Editing lines and borders

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Lines and borders

Lines (like arrows) and the borders of an object are managed through the same dialog. An object’s border is just another type of line.

Figure 2: Lines and borders.

You can change some properties from the Line and Filling toolbar. To see more options, select the object and click on the LineIcon.png icon or right-click on the object and choose Line from the context menu. This opens the Line dialog.

Figure 3: Line dialog (right-click on an object and choose Line)..

Common line properties

In most cases the property you want to change is the line’s style (solid, dashed, invisible, etc), its color, or its width. These options are all available from the Line and Filling toolbar.

Figure 4: Common line options (style, width, color).

You can also edit these properties from the Line dialog. They are on the first tab, left column (see Figure above). From the Line dialog you can also change the line’s transparency. Figure 5 below illustrates different degrees of transparency.

Figure 5: The vertical lines have different levels of transparency (0%, 25% and 50%).

Drawing arrows

Arrowheads (and other line endings – usually referred to in this Guide collectively as arrows) are a line property. Select a line and click on the ArrowsIcon.png button. This opens the Arrowheads menu. There are several types of arrowheads available. Each end of the line can have a different arrowhead (or no arrowhead).

Arrowheads menu
Figure 6: Arrowheads menu.

Documentation note.png Arrowheads are only applicable to lines. They have no effect on an object’s border.

In the Line dialog (see Figure 3), Arrow styles on the right-hand side contains a number of options to fine tune the arrow properties. If Synchronize ends is selected, both line endings will have the same appearance. The option Center brings the middle of the arrow over the end point of the line. If this checkbox is not selected, the line ends on the outermost edge of the arrow. It is much easier to understand if you look at the following sketch.

Default arrowheads (left) vs Centered arrowheads (right)
Figure 7: Default arrowheads (left) vs Centered arrowheads (right).

Customizing line and arrow styles

You are not constrained to using only the line and arrow styles provided by default in Draw. You can modify the styles and create your own.

Customizing line styles

In the Line dialog, click on the Line Styles tab (see Figure 8). From here you can customize the line styles or create your own (click on the Add button to create your own). You can change the length of the dashes, the space between them, and other attributes.

Figure 8: Editing line styles.

Use the Load Line Style LoadLineStyleIcon.pngand Save Line Style SaveLineStyleIcon.png buttons to save a new definition or read one from disk (file extension .sod).

Customizing arrow styles

You can also create your own arrowheads to create some interesting effects, such as:


The first step is to draw a curve with the shape you want for the arrowhead.

First draw a curve
Figure 9: To create your own arrowhead you must first draw a curve.

Documentation note.png The arrowhead must be a curve. A curve is something you could draw without lifting a pencil. For example, is a curve but is not a curve. You can however draw forms which are not curves and then at the end convert them to a curve.

Select the curve, open the Line dialog, and go to the Arrow Styles tab. Click on Add, enter a name for the arrow style and click OK.

Tip.png The part of the shape which should point in the direction of the line must be drawn facing upwards. In Figure 9 the top of the shape will point towards the “outside” of the line.

Figure 10: Adding an arrow style.

Now you can access the new style from the Arrow style list (Figure 11) or the Arrowheads menu (Figure 6).

Figure 11: Arrow Styles list.

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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