The Vectornator interface on Mac keeps the minimalist aesthetic of the iPad interface but reimagines the design for a full-immersive desktop experience.
Document Interface on Mac
This refers to the Vectornator workspace as a whole. This is where you create your artworks using different Artboards (A).
The Document Interface is divided into four main parts:
- 1 - The Top Toolbar, customisable with the tools you use the most
- 2 - The Style Inspector, on the right side of your screen
- 3 - The Layers, on the left side of your screen (unlike the iOS version)
- 4 - The Toolbar, to access all the main Vectornator tools
- 5 - The Library Popover, where you can open the Library to import icons, symbols, and more
All of the Vectornator interface controls use native macOS components, including the Toolbar, the Top Toolbar, the Inspector, the Touch Bar, and much more. You’ll notice that the navigation bars in the Inspector provide a very native Apple look and feel as a result.
This Toolbar (1) is located at the top of the interface and contains shortcuts for performing actions relevant to the current view.
You can easily customize it by selecting the tools you use the most frequently by right-clicking on the bar and choose Customize Toolbar (A) or by going to the Menu Bar and selecting View > Customize Toolbar. A pop-up window (B) will appear.
In Vectornator on Mac, the Library is no longer a tab, but a popover window instead. This change allowed us to make the Inspector a proper macOS sidebar.
To open it, simply click the + icon at the top right of the interface inside the Top Toolbar. This Popover is divided into five sections which are accessible via the icons at the bottom:
- A – Templates, where you can create and store your own library of vector elements.
- B – Photos, where you can import images from your camera roll.
- C – SF Symbols, a library of over 2,400 free configurable symbols integrated with San Francisco Font, the system font for Apple platforms.
- D – Iconator, a library offering more than 80k free icons to use in your designs.
- E – Unsplash, a library with millions of free images provided by Unsplash.com.
The SF Symbols, Iconator, and Unsplash Tabs all have a Search Bar located at the top to help you find the exact icon or image you need.
Toolbar on Mac
On the left side of your interface, you'll find the Toolbar (1). Here, you can access all of Vectornator's built-in tools for selecting objects, drawing and creating shapes, and adding text. Depending on the tool you select, different tool options (2) will be displayed and the cursor will change accordingly.
In the Toolbar, you can access:
Selection Tool | Select and move paths.
Node Tool | Select, move, and edit anchor points.
Scissors Tool | Cut existing paths.
Pen Tool | Create any path imaginable with Bezier curves.
Pencil Tool | Draw freeform paths.
Brush Tool | Draw freeform paths with variable widths.
Text Tool | Create text objects.
Shape Tool | Create shapes like straight lines, rectangles, circles, polygon, stars, or spirals.
Eraser Tool | Delete objects along the path you draw.
Hand | Pan around the Canvas.
Zoom | Zoom in and out of the Canvas.
Pro Tip – The Selection Tool allows you to activate several different modes, such as
• Multi-Select for selecting more than one element at once by pressing <key>⇧<key>.
• Duplicate to duplicate the element by dragging and dropping it into a defined position using <key>⌥ + drag<key>.
You can also use Rotate to rotate the selected element, and Scale to change the element's size in relation to a set pivot point.
Check out all the Mac Shortcuts here ->
The Style Inspector, located on the right side of the screen, contains the platform's major vector editing features and allows you to view the properties of your selected elements.
The Color Picker and Brush Editor are floating pop-out windows, which gives them better clarity and ease of use; two of the most important things we want to achieve with all our features.
In Vectornator, text fields within sliders support precise value changes. You can use the arrow keys to navigate these steps one at a time. Speaking of values, sliders with large value ranges now support polynomial growth for precise editing of small values.
Layers & Artboards
On Mac, Layers are located on the left side and they work exactly as on the iPad version of Vectornator.
The Layers Panel is the place for managing all your layers and objects within your document. Additionally, it allows you to manage your Artboards.
Here, you can create a new layer, select multiple layers, show/hide certain layers, lock/unlock layers, duplicate a layer, and delete or rename your artboards, layers, and objects.
Learn more about Layers ➞
Hide the Mac Interface
On macOS, you can also activate the option to completely hide any interface elements. To do so, navigate to View > Hide Interface or press <key>⌘ .<key>.
When hiding all interface elements, the Toolbar also disappears. Additionally, the app remembers which parts of the interface were visible before entering Focus Mode, and restores only these when you unhide again.
Pro Tip – You can also separately hide Layers by pressing <key>⌥⌘1<key> or the Inspector <key>⌥⌘2<key>.
Switch between Light or Dark UI
You can change the Color Theme of the Vectornator Interface by using the shortcut <key>⌘,<key> or going to Vectornator > Preferences (1). A window will automatically pop-up. Here navigate to Appearance (2) and then select Dark, Light, or System-based.