Offsetting a Line or Shape

The Offset tool enables you to offset a line or shape quickly and easily.

For example, perhaps you're a graphic designer who needs to outline a complex shape or an architect who needs to offset a footer in a foundation plan. Either way, the Offset tool can create the shape you need in only two clicks.

To create an offset, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Offset tool () on the toolbar or from the Tools menu.
  2. Click the entity that you want to offset. A preview of your offset appears, as shown in the following figure.
  3. Click where you want to place the offset line or shape.
Offsetting a shape in LayOut 2017

Here are a few tips for creating an offset:

  • To set a precise offset, type a measurement, such as 0.5", immediately before or after you complete Step 3. Remember that you don't need to click inside the Measurements box before you begin typing. If you don't specify a unit of measurement, LayOut uses the default unit of measurement in your template.
  • In the Measurements box, a negative number places the offset inside a shape or in the opposite direction of the mouse. A positive number places the offset outside a shape or in the direction of the mouse.
  • You can't offset an entity that's inside a group.
  • To offset both sides of a selected open path at once, hold down the Alt key (Microsoft Windows) or the Command key (Mac OS X).
  • To change the offset's line width or style, select it and choose your desired options in the Shape Style panel.
  • When offsetting a Bezier curve (which isn't a true Bezier), you can change the number of segments in the curve. After Step 2, simply press the up arrow or down arrow key.
  • Type a number and the letter X to create multiple offsets as once. For example, typing 2x creates two instances of the same offset.
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