Adobe’s Pen tool is great for smooth free-flowing lines, but sometimes the curves we draw need to be real circular arcs. One could, of course, create an ellipse, constrained to equal width and height proportions, then trim and place it into position. And if the paths need to be tangent, well, it just takes a little patience and careful prodding.
Now there’s an easier way. The new Tangent Arc tool in the ToolShed plugin creates circular arcs of any radius, from a minimal curvature to nearly a complete circle, with lines that are constrained tangent to another path, or to the end of another path. Arcs are automatically concatenated to each other, so there’s no need to go back and join them later. A guide line shows the trajectory of an arc’s endpoint to guide your positioning for a smooth transition to the next arc, or for a tangent straight line you make by pressing the Alt/Option key. If you press Shift, the angle of the straight line or arc is constrained to increments of 15 degrees.
The ToolShed plugin is priced at only $15 (on sale for 1/3 off through December) for a collection of 10 tools, and with more tools coming soon it’ll become an even better value.
This tool has made parts of my work easier, faster, and more fun. I hope it does the same for you. Download the plugin and try it before you buy it.