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Options

Options

There are many more options in Vectornator that you can use to alter your shapes. These options are accessible through the Inspector, and allow you to edit or create new complex paths.

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By navigating the different Tabs inside the Inspector, you can manage many different options for your shapes and groups of objects. In Vectornator on iPad, you can perform those actions mainly from the Arrange ~ic-arrange-tab~~ic-arrange-tab~ and Path Tab ~ic-path-tab~~ic-path-tab~. Most of those buttons can be alternatively accessed from the Quick Actions bar depending on the object(s) you selected.

We recap most of the basic options to transform and edit your paths in this video. Scroll down to learn how to use the different tools step by step.

At the top of the Arrange Tab ~ic-arrange-tab~~ic-arrange-tab~ you can find some basic options to edit the order and placement of your elements such as Flipping, Align, Order, Grouping, Masking, Distribute, and more.

How to Flip Elements

The Flipping buttons allow you to mirror the selected object horizontally or vertically. Simply tap the buttons Flip Horizontally ~ic-flip-horizontally~~ic-flip-horizontally~ and Flip Vertically ~ic-flip-vertically~~ic-flip-vertically~ to perform the actions.

How to Align Objects

In this section of the Arrange Tab, you can properly align your selected objects with just one tap. Alternatively, you can use the Quick Action Alignment ~ic-alignment~~ic-alignment~ buttons.

How to Order Objects

In this section, you can change the order of your objects in four different ways:

  • Move Forward ~ic-bring-forward~~ic-bring-forward~ - Move the selected object towards the top of the stacking order.
  • Move Backward ~ic-bring-forward~~ic-bring-forward~- Move the selected object towards the bottom of the stacking order.
  • Move to Front ~ic-bring-to-front~~ic-bring-to-front~ - Move the selected object to the top position of the stacking order.
  • Move to Back ~ic-bring-to-back~~ic-bring-to-back~ - Move the selected object to the bottom position of the stacking order.

To move your shapes simply tap on the buttons in the Arrange Tab. Alternatively, you can use the Stack Order ~ic-stack-order~~ic-stack-order~ button inside the Quick Actions bar.

In Vectornator, you have many additional options available to organize and reorder your layers within the Layers Tab. Learn more in the Layers section of the Learning Hub ->

Grouping Objects

Grouping is a way to combine multiple objects into a single adjustable element while keeping them as singular shapes. You'll find the Group ~ic-group~~ic-group~ and Ungroup ~ic-ungroup~~ic-ungroup~ buttons in the Arrange Tab. When you select multiple objects on your canvas, the Grouping options will appear in the Quick Actions bar as well.

Creating a Group

Select the objects you want to group together by dragging a window around them on the canvas with your cursor, or by using the Multi Select Mode. Then, tap the Group button inside the Arrange Tab.

Once your selected elements are grouped, the letter G will be displayed in the bottom right corner of the selected group.

If you use your iPad with a keyboard, you can use the ~key~⌘ G ~key~ shortcut to group or ~key~ ⇧⌘ G ~key~ to ungroup.

How to Mask Objects

Applying a mask to an image in Vectornator can be really useful to give it a beautiful texture or pattern. Create intricate artwork with unlimited masking shapes in Vectornator.

What Defines a Mask in Vector Software?

Masks are used to show parts of an object contained within a specific shape. In Vectornator, the Mask ~ic-mask~~ic-mask~ and Unmask ~ic-unmask~~ic-unmask~ button can be found in the Arrange Tab ~ic-arrange-tab~~ic-arrange-tab~ inside the Inspector.

Creating a Mask

Any closed shape can be turned into a mask. To do so, just select the shape and then tap the Mask ~ic-mask~~ic-mask~ button (from the Arrange Tab or the Quick Actions).

Once you have converted your shape into a mask, a tiny mask icon ~ic-mask~~ic-mask~ will appear in the Layers Tab as well.

