Regardless of program, the same principle applies to working with vector graphics: the program contains tool bars and palettes where you can choose suitable tools, and you ‘draw’ on a drawing board in the program.
The image below shows the empty drawing board in Corel Draw.
- Left side: tools for drawing, such as line, circle and square tools
- Top: settings for the tools, such as line thickness
- Right side: colour palette
Starting a new drawing
When you open the Corel Draw program, it will show an empty drawing board on-screen. You can start to draw images, i.e. objects immediately. Before starting, acquaint yourself with the tools of the program.
To draw vector graphics, you select a tool from the left side of the program window (see following image).
How to use the tools
- Pick Tool: pick an object
- Shape Tool: change the shape of an object
- Crop Tool: crop an object
- Zoom Tool: zoom image in and out
- Freehand Tool: draw freehand line
- Smart Fill Tool: a filling tool
- Rectangle Tool: tool for drawing rectangles
- Ellipse Tool: tool for drawing ellipses
- Polygon Tool: tool for drawing polygons
- Basic Shapes: a collection of ready images
- Text Tool: tool for writing text
- Interactive Blend Tool: tool for adjusting e.g. transparency
- Eyedropper Tool: tool for copying colour and other settings from one object to another
- Outline Tool: tool for defining the outline of objects
- Fill Tool: tool for specifying the contents of an object (e.g. colour and pattern)
- Interactive Fill Tool: a collection of different filling tools
if you look at the tool bar, you will see a small triangle at the bottom right of many tool buttons. By clicking on this triangle, you will see more alternatives for the tool. See example below:
Drawing with a selected tool
After you have selected a suitable tool, go to the drawing board and press down the primary mouse button in the spot where you want to start drawing. Pull the mouse in the direction you want until the object is the size and shape you want it to be. When the object is right size, release the mouse button. The object is ready.
Basic features of objects
Vector graphic images contain several- sometimes numerous – different objects. With the mouse, you can change the features of the objects. The main object features are:
- colour and thickness of outline
- colour of contents
- position in relation to other objects
Object position and how to move objects
One way to move objects is to:
- Select the object by clicking on it once with the primary mouse button.
- The program will show a control handle marked ‘x’ in the middle of the object. Grab the handle with the mouse and drag the object to another position.
- If you want to make sure that the object is moved exactly vertically or horizontally, manage it with the arrow keays on the keyboard instead of with the mouse.
Object size and changing the size
One way to change an object size is to:
- Select the object with the primary mouse button.
- The program will show black resizing handles at the corners and edges of the object. To minimize the object, drag the resizing handle at one of the corners towards the midpoint. To enlarge it, drag one of the corner handles outwards from the midpoint.
- Please note that the objects proportions change if you drag on one of the handles on an edge of the object. It is best to use the corner handles rather than the edge handles.
If you keep the Shift key pressed down while defining an object’s size, the size will change without the object’s position changing on the drawing board.
Colour and thickness of object outlines
In vector graphics programs, objects have an outline for which the user can define the colour, thickness and shape.
To define the colour of an outline, follow these steps:
- Select the object.
- Click with the primary mouse button on the colour you want in the colour palette.
Filling colour and pattern
The contents of an object does not have to be defined, but if you wish to, you can define a filling colour and pattern for an object.
The filling colour is defined as follows:
- Select the object.
- Click with the secondary mouse button on the colour you want in the palette.
To define the filling pattern, do as follows:
- Select the object.
- Click on the button Pattern Fill Dialog in the tool bar, as shown below:
Define the filling you want for your object in the window that opens (see image below):