Possible to highlight crossed/overlapping handles?

Is it possible to identify crossed handles? I have tried ShowAngledHandles from Rainer, but I believe it’s not quite doing what I’m looking for (it might highlight handles that are imbalanced, where one is too long, but this generally can both miss examples of crossed handles and also highlight points that do not have crossed handles)

An example:

This is easily spotted but sometimes it’s more subtle - like a node where one handle goes “backwards” and overlaps the other side


Or if there are a lot of nodes it is harder to find where the crossed handles are occurring.

Sorry if this is not a good question, I must admit my paths are often very messy due to autotracing.

Show Angled Handles doesn’t highlight this? Odd, works for me. Can you otherwise try running Path Problem Finder from the mekkablue scripts?

Hi, thanks for testing! The plugin indicates the orange X to flag “crossed handles (i.e., BCPs with more than 100% length)” I think, but I don’t find that it necessarily identifies crossed handles (or maybe that term does not mean what I think it means?)

This is for illustration purposes (not a real glyph):

I find that sometimes using the “remove nodes and try to keep shape” will result in these overlapping handles. When a glyph has many nodes, it makes the problem very hard to spot. The reporter can flag nodes that do not have the issue, and misses nodes that do have the issue, so it’s not currently helpful for this purpose.

I would like to try the Path Problem Finder but I’ve had trouble running any Vanilla-based scripts (I probably need to update to a more recent release but I’m reluctant to do so in the middle of some projects…)

What you describe as overlapping handles is an extreme case – wherein both handles extend over the line described by the other handle. Imagine it like this: Each handle describes a line, and if you were to extend this line, if the other handle crosses this line, it’s an overlapping handle. If they are crossing each other, this means that both handles are overlapping handles, an extreme case.

Handles from different paths “overlapping” is not an issue, as they belong to separate paths and don’t interfere with one another.

I don’t think I quite understand what you mean by reversed handles, but if you mean a handle that is simple sticking out into the opposite direction you would expect it to, the plugin is not designed to catch this, as this is a design error (and can sometimes be done on purpose). You will need to catch these manually :slightly_smiling_face:

Okay, thanks for the info! I definitely don’t mean to say that Rainer’s plugin is not working, I really appreciate all the resources that the community contributes. It may be more difficult to automate this kind of issue that I’m hitting (but one can hope!)

I am definitely more aware of it though, so after using remove nodes script, I try to check for this overlapping issue and fix them up along the way.

Don’t you think it would save a lot more time and hassle to just draw the outlines yourself? Autotrace is always a mess and requires a ton of cleaning up. Pasting the image into the background of a glyph and tracing by hand yields far better results in the end. You’ll get very fast at it too, with practice :slightly_smiling_face:

Ah, I have tried that but I find that shapes with a lot of curves take me a very long time to do. But I do need the practice!

A few thoughts:

  • many small curves are better replaced by short lines
  • handle crossing the handle of another curve is not a problem
  • path problem finder finds glyphs with reversed handles

How do you do the autotracing?

Thanks for the feedback! I will keep those things in mind.

I use Adobe Illustrator livetrace. I’m not sure if the handle issue exists at that point, but I often see it after I use offset curve filter or ‘remove nodes and try to keep shape’.