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The Toolbar is where you’ll find quick shortcuts to important tools and actions you’ll use a lot in the Mac app. Our Mac App interface contains two separate toolbars, let's see what they have to offer.

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The Vectornator Mac App interface consists of two toolbars:

  • The left Toolbar (1), which contains the main tools to select and add elements to the canvas.
  • The top (Editor) Toolbar (2), where you can access your favorite editing tools.
application screen with side toolar

The Toolbar

The Toolbar on the left side of the interface from Vectornator gives you access to several tools for selecting, drawing, erasing shapes, and adding text.

All toolbar options and names

The Selection Tool

With the Selection Tool ~ic-selection~~ic-selection~ , you can select objects by clicking on them. You can also select a group of objects by clicking and dragging a box around them.

Once selected, it activates the Rotate ~ic-rotate~~ic-rotate~ (A) and Scale ~ic-scale~~ic-scale~ (B) Mode too.

selection tool eplained

When using the Selection Tool, you can also perform further actions, such as selecting multiple objects at once or duplicating selected objects by using specific shortcuts.

Learn more here –
How to Multi Select Objects ->
How to Duplicate Shapes ->

How to Rotate an Object

On top of your selected shape, you can see the Selection box Transformation Grid in blue with its circular blue handles on top of your shape. On top of each grid, you will find the orange-colored circular Rotate Handle.

You have three options available to rotate your selected shape in Vectornator:

  1. You can rotate your selected shape by clicking on the Rotate Handle that is located on top of your shape, and by simultaneously rotating the orange handle to the right or the left.
  2. Furthermore, you can activate the Rotate Mode by simply clicking on the Rotate Icon (A) to the right of the Selection Tool.  Hold and drag up or down to rotate the shape clockwise or counterclockwise.
  3. You can rotate your selected shape by entering the rotation degree value in the top part of the Inspector.

One very handy feature in Vectornator is, that while you are rotating your selected shape, an Indicator Window will display and update your rotation degree in real-time.

The Rotate Handle

This feature appears at the top of any selected shape.

You can rotate any shape by clicking on the orange dot and then dragging with the mouse cursor to the left or the right.

butterfly rotation example

The Rotate Mode

Select your shape using the Selection Tool, and activate the Rotate Mode ~ic-rotate~~ic-rotate~ (1) by clicking the button. Then, click and drag anywhere on the canvas to rotate your selected shape.

With this tool, you can also change the pivot point (2) on which your shape rotates. Simply click on the pivot point and then click again to move the pivot point to its new position on the canvas.

Note: The pivot point is set by default at the center of your shape.

Enter a degree value

You can enter a value in degrees in the Inspector. You can click on the Up and Down arrows or enter a value numerically (positive and negative values can be entered).

zoom in on butterfly illustration
Note: In this case, the rotation considers the pivot point as the center of your shape.

How to Resize an object

In Vectornator, you can resize your shapes in many ways. You can do this by:

  • Using the "Scale Tool" from the Toolbar.
  • Dragging one of the Selection Handles.
  • Resizing the object's dimensions in the Inspector.

You have specific shortcuts available in Vectornator which allow you to:

  • Resize your shape while keeping its Aspect Ratio
  • Resize the object from its center pivot.

The Scale Tool

Select your shape by using the Selection Tool, and then click on the Scale Mode ~ic-scale~~ic-scale~ button (A). Then, click and drag anywhere on the canvas outside the shape to adjust the size.

With this tool, you can also change the pivot point on which your shape is resized. Simply click on the canvas to change the pivot point.

scale butterfly drawing
Note: The pivot point is set by default at the center of your shape.

Dragging to Resize

To resize any shape or image, select it, then click and drag on one of its selection handles. The handles on the sides of the shape will adjust the width of your shape, the handles at the top and the bottom of your shape will adjust its height.

If you drag on one of the four corner handles, you can adjust the height and width of your shape simultaneously.

Resizing the object in the Inspector

You can also resize any element by selecting it and typing its dimensions into the Inspector in the Arrange section. You can enter a specific value by tapping the Size, Width, and Height boxes.

