The Tool Palette

Click on a menu title above for a detailed explanation of that menu's commands.
Graphic Selection tool edits entire graphics.
Path Point Selection tool edits points within paths.
Magnification tool to enlarges or reduces the view "zoom" factor.
Measurement tool measures the distance and angle between two points.
Eye Dropper tool picks up colors from existing paths and text.
Gradient tool specifies the start and end of gradient fills of paths.
Scissors tool breaks or adds an anchor point at any location along the edge of a path.
Freehand tool creates paths that follow hand sketched lines.
Path tool creates irregular shapes.
Line tool creates paths consisting of a single line.
Rectangle tool creates paths consisting of four rectangular lines.
Round Rectangle tool creates paths consisting of four connected arcs.
Polygon tool creates paths with several connected lines or curves.
Star tool creates paths with several connected lines or curves.
Bézier Curve Polygon tool creates polygons using lines and curves.
Oval tool creates closed arcs.
Arc tool creates paths consisting of arc segments and pie slices.
Dimension tool creates paths consisting of a single line and dimension text.
Text tool creates and edits text blocks.
To select a tool from the keyboard just type the letter linked to that tool. For example, type "S" for the selection tool. The letter linked to each tool is displayed in that tool's help tag. Hold the mouse over the tool for a couple seconds to display the help tag.
Many tools above work once and then the selection tool is activated. To "lock" a tool in place, so it will remain active until another tool is selected, click on the tool button with the command key (i.e., the key with the apple logo and/or clover leaf design) held down.
    Graphic Selection Tool
Selects the graphics to perform various functions on.

Selected graphics can be directly moved (drag the graphic), duplicated (drag while holding down the option key), or scaled (drag a selection handle).

    Path Point Selection Tool
Selects the points within paths to edit.

             

Selected points can be directly moved (drag the point) or reshaped (drag while holding down the option key).

    Magnification Tool
Zoom in or out of areas of a drawing.

Click on the drawing to zoom in; option click to zoom out. Double click in the tool palette to return to 100% magnification. Drag a rectangle around an area to zoom to that area.

    Measurement Tool
Measure the distance and angle between two points without drawing anything.

Click the mouse at a point in a drawing and drag the mouse to display the distance and angle from that point.

    Eye Dropper Tool
Pick up a color from an existing path or text block.

Select the paths and/or text blocks whose color is to be set. Choose the Eye Dropper tool and click on a path or text block containing the desired color. Hold down the option key to set the stroke color of a path rather than the fill color. This is the color of vector objects. To get a color from a bitmap image, use the tool in the Color palette.

    Gradient Tool
Specifies the start and end points of gradient fills of paths.

Select the path(s) and drag a gradient from the Gradients Editor to the fill color of the Fill attribute inspector. Make sure the path(s) is selected, choose the Gradient tool, and draw a line between the desired start and end points of the fill (note the blue vertical line in the image above).

    Scissors Tool
Break or insert a control point into a path at any location on the path.

Click the mouse on a point along the edge of a path to break the path at that point. Hold down the option key to insert a new anchor point without breaking the path.

    Freehand Tool
Creates paths that follow hand sketched lines using straight lines and Bézier curves.

Double click in the tool palette to set the final path's tolerance and smoothness.

The tolerance setting determines how close the final path will be to the original hand drawn line. A smaller tolerance value results in a path containing more control points.
The smoothness setting determines how smooth the final path will be. A small smoothness value results in a path containing more line segments, whereas a large smoothness value results in a path containing more bézier curves.

    Path Tool
Creates paths of irregular shapes using straight lines and Bézier curves.

Click and release in the drawing to create the end of a straight line segment. Click and drag to create the end of a curve segment. Option-click on an anchor point to reshape it as a curve. Option-click on a curve control point to break the point with a hard angle.

More information about using the path tool.

    Line Tool
Creates paths consisting of a single straight line segment.

    Rectangle Tool
Creates paths consisting of a four straight line segments in the shape of a rectangle.

    Round Rectangle Tool
Creates paths consisting of a four connected arc segments in the shape of a round rectangle.

Double click in the tool palette to set the corner style and relative corner radius.

    Polygon Tool
Creates paths consisting of a several connected equal length line or curve segments in the shape of a polygon.

Double click in the tool palette to set the number of sides on the polygon and the amount of curvature.

   Star Tool
Creates paths consisting of a several connected equal length line or curve segments in the shape of a star or flower.

Double click in the tool palette to set the number of outside points on the star and the amount of curvature on both inside and outside points.

    Bézier Curve Polygon Tool
Creates paths consisting of polygons whose sides are line and bézier curve segments.

    Oval Tool
Creates paths consisting of a single closed arc segment in the shape of a circle or oval.

Hold down the shift key to constrain the oval to a circle. Hold down the option key to drag the circle or oval from its center.

    Arc Tool
Creates paths consisting of an arc segment and possibly straight lines in the shape of a pie slice.

First click and drag from the center of the arc to the start point.

Next click and drag from the start point of the arc to the end point.

To create a pie slice hold down the option key while dragging.

    Dimension Tool
Creates paths consisting of a single straight line segment with their dimension property set. This results in lines with associated text indicating the length of each line scaled to the current measurement settings.

As the measurement settings or the length of a line is changed the text will automatically update to reflect the new values.

Several attributes of this text can be set for the document as a whole in the Dimensions Window. These include the font, units of measure, offset of the text from the line, and how to handle fractions. You may wish to choose an arrow style for document paths before using this tool so that all the dimension lines have a specific arrow style.

    Text Tool
Creates and edits text blocks.

To create a new text block click at the start point and start typing. To edit an existing text block click on that block and select the text to edit.

A selected text block contains an extra, triangle shaped handle on the lower right side. Dragging this handle sets the wrap width of the block. This changes the way multiple lines of text wrap within the block.