manipulate part of a letter without changing overall shape
I am attempting to alter the letter "e" in the font Arial. I want to match it in similarity to the "e" in Helvetica where the top of the tail is flat.
I am using the direct selection tool but yet the curvature of the "e" changes slightly. Is there a way to flatten the tail without modifying the curvature.
Here is an image:
From the way you word the question, it seems that you're asking for a way to simply move the anchor point while somehow smoothly extending the curve. A curve is defined by the positions of its end points and its handles, so if you move an end point you will change the curve. That's how bÃ©zier curves work.
To do what you're trying to accomplish, copy your letter and paste in place above the original (
Ctl/Cmd-F, which Illustrator calls "Paste in Front"). Change the color of your working copy -- the one you're going to modify -- and/or the original. Which colors don't matter, as long as they have good contrast. Lower the opacity of your working copy so that you can see the original through it.
Now make your changes, and use the visible original as a template to make the modified curve match the old one.