Nobody Tells s.h. He Can’t Round Corners.

Now, I’d love to hear your input on this, but as I understand it, there are two ways to round corners in Illustrator. Method one, apply an effect to the shape in question by clicking effect > style > round corners. Every corner of the object’s fill is rounded to the radius chosen in the ensuing dialogue while the object’s shape is left unchanged. Or, method two, use some combination of the Convert Anchor Tool and the Direct Selection Tool to manipulate or add anchor points until a rounded corner is achieved.

Many years ago, I had a job as a draftsman at structural engineering firm. It mostly consisted of deciphering some chicken scratches my boss made on a napkin during lunch and recreating them in AutoCAD. It was a pretty low level job but I learned a lot from it and really began to appreciate the precision AutoCAD offered. All software is math on the inside; AutoCAD celebrates this while Illustrator, I think, tries desperately to hide it. And if you try and use Illustrator like you use AutoCAD, you are in for some disappointment.

Then, when digging through some forums trying to see how other people round their corners in Illustrator, I stumbled upon s.h’s page. Turns out, this guy’s a genius JavaScript developer who writes scripts for drawing software. The script I would like to direct your attention to is called “Round Any Corner”. Download his JavaScripts folder, select an object or ANY CORNER of the object with the direct selection tool then click File > Scripts > Other Script and select “Round Any Corner.js” from the folder you just downloaded. You are asked to choose a radius and voilĂ ! You now have a perfectly rounded corner(s) (not just a rounded fill).

Aside from rounding corners, s.h. provides lots of other tools to help you in your ill-fated quest to use Illustrator like a CAD including sine curves, Archimedean spirals, and of course a script that instantaneously fills a layer with dancing people.

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