Anchor points are fundamental elements in Adobe Illustrator, allowing designers to define and manipulate the shape and path of objects. By understanding how to add and remove these points, you can achieve a higher level of precision and creativity in your designs.

What is the Anchor Points

When you create a shape in Illustrator, it’s defined by anchor points. For instance, a rectangle has four anchor points, one at each corner. These points determine the shape’s structure, and by manipulating them, you can change the form of the shape.

How to Add Anchor Points

  1. Drawing a Basic Shape: Start by creating a simple shape, like a rectangle, using the Rectangle Tool.
  2. Switching to the Pen Tool: To add anchor points, you’ll need the Pen Tool. The shortcut for this tool is ‘P’.
  3. Adding the Anchor Point: With the shape selected, hover over the path where you want to add the anchor point. When you see a plus sign, click to add the point. For precision, smart guides can help you place the point at exact locations, like the midpoint of a line.

Manipulating the New Anchor Point

Once you’ve added an anchor point:

  1. Using the Direct Selection Tool: Switch to the Direct Selection Tool.
  2. Selecting the Anchor Point: Click on the newly added anchor point.
  3. Adjusting the Shape: Drag the anchor point to modify the shape. For instance, pulling the midpoint of a rectangle upwards can transform it into a house-like shape.

How to Remove Anchor Points

  1. Back to the Pen Tool: Switch to the Pen Tool using the ‘P’ shortcut.
  2. Removing the Point: Hover over the anchor point you wish to remove. When you see a minus sign, click to delete the point.


Anchor points are essential tools in Adobe Illustrator, offering designers the flexibility to create and modify shapes with precision. By mastering the addition and removal of these points, you can enhance your design capabilities and bring your creative visions to life.