How to Make Circles and Half Circles in Adobe Illustrator

Creating shapes in Illustrator can be tricky when there’s not a specific tool for one you need. There are some shape tools that we can use to create simple shapes like rectangles and circles, but they don’t have every shape you may need.

If you want to draw a circle, you can simply use the Elipse Tool, but how about a half circle? Luckily, we can make different shapes out of other shapes by editing them. 

My name is Aly, I am a graphic designer with over five years of experience using Adobe Illustrator. In this article, I will be explaining how to create circles and half circles in Adobe Illustrator. 

How to Make a Perfect Circle in Adobe Illustrator

Follow the steps below to create circles and half circles in Illustrator 

Step 1: Create a new document in Illustrator by going to File > New. 

Step 2: Select the Ellipse Tool from the toolbar. 

Step 3: With the ellipse tool selected, click and drag on your artboard to create a circle. You can edit how big or small you would like it by using the selection tool. 

As you can see, this is not a perfect circle. If you want to draw a perfect circle, hold the Shift key while you click and drag. 

How to Make a Half Circle in Illustrator

Once you created a perfect circle, there are different ways to cut the circle in half. 

Method 1: Divide the Perfect Circle

Step 1: Create a regular circle with the Ellipse Tool as we did earlier. Once you have created your circle, find the handle. This will be on the right side of your circle when it is selected. 

Step 2: This tool was created expressly to cut your circle into slices so that you could generate pie graphs more quickly. Drag the handle in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction until it is at a 180° angle. When this occurs, you’ll notice that a symbol with the coordinates appears as you move the handle.

Method 2: Knife Tool

Using the knife tool you can also create a half circle, follow the steps below. 

Step 1: Create a circle like the above methods, with your circle selected, find and click on the Knife Tool from the toolbox. 

Step 2: Now we need to cut the circle in half, we can do this by choosing one of the circle’s anchor points while holding down the Alt key. 

To prevent the line from changing angles as you go, hit the Shift key as well. Between each anchor point, drag the knife across the circle before letting go. This will link together the two anchor points and give a straight cut across. 

Step 3: Pull apart the two halves by using the selection tool and click one half and delete it. 

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to create full and semi-circles in Illustrator is a helpful tool to know since there are many different ways to create them. Feel free to play around with each method and see which way works best for you!

Any questions about making circles and half circles in Adobe Illustrator? Leave a comment and let me know.

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