Special effects

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With Draw, you can apply many special effects to objects and groups of objects. This section describes a few of these effects. Others include distorting, shadows, and transparency. See the Draw Guide for examples of the many effects available.


Rotating an object lets you move the object around an axis. To do this dynamically, use the red handles, as you do when changing the size of the object.

Documentation note.png Rotation works in a slightly different way for 3D objects because the rotation occurs in 3D space and not in one plane. See also the Draw Guide regarding rotation when Edit Points mode is active.

To rotate an object (or a group of objects), drag the red corner handle points of the selection with the mouse. The mouse cursor takes the shape of an arc of a circle with an arrow at each end. A dotted outline of the object being rotated appears and the current angle of rotation is dynamically shown in the status bar.

Rotations are made about an axis which is displayed as a small symbol. You can move the axis of rotation with the mouse, as shown below.

Axis of rotation

If you hold down the Shift key during the rotation, the operation will be carried out in increments of 15°.


To incline or slant an object, use the red handles located on one of the edges of the selected object. The inclination axis is shown as the nearest handle to the opposite edge.

Inclining or slanting an object

As with rotation, you can set the inclination to occur as steps of 15° by pressing the Shift key while moving the handle.


This function duplicates a given shape while enabling you to change the options applied to the duplicates. The result of a duplication is a new group.

To start duplication, click on an object (or on a group of selected objects), then choose Edit > Duplicate. The dialog shown in Figure 13 appears.

You can choose:

  • The number of copies.
  • The displacement along the X and Y axes between two copies.
  • The angle of rotation between two copies.
  • The change in size between each copy.
  • The colors of the start and end copies.
Figure 13: Duplicating an object.

The options above applied to a blue rectangle produce the following result:



Cross-fading transforms a shape from one form to another, with OpenOffice.org handling all of the intermediate transitions. The result is a new group of objects.

To carry out a cross-fade, select both objects (hold the Shift key while selecting each object in turn) and then choose Edit > Cross-fading The following dialog appears.

Crossfading dialog

Here is an example of its use.

We start with two shapes...

Start of cross-fading

and carry out the cross-fade to obtain the following drawing.

Results of cross-fading

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