The Pen tool is the only tool in the Flash toolbox that doesn't resemble a tool from everyday life. Although the tool symbol looks a lot like an ordinary pen it works quite a bit different.
The purpose of the Pen tool is to allow you to draw precise paths as straight lines or smooth, flowing curves.
You can create straight or curved line segments and adjust the angle and length of straight segments and the slope of curved segments afterwards.
There are two methods for drawing with the Pen tool:
1. Click to create points on straight line segments
2. Click and drag to create points on curved line segments.
Each method is described below.
To draw straight lines with the Pen tool:
1. Select the Pen tool.
2. Click on the stage to set points, and watch how Flash automatically connects points as you set them.
3. To complete the path leaving it as either an open or closed shape. Do one of the following:
3a. To complete an open path, double click the last point or click the Pen tool in the toolbox, or Control-click (Windows) or Command-click (Macintosh) anywhere away from the path.
3b. To close a path, position the Pen tool over the first anchor point. A small circle appears next to the pen tip when it is positioned correctly. Click to close the path, and watch how Flash automatic adds a fill once the path becomes a closed outline.
To draw curves with the Pen tool:
First look at this 4 step example:
An example of curve drawing with the pen tool
1. Select the pen tool and click twice to create a straight line - on the second click keep the mouse button down.
2. Drag the mouse towards yourself - which will cause the control line to appear. The control line is pulled in the one end and has a drag point in the other end.
3. Move the mouse from side to side (B) and forward and down (A)- still holding down the button, and see how the drag point moves accordingly.
The drag point defines both how much and in which direction the initial straight line is dragged.
4. When the curve on the initial straight line is shaped the way you want it release the mouse button, and the end result appears while the control line disappears.