How to Make a Semicircle in Adobe Illustrator

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If you're new to Illustrator, two of the first things you must learn are the tools you're going to use and the basic shapes you can make using them.

In today’s tutorial, we focus on how to make a semicircle using a few different methods. Here you'll learn simple and easy ways to draw a semicircle step-by-step, with images for clarification.

Making a Semicircle with the Knife Tool

Step 1: To make a semicircle, first we need a full circle. So first, select Ellipse Tool (L) from the toolbar and draw a circle using it.

Creating a circle in Illustrator.
Ellipse Tool

Simply drag the cursor and hold the shift key. The shift key ensures that a perfect circle is created.

Step 2: Now that you have a circle, find the anchor points around the circle. Use the Selection Tool (or simply press V on keyboard) to select the circle. When you select the circle, you can see the anchor points.

Circle with anchor points

Step 3: Now, Select the Knife Tool from the toolbar. 

Selecting the knife tool
Knife Tool

Step 4: Hold the option key (Alt key) and click on one anchor point. Now drag it through the circle and connect it to the other anchor point on the other side of the selected one.

Circle with two anchor points connected

Step 5: Choose the selection tool and click on one side of the circle. Now you can remove the half circle or simply cut or delete it.

Semicircle created from a full circle

Making a Semicircle with the Direct Selection Tool

Step 1: Choose the Direct Selection Tool. You can find the direct selection tool in the toolbar, or you can use the keyboard shortcut for Illustrator, which is (A)

Direct Selection
Direct Selection Tool

Step 2: Now choose the full circle using the direct selection tool.

Selecting the full circle

Step 3: select one anchor point and press the delete button.

Selected anchor point
Deleting an anchor point

Step 4: As you press delete, the side of the anchor point will be cut, and you will have an open path of a half circle. Now, using the keyboard shortcut command (ctrl key) + J, close the open path.

Closed path

Make a Semicircle with the Ellipse Tool

Step 1: First create a full circle using the Ellipse Tool (L)

Step 2: After creating the circle, you will find a tiny handle bounding the box. Now click, hold, and drag it clockwise until it turns into a half or semicircle. There you go, you have your semicircle in just a few simple steps.

Final Thoughts

These are the best methods for making a semicircle in Adobe Illustrator. Like most tasks in Illustrator, there are a few different ways to accomplish what you're after. Find the method that works best for you.