Leonardo
Superlative Vector Graphics for Palm
 
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Leonardo Help

The Line Tool Menu

Beziers  Arcs  Straight  Polyline  Freehand  Markers

The Line Tool Menu is the leftmost tool menu in Leonardo. To access the Line Tool Menu tap the leftmost tool and either hold your stylus down for one second or make an upward stroke with your stylus, like making a shift stroke.

You will see this: 

Line Tool Menu

The line style that is active is the one which is shown on the main toolbar. e.g. in this image the straight line tool is active.

 

The Tools

The Bezier Tool

Bezier Tool

This tool allows you to draw bezier curves. To draw a curve select the tool and drag the stylus across the screen. You will see a dotted line indicating what your curve looks like and, so long as you don't lift the stylus, you can continue to drag the stylus about until you have a curve that you like the look of. Once you lift your stylus your curve will be drawn properly.

You can then edit it by selecting it and then dragging the selection handles. While you are dragging the selection handles you will again see the dotted line that shows what your curve looks like so far. If you wish to move your line tap in the middle of the line and drag. *

The Arc Tool

Arc Tool

With this tool you can draw arcs of varying shapes and sizes. To draw an arc, select the arc tool and drag the stylus across the screen. You will see a dotted line indicating what your arc looks like so far and, so long as you don't lift the stylus, you can continue to drag the stylus about until you have an arc that you like. You cannot add or remove points with arcs... or ellipses or circles. This is for the very simple reason that a circle (and hence an ellipse or an arc) are not made up of points, per se. They are made up of an origin and a radius. All other shapes are defined by a set of points, basically a point for each corner. Circles don't have corners, so they don't have points.

How do you know what kind of arc you are going to get?

If when you first drag the stylus across the screen your stroke is in a vertical direction, then your arc will have its open end facing either left or right. If your original stroke is in a horizontal direction, then your arc will have its open end to either the top or the bottom of the screen. Once you have drawn your stroke out, whether vertically or horizontally, without lifting the stylus, drag the stylus at 90 degrees to your original line. This will open out the arc. You can combine these two steps by dragging out a line on a 45 degree angle and you will get your arc in one stroke instead of two.

Once you have completed the arc you can then edit it by selecting it and dragging the selection handles. If you wish to move your arc tap anywhere inside the bounding box formed by the selection handles and drag.

The Straight Line Tool

Straight Line Tool

You will be completely unsurprised to know that this lets you draw straight lines. To draw a straight line drag your stylus across the screen. You will notice that the origin point is fixed and that you can then drag the line out to any length and in any direction you desire. Once you lift the stylus off the screen your line is complete.

Once you have completed the line you can then edit it by selecting it and dragging the selection handles. If you wish to move your line, tap anywhere inside the bounding box formed by the selection handles and drag. Although we have not yet integrated the functionality to enable you to rotate objects in Leonardo, (it's coming though), you can sort of rotate straight lines. Select your line and then drag the selection handles. If you drag a handle in the direction of the axis of the line it will have the result of lengthening the line. However if you drag a handle across the axis of the line it will have the result of rotating your line.

The Polyline Tool

Polyline Tool

To the untrained eye it may presently appear as if the polyline tool behaves rather like the freehand drawing tool. This may or may not be true. At present the one, amazingly useful, difference between polylines and freehand lines is that a freehand line has selection handles at each end of the line only, and you cannot add or remove points to a freehand line. A polyline has selection handles every place you change direction, and you can add, move and remove points to a polyline.

The object of the polyline tool is to let you draw a series of connected straight lines. To do this drag your stylus across the screen and change direction when you want a new straight line at a different angle to the first. The tool will detect that you have changed direction and make a perfectly straight line between your start point and the point where you changed direction. Repeat changing direction and it will do the same thing until you lift the stylus. Some portions of this code may not be entirely functional presently. Let's move along shall we...

The Freehand Tool

Freehand Tool

This tool lets you draw lines with no constraints whatsoever. To use it drag your stylus across the screen and it will just keep drawing until you lift the stylus. Go nuts. A freehand line has selection handles at each end of the line only. You cannot add, move or remove points with a freehand line.

The Marker Tools

Marker Tools

This tool has been the subject of querying approaches made to myself. I vociferously declare: It does do something! This tool was designed with the creation of flow charts, technical drawings and logic trees in mind.

Markers are attachments to lines. If you have a line and you want to add a marker, you first select whichever marker style tool you would like (i.e. Round, Square or Triangle) and then tap on the end of the line. To remove the marker tap on it with the marker tool selected.

To replace one marker style with another, just select the new style's tool and click on the existing marker. Once you have attached a marker to a line it becomes part of the line and cannot be selected separately.

The only other thing I should add about the line tools is that, due to the small amount of memory that is available to be allocated on the Palm, we have had to restrict the amount of points that any one object can have to 500. Once your object has more than 500 points the tool you are using will stop. If it is a line tool your line will stop even if you have not lifted the stylus. You can draw quite a long line with 500 points - even longer if you do it quickly.

The next exciting episode is The Shape Tool Menu.


* I have wondered about Beziers for ages. I mean, you see Bezier tools in loads of drawing and paint applications, but it is not an English word. I checked. There is nothing at all in the Oxford English Dictionary, zip, zilch, not a sausage. I also looked it up in my French dictionary, nothing. Ok so it was the Oxford School French dictionary, but it is the only one I have. "Where did this word come from?" said I, who is a person quite interested in the derivation of words. Seeing as I do not have access to the French equivalent of the Oxford, (I must in fact confess to being completely ignorant as to what the French equivalent of the Oxford is), I proceeded henceforth to the internet. If you go to Babelfish, http://babelfish.altavista.com and you ask it to translate "Bezier" from French into English, it returns to you the startling information that the English Translation of "Bezier" is "Bezier". Ditto vice versa. My limited understanding of French tells me that "bezier" should be a verb. So, should it be that any of you esteemed Alpha testers be in a better position than I to provide an English translation of the French word Bezier, I would be most obliged to hear from you. I have established that Bezier is indeed a French word as it comes from the name of Pierre Bezier. He is the reason we have Bezier tools. He did a lot of research into CADCAM starting in the 1960's. You can find out more about him here; http://www.flutterby.com/archives/1999_Dec/7_DeadPierreBezier.html

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