Creating and Categorizing Fills and Lines

Creating and Categorizing Fills and Lines

You can group the sets of line styles and arrow styles into style lists . Many program attributes, including lines, colors, and gradients, are stored in these groups, and only one is displayed in the workspace and in the Line window at a time (Figure 30-4). This is convenient if you have several different styles of attributes for different projects and want to keep them separate, so that you don't need to scroll through a long list, looking for the one you need.

Figure 30-4. Style list management icons


Line and arrow lists are stored in the config folder with the file extension . sod and . soe , respectively.

Selecting a Different List

In the Styles tab, click the Load Styles icon and select the .sod or .soe file you want.


Saving Changes to a List

If you've added or modified a style, click the Save Styles icon to save it in the current list.

Creating Technical Drawings With Dimension Lines and Connectors

Draw provides two useful tools for flowcharts, architectural drawings, and other drawings that are very technical or precise. The tools are the dimension line and the connector.


Drawing a Dimension Line

  1. Click the Lines and Arrows icon and select the dimension tool.


  2. Draw the dimension line next to the object whose measurement you want to display (Figure 30-5).

    Figure 30-5. Adjusting a dimension line


    The actual length or width of the object will be displayed, using the measuring system currently selected for the ruler. Modify the drawn line with the handles; you can change the angle or length.

Modifying a Dimension Line

The Dimensioning window allows you precise control over the position, distance, and text position of the line.

To draw the dimension line perfectly straight, be sure the grid is on.

  1. Open the Dimensioning window (Figure 30-6 on page 795) by right-clicking a dimension line and choosing Dimensions, or choose Format > Dimensions.

    Figure 30-6. Changing dimension line attributes


  2. Make the appropriate changes and click OK.

Figure 30-7 shows where the guides, overhangs, and lines are.

Figure 30-7. Lines and overhangs used in dimension lines


Setting the Scale


You can set many of the options controlling workplace display by choosing Tools > Options > Drawing.

Dimension lines reflect the scale you set. In a 1 to 10 scale in centimeters, for instance, every centimeter you draw on-screen will print as 10 centimeters. You can set the scale, anywhere from 1:1 to 1:100, and 2:1 to 100:1.

  1. Choose Tools > Options > Drawing > Layout and be sure the correct measurement system is selected in the Meas. units field.

  2. In the options navigation tree on the left, select Zoom.

  3. From the Scale list, select the scale you want.

  4. Click OK.

Drawing a Connector

Connectors are excellent tools for creating precise diagrams. The connectors automatically attach precisely to the edge of the object you specify, which saves time you would otherwise spend at an 800% zoom, for example, trying to position an ordinary line correctly.


  1. Determine the two objects you want to connect.

  2. Click the Connector icon and select the type of connector you want to draw.

    Tools in the second and third rows with diagonal lines always take the shortest path from one object to another, and only connect the closest connector points.

  3. Move the mouse pointer over the first object; its connection points will appear.


  4. Click and hold down the mouse on the connection point that you want to connect the line to.

  5. Drag the mouse to the second object; its connection points will appear.

  6. Position the connector line endpoint on the correct connection point and release the mouse (Figure 30-8). If you move or resize either object, the connector will move with the object.

    Figure 30-8. Adjusting or connecting connector lines


Only connector tools in the first and fourth rows of the tearoff menu draw lines that, as shown, have multiple directions.

Modifying a Connector

The Connector window allows you precise control over the position, distance, and text position of the line.

  1. Open the Connector window (Figure 30-9) by right-clicking a connector and choosing Connector, or choose Format > Connector.

    Figure 30-9. Changing connector attributes


  2. Make the appropriate changes; applying changes to a multi-directional connector line is shown. See Figure 30-10 for demonstrations of the terminology.

    Figure 30-10. Description of connector terminology


Figure 30-10 illustrates the terminology.

Adding Connector Points

You have probably noticed that all objects have predefined connector points. You can specify additional "glue points" so you can have precise control over exactly where the lines connect. You can add them on the border or inside the object.


  1. Select the object.

  2. Choose View > Toolbars and be sure there is a check mark next to Object Bar (displayed at the top of the work area) and Option Bar (displayed at the bottom of the work area).

  3. At the bottom of the work area in the Option Bar, click the Edit Glue Points icon. When you click it, it will appear recessed.


  4. Look at the Object Bar at the top of the window; the Edit Glue Points icons are displayed, which you can use to add and modify glue points on any object in the work area.


  5. Click the Insert Glue Point icon at the far left and click anywhere to add a glue point. Select the new or existing glue points and use the other icons to modify point attributes.

Connecting Lines to Text Frames

If you want to connect text with lines, for instance in a plain org chart that doesn't have boxes around the names , you can still use the connector lines.

  1. Connect the connector lines to the text frame.

  2. Right-click the frame and choose Text.

  3. In the window that appears, enter the separation you want between the text frame and the text itself, so you can keep the connector line from being right up against the side of the text.


See Figure 30-11 for an example.

Figure 30-11. Connecting connector line to text frame and adding margin between text frame and text contents


Controlling Arrowheads Quickly

You can switch the ends on a connector line on the toolbar, as shown at right. Just select the line, then click on the Arrows icon the toolbar and select the end you want, for the beginning or end of the line.