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The CorelDRAW Toolbox Toolbar

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The CorelDRAW Toolbox Toolbar
Chapter 2 – The Shape Tool Flyout
This is the second icon from the top of the toolbox toolbar in the default installation of CorelDRAW. Click on the small arrow in the bottom right of the icon to see the other tools available in this flyout, and you will see the graphic to the right. Along with the shape tool, the smudge brush, the roughen brush and the free transform tool are available. This icon is shown with an orange background because it changed in X3. The icon was available in CorelDRAW 12 and looked the same but the flyout had more tools. In X3, the knife tool, the eraser tool and the virtual segment delete tool were moved to a new flyout that has a crop tool as the first icon shown.

The Shape Tool
Shape Tool: Select this tool to change the shape of an object by adding, deleting, moving, etc. the nodes that make up an object. There is a separate document on my web site (www.judyhudgins.com/PAP.htm) titled “Node Editing (Shape Tool) & Using Bezier and 3Point Curve Tools” that walks you through some practical examples of using this tool along with a more detailed explanation of how some of the options work.. If you want to be able to change vectored objects, you need to learn how to use this complex tool. It takes a lot of use and practice to get familiar with this property bar and exactly how this tool works. Shortcut Key: F10 Property Bar for the Shape Tool

Each button on this toolbar allows you to change selected nodes, lines or curves in very specific ways. Not all the buttons will be active for every object. See the image to the right. If you have drawn a predefined shape with one of the toolbox tools (ellipse, rectangle), you will need to convert it to curves before you can fully manipulate it with the shape tool. Click on an object and then click on the shape tool to see the nodes that make up the object. The small blue squares are the nodes. The arrows show the direction of the curve and can be used to manipulate the shape of the curve.

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MCBCNM (JEH) Selection Mode: This combo box controls how you marquee select nodes. The default is rectangle meaning you draw a rectangular box around a group of nodes to shape them. The other option is freehand which allows you to draw an irregularly shaped box around a group of nodes to select them. This is beneficial with a complex design. Add or Delete Nodes: Click on a position on the object your are editing and then click on the plus sign icon to add a node in that location. Click on an existing node and click on the minus sign to delete a node. Other ways to add nodes: • Click on a position on the object and press the plus sign on the numeric key pad • Double-click on any position on the object • Select two nodes and click on the plus icon on the property bar to add a node at a midpoint between the two selected nodes Other ways to delete nodes: • Click on a node and press the minus sign on the numeric keypad • Click on a node and press the “Delete” key • Marquee select or use Shift-click methods to select multiple nodes and use either the minus key or the delete key Join Two Nodes: Select two unconnected nodes and click on this button to join them.

Break Curve: Select a single node and then click on break curve. The closed path is now an open path and can be manipulated separately. Convert Curve to Line and Convert Line to Curve: Click on a curved line segment (the line between two nodes) and then click on the leftmost icon to convert the curve to a line. Click on a straight line segment and then click on the rightmost icon to convert the line to a curve. Change lines to curves or visa-versa allows you to manipulate the nodes and lines in different ways. Change the node type: Click on a node and then click on the leftmost icon to change the type. The diagram to the right shows the three different node types. Cusp Node is shown on the top row, left side. It is used where sharp changes in direction are needed. The related arrow is used to manipulate the direction and sharpness of the curve. Symmetrical Node is shown on the top row, right side. The curve on each side of the node is the same. As you manipulate the length of one side of the arrow, the other side will change to match. Smooth Node is shown on the bottom row. It’s also called an asymmetrical node. You can lengthen one

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MCBCNM (JEH) side of the arrow without automatically changing the other side. Reverse Curve Direction: Click this button to change the direction of the path. For an quick example of how this works, draw a line with an arrow on it and then click this button. Extend Curve to Close: Select the beginning and ending nodes of an open path and then click on this button. A straight line will be added between the two nodes.

Extract Subpath: This option is only available when a compound path is selected. A compound path has at least two separate paths that comprise a single shape. Select one of the paths and then click on the extract subpath button to break that path apart from the compound path. The best example of this that I have seen is: 1. Type a letter “A” using the text Tool 2. Convert the letter to Curves (Ctrl-Q) 3. Switch to Wireframe mode (View – Wireframe) to see the two paths. The inner triangle of the “A” is a separate path. 4. Click on a node in triangle 5. Click on the Extract Subpath tool to break that path away from the compound path of the letter “A”. Auto-close Curve: Select an open path and click on this button. CorelDRAW will automatically close the curve for you. This can cause some interesting, unexpected results because the starting and ending points may not be exactly where you think they are. The UNDO key can really be your “friend” when doing this!. Stretch and Scale Nodes: Use this tool to change the distance between nodes – horizontally, vertically or from center. Select two or more nodes. Click on the stretch and scale nodes icon and selection boxes will appear around all the selected nodes. Move the selection handles to change the shape of the object. Hold down the SHIFT key while moving a selection handle to change the distance from center. Click in a white space area on your drawing page to turn this off or press the Esc (escape) key. Rotate and Skew Nodes: Select two or more nodes and click on this icon. Selection handles will appear around the nodes, along with rotation handles. Click on the corners and move them to rotate the nodes. Use the side handles to skew the nodes horizontally or vertically. Align Nodes: Select two or more nodes and click on this icon. A pop-up box will display where you can select horizontal or vertical alignment (or both) If you select control points, it will move the endpoints of two lines to overlap exactly. Reflect Nodes Horizontally/Vertically: Use this tool to mirror a change in one object to a duplicated object. As an example; 1. Draw a shape with the Bezier tool 2. Duplicate and mirror the shape horizontally 3. Select a node from both shapes

