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BetterHandles for Mac

By Nineblock Software Free to try

Developer's Description

BetterHandles is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator that combines a tool and palette to make working with Bezier curve handles easier and more powerful:

  • Select multiple handles, and collectively move, extend, rotate, or retract them
  • Extend or retract handles without changing their angles
  • Copy and paste handles
  • Edit points numerically: anchor, in handle, out handle
  • Convert multiple points from corner to smooth or vice versa
  • Automatically extend new handles on multiple points
  • Intuitively reshape path segments, optionally constraining handle directions
  • Use slow-drag to divide the cursor movement for extremely precise moves
  • Equalize a point's handles
  • Add points to multiple curves at their horizontal and/or vertical tangencies
  • Split multiple paths at one or more points
  • Close multiple open paths, retaining endpoint handles or not
  • Remove one or more points, keeping the curve as close to the original as possible
  • Work with connector points (transitions between straight and curved segments)
  • Remove all redundant points on multiple paths
  • Snap to handles, points, or paths clearly and easily — without having to use Smart Guides
  • And more!

Full Specifications

What's new in version 1.4

  • Now fully compatible with Illustrator CS5 on both platforms
  • New feature: Smart Remove points will attempt to keep the shape of the curve as close as possible to the original after removing one or more points from the path
  • New feature: You can now add automatically add points to the currently selected path(s) at their horizontal and vertical tangencies
  • New feature: Connector points (points between straight segments and curved segments) can be recognized and their handles automatically kept in alignment
  • New feature: You can now automatically close all selected open paths, optionally honoring any existing endpoint handles
  • Improvement: With Smart Guides off, the snap radius for anchor points and handles now matches the value set in Illustrator Preferences > Selection & Anchor Display > Selection > Tolerance
  • Improvement: After entering a new value in one of the single point fields on the palette, the tab key will automatically highlight the next field
  • Improvement: When hovering over a path with the snapping ring enabled, a small arrow shows you the path's direction
  • Improvement: The annotation text next to the red snapping ring now ghosts the background for better visibility
  • Improvement: You can now use smaller, boxed-style annotation text
  • Improvement: You can Command/Ctrl-click on the "Set Length" button (in Multi-Handle Mode) to remove the handles (make them length zero)
  • Improvement: In CS3 and higher, the right bracket key is a shortcut for Smart Remove points (when anchor points are selected) or retracting handles (in Multi-Handle Mode)
  • Improvement: A selection change with the BetterHandles tool no longer counts as an Undo
  • Improvement: When dragging a point, both handles on adjacent points are shown instead of just the handles nearest the point
  • Improvement: When mousing down on an unselected point or path, or adding a point to any path, the surrounding handles immediately become visible
  • Improvement: A button now lets you select the first point of a path when none, or more than one, of its points are selected
  • Improvement: When adding a point to a path, you can highlight and snap to the path's horizontal, vertical or diagonal tangencies
  • Improvement: When docked and collapsed, the BetterHandles palette now displays a custom icon
  • Improvement: When reporting selected path types, single-point paths are now listed separately from open and closed paths
  • Improvement: The native Info palette now displays the cursor position when the BetterHandles tool is selected
  • Improvement: When moving a single handle or anchor point, the handles on adjacent points (if any) are now shown
  • Improvement: When a smooth point is selected, a "link" icon now appears in the BetterHandles palette between the "in handle" and "out handle" icons
  • Improvement: Illustrator CS3 and higher's anchor point and direction handle size preferences are now respected when using the BetterHandles tool
  • Improvement: When moving a handle and constraining its angle with the Option/Alt key or Shift key, the point can now be moved freely (instead of in a constrained manner) with the space bar
  • Improvement: When "Allow anchor point dragging" is enabled, and Option/Alt-dragging a point has extended new handles, you can now release Option/Alt and continue to freely drag the handles
  • Improvement: When shift-dragging points or handles, Illustrator's constrain angle is now honored
  • Improvement: You can now select the handles on up to 4000 points simultaneously
  • Improvement: Option/Alt-dragging over a path segment (when no points are selected) selects all of a path's segments
  • Improvement: When extending a new handle from a point that has no handles, or from a corner point that has only one handle, the new handle will be initially constrained to the tangent direction of the path at that point rather than horizontally
  • Improvement: The redundant point indicator is now bolder for better visibility
  • Improvement: With Smart Guides on, dragged handles and anchor points now snap to automatically generated guidelines
  • Bug fix: Shift-clicking on an anchor point (with the "Equalize handles" preference off) no longer selects/unselects points that lie directly under it


Release August 5, 2010
Date Added August 5, 2010
Version 1.4

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Mac OS X 10.4 PPC, Mac OS X 10.5 PPC, Macintosh, Mac OS X 10.4 Intel, Mac OS X 10.3, Mac OS X 10.5 Intel, Mac OS X 10.0, Mac OS X 10.6 Intel, Mac OS X 10.2
Additional Requirements Adobe Illustrator CS5. Versions are also available for Illustrator 10 through CS4 -- please visit our web site for all the download links.


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