Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Keeping your lines straight

Do you remember the old traffic police trick which they used to check if you are fit to drive? They'd ask you to walk along the straight white line drawn on the floor and if you weer off - your booze up level is over the limit.

Trying to extend a line in Pages while keeping it horizontal may be as difficult as walking along that police line after a few drinks. The line wobbles and goes all over the place refusing to stay at 0º.

That's when this simple trick comes in handy:

- Press and hold Shift (⇧) while dragging the line

Pages Help and Manual describe how to do this. What I hadn't realized is that pressing Shift while resizing lines works not only for positioning lines horizontally or vertically, but also at every 45º bisect. For example, if you want to draw a line diagonally, insert it from Insert main menu or from the Shapes icon in the Toolbar and start extending at roughly 45º downwards. If you press Shift while doing this, the line will 'snap' to 45º.

Pressing Shift also works when you want to return an object to horizontal position after rotating it.

- Press ⌘, click on any of the floating object's blue handles and drag to rotate it around the centre.
- Press ⌘ and ⌥ and rotate an object around the handle opposite to the one you are dragging.
- Press ⇧ and rotate the object slightly while continuing to press ⌘ and/or ⌥ - it snaps back to horizontal position (0º.)
Please read this related article published earlier on I Work in Pages:

Curving lines and shapes - make them in Pages

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