Saturday, November 14, 2009

How to add curving points to a custom shape

A reader of this blog is asking: Let's say I made a shape with curves, but then I wanted to add more points to it, how do I do that?

 



This is how:

- press and hold Option (alt) key and move cursor over the border of the shape at the point where you want to add a new point

- when the cursor turns into the little pen with a plus sign next to it click on the border and you get a new point

- the point is a white circle with red border which means it is ready to be moved and to take part in changing your curves

- when you finish click outside the shape.

 To delete a point just select it by clicking twice, slowly, not double-clicking, and when it turns white hit Backspace or Delete. 



You may find that deleting points is more useful than adding new ones. When you create a Custom Shape with smooth curves, you may find that fewer points make it easier to achieve exactly the curve you want. On the other hand, when the shape must have a very particular contour, e.g. a map, adding more points does help.


Whenever I use draw tool I can't help but feel a little bit nostalgic. It reminds me of the technical drawing classes we had at school back in the early 70-s.  We used to spend hours making complex curved shapes by connecting dots manually with a pencil and a tool called French curve (photo by Radomil Talk). By sliding the tool this way and that you had to find the right curve to connect three dots, then add another one, and again, looking for a connecting curve. Some of us were actually driven to tears... With computer aided design it's all but history. Still, even now I find that the skill learnt in those classes helps me, even though many of us thought it was completely useless.

It seems that many Pages users are simply unaware of the power that Draw Tool gives. It is not just curving lines you can create with it,  with drawing tool you can do exactly what it says - draw. And 'write' too. In fact, you can create your own full alphabet in any language - and original cards and drawings. I have published several articles here on various uses of the drawing tool. With the holiday season approaching many of you will be looking for ways to do greetings projects. Pages is a fun tool to accomplish them - with all the family taking part.

Here is a list of posts about curving lines and irregular (custom) shapes:
Curving lines and shapes - make them in Pages
Doodling memorable dates in Pages
Creating clipart and original shapes in Pages
Designing D-Day map in Pages
Doodles: Picasso's room
Jigsaw cutouts with Pages
Christmas graphics and clipart: a few easy tricks
Valentine: make your own in Pages
Drawing letters and numbers in Pages: Happy New Year
Yes, we can: drawing in Pages
Keeping your lines straight
How to design folders
Maps in Pages

Please feel free to send me your own ideas, questions and links to what others do with Pages.

Read more in my new book 'iWork for Mas OSX Cookbook' (2012)
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