This plugin for Adobe Illustrator connects two or more selected paths into one continuous path. You choose how close the endpoints must be to combine the paths, how many degrees from tangent the endpoints must be, and how close to tangent joined curves must be to be smoothed into a continuous curve. The plugin also includes Assimilate, which will search out unselected paths that are within the distance and angle you specify, and concatenate them to a selected path.
Requires Adobe Illustrator CS3 through CC for Mac or Windows. $20 (volume licenses also available)
Nudge Panel plugin
Nudge Palette is a plugin for Adobe Illustrator that allows you to adjust the position of an art object, patterned fill within an object or dash pattern along a path. Clicking the arrow buttons will move the dash or pattern by one point. Holding down combinations of modifier keys will make the distance moved longer or shorter. Click the “Untransform” button to reset a dash or pattern to its default setting, also removing any transformations such as scaling, rotating, etc., that may have been done earlier.
Requires Adobe Illustrator CS3 through CC for Mac or Windows. $15 (volume licenses also available)
Square Up plugin
This plugin will convert a selected path’s anchor points to corner points, and adjust the path segments so that lines within 20 degrees of perpendicular will be made square to each other. Use keyboard shortcuts to make quick work of an otherwise tedious task when cleaning up technical drawings, schematics, and diagrams.
For Illustrator CS3 through CC, Mac or Windows. $10 (volume licenses available)
Paths can be squared in several ways:
- Vertical and horizontal.
- Along the current constrain angle.
- Along the dominant axis within the selection.
- All control handles retracted into the anchor points for straight lines with corner points.
Requires Adobe Illustrator CS3 through CC for Mac or Windows .
$10 (volume licenses available)
This plugin adds four tools to the tool panel:
Hatchet tool: Click to use like the Scissors tool, except that it will cut through all paths at that point, not just the top path. This makes it perfect for cutting two lines where they cross. Hold down the Option key to cut through only selected paths. After cutting, you can drag the tool over the unwanted paths to delete them.
Table Saw tool: Click and drag to create a straight line. When you release the mouse button, the Saber Saw will do a fence cut through all paths that cross the one you drew.
Saber Saw tool: Drag the tool to draw a free-form line. When you release the mouse button, the Saber Saw will do a fence cut through all paths that cross the one you drew.
Vector Vac tool: Either click on paths or drag through them to delete them.
Say you want to trim two lines where they intersect. Select the Hatchet tool.
Place the cursor where you want to cut. Note that it will change to indicate when it’s over a path or a point.
Click to cut both paths.
Now drag the cursor over the paths you want to delete.
And that’s it! One click, one drag, one tool.
For Adobe Illustrator CS3 through CC for Mac or Windows. $10 (volume licenses available)
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ToolShed is a collection of utility functions accessed through menus in Adobe Illustrator.
- Latitude Lines creates a series of parallel lines distributed as though they were evenly spaced and wrapped around a cylinder (or globe). Select Objects > Create > Latitude Lines. The dialog will allow you to enter a number of divisions per hemisphere and tells how many degrees each division represents. Click “OK” and the grid will appear in the center of your screen. A live preview option is available.
- Create a Radiant, or a group of lines fanning out like a pie chart at equidistant angles. Select Object > Create > Radiant. The dialog will allow you enter a number of divisions per circle and displays the number of degrees per division. A live preview option is available. The preview art can be moved to another area on the screen, then you can return to the dialog to adjust the number of divisions. Click Cancel or close the dialog to cancel the operation, or click OK or press Enter to commit to the new radiant art.
- Object > Transform > Unscale art. Say you’ve scaled a bunch of things and some of them shouldn’t have been scaled. To return them to their original size, you can select them and the plugin will figure the inverse of the scaling factor to restore them to their original size (or at least very, very close).
- Object > Transform > Scale Proportionally scales art relative to two given values. Say you have a map and you know that the distance from one point to another. You can draw a line between those points, call this plugin, enter the distance the selection represent, the distance you’d like your scale of miles to be, and the selected line will be scaled accordingly. You could, of course, do this with the help of a calculator, but what fun is that?
- Object > Path > Scale Stroke Weight will scale the line thickness of selected paths by the percentage you enter, without scaling the art itself.
- Object > Path > Minimum Stroke Weight will find all paths with a stroke thinner than your minimum and set the width accordingly. Please note that if an object’s appearance includes more than one stroke, Minimum Stroke Weight and Scale Stroke Weight affect only the topmost stroke.
ToolShed requires Adobe Illustrator version CS6 through CC on Mac or Windows.
ServerLock is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator that warns a user when opening a file on a shared server that’s already being edited by another user. It creates a small lock file (*.ailk) when editing a file, and is referenced by other users to recognize a file already being edited, allowing them to respond accordingly.
When opening a file that’s in use by someone else, a user will be presented with a dialog offering three choices:
- Cancel opening the file
- Open the file for viewing or copying (saving is disabled in this mode*)
- Override the lock and acquire ownership of the file
The plugin can be enabled or disabled by selecting the menu item File > Enable/Disable ServerLock.
ServerLock requires Adobe Illustrator version CS6 through CC on Mac or Windows.
Select Menu for Adobe Illustrator CS6 adds items to the Select->Object menu. Illustrator CC added Point Text Objects and Area Text Objects, so Select Menu adds them for CS6 users as well. In addition, it adds the following 25 items:
- Legacy Text Objects
- Path Text Objects
- Open Paths
- Closed Paths
- Filled Paths
- Unfilled Paths
- Stroked Paths
- Unstroked Paths
- Dashed Paths
- Undashed Paths
- Compound Paths
- Styled Art
- Unstyled Art
- Opaque Art
- Transparent Art
- Live Objects
- Gradient Meshes
- Raster Art
- Placed Art
- Plugin Art
For Adobe Illustrator CS3 through CC.
- Draws straight lines (paths) constrained to the isometric angles of 30, 90, and 120 degrees.
- Moves selected points and objects constrained to drawing angles.
- Define your own constrain angles for dimetric or trimetric projections.
- Imports axonometric settings from Hot Door CADtools 11.1.2 or above.
Requires Adobe Illustrator CS3 through CC for Mac or Windows.
Set of all paid plugins for Illustrator
Save over purchasing individual licenses. One license enables all Illustrator plugins listed here, and the CS6-CC version includes unannounced plugins now in development.
Price varies by version (single-user license $50, other volume licenses available)