The highlight line model is a powerful tool in assessing the quality of a surface. It increases the flexibility of an interactive design environment. In this paper, a method to generate a highlight line model on an arbitrary triangular mesh is presented. Based on the highlight line model, a technique to remove local shape irregularities of a triangular mesh is then presented. The shape modification is done by solving a minimization problem and performing an iterative procedure. The new technique improves not only the shape quality of the mesh surface, but also the shape of the highlight line model. It provides an intuitive and yet suitable method for locally optimizing the shape of a triangular mesh.