Prompted by John's question about leaving paths unclosed.

Drawing with the pencil tool (or the paintbrush tool) in Illustrator leaves the paths it makes open. Unlike the pen tool, there isn't an obvious or intuitive way to close paths when you've finished drawing them.

What's the easiest way to close paths drawn with the pencil tool?

1 Answer 1


Closing paths as you draw them with the pencil (or paintbrush) tool

Hold down alt. Make sure you start holding it down after you start drawing (else it turns the pencil tool into the path smoothing tool) and that you've got it held down when you finish drawing the path.

It joins the start point and end point with a straight line, so you'll probably want to get the end point as close as possible to the start point - unless you want a sharp straight line

Closing paths that have already been drawn

In theory, drawing round a path with the Knife tool closes it (never works for me though).

There's a very useful simple script from pitrix.jp to close points. For each selected object, if it's an open path, the script closes it.

It's a very short script, here it is in case that link goes down (all credit, rights etc to Umezawa and http://www.pictrix.jp/).

//  ClosePts.js
//  http://www.pictrix.jp/  Umezawa

if (documents.length > 0 && activeDocument.pathItems.length > 0){

    myObj = activeDocument.pathItems;
    myNum = activeDocument.pathItems.length;

    for ( i = 0; i < myNum; i++ ){

        if( myObj[ i ].selected && ! myObj[ i ].closed ){

            myObj[ i ].closed = true;


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