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I'm trying to smooth out the edges of a low res jpeg download after I take it in to live trace and use the b&w preset. Is there a better way than using the anchor point tool?

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You could try using the "smooth" tool located as a secondary option to the pencil tool.

Hard to predict and takes getting use to, but simply take it and smooth near/on lines you want to smooth and it will lessen the number of anchors giving a smoother line appearance.

enter image description here

2

In addition to the Smooth Tool you can use Object > Path > Simplify from the menu to reduce the number of anchor points in any shape.

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