[NTLK] Things about shapes

Andy Hill adhill at fastmail.co.uk
Sat Feb 5 17:58:58 EST 2011


In case this is of interest to anyone,  I thought I would share some
things I have found out about working in shapes-mode in Notes on an MP2000.
This is what works for me but I appreciate that folks will have acquired
their own techniques and this may be really old hat for most people.

Perfect circles are easily drawn by starting at the very top mid point,
drawing a circle shape anticlockwise but not (and this is the crucial
bit), not joining back with the start point. Take the stylus off a few
millimetres before joining the start point and the Newton will create a
really good circle for you. This same technique will help you create
perfect squares, rectangles and triangles.

*Circle (shape) - resizing
*If you select (highlight) a circle (or square etc) you do not get
handles from which to resize. All you can do is tap the blackened border
and move to a new position. An easy way to resize a circle is to add a
tiny mark or shape in the middle of the circle. It is irrelevant what
this is because you will delete it afterwards. Once you have the circle
with the additional mark or shape inside, highlight again and you will
see that the a shaded box around the outside of the circle appears. Tap
and drag the corner to resize the circle - in either or both axis. Then
scrub out the inner mark to leave the resized circle. Note on my MP2000
when I tap the corner of the box to resize I have to wait about 2
seconds before anything happens. This technique works will any other
shape as well.

*Squares and rectangles
*I find that squares (and rectangles) come out best if you start in the
top right hand side and draw the sides in an anticlockwise direction. As
with the circles take the stylus off a few millimetres before joining up
with the start point and the Newt will do the rest.

*Changing line thickness*
For any shape, once selected (highlighted) you can change the thickness
of the line by calling up the styles pallet and choosing a thicker or
thinner pen size. You have to have the styles pallet handy to achieve this.

*Other shapes
*Using the above techniques the Newt create: triangles (all
types), ovals, parallelograms, a rhombus, a cone, half-circles, a sector
of circle, T-shapes, L-shapes, serrated-shape (several small triangles
attached together), curves like sine curve and many others.

*Removing part of a shape
*Once you have drawn a standard shape like a square, rectangle, or
triangle, you can remove one of the sides by either scrubbing out the
particular side or highlighting just the side and moving it. Handy for
doing a 3-dimensional box.

*Copying and paste
*Most people will know that by selecting a shape then quickly
double-tapping and dragging it, you can  copy and paste the shape.*

Adding dimensions
*Whilst in shapes mode you can still double tap a clear area of the note
to bring up the keyboard and add text. This can be highlighted and moved
to where you want. If text or dimensions are within a shape and you
resize it, the text size stays the same but needs to be repositioned.

*Selecting / highlighting shapes*
For many shapes you can highlight them by holding down the stylus,
waiting for the thicker stylus mark and drawing a line across the middle
of the shape. You don't have to encircle everything.

*Joining or building up shapes
*Similar to the technique above, when adding lines to shapes or joining
shapes up remove the stylus slightly before the point you want to join
and the Newt will find the contact point for you perfectly.

*Using graph paper*
Sometimes I find it easier to draw shapes using graph paper stationary
because it provides a grid. There's  a free version on UNNA and a nice
version on Stand Alone's Stationary Pack. Once you've drawn the shapes
you can copy and paste to a plain or clear note.

*Pen size*
Shapes seem to be easier to draw with pen size 2 and above. If I want a
thinner line I tend to create the shape with a thicker size then
highlight and reduce the size later.

*Unsuccessful shapes*
I do not have much luck in trying to draw neat star shapes, block arrows
(in one go as opposed to joining a triangular head and a rectangular
body), cross shapes (again in one go), L-shaped blocks.

All in all I think the shapes mode is really quite remarkable and all of
these features are available as standard.

Would be interested to hear anyone else's insights on this.

All the best.



More information about the NewtonTalk mailing list