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Advanced shape operations

Create even more complex shapes with Vecta's advanced shape operations. Group multiple shapes, join 2 separate path shapes together or merge 2 shapes into one. Shown below are a list of shape operations in Vecta:

  • Grouping/Ungrouping shapes
  • Flip shapes vertically or horizontally
  • Fragment, union, difference and intersect shapes
  • Trim and join
  • Outlining text
  • Converting shapes to path shapes

Grouping and ungrouping shapes

Any Vecta shape can be grouped with another shape. This allows you to create complex shapes, or to move a cluster of shapes as a single shape. You can find the Group option from the following dropdowns:

  • Select multiple shapes, and right click on them. From the right click menu, hover over Operation and select Group.
  • Select multiple shapes, and click on the Operations icon (Second from the right) from the on the top bar of the editor. From the dropdown, select Group.

You can also choose to group selected shapes immediately without going through the dropdown by selecting shapes and pressing CTRL + G. Shapes grouped together to create a new grouped shape is called a group shape.

Group shapes can be ungrouped as well. Use either of these methods below to ungroup your shapes:

  • Simply right click on a group shape, hover over the Operation option in the right click menu and choose Ungroup.
  • Select a group shape, and click on the Operations icon (Second from the right) from the top bar of the editor. From the dropdown, select Ungroup.
  • Select a group shape, and press SHIFT + CTRL + G.
The selection box highlights the shapes in red after it is ungrouped
The selection box highlights the shapes in red after it is ungrouped

There are a few things about group shapes you should take note of:

  • A group shape is considered a shape by Vecta. Thus, a group shape can have it's own textblock. Once ungrouped, the textblock will be added to the drawing as a new rectangle shape with it's own textblock.
  • A group shape can be grouped with another group shape. Vecta does not limit how many grouping depths a group shape can have.
  • Shapes within a group shape is called a sub shape. You can select a sub shape by clicking the group shape multiple times until the selection reaches the sub shape you wish to click. Once selected, you can move, resize, style or even delete the sub shape.

Flipping shapes

Turn your shape upside down or turn the shape on it's sides. Flipping does not resize the shape in any way.

Flip your shape vertically
Flip your shape vertically
Or flip it horizontally
Or flip it horizontally

Fragment or merge shapes

Vecta supports a total of four advanced shape fragmenting operation. These operations are only available if more than 1 shape is selected. Access these options through either of these 2 methods:

  • Select more than 1 shape, and right click the shape. Hover over Operations and select either one of the fragmenting operations.
  • Select more than 1 shape, and click on the Operations icon (Second from the right) from the top bar of the editor. Choose either one of the fragmenting operation from the dropdown.

Fragment looks for overlapping areas and create new closed* shapes. Overlap 2 rectangles over one another, and you may end up with 4 shapes after fragmenting.

*Closed shapes are shapes that does not have a begin or end points. E.g. ellipse, rectangle. Path shapes that have their begin and end points joined are closed shapes as well.

An example of fragmenting overlapping shapes
An example of fragmenting overlapping shapes

Union merges overlapping shapes together to create a single new shape.

Union merge shapes together
Union merge shapes together

Difference looks for overlapped areas and removes them to create new shapes.

Difference removes overlapping areas
Difference removes overlapping areas

Intersect removes non-overlapping areas and leave overlapped areas behind as new shapes.

Intersect removes other areas but overlapping ones
Intersect removes other areas but overlapping ones

Join and Trim

As the name implies, the Join operation join shapes together while the Trim operation splits shapes into multiple new shapes. Join only works for path shapes while trim works for any type of shapes. Both operations are only available if more than 1 shape is selected.

The join operation is intended to be used to join 2 path shape ends together to create a single path shape. Thus, using the join operation on two non-path shape will not trigger any changes to the shapes.

Nothing will happen if we attempt to join 2 rectangle shapes together
Nothing will happen if we attempt to join 2 rectangle shapes together

To join 2 path shapes together, bring each shape's ends together and ensure they overlap one another. Select these two shapes and choose Join from the Operations menu. The Operations menus is accessible through the right click menu, or the Operations icon on the top bar of the editor. Trying to join 2 path shapes with their ends far apart will not yield any result. Only open-ended* path shapes can be joined together.

*Open-ended shapes have begin and end points. E.g. A path shape drawn straight is an open-ended shape.

By having the ends overlap one another, you can join the two path shapes together into a new shape.
By having the ends overlap one another, you can join the two path shapes together into a new shape.

The trim operation creates new open-ended path shapes from the shapes' intersections. Use trim to cut shapes or easily create shapes not possible through basic shape tools.

Cut a shape in two with a path shape and trim.
Cut a shape in two with a path shape and trim.
Trim works for every basic shape tool in Vecta.
Trim works for every basic shape tool in Vecta.

Outline text

Use text-related tools in Vecta to style your text. To edit your text's character directly, use the Outline text tool. This tool converts each character in your textblock into new path shapes. Access the tool through either 2 of these dropdowns:

  • Select a shape with a textblock, and right click on the shape. Hover over Operations and choose Outline text.
  • Select a shape with a textblock and click on the Operations icon (Second from the right) from the top bar of the editor. From the dropdown, choose Outline text.
Outlining a text.
Outlining a text.

Convert shapes to path

Shapes can be converted into path shapes through the Convert to path tool. Converting a shape into a path shape will give you access to the path handle selection mode, where you can move or delete specific points of the shape. Here's 2 ways you can convert shapes to path:

  • Select a shape (E.g. rectangle or ellipse) and right click on it. Go to Operations and choose Convert to path.
  • Select a shape, and click on the Operations icon (Second from the right) from the top bar of the editor. From the dropdown, choose Convert to path.
Result of converting a circle to path.
Result of converting a circle to path.
Last updated September 13, 2018