The Path Panel

The Path Panel

The Path panel can be used when editing a path with the Node tool, or to combine shapes using various combination modes. To open the Path panel, select the Panels - Path command.

The Path panel.

The Path panel contains the following commands and fields (in order of appearance, from top to bottom):

The shape combination commands (first row) are used to combine two or more shapes using a shape combination mode. The combination mode of each button is show in a tool tip while hovering over the button.

Select two or more objects with shapes to be combined. Click on one of the icons in the top row of the path panel. The selected objects are combined into a single object with a shape that is a combination using the clicked operation. To create composite shapes (where the original shapes remain editable), hold the Option key and press the shape combination mode icon. In this case, the resulting object will have a composite shape, where both the member shapes and the combination mode can be changed later.

The following combination modes are accessible from the Path panel:

  • - Merge the selected shapes to create a combined path containing two or more sub-paths. The filling mode of merged paths can be winding or even-odd, selected from the Object Style panel.
  • - Creates an intersection of two or more shapes.
  • - Creates a union of two or more shapes.
  • - Excludes the selected shapes from the last selected shape.
  • - Cut the shape at the intersection points.
  • - Cut the inside part of the selected shapes from the last shape, resulting in open paths.
  • - Cut the outside part of the selected shapes from the last shape, resulting in open paths.

The second row of commands accessible from the Path panel are used to create, remove or break selected nodes in the edited path. These commands are active when there is a suitable node selected while using the Node editor.

  • - Remove the selected nodes from the edited path.
  • - Create new nodes at the selected inner location of a segment, or at the middle of the segment following the selected node.
  • - Join two ending nodes of a path, closing the path. If the two nodes are from two different open paths, the two paths are joined into a single open path.
  • - Open the closed path at the selected node, without moving the nodes.
  • - Break the edited path at the selected nodes.
  • - Join two paths by merging the selected nodes.

The third row of commands from the Path panel are used to change the selected node and segment types. Nodes can be cusp, smooth or symmetric, while segments can be line, quadratic or cubic.

  • - Change the selected nodes to cusp modes. Cusp nodes with not too large angles can have corner shapes.
  • - Change the selected nodes to smooth modes. At smooth nodes, the path has a continuous curvature, changing the control point on one side will move the other side as well.
  • - Change the selected nodes to symmetric modes. At symmetric nodes, the path has the same continuous curvature at both sides of the node. The control points of the node will be at equal distances from the node.
  • - Convert the selected segment (with an inner point), or the segments after the selected nodes to line segments.
  • - Convert the selected segment, or the segments after the selected nodes to quadratic curve segments. Quadratic curves have a single curvature control point.
  • - Convert the selected segment, or the segments after the selected nodes to cubic curve segments. Cubic curves have a two curvature control point.

The fourth row in the Path panel contains the X and Y coordinates of the selected node. These fields can be used to set exact positions to a node in a path. The fifth row contains the length of the incoming and outgoing tangent vector at the selected node. The sixth row contains the angle of the incoming and outgoing vectors at the selected node. The length and angle of the tangent vectors determines the curvature at the node of the incoming and outgoing segments.