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2,001 Tips
Desktop Publishing/Graphics

Micrografx Designer 4.1

Adjust Intersection

The ruler origin-the point where the two rulers intersect at zero-can easily be changed. To show the rulers, open Display/Workspace/Show Rulers. Point to the button at the intersection of the two rulers. Holding the left mouse button, drag the mouse pointer to the desired position of the new zero point. The zero point on both rulers will move to the new position.

Maximize the Clipboard

If you have trouble transferring large objects from Designer through the Clipboard, try this: Locate the MGX.INI file in the Windows directory. Add the following line: AllowLargeClipboardObjects=1. You should now be able to cut and paste large objects, limited only by available memory constraints.

Look for Attributes

Select all symbols with a matching attribute by opening Edit/Select and highlighting the attributes you wish to search for. All symbols matching the criteria you choose will now be selected.

Copy Cats

Keep multiple versions of one drawing or create a new drawing based on a previous one. Go to File/Open and highlight the file you want to copy. Click on the File Options button and choose Copy. Type in the new filename and press Enter. Designer will copy the file using the new filename.

Transform Yourself

Create several transformations at one time. Select Change/Transform and click on the Details button. Set your transformation and click on Add. Repeat this process to set multiple transformations such as Skew or Scale, and click the Add button after each. Now click on Apply and all transformations will be applied to your objects at the same time. Leave the dialog box open, and you can apply the same transformations to other objects.

Chain Gang

Create complex chained objects using the Connect-A-Draw feature. Draw your first object and then click away from the object to end the current drawing action. Hollow boxes will appear at the endpoints of the object. You can now use another tool. When you move the mouse over the endpoint of the first object, the pointer changes to let you know you will be adding a shape to the previous object.

Create Highlights

Use the Blend command to create a highlight effect. Draw an object and fill it with a solid color, then draw another object with a lighter color on top of the first object. Make the outline color of the top object invisible. Select both objects and choose Change/Blend. Enter the number of steps for the blend and click Apply. Designer blends the shape and color of one object into the other.

Group Dynamics

To edit group objects without ungrouping them, double-click on an object in a group. A thick blue box appears around the objects, indicating that you are in Group Edit mode. You can modify individual objects, add new objects to the group or even delete objects. To exit Group Edit mode, double-click outside the blue Group Edit box.

Get Good Guidance

Drag a guide from the ruler to the drawing area to help align objects precisely. An alternative is to place guides at specific x or y locations via the Coordinates dialog box.

Open Multiple Files

The Find File dialog box helps you find and open multiple files at the same time. Select File/Open and click on Find. You can use DOS wild card characters to find files with similar names or extensions. From the list returned, you can select the desired files and open them all at once.

Use Custom Fills

Designer allows you to use clip art or your own drawings as object fills. Copy the clip art or drawing to the clipboard. Choose Format/Interior Fill/Object. Click on Paste. Set options for your new fill, such as Retain Original Colors, by clicking on the Edit button in the Object Fill dialog box.

Edit with Ease

Double-click on an object to enter edit mode quickly. This allows you to reshape an object or edit text. If you double-click on an OLE object, you can edit it through the server application.

Reduce Vector Points

If you have trouble printing a bitmap converted into a vector object using the Trace tool, try reducing the number of points on the vector object. Select Object/Reduce Points.

Simultaneous Shape and Move

While creating a new shape, hold down the right mouse button to reposition the object at the same time you are creating it. The same concept applies when dragging a selection bounding box.

Where'd It Go?

When moving an object from one location to another, hold the mouse still for a second. An outline of the object will appear at the current location to help you position the object.

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