If the lock icon is closed, the object will resize with a fixed Aspect Ratio, otherwise, you can disable the lock with a click and then change to only one single dimension.

butterfly example drawing
Note: By default, this will resize the shape from its top-left corners.

Resizing keeping the Aspect Ratio

Press the ~key~⇧~key~ key while dragging on any of the selection handles to keep the Aspect Ratio of your shape.

Resizing from the center

To resize any shape from its center, instead of the edge you’re dragging from, hold the ~key~⌥~key~ key while dragging on any of the selection handles.

How to Scale Objects

To scale your object, you can either drag the shape from one of the corner points of the selection box or, you can activate the Scale Mode by clicking on the Scale button (B) to the right of the Selection Tool. To help you scale the object to a fixed size, the object's dimensions will be displayed at the bottom-center of the object in a light blue box. But remember, the values displayed are rounded to the closest whole digit and decimal points will not be displayed.

The Dimensions Indicator works on single objects, multiple selected objects, and groups of objects.

Note: – You can also hide the Dimension Indicator by switching off the button in the Menu Bar > View > Hide Dimensions.

The Node Tool

The Node Tool ~ic-node~~ic-node~, also called the Direct Selection Tool, is the second tool from the top inside the Toolbar. It’s used to create, select, move and edit Bézier Nodes. Once selected, it activates the Rotate (A) and Scale (B) Mode too.

The Scissors Tool

The Scissors Tool ~ic-scissor~~ic-scissor~ can be used to split an existing shape or path.

Note: The Scissors Tool is only applicable with a single Vector Object and is not applicable with an image.

The Pen Tool

The Pen Tool ~ic-pen~~ic-pen~ is used to edit your vector points and create custom paths with Bézier Curves.

If you start to create a path with the Pen Tool, the Content-Aware Options (CAO) will open automatically. The Content-aware Options Menu allows you to change the node types and to close or finish a path.

Learn more on How to Create Shapes with the Pen Tool ->

The Pencil Tool

The Pencil Tool ~ic-pencil~~ic-pencil~ is used to draw freeform paths.

To activate the Pencil Tool, click the Pencil button in the Toolbar, or press ~key~ W ~key~ on the keyboard.

At the right of the Pencil Tool, you’ll find a slider to control the Pencil Smoothness. If you want your path to be exactly as you draw it, you can simply set the value to 0%. Setting the value higher will increase the level of smoothing that the Pencil Tool will apply to the line that you draw. The smoothness of your path can also be adjusted after drawing. Select your path and the smoothness slider will appear inside the Inspector.

The Brush Tool

The Brush Tool ~ic-brush~~ic-brush~ allows you to draw freeform paths with variable widths.

To activate the Brush Tool, simply press the Brush button in the Toolbar, or press ~key~ B ~key~ on the keyboard. To the right of the Brush Tool, you’ll find a slider labeled Brush Size (2). This slider will control the size of your brush. The lower the numeric value, the smaller your brush-width, and vice versa.

Once you select the Brush Tool, the Stroke section in the Inspector will switch to Brush Mode where you can create new brushes or use the preset brush options. In these content-aware options, you will find the Brush Editor (1) and the Brush Selection Pane (2).

The Brush Editor

In the Brush Editor, you can customize the Shape and Contour properties of your Brush. Additionally, you can Preview, Save or Reset your Brush Settings in this panel.

The Brush Selection Pane

The Brush Selection Pane when closed shows a live preview of the current active brush.

By clicking on this pane, it displays a list of the Preset Brushes, which are built into the Brush Settings panel.

The Text Tool

The Text Tool ~ic-text~~ic-text~ allows you to insert text elements into your document.

