Trying to learn Illustrator, I couldn't wrap my head around the pen tool entirely. I cannot seem to control the centering of the curve that results from 'holding down to create a new anchor point'.

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    In my opinion, this is a bit too broad and unclear for a good question. There are tons of tutorials for how to use the pen tool if you simply Google search for them. – Scott Jan 14 '15 at 17:18
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    I've edited your question to only be about the centering so its not overly broad. It would be helpful though if you could edit it further with a screenshot showing your issue centering anchor points and describing what you've tried. – Ryan Jan 14 '15 at 17:24
  • Here's my favorite tutorial: theagsc.com/community/tutorials/… – Ryan Jan 14 '15 at 17:34
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    Try the Bezier Game. It teaches you how to use the pen tool interactively. – Afterlame Jan 14 '15 at 18:32
  • The game is cute, but it still lacks technical detail or description of how to accomplish things. – Rick Henderson Nov 14 '16 at 20:52

If your two pen points are parallel vertically or horizontally you can make a perfect 45 or 90 degree arc. This opened my eyes about the pen tools usefulness and gave me confidence that it's easy to control.

In addition to perfect curves you can quickly generate the exact swoosh you want, like the nike swoosh, by clicking once at swoosh beginning then clicking and holding at swoosh end and tweaking it into position. If you are not satisfied with your curve at all you can adjust it to any curve with the handles.

For truly rambling random lines you need to use the pencil tool.

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