Cloning Objects

Cloning Objects

Object cloning is similar to object duplication, but instead of copying an object and its attributes, object clones are linked to the master (original) object, and will reuse the master object shape and style. The object that will be cloned is called the master object, while the new object is the clone object.

When a property of a master object is changed, all clones of that object will update and copy the corresponding property. Properties of clone objects can be changed freely, using the various object editing tools. When a property of a clone object is changed, that property will not be mirrored anymore from the master object.

Cloning objects enables the reuse of objects, while keeping a link to the original object, so that all common styles are synchronized. For example: it is possible to create multiple clones of an object, each filled with a different color. When the shape of the master object is changed, all clone object shapes are automatically updated and the clones will continue to have their own color.

Creating Clones

An object can be cloned, by selecting the object and then selecting the Clone command from the Edit menu. Clones can also be created by dragging and dropping the object from the Layers panel, while holding the Control key.

The cloned object can be freely moved around and changed, just like any other regular object. Any changes applied to a clone will overwrite the corresponding object properties, breaking the link to the master for that property. Cloned object links to the master can be managed using the Cloned Properties menu from the Object menu.

A cloned object can be detached from the master, by selecting the cloned object and selecting the Detach Clone command from the Edit menu. Once a clone is detached from its master, it becomes a regular object, and changes made on the master are not mirrored anymore on this object.

A master object can also be detached from all of its clones, using the Detach Master command from the Edit menu. Once a master is detached, all of its clones will become regular objects, and changes made on the master will not be mirrored anymore on any of its former clones.

Selecting Cloned Properties

When a property of a cloned object is changed, the link for that property to the master is broken. Changes of the same property in the master object, will not be mirrored for this clone anymore.

Links to the master object can be restored, using options from the Cloned Properties menu from the Object menu. Selecting an option from the Cloned Properties menu will enable or disable the link for the corresponding object property. When a link is disabled, changes in the master object are not mirrored on the clone object, for the selected property. When the link is enabled, the clone object will be updated on changes made in the master object.

Selecting the Master Object

The master object of a clone can be changed to any other object with the master role. Changing the master of a clone can be used to replace the reused properties of the clone, by directing the clone to another master object. To change the master of clone objects, use the following steps.

  • Define the master objects using object roles. This can be done using the Object Options command in the Object menu. The object with the master role must have a name, and the Master Object role must be enabled.
  • Select the clone objects, whose master object must be changed.
  • The available master objects are listed in the Select Master menu of the Object menu.
  • Select a master object from the Select Master menu.
  • The selected clone objects are redirected to use the newly selected master object.