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A path can be closed, with no beginning or end (for example, a circle), or open, with distinct endpoints (for example, a wavy line).

Smooth curves are connected by anchor points called smooth points. Sharply curved paths are connected by corner points.

When you move a direction line on a smooth point, the curved segments on both sides of the point adjust simultaneously. By comparison, when you move a direction line on a corner point, only the curve on the same side of the point as the direction line is adjusted.

A path does not have to be all one connected series of segments. It can contain more than one distinct and separate path component. Each shape in a shape layer is a path component, as described by the layer's clipping path.

Separate path components selected

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