Basic shape operations

Vecta contains the most powerful tools to create shapes and diagrams easily, including smart shapes with formulas that is easy to use and improves your productivity.

Selecting a drawing tool

Vecta's drawing tools
Vecta's drawing tools

Selecting shapes and sub shapes

To select a shape:

  • Click on any shape using the pointer tool

To select multiple shapes:

  • Press the Shift or Ctrl key, then click on shapes using the pointer tool

To select shapes in groups:

  • Click on a shape using the pointer tool
  • Then click again on sub shapes
  • Use the Shift or Ctrl key to select multiple sub shapes
How to select sub shapes
How to select sub shapes

To select shapes that is under another shape:

  • Click on the shape on top using the pointer tool
  • Click again at the same position
How to select a shape under another
How to select a shape under another

If there are multiple shapes under another shape, continue to click on the same position to cycle through all shapes.

Drawing squares, rectangles and rounded rectangles

To draw a rectangle:

  • Select the rectangle tool, then click and drag on your drawing

To draw a square:

  • Select the rectangle tool, press SHIFT key, then click and drag on your drawing.

To draw a rounded rectangle:

  • Draw a rectangle, then click on the round corner tool, and select the required rounding.
Rounded corner tool
Rounded corner tool

Drawing lines, arcs, curves and freeforms (paths)

To draw a line, an arc, a curve or freeform:

  • Click on the path tool, then click and drag on your drawing
All paths have begin and end points
All paths have begin and end points

To draw a line while maintaining orientation at 0°, 90° or 45°

  • Click on the path tool, press SHIFT key, then click and drag on your drawing.
Draw path with orientation
Draw path with orientation

Modifying paths

To modify paths, click on a path, click on any path tool, then click and drag on any path or control points.

Modifying an arc control point
Modifying an arc control point

Moving path points

To select multiple path points, press the Shift or Ctrl key and click on multiple path points, then drag to modify.

Path points can also be moved using up, down, left and right keys.

Selecting and modifying multiple path points
Selecting and modifying multiple path points

Extending or joining paths

To extend or join paths, draw a path, then continue to draw from the begin or end points.

Join multiple paths
Join multiple paths

Adding path points

To add a path point, click on a path, then press the Alt key and click on the path.

Adding path points
Adding path points

Once added, you can manipulate the path point just like any other path point.

Deleting path points

To delete path points, click on a path point or use the Shift key or Ctrl key to select multiple points, then press the Delete key.

Deleting path points
Deleting path points

Rotating shapes

To rotate shapes, click and drag on the rotate handle.

Rotating shapes
Rotating shapes

Resizing shapes

To resize a shape:

  • Click on a shape using the pointer tool and drag on the blue handles.

To resize multiple shapes:

  • Click on the pointer tool
  • Press the Shift or Ctrl key, to select multiple shapes
  • Then drag on the blue handles

Maintaining aspect ratio

You can maintain a shape's aspect ratio during shape creation or resizing, by pressing on the Shift key.

Maintain aspect ratio by pressing on shift key
Maintain aspect ratio by pressing on shift key

Watch the video below to learn more about maintaining a shape's proportion.

How to Resize Shapes Proportionally and Use Offset

Resizing shapes from the center

To resize a shape or multiple shapes from the center:

  • Select the shapes you wanted to resize using the pointer tool
  • Press Alt key and drag on the blue handles

Alternatively, you can also press both Alt and Shift key to resize from the center and maintain proportions.

