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Node Tool

Node Tool

The Node Tool will help you select individual points in your shapes and paths.

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With the Node Tool, you can create, select, move, and edit Bézier Nodes.

Vector-based shapes consist of points connected by paths via mathematical equations. The path-connected points create vector shapes. These points are called Bézier Nodes.  With the Node Tool, you can edit the points to refine the path of your shape.

Colored Bézier Nodes

Vectornator has incorporated color-coded Bézier Nodes. With the color-coding system, you can immediately distinguish the Starting Point, the End Point, and the Standard Path Node on your path.

Bézier Nodes are color-coded:

  • Green Node = The Green Node signifies the Start Point of your path.
  • Blue Node = The Blue Node signifies a Standard Path Node between Start and End Point.
  • Red Node  = The Red Node signifies the path's End Point.
vector color bezier nodes
Note – The two Adjustment Handles of each node will always have an identical color when the Node is selected.

The Content-Aware Menu

When you select a Node with the Node Tool, the content-aware Options appear at the top of the Style Inspector. The Node Tool options allow you to change the Node Type (1). In the Inspector, you can also find options to Add or Delete nodes with just a click of a button.

Vectornator on Mac Inspector menu for nodes

The Four Different Node Types

You have the following four different  Bézier Node Types available in Vectornator:

node types in Vectornator Mac App

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A – Single ~ic-single~~ic-single~ | A Single Node has no handles and creates straight paths. If you convert a Single Node to another Node Type, you can always revert to a Single Node Type by double-clicking on the node.

B – Mirrored ~ic-mirrored~~ic-mirrored~ | The Mirror Node creates curved paths with two mirroring handles. The resulting Bézier Curves have the same distance from the Node. When you move one handle, the other follows the movement in the opposite direction.

C – Asymmetric ~ic-asymmetric~~ic-asymmetric~ | The Asymmetric Node creates curved paths with a different curve distance from the Bézier Node, but with the same angle.

D – Disconnected ~ic-disconnected~~ic-disconnected~ | The Disconnected Node creates paths with handles independently movable from each other.

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You must first activate the Node Tool in the Toolbar to change the Node Type. You can select a singular node by clicking directly on it. To select multiple nodes you can click and drag a selection rectangle around the nodes you wish to select or alternatively click on the nodes and hold shift.

As soon as you select a node,  the context-aware Node Type Panel will appear at the top of the Inspector. Click on one of the four available Node Type Buttons to convert your selected Node.

Pro Tip - You can speed up your workflow using gestures and shortcuts to change your Node Type while drawing with the Pen Tool. Learn more in the Mac Hub Pen Tool section →

How to Display Nodes & Node Handles

To display the path nodes on your screen, you must activate the Node Tool by clicking on the Node Tool ~ic-node~~ic-node~ in the Toolbar. You can select a single node by directly clicking on it. You can select multiple nodes by dragging a selection box around the nodes you wish to select, or you can click directly on each point by holding ~key~ ⇧ ~key~ or holding the ~key~ ⌘ ~key~ while selecting.  Selecting the nodes immediately displays their color codes.

If you click on a node, the corresponding Node type will be visible as an activated button in the Content-Aware Options at the top of the Inspector. Even after selecting a node, if there are no visible handles on the node, it signifies it’s a Single Node Type.

⚠️ You can display the Node Handles of only one path at a time.

How to Select Nodes

The Node Tool ~ic-node~~ic-node~ is the tool to edit, move, and covert your nodes aligned on the vector path. You can find the Node Tool below the Selection Tool.  Click on the tool icon ~ic-node~~ic-node~ in the Toolbar to activate it.

Selecting a Single Node

To select a singular Node Point, directly click on it. Once you have selected the Node, you can move it around and change the Node Type.

How to Select Multiple Nodes

You can select multiple Nodes by either holding ~key~ ⌘ ~key~ or ~key~ ⇧ ~key~ while clicking on the nodes. Another option is to click and drag a selection rectangle with the mouse over the nodes you wish to select.

How to Add Nodes

You can add a node to your path by clicking directly on the vector path. Another option is to hold ~key~ ⇧ ~key~ or ~key~ ⌘ ~ key~ while clicking on the vector path or the Add Node ~ic-add-nodes~~ic-add-nodes~ button in the Path Section of the Inspector.

Read more on how to edit a Path in Vectornator ➞

How to Delete Nodes

You can delete a node by selecting it and then pressing ~key~ ⌫ ~key~ . Another option is to select the node and then right-click and select Delete in the Popup Menu.

You can also press the Delete Node ~ic-remove-nodes~~ic-remove-nodes~ button in the Path Section of the Inspector to delete a singular or multiple nodes.

You can press ~key~ ⌘ ~key~ to select multiple nodes and then use the options above to delete them.

How to Edit Nodes

You can change the Node Type by clicking one of the Node Type Buttons in the content-aware Style Inspector.

You can switch between the Asymmetrical Node Type ~ic-asymmetric~~ic-asymmetric~ and the Single Node Type ~ic-single~~ic-single~ by double-clicking on the node. That way, you can activate or deactivate the Bézier node handles.

You can use several shortcuts to speed up your workflow while working with nodes:

While clicking and dragging on the Bézier Handle, you can press the ~key~ ⇧ ~key~ key, and the Beziér Handles will snap in 45° increments.

The node will behave as a disconnected node if you hold down the ~key~ ⌥ ~key~ key while dragging.

How to Open or Close a Path

When the Node Tool is active, you can open a shape by clicking the Open Path ~ic-open-path~~ic-open-path~ button inside the Content-Aware Options.

Pro Tip – When you select a shape, the Nodes Color System helps you to precisely identify where the shape will open or close when tapping the Open / Close Path button.

Video Recap | The Node Tool

All lines, shapes, and objects in vector design are made up of points connected by paths. The Node Tool allows you to select individual points. It gives you the power to create, select, move, and edit Bézier nodes infinitely.

In the video below, Ben explains everything about the essential Node Tool Functions, Nodes Colors, the different Node Types, and how to Add, Edit, and Delete Nodes in the Vectornator Mac App.

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Last Updated on Oct 14, 2022
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