Gestures & Shortcuts
Don't let the mechanics of working get in your way. Vectornator is packed with intuitive gesture controls and keyboard shortcuts that will make creating your artwork and design projects a breeze.
This unique gesture for iPad and iPhone allows you to learn more about each feature inside Vectornator by long pressing any element in the interface.
There’s also a button inside the Vectornator Interface, to the left of the Inspector Bar, that will help you discover this feature.
Moving the Canvas
Holding two fingers on the screen and dragging will allow you to pan around the canvas of your document without moving any elements by accident.
On macOS, you can use this same gesture control on the trackpad.
If you'd prefer not to use gesture controls, you can also tap on the Hand tool in the Toolbar or press the <key>H<key> key to toggle this panning mode on or off.
As you can see, the entire Vectornator User Interface disappears when panning around the canvas with this gesture. If you want the interface to remain visible while you're panning around the document, this behavior can be deactivated by going to the Document Settings > Magic Canvas.
Zoom In and Out on the Canvas
To zoom into the canvas, use two fingers to pinch outwards.
To zoom out of the canvas, use two fingers to pinch inwards.
The Zoom button in the Navigation Bar at the top left of the interface will show you your current zoom level as a percentage. You can tap this button to instantly fit the canvas to your screen width.
On Mac, you can zoom in and out using these same pinch gestures on the trackpad, or by clicking on the Zoom button inside the Navigation Bar at the top left of the interface and using your mouse’s scroll wheel.
There are also a few keyboard shortcuts for controlling the zoom:
<key>⌘+<key> Zoom In</key></key>
<key>⌘-<key> Zoom Out</key></key>
<key>⌘0<key> Zoom to Fit</key></key>
<key>⌃⌘F<key></key></key> Enter/Exit Full Screen.
Rotate the Canvas
You can rotate your canvas by holding two fingers on the screen of your iPad or iPhone and spinning them clockwise or counterclockwise to rotate the document in your desired direction.
In the Navigation Bar at the top left of the interface, the small dot around the zoom percentage shows you the current rotation of your canvas.
If you don't want your canvas to rotate, you can lock the Canvas Rotation by switching off the button in the Settings Tab.
On Mac, you can use the same two-finger rotation gesture on the trackpad, moving clockwise or counterclockwise.
To Undo your last action, use two fingers to tap on the canvas.
You can also Undo your last action by tapping the back arrow button in the Navigation Bar at the top left of the interface.
In Vectornator, you can Undo your actions an unlimited number of times, even all the way back to the blank canvas that you started with (up to 10,000 actions), even after closing the document and re-opening it.
On Mac, you can use the <key>⌘Z<key></key></key> shortcut to Undo your last action.
To Redo your last action, use three fingers to tap on the canvas.
You can also Redo your last action by tapping the forward arrow button in the Navigation Bar at the top left of the interface.
Lock the Aspect Ratio
While drawing or resizing objects, hold a second finger on the canvas in order to lock the aspect ratio of the path while you're changing it. You can easily draw perfect circles and squares by using this method.
On Mac, you can achieve the same effect by holding the Shift <key>⇧<key></key></key> key. Alternatively, you can lock the proportions of your shape by activating the lock button inside the Inspector.
These layer-based gestures help you work faster and more efficiently.
Select a layer
Swipe right along a layer's name in the Layers Tab to select more than one layer at once. An X (1) will appear while after you've swiped it, indicating that it is selected.
Access to the Layers Options
Swipe left along any layer's name in the Layers Tab to quickly:
(1) - Export this layer
(2) - Duplicate this layer
(3) - Delete this layer
Changing Node Types
As explained in the Path Section, there are four types of path nodes in Vectornator.
To change them, you can use the CAO Node type section that appears at the top of the Style Tab when you activate the Node Tool. Or, you can use these gesture controls while using the Pen Tool to draw your path.
1. While drawing a new line with the Pencil Tool, hold a finger from your other hand onto the canvas to change the previous node into disconnected type. A disconnected node has handles which can move independently and change the direction and arc of the next curve.
2. Hold two fingers from your other hand onto the canvas to enable 45º snapping on both of your node handles. If you're using a Mac, you can hold the <key>Shift<key> key to constrain the angle of the segment to a multiple of 45°.
3. Hold three fingers from your other hand onto the canvas to enable 45º snapping on only one handle. If you're using a Mac, you can hold the Option <key>⌥<key> key to achieve this same affect.
4. Double Tap on any selected anchor point to turn that node into straight node type.
Apple Pencil Gestures
If you have an Apple Pencil, you'll have four different options for what your double-tap pencil shortcut will do. Your options are:
- Double-tap once to activate the last used Tool.
- Double-tap once to undo your action.
- Double-tap once to redo your action.
- Double-tap once to delete your last item.
To change the effect of double-tapping on the canvas with your Apple Pencil, you can access these options through Doc Settings > Input Tab > Apple Pencil.
If you're using a Mac, keyboard shortcuts are the fastest way to speed up your workflow. Many of them are context-dependant based on what you’ve selected and what you’re doing, but you’ll find the full list below.
Vectornator Shortcuts work seamlessly across all your devices, whether you are using Vectornator for Mac or on your iPad and iPhone.
TIP: All the Keyboard Shortcuts can be used with the Apple Magic Keyboard or any external keyboard paired to your iPad.
In Vectornator for iPad, you can get access to the list of the most common shortcuts by pressing <key>⌥+⌘<key>.</key></key>
In Vectornator on Mac, you can always have access to them by going to Help > Keyboard Shortcuts, or you can press <key>⇧⌘0<key>.</key></key>
File Menu Shortcuts
These shortcuts allow you to quickly manage your documents.
These shortcuts save you from wasting time panning and zooming on your canvas.
<key>⌘0<key> Scale and position your view to show everything on the canvas</key></key>
Spacebar + drag Pan around the canvas. This activates the Hand Tool (H).
<key>↑<key></key></key> or <key>↓<key> Zoom in and out</key></key>
<key>F<key> Show/Hide the two sides panels (Layers and Inspector) at the same time.
<key>/<key> Toggle the Inspector Panel on the right.
<key>\<key> Toggle the Layers Panel on the left.
<key>S<key> Direct Selection</key></key>
<key>W<key> Freehand (Pencil)</key></key>
<key>H<key> Hand </key></key> It requires >iOS 13.4 and macOS system.
<key>⇥ <key> (tab)Previous Tool</key></key>
Path Menu Shortcuts
<key>⌃⇧J<key> Join Paths</key></key>
<key>⌃⇧A<key> Add Anchor Points</key></key>
<key>⌃⌘P<key> Text on Path</key></key>
Editing Shapes Shortcuts
<key>⇧ + drag<key> Move shape along the X or Y axis
<key>⌘D<key> </key></key> Duplicate & Transform Again
<key>⌥ + drag<key> Duplicate shape</key></key>
<key>⇧ + resize<key> </key></key> Resize keeping the aspect ratio
<key>⌥ + resize<key> Resize from the center