FreeHand 9's Envelope Tool and Perspective Grid
excerpted from Chapter 16 of FreeHand 9 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide, by Sandee Cohen
ONCE YOU HAVE CREATED paths using any of FreeHand's creation tools, you can modify those paths in a wide variety of ways. These modifications are called path operations. Path operations are actions that start with one or more paths and combine or manipulate them into new shapes.
The Envelope tool, new to FreeHand 9, is one such operation. The Envelope toolbar allows you to warp and distort graphics and text blocks and to store and reuse the envelopes you create as presets. Or, you could use any of the 21 ready-made presets.
To apply a preset envelope to a graphic:
If the Envelope toolbar is not visible, choose Window > Toolbars > Envelope to open the Envelope toolbar (Figure 1).
Figure 1 The Envelope toolbar contains a number of preset shapes you can choose among to distort an object.
Select the path or text block you want to shape (Figure 2).
Figure 2 Envelope distortions can be applied to text blocks as well as to other vector objects.
Select the envelope preset you want from the pop-up menu.
Click the Create envelope icon to distort the selected object (Figure 3).
Figure 3 Applying the circle envelope preset to an elongated object creates an elliptical text object.