Shape Tools

Drawing shapes is simple and direct. Object handles and control knobs are visible and editable using the single, direct Select [s] tool. Alternatively, use numeric input to edit object geometry in The Geometry Tab.

Arcs, wedges, stars, regular polygons and round rectangles have additional settings that are directly adjustable with special object handles – we call these Smart Shapes.

Rectangle (Square) Tool

Artboard Rectangle Tool
  1. RECTANGLE – Choose the Rectangle [r]  tool, press and drag the cursor to begin drawing the shape, release the cursor to end the shape.
  2. SQUARE – Choose the Rectangle [r]  tool, hold the SHIFT key when drawing to maintain the aspect ratio, press and drag the cursor to begin drawing the shape, release the cursor to end the shape.

Oval (Circle) Tool

Artboard Oval Tool
  1. OVAL– Choose the Oval [o]  tool, press and drag the cursor to begin drawing the shape, release the cursor to end the shape.
  2. CIRCLE – Choose the Oval [o]  tool, hold the SHIFT key when drawing to maintain the aspect ratio, press and drag the cursor to begin drawing the shape, release the cursor to end the shape.

Round-Cornered Rectangle Tool

Artboard Round-Cornered Rectangle Tool

Choose the Round Rectangle tool, press and drag the cursor to begin drawing the shape, release the cursor to end the shape.

  1. Handles on Round Rectangles directly control the object’s rotation and Corner Radius.
  2. Square-off individual corners by clicking the Corner Selector in the Geometry Tab.
  3. Use the Geometry Tab to change the Corner Radius.

Round-Ended Rectangle Tool

Artboard Round-Ended Rectangle Tool

Choose the Round-Ended Rectangle  tool, press and drag the cursor to begin drawing the shape, release the cursor to end the shape.

Irregular Polygon Tool

Artboard Irregular Polygon Tool

Choose the Irregular Polygon [p]  tool and a fill style. Click once to place a point, and repeat to continue drawing the path. Double-click or use the ESC key to end the path, or click on the first placed point to close the path and end editing.

Regular Polygon (Star) Tool

Artboard Regular Polygon (Star) Tool

Choose the Regular Polygon [g]  tool, press to place the center, drag the cursor outward to define the radius, and release the cursor to end the shape.

  1. Handles on Regular Polygons/Stars directly control the object’s rotation, radius, radial ratio, tip, and valley settings.
  2. Use the Geometry Tab to change the Number of Sides (from 3 to 50).
  3. Use the Geometry Tab to switch from Star to Polygon, to create perfect triangles, hexagons, octagons and more, and adjust the number of sides for a regular polygon.
  4. Use the Geometry Tab to change the Radius.
  5. Use the Geometry Tab to change the Inner Radius.
  6. Use the Geometry Tab to change the Tip Spread.
  7. Use the Geometry Tab to change the Valley Spread.

Arc Tool

Artboard Arc Tool

Choose the Arc [a]  tool, click to place the center, move the cursor outward and click to define the radius, then move the cursor to define the arc and click to end the shape.

  1. Handles on Arcs directly control the object’s rotation, radius, and arc angle.
  2. Use the Geometry Tab to change the Radius.
  3. Use the Geometry Tab to change the Arc Angle.

Wedge Tool

Artboard Wedge Tool

Choose the Wedge [w]  tool, press and drag the cursor outward to place the center and define the radius, then release the cursor to end the shape.

  1. Handles on Wedges directly control the object’s rotation, radius, and arc angle.
  2. Use the Geometry Tab to change the Radius.
  3. Use the Geometry Tab to change the Arc Angle.

Precisely Adjust an Object’s Position and Size in the Geometry Tab

While objects may be resized and repositioned directly, the can also be precisely adjusted using numeric input in the Geometry Tab.

  1. Use the Geometry Tab to adjust the object’s X Y position.
  2. Use the Geometry Tab to adjust an object’s width and height.
  3. Click the icon to lock an object’s width/height Aspect Ratio.

Draw Out From Center

  • DRAW OUT FROM CENTER – Choose a shape tool (such as Oval [o] or Rectangle [r]), hold the OPTION key while drawing shape, release.
  • DRAW OUT FROM CENTER AND CONSTRAIN ASPECT RATIO – Choose a shape tool (such as Oval [o] or Rectangle [r]), hold the SHIFT + OPTION key while drawing shape, release.

Rotate Objects

  1. ROTATE – Choose the Select [s] tool, press and drag the shape’s purple rotation handle, release. Alternatively, use the Geometry Tab to adjust angle.
  2. CONSTRAIN ROTATION ANGLE TO 15-DEGREE INCREMENTS – Choose the Select [s] tool, hold the SHIFT key and drag the shape’s purple rotation handle, release.
  3. Use the Geometry Tab to change the Rotation Angle.

HINT: To rotate several objects around a common point, Group the objects, reposition the center target for the group as desired, and rotate.

Reposition Center Pivot Point

Select the object, hold the COMMAND key and drag the center blue crosshair target, and release.

Quickly Switch Between Shape and Path Mode

Drawing objects can be quickly converted between shape mode, in which the object has a bounding box, and edit mode, in which the shape is comprised of its path and points.

Do one of the following:

  • Double-click the object to quick-convert its object type, or
  • Choose the ‘Convert To’ button in the Geometry Tab, or
  • Choose the Select [s] tool and double-click a shape or path object, or
  • Choose ‘Graphic > Convert To’ in the main menu, or
  • Right-click the object and choose a convert-to option in the contextual menu.

HINT: When your convert any special objects (arcs, wedges, regular polygons/stars, and round rectangles) to a regular shape or path, they loose their “Smart” status and become regular shapes.

Skew Shapes

Regular shapes can be skewed.

  1. Right-click a shape and choose ’Skew >’ then choose Free, Shear Horizontally, Shear Vertically or Perspective.
  2. While the shape is highlighted, move the handles to skew as desired.
  3. Deselect the object to end the Skew operation.

To Change the Size of Object Handles

Choose ‘Artboard > Preferences…’ from the main menu. In the ‘User Interface’ tab, change ‘Handles:’ to large or small.

Lock Object

  1. Click the Lock Object icon to prevent object from being edited.
  2. Object handles will appear white when selected.