extrusion with isometric transform removed

If you want to change the direction of the shadow pre rotate the object before the effect then run same sequence and un-rotate.

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Imgage 4: So yeah independent shadow direction. In possibly 2 manual rotations and one action.

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