Graphics Programs Reference
In-Depth Information
Galleries and the Galleries Control Bar
By default,
you have all the Galleries (resources for projects) you'll
need in these palette-style boxes. You click on a Gallery
button to open the gallery, click a second time to toggle
it closed. Alternatively, every Gallery has a close box in
the upper-right corner.
This control bar is contextual; options change
as you change tools and/or tasks. If you seek an option
with a specific tool, look to the Infobar first. The right-
click pop-up menu also provides contextual options, and
CTRL , ALT , and SHIFT are modifier keys when you draw
and edit paths.
Standard bar
By default, this control bar rests above
the Infobar. The options and settings it provides do not
change as you change tools. Look to the Standard bar
when you want to create a new document, save one,
change the zoom level of the page, change from high-
quality preview to wireframe (view quality), change
the point size of object outlines, and enable/disable
snapping a shape to another shape.
Status line
This strip at the bottom of the interface
provides moment-to-moment data about your cursor
position onscreen, what is currently selected, the layer
upon which you're working, type of object selected,
and other useful information. There is also a Live Drag
button at right that toggles on and off to provide an
onscreen preview of edits and movements of shapes
before you release the mouse button, and a snapping
indicator that changes shape when a shape is in position
to snap to a different shape or a guide.
Understanding the Elements of a Shape
Chapter 3 provides extensive documentation on working with
the three path-drawing tools in Xara: the Shape Editor, the Pen,
and the Freehand and Brush Tools. However, it's very natural
to go tearing into an exciting program before reading all the
documentation, and you might have created a path without
a basic understanding of how paths work, how they become
shapes, and how to edit them. And where's the darned Eraser
Tool?! Some explanation of vector paths is in order here.
Vector shapes have no visible characteristics until you fill
one or apply an outline width. Vectors are math formulae that
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