Most vector objects in Canvas X Draw are paths. Whether you draw with Path tools (Curve, Freehand, Polygon, Smooth Polygon, Auto Curve) or other shape tools (Rectangle, Oval, Line, Arc), you create paths, and you can use the same path-editing techniques to modify them.
Of course, you can also change a path object by using handles on the bounding box when the object is selected. (See To Resize an Object’s Bounding Box:.)
Canvas X Draw has two display modes you can use when you edit paths. You can display the fill inks, pen inks, and stroke on paths, or you can hide the attributes while you work in Path Edit mode.
Be sure that Path | Live Curve Editing is selected.
You can change the path-editing display at any time. To use the Live Curve Editing command, objects do not have to be selected or be in Path Edit mode.
After you use the Reshape tool, the object remains selected or in Edit mode. Continue to use the Reshape tool to modify the path.
When you drag the Reshape tool, the direction that you drag affects the way the tool modifies the path.
If you drag in one direction and finish on the path, the tool will reshape the path to match the line that you draw.
If you finish dragging away from the path, the Reshape tool can create a new segment that opens a closed path. If you drag the tool on an open path, you can draw a new segment that closes the path. You can also drag the tool so it reshapes part of a path and removes the rest.
Dragging in one direction reshapes the circle
Changing direction adds a segment and
In general, if you drag in one direction along a path, the tool will change the shape of a segment without removing the rest of the path or opening the path. For example, if you follow the curve of a circle as you drag from the top toward the bottom, you can make the circle narrower. If you drag from one part of the circle and change direction, you can create a segment that changes the circle to an open path.
Experimenting with the Reshape tool is the best way to learn the various techniques you can use to modify paths.
The Push tool provides an alternative way of editing paths. The tool lets you form curves without having to edit anchor points and tangent lines. The Push tool is useful for people who are not experts at editing paths and who want to simply drag on path segments to bend them into shape.
The Push tool bends a path where you push (drag) on it. Imagine that a rope is laid out straight on a table. If you push your finger against the middle of the rope, you form a curve at that point. Using the Push tool has a similar effect on a straight segment of a path.
Dragging a path with the Push tool bends the path. The Range setting controls the width of the effect.
You can adjust the range of the Push tool effect. A smaller range results in sharper bends, and a larger range results in smoother bends.
After you use the Push tool, the object remains selected or in Edit mode. Continue to use the Push tool to modify the path.
Use the Range settings in the Properties bar when the tool is selected. The Range value is expressed in the rulers’ measurement units.
Enter a value in the Range text box. You can type an abbreviation for the measurement units following the range value; e.g., to set the Range to 10 picas when the ruler units are inches, enter 10p in the text box.
Depending on the Range setting, editing a path with the Push tool can add or remove anchor point from the path; e.g., when the Range value is low, the Push tool is likely to add anchor points where you push a path. However, when the range is high and a path is not straight, the Push tool can smooth out a part of the path, which can result in fewer anchor points.
To edit points and segments of a path, place the path object in Edit mode. In Edit mode, a path’s anchor points appear as small squares along the path. Every path has at least two anchor points.
Object path drawn with Curve tool
Object in Edit mode, with anchor points visible
When an object is in Edit mode, you can select one or more anchor points. You can even select anchor points and segments on more than one object at once, as long as the objects are in Edit mode.
Do one of the following to place a path object in Edit mode:
You can identify whether you are in Curve Edit mode by the Status bar.
Place two or more objects in Edit mode by selecting them with the Direct edit lasso selection tool.
When you finish editing an object, click outside the object with either the Direct edit selection tool or Direct edit lasso selection tool. You can also double-click outside the object with the Selection tool. In addition, you can press the Esc key to leave Edit mode.
Some Canvas X Draw drawing tools create specialized objects. When you double-click one of these objects to place it in Edit mode, Canvas X Draw displays special editing handles or configuration options, rather than the anchor points and segments of a regular path object.
The tools that create special vector objects are the Concentric Circles, Cube, Polygon, Grid Maker, Multigon, or Spiral. Also, when you modify objects with the Envelope or Extrude commands, Canvas X Draw creates specialized objects.
If you want to use path-editing techniques to modify these objects, convert them to paths. This usually produces a group of objects. After you ungroup these objects, you have regular paths that can be edited using the techniques that follow. You can also convert text characters to paths so that you can edit the shapes of individual characters. (See Converting Objects and Text to Paths.)
When a path is in Edit mode, use the context menu to quickly add, delete, and change anchor points and tangent lines. To see this menu, right-click with at least one object in Path Edit mode. The available options vary depending on the location of the pointer. Each option is described next.
When you edit paths, you need to select particular anchor points or segments before you can delete, move, or reshape them. Before you can select anchor points and segments, a path object must be in Edit mode. (See To Place an Object in Edit Mode:.)
