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Tools Basics

Tools Basics

Vectornator has a wide variety of Tools for selecting elements, drawing objects, and creating shapes or text. They can speed up your design workflow by allowing you to easily edit the vector elements in your projects.

The Tools in Vectornator allow you to select, edit vector paths, and create your own using the Pencil, Pen, Brush, and Shape Tool.

Paths, Curves, and Shapes

Before getting into the basics of vector tools, it's important to know what paths, curves, and shapes are, and which tools you can use to create and edit them.

Paths are vector lines made of a minimum of two anchor points connected by a straight line segment.
  • Paths can be created by using the Line Tool or tapping anywhere on the canvas with the Pen Tool to create connected anchor points.
  • You select paths for editing with the Selection Tool in the Toolbar or by pressing <key>P<key>. A bounding box will appear around the entire path, and this will also activate the Quick Actions menus (available only on iPad or iPhone).
  • The Direct Selection (also called the Node Tool) can also be used to select instead the Anchor Points that compose your path.
bezier curve
Curves are vector lines made of two anchor point connected by a curved path.
  • A curved path is controlled by an anchor point with directional handles. The directional handles control the shape of the curve and can be edited using the Node Tool.
  • Curved paths can be easily created with the Pencil Tool, or the Pen Tool.
Shapes are vector elements made of closed paths, meaning all the anchor points on the path are connected to each other.
  • Shapes can be created using the Shape, Pencil, Pen, and Brush Tools.

Adding Shapes

There are several ways for you to add new shapes onto your canvas depending on the tool you prefer to use.

Adding pre-made Shapes

Using the Shape Tool is the easiest way to create your own shapes in Vectornator, including rectangles, circles, polygons, spirals, and stars.

Go over to the Shape Tool section to learn more ➞

Adding shapes with the Pencil Tool

The Pencil Tool, also called the Free-Hand Tool, allows you to literally draw vector lines as you normally would with a pencil on paper, with optional smoothing. However, it's important to remember that when drawing with the Pencil Tool, the shape will remain open.

Go over to the Pencil Tool section to learn more ➞

How to Rotate an object

In Vectornator, there are three different ways to rotate your shapes. You can:

– Use the Rotate handle at the top of each shape.

– Activate the Rotation Tool from the Toolbar.

– Enter a specific value in degrees inside the Inspector.

The Rotate Handle

This feature appears at the top of any selected shape. By using this method, you can rotate any shape by holding and dragging your finger or Pencil on the orange dot.

The Rotation Tool

Select your shape using the Selection or Node Tool, and tap the Rotation Tool (1). Then, tap 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 tap on the canvas to move the rotation point to the spot you tap.

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

Enter a degree value

You can also rotate a Shape by entering a specific value in degrees in the Arrange Tab. You can move your finger around the wheel or tap it to open the keypad and enter a value numerically.

This can be a positive or negative value to rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise but, please remember that the number displayed in the Rotate Arrange Tab will be always positive.

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 several ways. You can:

– Use the "Resize Tool" from the Toolbar.

– Drag one of the Selection Handles.

– Resize while keeping the Aspect Ratio.

– Resize the object from the centre.

– Resize the object's dimensions in the Inspector.

The Scale Tool

Select your shape using the Selection Tool, and tap the Scale Tool (1). Then, tap and drag (2) 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 tap on the canvas to change this pivot point.

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 tap and drag on any of its selection handles (1).

The handles on the sides of the shape will adjust the shape's height or width individually, while the handles on the corners will adjust the height and width together.

Resizing keeping the Aspect Ratio

Hold a second finger on the canvas (2) or the <key>⇧<key> key while dragging on any of a shape's selection handles to keep the shape's height and width at the same ratio.

Resizing from the center

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

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 Tab. You can enter a specific value by tapping the Size, Width, and Height boxes.

If the lock icon is closed, the object will resize proportionately. You can open the lock icon by tapping it. This will allow you to change only one single dimension.

Note: By default, this will resize the shape from their top-left corners.‍‍

How to Pan the Canvas

Tap the Hand icon inside the Toolbar and drag to move around the canvas.

On Mac, you can activate the Hand Tool by holding the <key>Spacebar<key> and click and drag to pan around the canvas.

Note: This requires >iOS 13.4 and macOS systems.

How to Zoom the Canvas

Tap and drag up to zoom in or drag down to zoom out.

Note: This requires >iOS 13.4 and macOS systems. You can also use the Navigational Shortcuts to speed up your workflow.

Download the PDF version here.
Last Updated on Jun 09, 2021
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