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MCBCNM (JEH) 4. Click on the Reflect nodes icon 5. Move one node and the duplicated node will reflect the movement. Elastic Mode: Select several nodes, click on this icon and then drag one of the nodes away from the other(s). Nodes will move different distances relative to their distances from each other. Select All Nodes: Click this button and all nodes in the selected object will be selected.

Reduce Nodes and Curve Smoothness: Click on reduce nodes to automatically eliminate redundant nodes in a selected object. Enter the value in the Curve Smoothness box to control the number of nodes that are removed. Note that removing nodes will often change the shape of the object.

The Smudge Brush
Use the smudge brush to interactively change/distort the outlines of a shape. The icon looks like a Q-tip. There’s no shortcut key for it. It is best used with a stylus and tablet but can be used with a mouse. . Click on the smudge brush and the following Property Toolbar will display.

1. Click on the object you want to smudge 2. Click on the Smudge Brush tool 3. Click across or around the outline to distort it. Drag from the outside of the object in to drag into the shape (Example A). Drag from the inside of the object out to drag out of shape (Example B). Use the settings on the toolbar to control how the smudge brush works. Nib Size: Use the slider to change the size of the nib or type a value into the box. The nib size can range from .03 to 2 inches and changes the width of the smudge. Use Stylus Pressure: Click on this box if you have a tablet and stylus attached to your computer. You can use the stylus pressure to change the size of the nib. Dry Out Settings: Increase the number in this box to gradually reduce the width of the smudge according to the speed of your click-drag action. Enter a value from 0 to 10 – 0 (zero) deactivates the dry out effect. Use Stylus Tilt Setting: Click on this box if you have a tablet and stylus attached to your computer. You can use the stylus to control the tilt value.

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MCBCNM (JEH) Enter a fixed value for the Tilt Setting: This value controls the elliptical shape of the nib. 15 is very flat. 90 is circular-shaped. Enter a value between 1 and 90. Use Stylus Bearing: Click on this box if you have a tablet and stylus attached to your computer. You can use the stylus to control the bearing/angle of the nib. Enter a fixed value for the bearing: This value controls the angle of the cursor. Enter values between 0 to 360.

The Roughen Brush
Use the roughen brush to create a jagged or spiked edge to objects. The icon looks like a rake. There’s no shortcut key for it. It is best used with a stylus and tablet, but can be used with a mouse. Click on the Roughen Brush and the following Property Toolbar will display.

1. Click on an object to select it 2. Click on the Roughen Brush 3. Point to the area on the outline you want to roughen and drag the outline to distort it. Nib Size: Enter a value from .01 to 2.0 to change the size of the nib. The larger the nib size, the longer the maximum length of the spikes. Use stylus pressure to control the frequency of the spikes: Click on this if you have a tablet and stylus. Enter a value for the frequency of spikes: Enter a value from 1 to 10 to control the relative spacing between spikes. The higher the number, the closer the spikes. Dryout Value: Enter a value from -10 to 10 to apply a gradual increase or decrease the number of spikes as you drag. Enter 0 (zero) to turn off the dryout value. Use Stylus Tilt: Click on this if you have a tablet and stylus to control the tilt.

Enter a fixed value for tilt settings: Enter a value between 1 and 90 to specify the height of the spikes. The lower the value, the more dramatic the effect. Spike Direction: Click on the arrow in the combo box to see the options. If you select Fixed spike direction, it works with the Bearing setting. Select “Stylus Setting” if you have a stylus and tablet attached.

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MCBCNM (JEH)

Enter a fixed value for bearing: Use this to set the angle of the spikes (the spike direction must be set on “Fixed”.

The Free Transform Tool
Use the free transform tool to get an interactive view of the object transformations. There is no shortcut key. Click on the free transform tool and the following property toolbar will display.

1. Click on an object 2. Click on one of the icons on the property toolbar 3. Apply the transform option to the object The four icons are: • Free Rotation • Free Angle Rotation • Free Scale • Free Skew

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