Adding vector objects to the artboard in Expression Blend

Start using objects with Artboard

As already discussed in my previous articles, the  artboard provides us with multiple functions to work upon. In this you can position, rotate, scale 2D and 3D objects using  tools (selection tool) from the toolbox. Also you can add multiple controls, Layouts, text boxes or 2D vector objects to the artboard.

Now let's start with :

Adding vector objects :

When you start a new project the left hand side panel shows list of tools available for creating applications. These tools are specially arranged in the toolbox according to their types for example. vector objects are placed together, layouts in one toolbox, panels in one and similarly others are arranged as well. We need to add vector object so select button from the toolbox and add it to the artboard either by dragging it to the artboard or by double clicking it. Now button appears in the artboard.


Drawing Tool :

You are also capable of creating hand made drawings in Blend, this feature enhances the usability of blend to meet the purpose of creating polygons in the applications. Drawing is done through pencil, pen and line tools.

Pencil Tool : In order to start with drawing select pencil tool by clicking pencil tool in the toolbox, this tool can also be selected by holding down the mouse on pen tool and then a pop up window appears now select pencil tool from this window. and add it to the artboard.


You can start drawing rough free hand paths with the pencil tool by holding down the mouse button while moving the mouse freely on the artboard. A pencil drawing is shown in the fig. below.


Pen Tool : Similar to selecting the pencil tool, you can select the pen tool as well. After selecting pen tool drag it to the artboard. Drawing paths with the pen tool is a bit different from the pencil tool in this you can select two points on the artboard and a straight line is drawn between those points. You can draw polygonal shapes/paths with pen tools. Paths using Pen tool is shown in the fig below.


You can also draw curves using the pen tool, for this hold the mouse button while you draw a line with pen tool and dragging it sideways. The fig below shows curves created by the pen tool.


Line Tool : Line tools also provide the convenience in drawing straight line paths/shapes. To avail this tool goto toolbox and select the line tool and drag it to the artboard  In case you don't find line tool hold down the mouse button on either of rectangle or ellipse tool and the window that pops up will show line tool.


The figure below shows the drawing using the line tool


Rectangle Tool : With this tool you are free to draw quadrilaterals of any size freely on the artboard. This tool allows drawing precise figures as shown in the fig below:


Ellipse Tool : This tool is also one of the tool in the same pop up window that contain line and rectangle tool. This tool is also one of the important tool when it comes to drawing figures and shapes. Adding circles and ellipse of any size makes it reliable tool. Shapes and figures drawn using ellipse tool is shown below :


Handling Objects by Object handles :

After the shapes, Controls etc have been added to the artboard they can be modified in shape by object handles. Object handles can be shown by clicking the object by selection tool, Using this you can do the following functions on objects. With selection tool, clicking on the objects shows small eight rectangular object on the boundaries of the object.:

Resizing : select the object with selection tool and stretch the objects through the object handles visible on clicking over the object. now you can give any size to the object manually.

Skewing : This handling is applicable on the line or paths only. In lines and paths only the nodes are visible instead of the object handles as visible in other objects. On moving the pointer at the middle of the object handle it becomes a double arrow with slanted line in it, drag this line to skew the path.

Rotation: This is done by moving the pointer to the corner object handle of the object and the a rotating arrow appears which shows the directions of rotation.

Adjusting the center position: The center of the object shows a small circular object handle which can be adjusted to any place. This tells that you can now rotate the object from the center point where you move the center object handle.

Corner handles : This object handle pulls the object diagonally to any dimension, you will notice that through this object handle both height and width of the object changes hence this is efficient way of resizing object.

The fig. below shows how all these object handles work with objects:


That's all in this article. hope you might be acquainted with adding vector objects and object handles. Working with these is much more interesting hope you will enjoy it. Please comment your views regarding this article.