Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How to Avoid Accidentally Auto-Expanding Your "Live Corners"

I've run into some difficulty when trying to edit the shape of rounded rectangles. Let's say that I want a rounded rectangle that looks like it's in perspective. So I start with a rectangle, add the rounded edges, and then start to move the points and edges around so that my rectangle is in the correct perspective.

So let's start with a plain rounded rectangle, before attempting to reshape it.

Rounded Rectangle with Live corners

My first inclination is to simply drag one side of the rectangle using the white arrow tool. But when I do do this, the corners are no longer live. (See how each corner now has two small points near the corners, but no points actually on the corners?) Hey! That's not what I wanted! Undo, undo...

So next I tried just dragging one of the corners to put just that corner where I want to it to go. But, instead, this moves the entire rectangle, PLUS expands the corners.  Again, this is not what I wanted! Undo, undo, undo...

Dragging a corner moves the entire rectangle AND expands the Live Corners

My corners are now dead!

So after a bit of experimentation, I finally figured out the trick to not accidentally expanding Live Corners:
  1. First, select a corner (or a side) with the white arrow.
  2. Then nudge it a bit using your cursor keys.

Once you've nudged part of the rectangle, you can use the white arrow tool to click on any of the corners and any of the sides and drag them wherever you want them to be. The live corners will still stay live.

You might think (as did I), that the act of clicking-on-and-nudging a corner point would have the same effect and clicking-on-and-dragging a corner point. But alas, no.

Now interestingly, the little yellow square indicating "Live Corners" has disappeared. But you can still edit the corners by going to Object > Corner Options.

This rectangle still has Live Corners even without the little yellow square

I'd like to think that this behavior is a bug, and that Live Corners wouldn't automatically expand on accident. If I were to change the behavior of the feature, I would set Live Corners to NEVER auto-expand without me telling them to expand. There really should be a separate command for that in the menus. 

Edit 8-10-16: 
This bug was finally fixed! Now, There is a trick to make your paths expand, should you want to. You can find the explanation here.