Simplify Points in Illustrator

Keeping points clean in Illustrator will speed up illustrating and make life easier when animating paths in After Effects. Here are two ways to keep it clean while you work in Illustrator.

**If you want to be speedy I recommend learning the keyboard shortcuts listed next to the commands.

The Problem: Overlapping Points

Overlapping points can be a pain to select and edit.

The Solution: Average Points

Select points with Direction Selection (A) and create an Average (Cmd, Opt, J) of those points .

Use the Pathfinder Tool to Unite and close those two points, creating one easily editable point.

Pros & Cons
Pro: Keeps perfect geometry
Con: Time consuming

The Problem: Too Many points

We all wanna keep it clean but sometimes it gets messy 💅

The Solution: Smooth Tool

Find the Smooth Tool. If you are in a newer version of Illustrator navigate to the menu at the bottom of toolbar and activate the Advanced Toolbar.

Select (V) the object with the problem points then select the Smooth Tool. Drag the Smooth Tool over the problem points and WALLA it’s fixed… though it might change your shape slightly.

Pros & Cons
Pro: Simple, quick, and easy
Con: Doesn’t keep perfect geometry, might change your shape a bit.

Hope you found the tutorial useful! If you have any questions reach out on Twitter or Instagram!

I’m a designer and animator in Los Angeles. You can find my work at

I’m a designer and animator in Los Angeles. You can find my work at