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Options

Options

There are many options in Vectornator available to transform and edit shapes. These options will allow you to create new complex paths easily. The tools are all accessible in the Style Inspector.

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Every time you select a shape in Vectornator, different editing options for your selected shape will be displayed in the Style Inspector or the Top Toolbar.

By navigating the different sections inside the Inspector, you can access and manage many properties of your shapes and grouped objects, mainly from the Arrange and Path sections.

Inside the Arrange menu – placed at the top of the Inspector, you have access to many operations to adjust and transform your objects such as Group (1), Order (2), Align (3), Distribute (4), and Transform (5).

arrange menu Vectornator

Inside the Path menu – placed at the bottom of the Inspector, you can modify and combine vector paths and shapes by using Boolean (1), Masking (2) and Outline (3) operations, and more.

path menu vectornator

Grouping Objects

Grouping combines multiple objects into a single adjustable element while keeping the singular shapes intact. You'll find the Group (1) and Ungroup (2) buttons in the Arrange section of the Inspector.

When selecting multiple objects, the Grouping options (A) are accessible from the Top Toolbar as well.

Alternatively, you can use the ~key~⌘G~key~  shortcut to group or ~key~⇧⌘G~key~ to ungroup.

group options on UI

Creating a Group

Select the objects you want to group by dragging a window around them with your cursor, or by using the Multi Select Mode. Then, click the Group Button.

Once the shapes are grouped, the letter G shows up in the bottom right corner of the selected group.

Editing a Group

Double-click on a group to enter the Isolate State. Now, you can start editing your elements by resizing them or changing their color. Everything outside the isolated object will appear dimmed out. Double-click anywhere on the empty canvas to exit the Isolate State.

Order

You can change the order of your objects in four different ways:

A – Move Forward - Move the selected object towards the top of the stacking order.

B – Move Backward - Move the selected object towards the bottom of the stacking order.

C – Move to Front - Move the selected object to the top position of the stacking order.

D – Move to Back - Move the selected object to the bottom position of the stacking order.

To change the stacking order of your shape, click on the Order buttons in the Arrange section of the Inspector.

order object menu

Alignment

In this section, you can align your selected objects with just one click.

You have two options available to align your selected objects:

  1. If you select one object and then click the button “Align to the left”, the object will align to the left side of your artboard.
  2. If you select multiple objects and then click the button “align to the left”, the selected objects will all align to the object that is positioned the closest to the left side.

Distribute

By clicking the Distribute buttons, you can set three or more selected elements to be distributed at an equal distance from each other horizontally or vertically.

Repeat Action

At the bottom of the Arrange section, you can find the following two buttons:

A – The Transform Again button will repeat the last transformative action you performed, i.e. it will always rotate the selected object to the same rotation value you set before. You rotated your shape 90° clockwise before, you click Transform Again and the shape will be rotated 90° clockwise again. If you scaled the object bigger or smaller before, the same percentage of scaling and scaling direction will be applied to your shape again.

B – Duplicate and Transform Again will duplicate your selected object and will simultaneously repeat the last transformative action you took on the original shape on the duplicated shape again.

Using this tool will speed up your workflow significantly when creating vector patterns.

The shortcut ~key~D~key~ will perform the same operation as Duplicate and Transform Again.

Flipping Objects

The Flipping buttons will mirror the selected object horizontally or vertically. Just click the buttons placed in the top right corner of the Inspector to perform these actions.

Boolean Operations

Boolean operations are a very powerful tool for any product or graphic design project. A complicated-looking shape can be constructed very fast by using one of the five Boolean operations.

In computer programming, the term “Boolean”, is defined as a data type that can be either “true” or “false”. In graphic design, for software tools like Vectornator, the term “boolean” is used to describe the way shapes can be combined.

There are five types of boolean operations:

  • Unite merges two selected shapes into one.
  • Subtract removes the overlying shape from the underlying shape. As you can see from the image below, the area of the top path is removed from the one underneath.
  • Intersect removes everything that doesn't intersect and shows only the part where the shapes overlap.
  • Divide separates the intersecting parts of the overlapping shapes into separate objects.
  • Exclude removes everything that intersects. The area where the shapes don’t meet is retained. It's the opposite of Intersect, leaving the parts where the original shapes don’t overlap. (In some cases the operation is called Difference in graphics programs.)

In Vectornator for Mac, you can find these options at the top of the Path section (1) inside the Inspector. Every time you select multiple objects, they will be highlighted. You can find the Boolean Operations also in the Top Toolbar (2) and the Menu Bar > Path (3).

Boolean Operations options in the UI

Practice with Booleans

Since the best way to learn anything is through play, let's create this fun stamp design using booleans. It's the best and easiest way to practice with simple shapes so you can get the hang of this seemingly complex design concept. So watch till the end and you'll notice how this video will demystify or shed light (hehe pun intended) on the process of designing and illustrating with the most commonly used boolean operations we've got.

Masking Objects

Clipping masks are the simplest way to mask objects and photos. A clipping mask is a shape that only reveals the underlying artwork (the mask is on top, the artwork is below) within its boundaries - in effect, it is cropping the artwork to the shape of the mask.

In vector software, Masks are used to show parts of an object contained within a specific overlying shape. Applying a mask to an image in Vectornator can be useful to give it a beautiful texture or pattern.

In Vectornator, the Mask / Unmask button (1) is located in the Path section inside the Inspector. Every time you select two objects simultaneously, they will be highlighted. You can find these buttons also in the Top Toolbar (2) and the menu bar > Path (3).

mask unmaske in vectornator

Creating a Mask

Any closed shape can be converted into a mask.

To do so, select the element you want to mask plus the shape you want to define as a mask, and click the Mask button.

How to identify if an object has been masked?

In Vectornator, the letter M at the bottom corner of your object signifies its masked state.

When you see the Unmask button highlighted, it means that the selected object is located under a mask.

masked object it  a circke

Editing a Mask

To edit a Mask Shape, just double-click on it. To exit the Isolated State, double-click again on an empty area of the canvas.

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Last Updated on Aug 30, 2022
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