When a path is in Edit mode and you point to an anchor point with a Selection tool, the pointer becomes a crosshair. When you point to a segment, the pointer becomes a gray arrowhead. The Selection tools are explained in Selecting Objects with Selection Tools.
When an anchor point is selected, the Properties bar displays settings for angle and length. You can even add/delete handles or adjust the point to smooth or cusp.
You can select points in more than one path. When you move any selected point, all points in the selection move the same way. (If all the points in a path are selected and you drag one, the entire path moves.) This also works for segments belonging to separate paths.
Use the Selection tool to select multiple anchor points.
With the path object in Edit mode, click an anchor point or segment to select it. To select multiple points or segments, use either the Direct edit selection tool to drag a selection box around them or Shift-click each point or segment.
With the path object in Edit mode, choose Edit | Select All.
Place the paths in Edit mode, and Shift-click the point or segments.
Choose Edit | Invert Selection. The other points are selected and the current one is deselected.
When an anchor point is selected, it changes from a solid to hollow square. If the anchor point has tangent lines, they appear when the anchor point is selected. All tangent lines that affect the segments that touch the selected anchor point also appear. When you select a segment, the anchor point at each end is selected.
If a segment’s anchor points are too far apart for you to adjust the shape as needed, add more. If you create or add more anchor points than you need, delete unnecessary ones.
Keep in mind that the more points on a path, the more complex and system resource-intensive it becomes. In particular, too many anchor points can cause printing problems. It’s best to use the fewest possible anchor points placed as far apart as possible to create a path.
With an object in Edit mode, right-click a segment to which you want to add an anchor point. In the path Context menu, choose Add Point. You can also Option-click a segment to add a point.
With an object in Edit mode, right-click the point you want to delete. In the path Context menu that appears, choose Delete Point. You can also Option+Shift-click a point to delete it, or select points and press the Delete key.
Select the anchor points at each end and press the Delete key. Deleting a segment of a closed path does not open the path; the remaining segments are joined and the path remains closed.
If you create the open path with the Smooth Polygon tool, use the Smooth Polygon tool to add segments.
Often technical illustrators need to quickly add more editing points to a Bézier curve.
A closed path is one that starts and ends at the same anchor point. An open path has separate starting and ending points. You can close an open path by letting Canvas X Draw create a new segment to join the path’s two endpoints. Open a closed path by breaking the path.
With the path in Edit mode and the Curve or Polygon tool selected, click one of the endpoints. Canvas X Draw closes the path by connecting the endpoints with a new segment. If the adjacent segments are curved, the new segment follows the curve.
With the object in Edit mode, right-click an anchor point or segment to open the path Context menu. In the menu, choose Break; Canvas X Draw inserts segment end points to open the object at that location.
Use the Scissors tool to open a closed path and divide a path into two objects. Splitting a path opens the path at the point where the scissors clip the path.
Divide vector objects into separate pieces using the Knife tool. When you drag the Knife tool, it draws a cutting path. If the cutting path divides an object into two parts, the result is two new objects. If the cutting path crosses itself, the area inside the path becomes a new object.
The Knife is similar to the Scissors tool; both tools divide vector objects. The Scissors tool divides an object with a straight line between the two points that you click. The Knife tool slices objects along a freeform cutting path. Therefore, use the Knife tool to cut curved edges.
Use the Knife tool on open and closed vector objects. If you slice one or more open paths, the resulting objects are open paths.
If you slice an open path that crosses itself, the path separates where it crosses itself and where you slice it.
Use the settings in the Properties bar.
If some vector objects contain SpriteEffects, you should render those objects before applying the Page Crop tool.
Any objects that are outside of the cropping rectangle will be deleted after completing the crop. After applying the Page Crop tool, images remain paint objects. Vector objects, however, become Bézier curves. The pen stroke, if any, becomes a composite object.
You cannot crop text objects or images to which a soft rotate effect has been applied. If you plan on using or editing the original file in the future, ensure that you save a copy of the file before applying the Page Crop tool.
This command can be applied to one segment at a time.
Remember that the object must have an open path. If the object’s path is closed, you must break it. (See Editing Paths with the Context Menu.)
Select the two open path objects that you want to join. Choose Path | Join. Canvas X Draw connects the two paths by extending the existing segments or creating a new segment.
Canvas X Draw, by default, joins paths at the closest endpoints; however, you can select which endpoints to join.
You can also draw a selection box around the object’s endpoints with either the Selection tool or Direct edit selection tool.
With a path in Edit mode, you can move points and segments to alter the shape of the path.
Drag an anchor point or segment to move it. You can also press the keyboard arrow keys to move selected points and segments. Moving reshapes the segments you drag or the segments attached to the points that you move.
Pressing Shift while dragging points or segments will constrain their movement to 45° intervals.
When you begin to drag a segment, the anchor points display their tangent lines. You can control the movement of the tangent lines by using modifier keys when you drag the segment.