Introduction

Shape Editor is essentially a drawing program, designed for freehand drawing using a standard mouse (2 buttons + middle roller/button). It uses vector graphics not raster bitmaps, so drawings can be scaled easily to any resolution.

Each Shape Editor drawing consists of 'Shapes'. Each 'Shape' is a path of 'Curve' segments defined by interpolation 'Points'. Shapes may be have a filled interior, or may just be the path of connected curves. Using the snap tool, any point may be reused any number of times within a multiple Shape Paths. This way when you drag a point, it will affect all Curves attached to it. Additionally, tangent continueties may extend between shapes through their snapped points. Use the Curve popup menu of the Edit, and Drag Points tools to accomplish this.

Basic Navigation & Keyboard Shortcuts

Zoom by using the mouse roller or by pressing + and - on the num pad
Pan by holding down middle mouse button/roller or by using the Pan tool.

Esc
Delete
F1...F12
0...9
F
Keypad +-
C
S
Cancel Action
Delete Shape
Change Tool
Change Line Thickness
Toggle Fill Shape
Change Z Order
Toggle Color (Border/Fill)
Toggle Auto Snap

Editing Tools

When using the Great and Powerful Edit tool
Left Click to drag any points on any shape
Left Click any shape to select it and drag it to a new position
Left Click and drag the selected shape's bounding rectangle to scale it
Left Click and drag the selected shape's smallest enclosing circle to rotate it
Right Click a point to bring up the Point popup menu
Right Click a curve segment to bring up the Curve popup menu
Right Click the selected shape's fill to bring up the Shape popup menu
Right Click anywhere else to bring up the Empty Click popup menu

When using the Draw tool
Left Click to add a smooth curve point
Right Click to add a sharp end point
Space or Enter to end the current shape's path
Backspace to delete the last point
Check the Snap checkbox to snap points together

When using the Drag Points tool
Left Click to select a shape and to drag points on any shape
Right Click a point to bring up the Point popup menu
Right Click a curve segment to bring up the Curve popup menu



When using the Insert Points tool
Click any existing point to drag the point
Left Click any curve segment to insert a smooth curve point
Right Click any curve segment to insert a sharp end point

When using the Delete Points tool
Click any existing point to delete it

When using the Select tool
Left Click any shape to select it, allowing you to edit its attributes.
Right Click a point to bring up the Point popup menu
Right Click a curve segment to bring up the Curve popup menu
Right Click the selected shape's fill to bring up the Shape popup menu
Right Click anywhere else to bring up the Empty Click popup menu

When using the Color Pick tool
Left Click to select a shape
Right Click any pixel to pick its color

When using the Shade Target tool
Left Click to select a shape
Right Click another shape to set it as the shade target of the selected shape

When using the Move Shape tool
Click any shape to select and drag it to a new position

When using the Scale Shape tool
Click any shape to select it
Click and drag the selected shape's bounding rectangle to scale it
Hold the Shift key to overide the Uniform Scaling setting in the Options menu

When using the Rotate Shape tool
Click any shape to select it
Click and drag the selected shape's smallest enclosing circle to rotate it

Attributes

When a shape is selected, you can use the Line Thickness, Fill Shape, Z Ordinal and Color controls to change shape attributes. You can also delete it by pressing Delete or by choosing Delete Shape from the Edit menu.

Every shape has two colors, an outline color and a fill color. By default the outline color is selected on shapes that are not filled in. Shapes that are filled in with a checked Fill Shape checkbox will select the fill color by default. This default can be overriden by clicking the Red Rectangle on the bottom left, just above the color selector.

Menus

All the menu items are implemented, so feel free to use them. In addition to using Edit->Undo to Undo actions you have already finnished, you may also press the Escacpe Key (Esc) to cancel any action still in progress.

Although Shape Editor is not designed to edit raster images, they can be loaded as a Back Image. Use the menu item File->Back Image to either load a Back Image or to clear the existing Back Image by choosing 'Cancel' from the Open dialogue box. This may be useful for tracing, or for editing of the raster image which can be resaved using the File->Save Bitmap menu item. Be aware however that at default 100% zoom resolution, the grid has a line for every pixel thus completely occluding the Back Image. The grid can be removed by using the View->Grid menu item.



Although Shape Editor can only open its native .shp files well, it can save in 4 common vector graphics formats. This is highly useful for people working with other software. For example, the .emf Enhanced Windows Metafiles can be used by Microsoft programs such as Power Point, the .eps and .pdf Post Script files can be used by Adobe software such as Illustrator, and the .svg Scalable Vector Graphics files can be used by open source programs such as Inkscape.

Before saving any file, you should Zoom and Pan the program into the desired view of your drawing. Even the height and width of the drawing window matter, as they will be used to define the clipping rectangle of the saved file. When using File->Save Bimap all the View menu settings will take effect, essentially creating a copy of the display window.

Now shape editor can partially read .emf files. The Edit->Copy and Edit->Paste menu options use the standard metafile clipboard format in the hope that this will give clipboard compatibility with other programs. Please note however that this means that the Edit->Paste will not work any better than the .emf loading capability. It is recomended that you use Edit->Duplicate and File->Import if you wish to accurately make copies of shapes and use them in other shape editor files. More work on better file loading will hopefully be comming in the future.

Shape Edit Main