Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Doodling memorable dates in Pages'09

Chattering classes debate these days which year was more important in recent history: 1979 or 1989? In 79 Mrs Thatcher came to power starting the new conservative 'revolution' that reversed the decline of the West, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan which brought about its implosion, Iranians toppled the Shah and seized American Embassy. In 1989 defeated Russia pulled out of Afghanistan, the Berlin Wall fell, Gorbachev and Reagan, encouraged by Mrs Thatcher struck far-reaching disarmament agreements and the Ayatollah declared a fatwa against British writer Salman Rushdi.

I myself think 79 was the beginning of 89, so was more important. But 89 was more fun.

And while I pondered, listening to John Lennon's 'Revolution Number Nine' (from the White Album), I doodled both dates in Pages'09.

Here's how.

Let's see how number 9 can be drawn in three dots:

1. Make a rough outline.

2. Under Format menu choose 'Shape>Soften path'. Sharp angles will turn into soft curves.

3. Moving red dots and curving handles shape the curving line into number nine. Use keyboard arrows to move dots point by point. To disable 'snap to guides' function press Command as you move dots.

4. When the line does look like number nine, choose the shape of your line in Graphic Inspector. Pages'09 offers a wider choice of lines/frames, than previous versions of iWork.

5. Now you can choose colour and thickness: click on the colour bar and then change point count to make the number thicker.

It may sound fiddly, but in practice drawing numbers, letters or other original shapes doesn't take very long and it gives enormous creative satisfaction.

You only have to create your own original set of numbers, 0 to 9, once. Save your Pages file and reuse the numbers when needed. To turn them into graphic elements use screenshots: Command+Shift+4.

Six and nine can be used as one - in Metrics Inspector flip nine vertically, then horizontally - and you get a six. Here is number 69 made of the same 9 we've just created.

Read these previous posts about drawing and writing in Pages with the draw tool:
Drawing letters and original shapes
Curving lines and shapes: make them in Pages

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is a great tip! You make it work so easily!


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