Graphics Programs Reference
Working with Paths
Vector paths are the underlying structure for everything the drawing tools in Xara can
produce. Unlike bitmap painting programs—where a click of a tool produces a colored dot
on a canvas—producing great artwork in Xara is a two-step process.
You design the underlying geometry of your composition with
properties to the paths so your design is visible. A vector is a type of
geometric equation that has a direction and a distance, but not a skin. This is where Xara
line properties come in.
Often, you'll find these two steps indistinguishable from one another; you can build a path
and apply a property to it at the same time, but you shouldn't confuse vector artwork with a pixel
This chapter first discusses how to draw the underlying structure of a vector shape (with
some property application here and there for fun) and then adds things you can apply to a path:
outline width, color, making the path dashed lines, adding arrowheads, even applying shapes to
the path shape to make your lines look like chalk and watercolor.
Download and extract the contents of Chapter03.zip, which contains everything you need to
work through this chapter's tutorial steps.
The Components of a Path
Xara gives you three tools for drawing paths:
The Shape Editor Tool
Offers the smoothest curves and performs
double-duty as a path-editing tool. As you'll see shortly, you can
adopt a work technique where you alternate drawing with editing as
you build a path.