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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.

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Constrain Location, Angle and Aspect Ratio

When drawing any object, it may be desirable to constrain it in various ways to keep lines perpendicular or at set angles to the page. The relative horizontal and vertical size of an object is called its “aspect ratio”. It’s easy to constrain an object’s location, angle and aspect ratio using modfier keys.

To Constrain an Object’s Position While Moving:

  1. Choose the Select [s] tool and select an object.
  2. Press the SHIFT-key while dragging the object. This constrains the object angle to 45° alignments of its original position.

To Constrain an Object’s Rotation Angle:

  1. Choose the Select [s] tool and select an object.
  2. Press the SHIFT-key while draging the object’s purple Rotation handle to rotate. This constrains the object angle to 15-degree increments.

To Constrain the Angle of a Line:

  1. Choose the Irregular Polygon or Line [l] tool.
  2. Press the SHIFT-key while drawing. This constrains the line angle to 15-degree increments.

To Constrain an Object’s Aspect Ratio While Drawing Circles and Squares:

  1. Choose the Rectangle [r] tool, Oval [o] tool, or Round Rectangle tool.
  2. While drawing the shape, press the SHIFT-key to constrain its aspect ratio, resulting in a perfect square, circle or rounded square.

HINT: The SHIFT-key can be used in combination with the CMND-key to constrain the aspect ratio and draw out from center.

To Constrain an Object’s Aspect Ratio While Resizing:

Do one of the following:

  • Choose the Select [s] tool and select an object, press the SHIFT-key to constrain its aspect ratio, and drag the object handles to resize an object or group,
  • With the object selected, click the “lock” icon in the Geometry panel to lock the width / height aspect ratio, then enter the object width or height in the Geometry panel.

To Constrain the Angle of a Linear Gradient, Shadow, and Other Style Effects:

While editing any style component with an angle style property, press the SHIFT-key to constrain its angle to 15-degree increments.

To Hold a Shape’s Centerpoint in Place While Resizing:

  1. Choose the Select [s] tool and select the shape (or group) to resize.
  2. Hold the Option-key, then press and drag the object (or group) handles to resize.