It's the nature of all paths to be made up of nodes. Each path consists of at least two nodes. A node's position is marked by a square, circle or diamond shape. The two circular handles (or control points) of a node are connected to it by thin lines, and can be grabbed with the mouse. The tools that work on paths all create or modify path nodes.
The second-most used tool in Inkscape is the Node tool. It allows you to edit all paths.
There are multiple node types in Inkscape:
Auto-smooth nodes. Used for drawing nice curves, without worrying about handles or segment shapes. The handles sit on a straight line, and their distance from the node adapts automatically when you move the node, so a smooth curve is drawn.
To edit a node:
Beginners often prefer to use cusp nodes, because they are easy to use, although very often, smooth nodes would be the better choice.
The next chapter will explain how to modify a path with the Node tool.
Cusp nodes make sharp corners.
A smooth node creates a rounded curve.
A symmetric node creates a symmetrical curve.
Auto-smooth nodes adapt automatically when you move them.
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