Drawing

Draw Lines and Shapes

There is a set of tools in the Tools panel that let you draw lines and primitive shapes.

A part of the Tools panel with tool to draw lines and shapes.

1 - Line Tool: draw straight lines

2 - Star Tool: create stars with customizable number of points

3 - Polygon Tool: create polygons with customizable number of sides

4 - Rectangle Tool: create rectangles

5 - Rounded Rectangle Tool: create rectangles with rounded corners

6 - Ellipse Tool: create ellipses

7 - Arc Tool: create arcs

Smart Shapes

The tools create objects of different types. The Line, Rectangle, Ellipse and Arc tools create regular objects (paths) as those you can draw using the Pen tool. The other objects are smart shapes. These are parametric objects that let you vary their shape after an object has been drawn.

If you click on a smart shape with the Selection tool, you won't see anchor points. Instead of that, smart shapes have round handles. The handles are pre-programmed to change the object's shape in a particular way such as adjusting rounded corners. If you drag a handle of a rounded rectangle, you will edit all of its corners because all of the handles are selected by default. In order to manipulate only one handle, you should additionally click on it. Then all the rest will become deselected. You can select several handles by Shift-clicking on them.

A smart shape lets you adjust rounded corners

In addition to that, smart shapes display their properties in the Control panel.

You can turn a smart shape into a regular object by calling the Expand command from the context menu or Control panel. Then you will be able to edit the object by working with anchor points. Notice that it is not possible to convert a path into a smart shape.

Line

Draw a Line

  1. Activate the Line tool.
  2. Place the cursor on the canvas where a new line should start.
  3. Press and hold the left mouse button.
  4. Move the cursor to the point where the line should end.
  5. Release the mouse button.

Basically, a line created with the Line tool has no difference from a single straight segment of a path drawn using the Pen tool.

Star

Draw a Star

  1. Activate the Star tool.
  2. Place the cursor on the canvas where the center of a new star should appear.
  3. Press and hold the left mouse button.
  4. Move the cursor aside in order to define the size and orientation of the object.
  5. Release the mouse button.

Properties of the Star Object

The Control panel lets you change the number of points, and the Inner Radius and Radius parameters.

Properties of the Star object in the Control panel.

You can adjust the amount of the space taken by the body of a star using the Inner Radius parameter.

Stars with different Inner Radius values

By making the Corner Radius greater than zero, you can make the points of the star rounded. The points can be not only rounded, but they can have other shape. You can choose the shape using the four buttons in the Control panel.

Polygon

Draw a Polygon

  1. Activate the Polygon tool.
  2. Place the cursor on the canvas where the center of a new polygon should appear.
  3. Press and hold the left mouse button.
  4. Move the cursor aside in order to define the size and orientation of the object.
  5. Release the mouse button.

Properties of the Polygon Object

The Control panel lets you change the number of sides of a polygon.

Properties of the Polygon object in the Control panel.

By making the Corner Radius greater than zero, you can make the corners of the polygon rounded. The corners can be not only rounded, but they can have other shape. You can choose the shape using the four buttons in the Control panel.

Rectangle

Draw a Rectangle

  1. Activate the Rectangle tool.
  2. Place the cursor on the canvas where a corner of a new rectangle should appear.
  3. Press and hold the left mouse button.
  4. Move the cursor to the point where the opposite corner should be located.
  5. Release the mouse button.

Rounded Rectangle

Draw a Rounded Rectangle

  1. Activate the Rounded Rectangle tool.
  2. Place the cursor on the canvas where a corner of a new rectangle should appear. We mean here an imaginary corner if it wasn't rounded.
  3. Press and hold the left mouse button.
  4. Move the cursor to the point where the opposite corner should be located.
  5. Release the mouse button.
Rounded Rectangle

Properties of the Rounded Rectangle Object

The Control panel lets you change the radius of the rounded corners. You can also choose different shapes of corners.

Properties of the Rounded Rectangle object in the Control panel.

Ellipse

Draw an Ellipse

  1. Activate the Ellipse tool.
  2. Place the cursor on the canvas where a corner of the bound box of a new ellipse should appear.
  3. Press and hold the left mouse button.
  4. Move the cursor to the point where the opposite corner should be located.
  5. Release the mouse button.

Arc and Sector

Draw an Arc

  1. Activate the Arc tool.
  2. Select one of the modes in the Control panel.
  3. Place the cursor on the canvas at the starting point.
  4. Press and hold the left mouse button.
  5. Move the cursor to the point where the opposite corner should be located.
  6. Release the mouse button.

Modes of the Arc Tool

The Control panel lets you choose the type of object that should be created. Notice that you must select the type before drawing. There is no possibility to switch the type of already created objects.

Arc tool - Elliptical Arc

Arc tool - Elliptical Segment

Arc tool - Circular Arc

Arc tool - Circular Segment

Draw Shapes with Fixed Center

When you draw a line in the default mode, you define the location of each line's end. Similarly, when you draw a shape, you define the locations of opposite corners of the object's boundary.

Sometimes, the center of a new line or shape should be located at particular point. In this case, you can indicate the position of the object's center using the Alt key.

Before you start drawing, press and hold the Alt key. Place the cursor where the center of a future object should be. While you are drawing a new object, its center will stay fixed. The position of the cursor will change only the size of the object.

This technique works with all types of objects described above except for arcs.

Further Editing

Primitive shapes might be the bases for creation of more complex graphics.

You can combine shapes using Boolean operations.

To edit the path of a shape, use tools and methods described in the Edit a Path section. To change how your graphic element looks, use the Appearance panel.

To quickly change the stroke width before or after drawing it, use these keys: [ to decrease, and ] to increase.