Assume the following situation in Adobe Illustrator, where I have two neighbouring anchor points on the same path. For the left anchor point, only the left bezier-handle is important and for the right point, only the right one. There are no bezier-handles pointing inwards.

enter image description here

Is it easily possible to merge these two points into one point which has two bezier-handles: the left from the former left point and the right from the former right point?

When simply moving one over the other, the two points are still existent and something like simplify path changes the look of the whole path which is not wanted.

  • great question!
    – Vincent
    Apr 1, 2014 at 11:05

8 Answers 8


The Unite command (Pathfinder panel) works correctly for merging two anchor points.

  1. Select the 2 points
  2. Average
  3. Unite

I think I discovered this accidentally when I was a starter and I tried every button :D

  • 1
    Your "accident" worked for me like Archimedes's Eureka! Thank you
    – c0demaster
    Nov 30, 2015 at 2:59
  • But the Unite command closes the path if it is open.
    – Benedikt
    Nov 17 at 11:19

I guess I found one way to achieve what I want. Look at the following example

enter image description here

and assume that the horizontal line at the top is an artefact. Merging the two points into one without loosing the left and right bezier handle can be done in the following steps.

Use the direct selection tool to select the horizontal part between the points in question and press delete to remove it (thanks to Pdxd for pointing out that you don't need the scissors for that).

enter image description here

Now, with the direct selection select the two points we want to merge and use Object > Path > Average to calculate the new position of both points. You see at the gap that we still have two points

enter image description here

Now you can (with the two anchor points selected) merge the two points with Object > Path > Merge and the result is:

enter image description here

  • That's always been my method for this problem
    – SaturnsEye
    Aug 21, 2014 at 13:21
  • Object > Path > Average works great too May 6, 2016 at 8:20
  • This doesn't work if the points are lying on top of each other already and you can't delete the part of the patch between them.
    – Benedikt
    Nov 17 at 11:21

Is it easily possible to merge these two points into one point which has two bezier-handles: the left from the former left point and the right from the former right point?

No. Not with the stock version of Illustrator.

Because any alteration to either anchor's position will ultimate alter the path, there's no way for Illustrator to calculate the removal of one anchor and retain the path position. Illustrator, out of the box, is simply not that smart.

A few unworkable methods:

  • Object > Path > Average can position both anchors into the same location. However, since the anchor's move, the path is altered.
  • One could manually move one anchor on top of the other. But, again, moving either anchor alters the path.

In both these cases, after the anchors are on top one another, you could remove one of them. But still, removing one anchor removes it's Bezier handles as well, thus even further altering the path.


The only method I know is to use the Smart Removal feature which exists in http://www.astutegraphics.com VectorScribe plug in. The smart removal feature will allow you to select and remove one anchor and the path position will remain in place, altering the Bezier handles of the remaining anchor to match the path rather than altering the path to coincide with remaining handles.

Some slight alteration may still occur. However, the smart removal features is the only thing I'm aware of which is even remotely capable of doing what you are asking.

remove anchor

  • 1
    Actually, I'm want the alteration of the path. The two points in question are very close together and the influence on larger scale is small. The tiny path jump between the points on the other hand would be removed this way. OK, so your (and @Pdxd's) conclusion is: move the points over another and don't care that you have two anchor points?
    – halirutan
    Apr 1, 2014 at 11:31
  • I didn't post "don't care". :) I'd average then remove one anchor, then adjust the path. Your question was how to remove and not alter the path... THAT is not really possible.
    – Scott
    Apr 1, 2014 at 11:34
  • 1
    Inkscribe by the way has the same feature. I'm just saying because it's slightly cheaper.
    – Joonas
    Apr 1, 2014 at 11:44
  • True. Inkscribe is part of VectorScibe.
    – Scott
    Apr 1, 2014 at 11:46

I only know how to do this with short cut keys but when I have more time I'll update this.

If you are on the Mac, select the 2 points with the white arrow (direct selection) and press Cmd+Opt+J. This will bring up a window to bring the points together in the most accurate way. Select both and click ok.

You can then use the bezier with the minus sign to remove 1 of the points.

  • 1
    The problem persists. Calculating the average only moves the two anchor points over another. Removing one of the points will remove its bezier handle too. I was after a way to merge them into one point without loosing the bezier information.
    – halirutan
    Apr 1, 2014 at 11:26
  • 1
    After you average, try merging the points together with cmd + j.
    – Pdxd
    Apr 1, 2014 at 12:07
  • 1
    You cannot merge non-endpoints, but basically this gave me the idea of the solution. (+1 btw)
    – halirutan
    Apr 1, 2014 at 12:38
  • You can select the line between the points and delete to make them into 2 end points before averaging and joining. You don't need scissors.
    – Pdxd
    Apr 1, 2014 at 13:01
  • Ahh.. yes. This is simpler!
    – halirutan
    Apr 1, 2014 at 13:25

I have had similar problems. One thing that worked (in CS6) was to (a) superimpose any groups of two points with direct selection then Object -> Path -> Average: "Both" for each group; (b) join the multiple paths; and finally (c) Object -> Path -> Simplify with a "Curve Precision" setting of 100%. (Steps a and b may be interchangeable.) This seems to remove the extraneous point superimposed directly underneath the averaged points, although it may also move various control points around in the path when making the simplification adjustment. However, because the precision setting is 100%, it should not move the path at all.

The main disadvantage here would be if you wish to use a standard grid somehow to make future adjustments to the path, and not being able to hit those points on your original path may be a burden.

Help from: https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/editing-paths.html

  • Hello Pete and welcome! Thanks for the contribution. Let us know if you have any questions about how the site works and we hope you keep contributing! May 9, 2016 at 19:35
  • Yes I do. Why was my editorial deleted? I wrote: "It is extremely offensive for Adobe to drastically change features from version to version; force us all to adapt or die; and, most of all, never assume proper responsibility for the worldwide online curating of the numerous right and wrong answers and version clarifications across the key help sites, whether their own or third party (e.g., stackexchange). You might think it's not their problem, but they're making billions off of us, and this is an externality that they themselves created. Push it outside of their responsibilities." Jan 10, 2019 at 1:28
  • I removed it because it is irrelevant to the answer and is better suited as a comment like you just posted :) Jan 10, 2019 at 1:37
  • I see your 9,669 points and I still would ask that you not mess with my words again. Unless I've being deeply offensive, you simply don't have the moral right. Jan 12, 2019 at 0:55
  • I'm sorry that it came across as offensive to you, I assure you it was nothing personal. You're welcome to flag the post and comment with what you're thinking and a moderator(s) will give their insight to the situation. It's StackExchange policy, not just me acting out of my desires. Jan 12, 2019 at 5:04

Not sure if I'm understanding the question correctly, but it seems to me that if you want to join two overlapping end points and have their curves remain unchanged, the 'Connect Selected End Points' button is the key.

I'm using CC, not sure if the same function exists in earlier versions.


To merge two vertices in illustrator

Windows platform:- Select two points then press CTRL + Alt + J select one of the checkbox Both, Vertical or Horizontal

Apple: CMD + Opt + J


A Better Answer for 2023

  1. Select and delete the unwanted point
  2. Use your Pen Tool to reconnect the points.

enter image description here enter image description here

enter image description here enter image description here

This method has always been an option, but there are some pretty good reasons to use this, and not the other answers here now-a-days.

  • Object > Path > Merge is no longer an option in newer versions of Illustrator.
  • The Pathfinder method likes to leave weird floating bits behind.
  • Average just moves two points over each other, it does not actually make them 1 point.
  • Even if plugins work, many IT departments will not allow them for cyber security reasons.

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