Cleaning up sticky lines

Friday, February 23, 2007

Here's another teaser about what's coming in Curio 4.

A long while back we added sticky lines to Curio: drag a line endpoint over another figure and it'll stick to that figure or even to a specific position on the figure. Move that figure and the line will remain stuck to it. Pretty handy.

You can toggle this off on-the-fly by holding down the Option key, or turn it off permanently via the Preferences window.

Unfortunately, we never got around to showing any true feedback to the user so they knew what was happening. No glows. No tooltips. Bad Zengobi.

So, to make everyone super happy, while adding support for connection points (described below) I got the following working over the past couple of days:

Drag a line towards a figure, just get inside the figure's outline, and you'll see this:
Those purple targets are the connection points on that figure. As you resize, move, or rotate the figure or move around the opposite line end point, Curio will automatically find the new closest connection point and snap to it. Each type of shape has its own logical connection points, meaning that the triangle has different connection points than the rounded rectangle, for example.

Drag that line endpoint a bit more, past the outline, and you'll see this:
Hold the Command key down and you'll see this:
Hold down the Option key, to turn off sticky lines, and you'll see this as you drag:
Hopefully that makes it very obvious when you are or aren't sticking to a figure.

Another cool thing: after placing a sticky endpoint, if you later click on the line with the select tool, Curio will automatically show the glow on the connected figure so you'll see what it's stuck to:
Stay tuned for more teasers! Have a great weekend everyone. :-)

Did you know?

Friday, February 09, 2007

It's easy to convert scribbles into image figures in Curio!

Background:
You can use Curio's brush tools (pencil, pen, brush, etc.) to draw freehand on an idea space. Anything you draw using a brush tool is contained in the "scribble layer" which overlays the idea space. Therefore, all scribbles appear over all other figures contained by the idea space's object layer.

For the most part, this works out just fine. However, there might be times when you want to "mix" something you've drawn with other figures in the idea space. You might want to group a scribble with other figures, or you might want your scribble to appear behind other figures.

That's when you need to convert your scribble into an image figure that can be treated like any other figure in the idea space.

Technique:
Here's how to convert a scribble into an image figure:
  1. Select the portion of the scribble layer that you want to convert into an image figure. Try to make your selection as tight as possible. You can hold down the Option and Command keys while dragging the selection rectangle to limit the selection to the scribble layer only (and avoid selecting any figures within the bounds of your selection).
  2. Choose Edit > Copy as > TIFF or Edit > Copy as > PDF to copy the selection onto the clipboard as a TIFF or PDF image.
  3. While that portion of the scribble layer is still selected, choose Edit > Delete to clear that portion of your scribble (this step is optional).
  4. Choose Edit > Paste to paste the image from the clipboard into the idea space.
Ta da! That's all there is to it. Now that image can be manipulated like any other image figure in the idea space.

Warning: This is a one-way conversion. There's no way, in the current version of Curio, to convert an image figure back into a scribble for editing.

Curio 4.0 Enhancement:
In the forthcoming Curio 4.0, we've made this a one-step process and we've made it reversible, too!! So you can very easily turn scribbles into image figures and image figures into scribbles. Fun stuff!