In the video below, you can see a visual demonstration of the three available options for creating a mask:

  1. Use the Mask Button in the Quick Actions Tab.
  2. Long-press on the oval (masking shape) in the Layers Tab, and in the Popup Menu, tap the Mask Button.
  3. Create a Mask by using the Mask Button in the Arrange Tab.

How to Identify if an Object Has Been Masked

In Vectornator, you can immediately recognize if there’s a mask applied when you can spot the letter M at the bottom corner of your masked object.

When you see the Unmask ~ic-unmask~~ic-unmask~ button highlighted, it means that the selected object is a mask.

Editing a Mask

To edit a Mask, simply double-tap on it to enter the Isolate State. Then double-tap again on an empty area of the canvas to exit the Isolated State.

Video Recap – Masking Objects

Clipping masks are the simplest way to mask any objects and photos. A clipping mask is a shape that only reveals artwork within its boundaries - in effect, cropping the artwork to the shape of the mask.

How to Distribute Objects

By simply tapping these buttons, you can set three or more selected elements to be distributed at equal distances from each other horizontally (A) or vertically (B).

Repeat Action

Located at the bottom of the Arrange Tab, you will find these two buttons:

  1. Repeat ~ic-repeat-action~~ic-repeat-action~ will repeat the last action you took, i.e. if you rotated a shape 45° clockwise, and you click Repeat, the shape will be rotated 45° clockwise again.
  2. The button Duplicate and Repeat ~ic-duplicate-repeat~~ic-duplicate-repeat~ duplicates your shape and repeats the operation that was previously performed on the original shape on the duplicated shape.  If you rotate a shape 45° clockwise, and you click Repeat and Duplicate, the shape will be duplicated and the duplicated shape will then be rotated 45° clockwise.Using this button will speed up your workflow significantly when you are creating vector patterns. You can alternatively perform the operation Duplicate and Repeat by using the keyboard shortcuts ~key~D~key~.


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Boolean Operations

The term “Boolean”, in computer programming, is a data type that can be either “true” or “false”. But, in terms of graphic design software like Vectornator, we use the term “boolean” to describe how shapes are combined with each other. Those operations are often used in Icon and Logo Design.

boolean operations in vector software

There are five types of Boolean Operations:

  • A - Unite ~ic-boolean-unite~~ic-boolean-unite~ merges two selected shapes into one.
  • B - Subtract ~ic-boolean-subtract~~ic-boolean-subtract~ removes the top shape from the back one. As you can see in the image above, the area of the top shape is removed from the one underneath.
  • C - Intersect ~ic-boolean-intersect~~ic-boolean-intersect~ removes everything that doesn't intersect and shows only the part where the shapes overlap.
  • D - Divide ~ic-boolean-divide~~ic-boolean-divide~ separates the intersecting parts of the overlapping shapes into separate objects.
  • E - Exclude ~ic-boolean-exclude~~ic-boolean-exclude~ removes everything that intersects. The area where the shapes don’t touch is retained. It's basically the opposite of Intersect.

In Vectornator iPad, you can find these options (2) at the top of the Path Tab ~ic-path-tab~~ic-path-tab~. These operations will allow you to create new complex paths with just one tap.

Anytime you select more than one object at the same time, the Boolean options ~ic-boolean~~ic-boolean~ will appear automatically inside the Quick Actions bar too.

Note: Remember, you can perform a Boolean Operation only with shapes that have overlapping areas.

Video Recap – Boolean Operations

Boolean operations are a very powerful tool for any product or graphic design project. A complex shape can be constructed in no time by using the five Boolean operations. Creating complex shapes is something you’ll inevitably come across in icon or logo design, so let’s take a deeper look at these 5 options in this video.

Practice with Booleans

Since the best way to learn anything is through play, let's create two fun graphics using Boolean Operations. The easiest way is to practice with simple shapes so you can get the hang of this seemingly complex design concept.

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Last Updated on May 13, 2022