Combining multiple objects

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Using Draw, you can combine drawing objects together in two distinct ways: grouping and combining. These two methods allow you to treat multiple objects as one unit, or to merge objects to form a new shape.

Grouping is like putting objects in a container. You can move them as a group and apply global changes to them. A group can always be undone and the objects that make up the group can always be manipulated separately.

A combination is a permanent fusion of objects leading to a new object. The original objects are no longer available as individual entities and the operation is not reversible.

Grouping by common selection

When several objects are selected, any operations you carry out are applied to all of the objects. For example, you can rotate a group of objects in its entirety. Groups obtained through common selection of several objects are undone as soon as you click outside the group. However, you can group objects and keep those selected objects grouped together.

Maintaining groups and undoing groups

To group selected objects, right-click and choose Group from the pop-up menu. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Control+Shift+G or choose Modify > Group from the menu bar.

When objects are grouped, any editing operations carried out on that group are applied to all members of the group. If you click on one member of the group, the whole group is selected.

The objects of a group retain their own individual properties. To undo a group, right-click and choose Ungroup from the pop-up menu, use the keyboard shortcut Control+Alt+Shift+G or choose Modify > Ungroup from the menu bar.

You can edit a member of a group individually without breaking the group. To do this, right-click and choose Enter group or double-click on the group.

Combining objects

In contrast to grouping functions, combinations create a new object; subsequent “un-combining” in the same manner as ungrouping is not possible. Select a collection of objects, then right-click and choose Combine from the pop-up menu.

After you have selected more than one object, the Merge, Subtract, and Intersect functions can be reached in the Modify > Shapes menu or through the group’s right-click menu under the heading Shapes.

Aids for positioning objects

Draw has various tools to help you arrange the objects with respect to each other:

  • Moving an object to the front or to the back
  • Aligning objects with respect to each other
  • Distributing the distance and space between objects

See Chapter 5 (Combining Multiple Objects) in the Draw Guide for more information.

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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