To activate the Text Tool, simply press the Text button (1) in the Toolbar, or press ~key~ T ~key~ on the keyboard. As soon as you select the Text Tool from the Toolbar, the Text Panel (2) will appear at the top of the Inspector.

text written on purple background
Learn more about the Text Options in Vectornator in the Text Tool section ->

The Shape Tool

The Shape Tool allows you to create pre-made geometric shapes, such as rectangles, circles, polygons, or straight lines. The Shape Tool is located inside the Toolbar (on the left side of the canvas) and will give you access to different shape options in the context menu, such as:

  • Rectangle ~ic-rectangle~~ic-rectangle~ .
    To activate it, click the Rectangle button or press the ~key~ R ~key~ key on the keyboard. When selected, you can change the roundness of the corners of your object.
  • Polygon ~ic-polygon~~ic-polygon~ .
    Slide to alter the number of sides in the object.
  • Oval ~ic-oval~~ic-oval~ .
    To activate the circle shape, click the Rectangle button or press the ~key~ O ~key~ key on the keyboard. Holding the Shift Key while drawing your shape allows you to create a perfect circle.
  • Star ~ic-star~~ic-star~ .
    Slide to define the number of points contained in the star shape.
  • Line ~ic-line~~ic-line~ .
    To activate the line shape, click on the Line icon or press the ~key~ L ~key~ key on the keyboard.
  • Spiral ~ic-spiral~~ic-spiral~ .
    Slide up and down to alter the decay of the Spiral shape.
Learn all about How to use the Shape Tool on Vectornator Mac App in this Learning Hub section ->
Shape Tool Vectornator Mac App

How to Edit the Corner Radius

Any corner point in a vector shape can have sharp or rounded corners. In Vectornator you have a slider that allows you to adjust the degree of sharpness of the Corner Radius for each point.

You can adjust the Corner Radius ~ic-corner-radius~~ic-corner-radius~for a single corner point, or you can select multiple corner points and adjust their Corner radius simultaneously.

Simply click on a Bézier Node using the Node Tool and then adjust the Corner Radius Slider accordingly.

The Eraser Tool

The Eraser Tool ~ic-eraser~~ic-eraser~ allows you to delete any area of your object. To use the Eraser Tool, you first need to select the layer on which your object resides that you want to modify with the Eraser Tool.

You can then adjust the width of your Eraser Stroke by clicking and then dragging the slider on the right side of the Tool. Select the shape you want to modify. Now you can start to erase parts of the selected shape.

Note: The Eraser Tool only works with a single vector object and doesn't work with images.

The Hand Tool

Click on the Hand ~ic-hand~~ic-hand~ icon inside the Toolbar and then drag it to move the canvas around.

Additionally, you can activate the Hand Tool by holding the Space Bar and by simultaneously clicking and dragging to pan the canvas around.

The Zoom Tool

Once activated ~ic-zoom~~ic-zoom~, click and drag upwards to zoom in, or drag downwards to zoom out.

You can also use the Navigational Shortcuts to speed up your workflow.

Learn Vectornator
Learn how to create your next design by using this Vectornator sample document.

The Top Toolbar

The Top Toolbar is where you can find quick shortcuts to important tools and actions you use frequently in the Vectornator Mac App.

  • On the left side, you can find the Sidebar (A) button which allows you to collapse/expand the Layers & Artboards Panel.
  • On the right, you can find the Zoom button (B). In the dropdown menu, you can control the zoom level, activate the Rules and Guides, and access the Grid panel.
  • Right next to it you can see the Title of your Document (C).
top toolbar visuals

Customize your Toolbar

You can customize the toolbar with different buttons to suit your needs. You can simply right-click on the Toolbar and select Customize Toolbar or go over to View > Customize Toolbar.

A screenshot overview of the Default Toolbar:

  • Boolean Operations ~ic-boolean~~ic-boolean~ gives you direct access to the boolean operations of your app.
  • Group / Ungroup ~ic-group~~ic-group~ allows you to quickly group or ungroup multiple objects on your canvas.
  • Mask / Unmask ~ic-mask~~ic-mask~ allows you to quickly mask or unmask multiple objects on your canvas.
  • Outline Text ~ic-outline-text~~ic-outline-text~ allows you to convert your text elements into vector shapes.
  • Library ~ic-library-tab~~ic-library-tab~ will open a popover where you can easily import SF Symbols, Photos, and more into your documents.
Customize your toolbar options

If you want to hide the top Toolbar completely, you can do it from the Menu Bar, by going to View > Show/Hide Toolbar.

Download the PDF version here.
Last Updated on Mar 28, 2023
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