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Please see the below image for examples of what I would like to do. On the left is the hand-drawn path and on the right is what I would like the result to be.

Essentially, I would like freehand drawings to be totally constrained to:

  • A set grid (larger than the brush width)
  • Straight lines of 0, 45 and 90 degrees only.
  • Sections of curves that begin and terminate at 0, 45 and 90 degrees only and follow a perfectly round path (not oblong in any way).

Please see the below image for examples of what I would like to do. On the left is the hand-drawn path and on the right is what I would like the result to be.

  • Why can't use use the pen tool? – Scott Dec 23 '14 at 3:04
  • Maybe I can? Is there an option to constrain it in the way which I have described? – skybreaker Dec 23 '14 at 3:06
  • Yes, the shift key constrains. – Scott Dec 23 '14 at 3:07
  • It only constrains to straight lines at 0, 45 and 90 degrees. It does not constrain to the grid or curves which I specified. – skybreaker Dec 23 '14 at 3:09
  • You have to draw the curves. There is no magic button. Using the Shift key will assist in drawing smooth, symmetrical curves. – Scott Dec 23 '14 at 3:20
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Maybe you can use the smart guides and drawing without having to press SHIFT.

smart guides

I made a very simple video showing you how to draw one of these symbols, video in MOV with only 401KB:

https://db.tt/UQfTTNMd

I hope that helps you.

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To draw straight lines only: Use the Pencil tool. Hold down the Shift key while drawing your line. If you want the line a particular length, then click once and type in the length and angle desired.

To draw a shape with connecting straight lines, click at each point a line ends, then edit the line to straighten it by zooming in and editing the points with the Direct Selection Tool (hollow arrow).

Tip: If you are going to draw lines and curves, it's easier to dray the major straight lines horizontally or vertically then rotate them 45 degrees.

To draw lines and curves in continuous lines: 1. Use the Pencil tool. Draw your straight line while holding down the Shift key to constrain the angle. Stop drawing where the curve begins. 2. Click where the curve ends; a line will form from the last point to that point. Continue drawing the straight line, then stop where the curve ends, and so on. 3. Now select the Pen Too/Convert Anchor Point Tool and select the points where the curve starts, then drag one of the handles to curve the line.

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The best working solution I've found so far: setting a wide grid and snap to grid. Using only the arc tool (for arcs and straight lines) with rounded end caps. It's far from as fast as freehand drawing with conforming, but much faster than pen tool or other options.

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