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Drawing Shapes

Drawing shapes is simple and direct. Object handles and control knobs are visible and editable when using the single, direct Select [s] tool. Ovals, rectangles, arcs, wedges, stars, regular polygons and round rectangles are directly adjustable with special object handles – we call these Smart Shapes. No more switching tools or digging through menus to find the rotate command. Keep your attention where it should be – on your drawing canvas.

To Draw Rectangles, Ovals, Circles and Squares:

To_Draw_Rectangles__Ovals__Circles_and_Squares.png

Do one of the following:

  • RECTANGLE – Choose the Rectangle [r] tool, press and drag the cursor to begin drawing the shape, release the cursor to end the shape.
  • 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– Choose the Oval [o] tool, press and drag the cursor to begin drawing the shape, release the cursor to end the shape.
  • 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.

To Draw Open and Closed Paths:

To_Draw_Open_and_Closed_Paths.png

Do one of the following:

  • AN OPEN PATH – Choose the Irregular Polygon [p] or Bezier Path [b] tool, click onto the drawing canvas to add the first point; continue clicking to add additional points connected by path segments; double-click to end the path or press the ESC-key to end the path.
  • A CLOSED-LOOP PATH / IRREGULAR POLYGON – Choose the Irregular Polygon [p] or Bezier Path [b] tool, click onto the drawing canvas to add the first point; continue clicking to add additional points connected by path segments; click onto the first drawn point to automatically end drawing the path; the coincident points will act as a single point.
  • To OPEN A CLOSED LOOP PATH – Choose the Select [s] tool, hold the CMND-key and drag the last point drawn away from the first point.

To Formally Close (or Open) Paths that Loop:

By default, the first and last placed points on a loop are treated as a single point when they are coincident (or overlapping). However, the path is not formally closed (with a straight line segment between first and last points).

To change this behavior so paths are formally closed when you end a path by clicking on its first placed path:

  1. Open the (app) > Preferences… Editing in the main menu.
  2. Check (or uncheck) “Automatically close paths when drawing”.

To open formally closed paths, do one of the following:

  • With the path selected, right-click and choose ‘Open’ from the contextual menu.
  • With the path selected, choose Edit > Paths (+Option-key) > Open from the main menu.

To Draw Arcs, Wedges, Stars, Regular Polygons, and Round Rectangles:

To_Draw_Arcs__Wedges__Stars__Regular_Polygons__and_Round_.png

Do one of the following:

  • ARCS – 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. Handles on Arcs directly control the object’s rotation, radius, and arc angle.
  • WEDGES – Choose the Wedge [w] tool, press to place the center, drag the cursor outward to define the radius, and release the cursor to end the shape. Handles on Wedges directly control the object’s rotation, radius, and arc angle.
  • REGULAR POLYGON / STAR – 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. Handles on Regular Polygons/Stars directly control the object’s rotation, radius, radial ratio, tip, and valley settings. Use the Geometry pane to change the number of sides (from 3 to 16). Additionally, to instantly create perfect triangles, hexagons, octagons and more, uncheck the “Star” setting in the Geometry pane and adjust the number of sides for a regular polygon.
  • ROUND RECTANGLES – Choose the Round Rectangle tool, press and drag the cursor to begin drawing the shape, release the cursor to end the shape. Handles on Round Rectangles directly control the object’s rotation and corner radius.

HINT: When your convert any of these special objects to a regular shape or path, they loose their “Smart” status and become regular shapes without dynamic editing handles.

To Reposition, Resize and Draw Out From Center:

To_Reposition__Resize_and_Draw_Out_From_Center.png

Do one of the following:

  • REPOSITION / MOVE – Choose the Select [s] tool, press and drag the object, release. Alternatively, use the Geometry panel to adjust the location x/y position
  • RESIZE – Choose the Select [s] tool, press and drag any of the object handles, release. Alternatively, use the Geometry panel to adjust size.
  • DRAW OUT FROM CENTER – Choose a shape tool (such as Oval [o] or Rectangle [r]), hold the Alt/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-Alt/Option-key while drawing shape, release.

To Rotate Objects:

To_Rotate_Objects.png

Choose the Select [s] tool and do one of the following:

  • ROTATE – Select the object, press and drag the shape’s purple rotation handle, release. Alternatively, use the Geometry panel to adjust angle.
  • CONSTRAIN ROTATION ANGLE TO 15-DEGREE INCREMENTS – Select the object, hold the SHIFT-key and drag the shape’s purple rotation handle, release.
  • REPOSITION OBJECT CENTER POINT – Select the object, press and drag the center blue crosshair target, release.
  • ROTATE SEVERAL OBJECTS AROUND A COMMON PONIT – Group the objects, reposition the center target for the group as desired, and rotate.

HINT: To quickly return a rotated object to no rotation, double-click its rotation knob.

Use the Geometry Panel to Precisely Adjust an Object’s Size and Position:

Use_the_Geometry_Panel_to_Precisely_Adjust_an_Object_s_Si.png

While objects may be resized and repositioned directly, the can also be precisely adjusted using numeric input in the Geometry panel. (located in the lower left sidebar).

