In this tutorial, Mike takes a look at working with straight lines in QuarkXPress. There are two line tools you can use, the regular line tool and the orthogonal line tool. Mike also demonstrates how the regular line tool will allow you to draw lines at any angle. But you also constrain a line’s angle by holding the shift key, as you draw.
- [Voiceover] Let's see how to create and work with straight lines in QuarkXPress. There are two tools in the tools palette for creating straight lines. This first is the Line tool, and you can use it to create straight lines at any angle, just by clicking and dragging in your layout. As you drag, keep an eye on the Measurements palette, to see the position of the first end point, as indicated by the X1 and Y1 values, and the position of the end point on the opposite end of the line, as indicated by the X2 and Y2 values.
If you have Dynamic Guides turned on in the View menu, you can see the length of the line near your cursor. And as you drag, if you hold the shift key, the line you draw will be constrained to be horizontal, vertical, or at 45 degree increments. You can use the pop-up menu in the Measurements palette to change the display, to show the left point, right point, or mid point, in each case you get X and Y coordinates of that point, plus the angle and the length of the line. To change any of those values, just enter new ones.
So, for example I can go from my left point, and change the angle from negative 45 degrees to negative 30 degrees, and set the length of my line to four inches. I also have formatting controls here to adjust the line width. So right now it's one point, I can make it thicker, like six points. Note that the choice at the top of the menu, Hairline, is a special case. On a high-resolution device, this will result in a one-eighth of a point-line thickness. On a printer that can't produce a line that thin, the hairline width will be thicker.
Let's set this back to six points. We can also choose a line style. So instead of solid, I can choose something like dotted, and add decorations like arrowheads to the line. And I can change its color and opacity. I'll change it to cyan. I'll leave the opacity at 100%. And if I pick a line style with a gap like this dotted line, I can also specify a gap color. I'll pick black. And again, I can adjust the opacity of that gap color independently.
Windows users can change the gap color of a line in the Modified Dialogue Box. Earlier I mentioned there was another tool for our drawing straight lines, and that one is the Orthogonal Line tool right here. With this tool, you can only draw lines that are perfectly horizontal or perfectly vertical. All the other same formatting controls apply. To change the length or angle of a line by dragging, take the Item tool, and click on an end point to drag. Now earlier I mentioned that when you're using the regular line tool, you can constrain the lines to snap to certain angles by holding the Shift key as you draw, and that's useful, but it can trip you up, because the line remembers that you constrained it.
So, here's the line that I drew and constrained it by holding the Shift key. And if I now have the Item tool and drag to reshape this line, it still snaps to 45 degree increments. So how do I turn off this snapping behavior? With the line selected, I can go to the Item Menu, and choose Shape, and just choose a regular line. And now I can drag it however I want. If I have separate lines that I'd like to join together, I can do that. First, the endpoints need to be very near each other, within six points.
So I'll just click and drag this one over here, pretty much right on top of that other line. Then I can select both lines, I'll just Shift-click on them, and I'll chose Item, Merge or Split Paths, Join Endpoints, and the lines have joined together. If they have different formatting, the formatting from the line that's at the bottom in the stacking order is retained. In this case, I drew the line with the arrowhead and the dotted style first, so it was underneath the other line, and that's why its formatting was used. If I wanted to use the formatting of the other line, I can undo, select that line, and choose Item, Send and Bring, Send to Back.
I'll select both lines, and again choose Merge or Split Paths, Join Endpoints. Okay, that's our look at working with straight lines in QuarkXPress. Remember that there are two lines tools you can use. The regular line tool, and the Orthogonal line tool. The regular line tool will allow you to draw lines at any angle, but you can also constrain the line's angle by holding the Shift key as you draw. And remember you can use the Controls and the Measurements palette to adjust the position and appearance of your lines.
Mike Rankin covers the interface and preferences, and the basics of working with documents, master pages, layers, and items (the design elements of a QuarkXPress layout). He then goes over how to import text, format it, and control alignment, leading, and spacing around paragraph and text boxes. There are chapters dedicated to tables, images, and interactivity, as well as the output and publishing options in QuarkXPress, including EPUB and HTML5. Focus on just the topics you need to complete your next layout, or watch the entire course to master the desktop publishing workflow.
- What is QuarkXPress?
- Setting preferences
- Creating new documents and pages
- Moving and merging layers in QuarkXPress
- Using the Bezier Pen tool
- Importing and editing text
- Applying fonts
- Working with bullets and numbering
- Using style sheets
- Creating anchored text boxes
- Formatting tables
- Controlling color and opacity
- Adding hyperlinks, video, and animation
- Exporting QuarkXPress files