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Working with Layers in Fireworks 8

Chapter Description

The Layers feature is a powerful tool that helps you manage and organize objects on your page. Layers are transparent planes where you can create and store objects. In this lesson, you will create a Web page and use layers to control the placement of objects on the page.

Using Auto Shapes

Auto Shapes are grouped vector objects that contain certain rules and specifications for drawing the shape. Unlike other shapes you draw, Auto Shapes have diamond-shaped control points in addition to the four corner points. Each control point is associated with a particular visual property of the shape. When you drag a control point, only that portion of the shape is changed. For example, with the Rounded Rectangle Auto Shape tool, you can edit the roundness of all corners as you did in the previous task with the roundness setting, or you can change the roundness of individual corners.

In this next task, you will experiment with some of the Auto Shape tools. You don’t need to save your experiments, so you may want to create a new blank document for this task.

  1. Select the Rounded Rectangle Auto Shape tool.

    This tool is located in the same tool group as the Rectangle tool.

  2. Drag to draw a vertical rectangle as you did in the previous task.

    The Auto Shape Rounded Rectangle has the same resize handles as the rectangle you previously created, but also adds four diamond shaped control points. A tool tip appears when you roll over a control point to guide you as you modify the shape.

  3. Hold down Alt (PC) or Option (Mac) and drag the top-right control point to the left. Repeat with the bottom-right control point.

    Dragging the control points changes the roundness of the individual corners.

  4. Repeat step 3, dragging the left top and bottom control points to the left.

    The roundness value of the left corners is modified.

    You may want to experiment with the other Auto Shape tools as well. For example, you can use the Arrow Auto Shape to quickly draw arrows and modify them by simply dragging one of the control points. Use the tool tips to help you reshape the objects you draw.

  5. Choose Window > Auto Shape Properties.

    The Auto Shape Properties panel allows you to modify various attributes of a selected Auto Shape object. For example, if you draw an Auto Shape Star, you can change the number of points, the radius, and the roundness of the points.

  6. You can close without saving the document with your Auto Shapes, or delete them if you created them in the home_page.png file.
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