Arrange Duplicate and Convert Objects

Objects may be arranged, duplicated and converted to other object types in the Geometry Tab.

Arrange

Within each layer, objects have a stack order as they are drawn. Newer objects are drawn on top of existing objects.

With an object(s) selected, click the Arrange buttons to change the stack order of objects. The following options are available:

  1. MOVE TO FRONT –  Moves object(s) to the front of the stack order within the current layer.
  2. MOVE TO BACK – Moves object(s) to the back of the stack order within the current layer.
  3. MOVE FORWARDS – Moves object(s) one forward in the stack order within the current layer.
  4. MOVE BACKWARDS – Moves object(s) one backward in the stack order within the current layer.

HINT: Occasionally, an object with a larger bounding box may be stacked “in front” of another object. Because of the overlap, the top object may either hide the lower object or make the lower object difficult to select because the top object bounding box is in the way. Select the top object and click the Tab-key to cycle through a series of overlapping objects to select them.

Duplicate Once

To quickly make single copies of the selected object(s), do one of the following:

  • With an object(s) selected, click the Duplicate Once button in the Geometry Tab, or
  • Choose ‘Edit > Duplicate Objects > Once’ or COMMAND + D keyboard shortcut.

Linear Duplicate

  1. With an object(s) selected, click the Linear Duplicate button to quickly make multiple offset copies of the selected object(s).
  2. The Linear Duplicate dialog appears. Type in the desired number of copies and the desired X and/or Y offset (using the current drawing units). If no offset is desired, enter “0”.
  3. Click the ‘Duplicate’ button.

Polar Duplicate

  1. With an object(s) selected, click the Polar Duplicate button to make copies in a circle around a point.
  2. The Polar Duplicate dialog appears. To designate the center of the circle, do one of the following:
    • Type the X/Y coordinates of the center point, or
    • Click the “Target” button and interactively set the center point by clicking the drawing with the mouse.
  3. Then do one of the following:
    • Check the option ‘Fit into a circle automatically’ to automatically calculate angle and number of copies needed to completely fit a circle at the given center, or
    • Use the manual settings to designate the number of copies of the selection and angular increments.
    • Optionally, check the box to rotate the copies around the center point of the circle.
  4. Click the ‘Duplicate’ button.

Flip

With an object(s) selected, click the Flip Horizontally or Flip Vertically button.

Convert Objects To/From Shape, Path, Shape Group, Text On Path

Objects can be converted from one object type to another. For example, a path object can be converted to a shape object and vice-versa.

To convert an object, select the object(s) and do one of the following:

  1. Choose the type of object to convert to from the ‘Convert To’ drop-down button, or
  2. Alternatively, double-click a path or shape to ’Quick Convert’ it. Double-click instantly switches between shape mode and edit path mode.

HINT: Special shapes, such as stars and round rectangles, cannot be converted back into special shapes once converted to a regular path or shape.

HINT: Text objects are conveniently converted to Path, Shape, or Shape Group using the ‘convert to’ commands. Text-box text can also be converted to Text On Path. Converting text to a Shape Group enables several glyphs to be converted into a group of individual shapes. Ungroup the shape group to render each glyph as an individual shape which can be independently styled and manipulated.

Skew

An object can be skewed to shear or show perspective. Right-click the object and choose ‘Skew’ from the contextual menu.  Choose the Skew type (free, shear, perspective) then drag the object skew handles. Release to end the operation.

To Copy / Paste Objects

To copy, do one of the following:

  • Select the object(s) and choose ‘Edit > Copy’ then ‘Edit > Paste’ from the main menu, or
  • Use the COMMAND + C then COMMAND + V keyboard shortcut.

Alternatively, to paste the object(s) in place (no offset) hold the OPTION key while choosing ‘Edit > Paste In Place’ in the main menu.

HINT: Within the active layer, pasted objects are placed with a predefined offset from the original object. When the pasted object is moved, subsequent pastes will respect the new offset of the moved object. When object(s) are pasted into a new layer they will first respect the original position, while subsequent pastes are offset.

To Quick-Copy

Quick-Copy is an alternative way to make copies quickly while maintaining your focus on the drawing canvas.

Do one of the following:

  • With the Select [s] tool active, hold the OPTION key then press and drag an object to make a quick copy, or
  • Alternatively, to Quick-Copy in place (no offset), hold the OPTION key then click an object once to copy / paste it in place.

Group Objects

Do one of the following:

  • Choose ‘Graphic > Group’ from the main menu to group two or more objects, or
  • Use the COMMAND + G keyboard shortcut, or
  • Click the Group button.

HINT: When objects are grouped, they are moved to the top of the stack order. If a style is applied to a group, all objects within the group will receive the new style. Text within a group can be double-clicked for convenient editing without ungrouping.

Ungroup Objects

Do one of the following:

  • Choose ‘Graphic > Ungroup’ from the main menu, or
  • Use the SHIFT + COMMAND + G keyboard shortcut, or
  • Click the Ungroup button.