To create a professional document, entities need to be arranged and sized just right. To help you do that, LayOut includes several tools and features, including a grid, inference cues, and an Arrange menu. When you select an entity, its bounding box has tools for moving, rotating, and scaling the entity, or you can use the keyboard or the Measurements box to enter precise changes. See the following sections for details about nudging your entities into the right position.
When you need to label a distance or angle in your LayOut document, check out LayOut’s Linear Dimension () and Angular Dimension () tools. In the following figure, you see an example of a linear and an angular dimension.
In LayOut, you can bend lines and shapes — no telekinetic powers required! All you need is LayOut’s path editor. Okay, that might be a tiny fib. You need the path editor and a little knowledge about editing vector graphics and Bézier curves. After you know the tricks, however, bending lines and shapes is easy, and this article explains all the basics to help you get started.
Do your shapes seem a little empty inside? To help your ideas stand out on-screen, use LayOut’s Fill features to add a pop of color, and use the Pattern features to create hatches, which symbolize materials in architectural drawings, as shown in the following figure.
LayOut’s Split and Join tools have something in common with the typical love interests in a pop music album. The Split tool tears shapes apart, and the Join tool brings them back together. Fortunately, in LayOut, splitting and joining shapes involves very little drama. To split a line or shape,
To select an on-screen element in LayOut, you just click it with the Select tool (). You can then move, resize, rotate, or otherwise edit the selection. If only changing an actual building were that easy! Like SketchUp, LayOut has a few tricks for selecting multiple entities, too:
If you’re new to creating documents and presentations in LayOut, a quick tour of the interface and few mousing tips can help orient you to LayOut’s basic tools and features. Parts of the LayOut interface, like the Measurements box and some of the mousing tricks, look and feel like SketchUp. Other parts, like some menus and dialog boxes, are unique to LayOut. Ready to tour the interface? Let the following sections be your guide.