Maintain aspect ratio and resize from center
Maintain aspect ratio and resize from center

Resizing with proportional stroke or line weight

In some cases, you may want to resize the stroke or line weight to maintain proportions, as you resize multiple shapes:

To resize with stroke or line weight:

  • Click on the shapes you want to resize using the pointer tool
  • Press both the Ctrl and Alt key and drag on the blue handles
Resize and maintain stroke proportions
Resize and maintain stroke proportions

Setting stroke widths or line weight

Line weight, style and ends
Line weight, style and ends

To set line weight:

  • Select shapes you wanted to modify
  • Click on the line weight icon, and select a line weight
Rectangle with different stroke widths or line weights
Rectangle with different stroke widths or line weights

Setting line style

To set line style:

  • Select shapes you wanted to modify
  • Click on the line style icon, and select a line style
Rectangles with different line styles
Rectangles with different line styles

Understanding line style format

Line styles formats follow svg dasharray formats, where we specify dashes and gaps, separated by white space or commas.

If an odd number of values is provided, then the list of values is repeated to yield an even number of values as shown below:

How line style format works
How line style format works

Line styles are also affected by stroke linecap:

Setting line end (arrow)

Modifying line ends
Modifying line ends

Vecta provides an extensive set of line ends which you can use to style non closed paths.

To set line ends:

  • Click on a non closed path or select multiple paths
  • Click on begin arrows and/or end arrows
  • Once completed, click on anywhere on your drawing to close the line end menu
Examples of different line ends
Examples of different line ends

Setting line end (arrow) sizing

To set line end sizing:

  • Click on a non closed path or select multiple paths
  • Click on begin arrow size and/or end arrow size
  • Once completed, click on anywhere on your drawing to close the line end menu
Examples of different line end sizing
Examples of different line end sizing

Modifying stroke linecap

To set stroke linecap:

  • Click on a non closed path or select multiple paths
  • Click on a linecap
  • Once completed, click on anywhere on your drawing to close the line end menu
Examples of different linecaps
Examples of different linecaps

Setting stroke linejoin

To set stroke linejoin:

  • Click on a non closed path or select multiple paths
  • Click on a linejoin
  • Once completed, click on anywhere on your drawing to close the line end menu
Examples of different linejoins
Examples of different linejoins

Using connectors

The connector tool
The connector tool

To connect shapes together using connectors:

  • Click on the connector tool
  • Click and drag from a shape to another

Using elbow connectors

Connecting shapes using elbow connectors
Connecting shapes using elbow connectors

Using straight connectors

Connecting shapes using straight connectors
Connecting shapes using straight connectors

Using jump connectors

Connecting shapes using jump connectors
Connecting shapes using jump connectors

Resizing connectors

Drag yellow handles to resize a connector
Drag yellow handles to resize a connector

Using connection points

Connection points are used to specify where a connector should connect.

Adding connection points

To add a connection points to a shape:

  • Click on the connection point tool
  • Click and select a shape
  • Press Ctrl key and click on where you want to place the connection point
Press Ctrl and click on where you want to add connection points
Press Ctrl and click on where you want to add connection points

Deleting connection points

To delete a connection point:

  • Click on the connection point tool
  • Click on a shape
  • Click on the connection point you want to delete
  • Press Delete key

Moving connection points

To move a connection point:

  • Click on the connection point tool
  • Click on a shape and then on a connection point
  • Drag the connection point to the new location

Connecting shapes using connection points

Connecting shapes using connection points
Connecting shapes using connection points

Watch the video below to learn more about connectors.

How to Connect Shapes Accurately (Connectors vs Lines)

Locking shapes

Example of a locked shape
Example of a locked shape

To lock a shape:

  • Click and select shapes
  • Right click and select Tools | Lock Shape(s).

Moving, grouping/ungrouping, deleting and resizing operations are not allowed on locked shapes.

To unlock a shape:

  • Right click on locked shape
  • Click on Unlock shape(s).
Inserting and jumping using hyperlinks
Inserting and jumping using hyperlinks

To add a hyperlink to a shape:

  • Right click on a shape, select Hyperlink | Insert hyperlink

To edit or delete a hyperlink:

  • Right click on a shape, select Hyperlink | Edit hyperlink

To jump to a hyperlink:

  • If in edit mode, right click on a shape, select Hyperlink | Your hyperlink
  • If in view or publish mode, simply click on the shape