Adobe Illustrator Issue - Cutting Paths

Hello everyone. Would anyone happen to know if it is possible to cut a path at every anchor point quickly? I have been searching for hours and can’t seem to find any good solutions other than a fairly expensive group of plugins made by Astute Graphics. It didn’t make a lot of sense to pay $100 plus per year for these plugins as I only need the one function so I’m phoning the community.

Some things I have explored:

Using the Scissors, Eraser, and Knife Tools but this gets quite tedious when there are many paths/anchor points to break up.

I’ve looked into scripts but this specific script function seems to be outdated and also appears to be similar to the Cut path at selected anchor points option anyways.

I have tried using the Direct Selection Tool > Cut path at selected anchor points but if you select all the anchor points (ie. all anchor points in a square) the selected Object type changes from anchor points to a rectangle which automatically removes the Cut path at selected anchor points option.

I have explored Actions but you cannot record this type of command.

Any advice on if and how this can be done or suggestions on another plugin that has this capability would be greatly appreciated.


I am not sure how complex or often you need this done – I don’t know if this is the solution you want/need – but have you tried to use the divide tool (on the pathfinder. I have used this to divide a circle into even (10° or 22.5°) arcs. It is a work around though, as you then have to deal with the extra points… and it doesn’t work if both paths are open. [video…]
Split path workaround

I appreciate the reply. I have used the Divide in the Pathfinder Panel but not specifically for this function. My main goal was to break all the paths in a design to quickly delete any overlapping paths.

I suppose another goal would be to easily recolor lines to assign different GF commands/functions such as scoring scoring a specific segment along a path then cutting a segment along the same path. It seems like such a simple task in a program as powerful as Illustrator would surely exist.

It’s tricky, but if you know that certain paths are overlapping (like for a simple puzzle) you use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to click on each upper line segment to select it. If you hold down the Shift key, you can select several, then hit the Delete key. They should all go away at once.

(As with most things in Illustrator, that works better in theory than in practice, but it’s worth playing with.)

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No automatic way I know of. The fastest thing I can think of is to use the lasso selection tool to select every other segment, you only have to cross over the line to get it so you can do this in one squiggly click+drag or multiples with the shift key (easier with a stylus/pen), then cut Ctrl+x and paste in place Ctrl+shift+v. You’ll want to make sure you can see your points before you start, Ctrl+h to toggle.

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Thanks for the responses. So I posted this one in the Adobe Forum as well. One of the members solved it so I wanted to share!

Select the object or objects with the Selection tool.
Select > Object > Direction Handles
Edit > Cut
Delete the leftovers (should be only anchor points remaining)
Edit > Paste in Place

I tried it with a shape and a group of shapes. Worked perfectly.
Let me know what you guys think.


Thanks for the update! That’s very helpful.

That was amazing! Works on old versions too, so thanks for the suggestion!