It is quite hard to explain in words so I will show screenshots of what i would like.

This is a screenshot of what happens when I drag with the pen tool.

enter image description here

This is what I would like to happen.

enter image description here

Is there a shortcut to drag out only the first handle?

3 Answers 3


Sorry this is well past any usefulness to the original poster most likely. I realize this is a very old question. However, this may be helpful to others. This has been a solution in Illustrator since practically it's inception and still works today (CC2018 the most recent version as of this writing).

Hold down the Option/Alt key with the Pen Tool active and click the anchor again, after dragging.

This will set one side of the anchor to a corner while leaving the curve on the other side.

enter image description here

This same method will also function in Photoshop with it's Pen Tool.

Also note in either application, if you hold the Option/Alt and click-drag the open anchor, as opposed to merely clicking, you can create a non-symmetrical corner point.

  • Does this work for Photoshop also? (as indicated per question tag)
    – curious
    May 21, 2018 at 16:50

You should use "conversion" trick of the pen tool -

When you make a point and leave the mouse - just click again on that point and it will be converted to what you want :

enter image description here

and after conversion -

enter image description here

  • Hi thanks for the answer but is there any chance of a shortcut or something to do this .This is what I have been doing but I am trying to make a dress with many curves that will go like this and it would take far too long to do this on each curve, a shortcut to do it would be nice. @Ilan Nov 9, 2014 at 14:39
  • I don't understand what you want to achieve actually. The way I described is the fastest and shortest to get 1-handled point. You can use mass conversion point tool for all selecting points, but the results will be unpredictable. The only shortcut for the tool is shift+c
    – Ilan
    Nov 9, 2014 at 14:53

It's very simple. The trick is start from the right point:

press down -> drag handle -> release mouse btn

and then just one click on the left point.

Here is what i get

enter image description here

Because when using drag to create a point, when this point is a joint, it will be a smooth point by default (2 side control handles). Only when it's a starting point, it will has only one handle.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.