Do one of the following:

  • EDIT NUMERIC INPUT – Highlight or double-click the existing number and type in a new number, then click back onto your drawing canvas to remove the focus from the Geometry panel.
  • LOCK (OR UNLOCK) ASPECT RATIO – When changing object width and height in the Geometry panel, click the lock icon open (or closed).

HINT: The numeric input menu is context sensitive to the current selected object and the object type is displayed. Additional special object settings, such as star tips and valleys will be revealed when available. To hide the Geometry panel, click the Geometry panel icon in the bottom of the window.

To Quickly Switch Between Shape and Edit Mode:

To_Quickly_Switch_Between_Shape_and_Edit_Mode.png

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 a path and its points.

Do one of the following:

  • Choose the Select [s] tool and double-click a shape or path object.
  • Choose Graphic > Convert To in the main menu.
  • Right-click the object and choose a convert-to option in the contextual menu.

Arcs, wedges, regular polygons/stars, and round rectangles are converted to regular shape objects in this process; double-click again to convert to path.

To Change the Size of Object Handles:

Choose (app) > Preferences… Options and change ‘Handles:’ to large or small.

To Show (or Hide) the Tooltip Feedback Window:

Choose (app) > Preferences… Editing and check (or uncheck) ‘Display dimensions when dragging objects’.

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Text Labeling Area Features

Shape objects accept labels in much the same way as point features. Simple shapes and shapes from imported shapefiles support labeling.

To Add Labels to Shapes:

To_Add_Labels_to_Shapes.png
  1. Choose the Select [s] tool and select a shape.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Right click the shape and choose ‘New Label’ from the contextual menu. A label is placed at the visual center of the shape.
  • Choose Edit > Labels & Text > New Label from the main menu.

3. The label content will use attribute information if an intelligent label tag has been defined. Alternatively, double-click the label to type free-text.

HINT: Labels support multi-line text. Press Option-Return or Shift-Return on the keyboard to manually insert a line break.

HINT: Special shapes, such as regular polygons and rounded-rectangles, and area features created from paths, such as irregular polygon, must be converted to shapes before they will accept a label. Choose Graphic > Convert To > Shape from the main menu, or right-click the object and choose ‘Convert To Shape’ from the object’s contextual menu.

To Use Just-Right Positioning of Area Feature Labels:

To_Use_Just-Right_Positioning_of_Area_Feature_Labels.png

By default, labels are placed in the visual center of area features. The visual center provides for best placement when an area is irregular shaped. For example, the geometric center for Scotland is in water, the visually center places the label more where you would expect it.

  • Using the Select [s] tool, drag a label around the feature to move it. Labels subtly shift into ten standard click positions similar to labels on point features – eight positions around the shape, the geometric center point, and the visual center (which may be very close or the same as the geometric center).
  • Rotate a label by dragging its rotation handle. Hold the Shift-key while rotating to snap the angle to 15-degree increments.
  • To have full placement control while moving a label, hold the Shift-key and drag the label into the desired position. Like labeling other object types, it is easy to style a label then copy and paste it onto other objects. When a label is copied and pasted to other objects, its positioning, content, and text style properties are maintained.

HINT: Depending on a map’s scale, areas can represent point-like objects such as cities or islands. Move the label into an outside position in these cases.

To Spread (Tracking) Labels Across Area Features:

To_Spread__Tracking__Labels_Across_Area_Features.png

Text can be spread out across and area (called “tracking”).

  1. Choose the Select [s] tool and select the label text for editing.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Hold the Option-Control keys and repeatedly press the right-Arrow (end) key to widen (loosen) the spread, or the left-Arrow key to tighten the spread.
  • Choose Text > Kern > Loosen (or Tighten) from the main menu.

3. Repeat as necessary to get the desired spread.

HINT: Text > Kern > Loosen (or Tighten) is also used to add or delete space (or “kerning”) between two or more selected glyphs.

To Place Curved Text Across Area Features

To_Place_Curved_Text_Across_Area_Features.png

To create curved text for objects that span large areas, use the Text On Path [e] tool. Alternatively, you can convert a label to text on path with the following steps.

  1. Place a label on a shape.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Right-click the label and choose ‘Detach From Feature’ from the contextual menu. Note, the label will be completely detached from the feature and its attributes.
  • Select the label(s) and choose Edit > Labels & Text > Detach From Feature in the main menu.

3. Select and convert the text to ‘text on a path’ by right-clicking and choosing ‘Convert to > Text On Path’ or choose Graphic > Convert To > Text On Path from the main menu.
4. Move the text path end points and curve handles into proper position.
5. Text alignment should be “justified” to spread text across the path. As necessary, do one of the following:

  • Double-click the text for editing and click the ‘Justified’ text alignment icon in the format bar.
  • Choose Text > Justify from the main menu.
  • Open the Object Inspector’s Features pane and click the ‘Justified’ text alignment icon.

To Make Label Text Bigger, Smaller, Bold, Italic, Underline:

  1. Place a label on a shape.
  2. Select the text label.
  3. Do one of the following:
  • Open the Fonts palette and modify the text properties
  • Choose various Text > properties in the main menu.
  • Use shortcut keys to quickly modify label text properties. For example, Command- – and Command- = quickly make label text smaller or bigger.
  • Double-click the text for editing and choose text properties form the format bar.