I remember the first time I tried to use the Pen tool in a computer graphics program. I clicked the tool and dragged across the screen in the way I thought would create a simple curve. Instead, I got a wild series of lines that shot out in different directions. When I tried to change the shape of the curves, things got even worse. I was so startled I immediately closed up the program and didn’t use the Pen tool for a long, long time. However, I really wanted to use the Pen tool, as I knew it was the best way to create curved shapes. So I forced myself to try the tool again. It took a lot of trial and error but eventually I was able to understand the Pen and Bezier controls. Later on, working with tools such as the Pencil and Eraser made it even easier to work with Bezier curves. Once I got it, I realized the principles are simple. Even better, if you have used the Pen tool in Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop, you will find InDesign’s Pen tool almost the same. I wish someone had written out easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions on how to use the Pen tool. So think of this chapter as the instructions for the Pen tool that I wish I had had back then. One of the most important tools in any graphics program is the Pen tool. Fortunately, InDesign has a Pen tool that lets you create much more sophisticated shapes in your layout than can be created with the basic shape tools. (See Chapter 4, “Working with Objects,” for more information on working with the basic shapes.) If you are familiar with the Pen tool in Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia FreeHand, you will find it very easy to master the Pen in InDesign. If you’ve never used a Pen tool in any graphics program, you will understand more if you first become familiar with the elements of paths. Paths are defined by points and line segments. When you draw with the Pen tool you create the following: Some people call the curves created by the Pen tool Bezier curves. This is in honor of Pierre Bézier (Bay-zee-ay), the French mathematician. Monsieur Bézier created the system of mathematics that is used to define the relationship of the control handles to the shape of the curve. Adobe Systems, Inc., adopted this mathematical system when it created the PostScript language that is used as the basis of graphics programs. InDesign, along with many other programs, uses Bezier curves as the mathematics behind each curve. I limit using InDesign’s Pen tool to simple things. If I need some sort of curved or wavy line, I use InDesign’s Pen tool. For instance, all the curved arrows in this book were created with the Pen tool. However, if I want a perfect spiral, I use Illustrator’s Spiral tool. (See Chapter 8, “Imported Graphics,” for how to bring Illustrator paths into InDesign.) If I need to jazz up some text, I stay within InDesign. But if I need a complete map of New York State with highways, rivers, and scenic attractions, I work in Illustrator. Source.