In this article I will show you how to customize the InkScribe Tool for easy work. InkScribe is designed to allow all users to get comfortable with the vector design process, from novices to professionals. The Preferences offered is key to ensuring this.
We will learn about all the options of this tool and will talk about the advantages of choosing one or another option.
To open the InkScribe Preferences windowm, double-click on its icon in the toolbar, or press the Enter key when already in the tool. Alternatively, select the appropriate item in the fly-out menu of the InkScribe panel (Window > DrawScribe > InkScribe panel).
InkScribe Preferences window is divided into two parts. The left side is used to configure the tool and the right one is used to configure the Annotation and save your settings.
All the settings shown in the pictures above are default settings. I’ll introduce you to each option and will try to illustrate all those mentioned. Let’s start with the settings of the InkScribe Tool.
keeps the handles of unselected points visible.
Choosing this option allows you to edit all the handles of the path, not just the handles associated with the selected point(s).
. Ghost Handles allow retracted handles to be easy extended and positioned.
Ghost Handles allow you to create a complex path first with the straight-line segments, and then get the desired shape by positioning Ghost Handles.
only displays ghost handles associated with selected point(s).
adds points along existing path segments.
. If snap to tangencies is on, this places a small dot over the current path segment’s tangencies to help you locate them.
Adding points at tangencies allows you to get a path which is easier to edit. In addition, these options help designers to create technical illustrations and drawings.
selects existing points.
This option allows for the Smart Removal of the points along path segments. In other words, after removing the point, the profile of the path alters as little as possible, but it allows you to make the path smoother.
adjusts new or end point out handles independently (as per the Pen Tool).
locks the distance of a point or handle to multiple factors of the specified distance.
This option helps when creating geometric objects.
automatically adjusts the previously-created handle which wasn’t defined when created, resulting in a smoother points or cusp (corner point).
This option helps you to create complex curved paths by clicking on the outline of the sketch. InkScribe Tool will automatically change the curvature of the previous segment, depending on the position and status of the next point. After you create a path in this way, its shape may require some correction.
ensures the curve is a smooth continuation of a preceding straight segment.
Using this option, and the Connector mode, you can easily ensure a smooth transition between straight-line and curved path segment. And if the Connector mode remains enabled via the tool’s panel, altering the opposing end of the straight segment maintains the smooth connection attribute.
keeps handle of curve segment retracted (as per the Pen Tool).
If the “Show Ghost Handles” option is selected you can also easily get a smooth transition between the straight-line and curved path segments when using the Connector mode.
allows you to drag anywhere along a path (excluding points) to reshape.
. During path drags, adjusts handles to make the pass through the cursor location (when possible).
Selecting this option allows you to control the shape of the segment more precisely, as the movement of the cursor exactly corresponds to shape changes.
specifies the amount by which a potential connector point’s handle can vary from ideal to be recognized as a connector.
specifies the amount by which point’s handle can vary from ideal to be converted to a smooth point.
Proceed to the right-hand side of the InkScribe Preferences. As already mentioned above, here you can customize the appearance of the Annotations. You can choose how many columns and rows should be in the Annotations System and which functions should be included in it. Adding and deleting new functions is accomplished by dragging.
You can pick the color of the Annotation out of three available (red, blue and black).
allows the annotation to be temporary closed.
allows the annotation to be moved.
is a visual connection between the annotation and associated point.
positions the annotation automatically.
Choosing this option allows you in most cases not to move the annotation, when it covers the edited or created piece of the path.
positions the annotation in the same direction defined using the orientation block.
specifies the distance (in pixels) from the point to annotation.
If you find that the annotations regularly obscure parts of the drawing you are currently working on, increase this value to, say, 150px to better ensure if remains out of the way for the majority of the time.
keeps the annotation from appearing immediately after creating or selecting points.
removes any delay when selecting existing points.
displays the Smooth or Corner state of the point under the cursor.
adds a box around the Smooth or Corner point annotation text.
After choosing parameters of the tool, you can save your settings. Open the fly-out menu of the Settings Modified in the lower right part of the InkScribe Preferences, and choose Save Settings….
To open the required settings, select them in the Manage Settings or from the list of the fly-out menu.
For example, if you want the InkScribe Tool to resemble the Pen Tool as much as possible, select the appropriate item in the fly-out menu or in the Manage Settings window.
Even in the Pen tool-aping state, many of the inherent advantages of drawing with the InkScribe tool are retained. One small but persistant example is toggling the Smart Guides mode on/off when using the Pen tool results in the currently-selected point being deselected. This is not the case in InkScribe.
For more information about the plugin features click on the following link.
You can test the tool in work by downloading 14 day trial version of the plugin.
About the author
My name is Iaroslav Lazunov, I am a graphic designer from Zhytomyr, Ukraine. I am glad that I finally found the job in my life that I can share my knowledge and experiments with you in my tutorials.