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Toolbox

The Microsoft Expression Design Toolbox provides all the tools you require to create, select, and edit paths; as well as to navigate around your document, scale and rotate objects, and more. Related tools are arranged in tool groups that appear when you click and hold the mouse button on any tool that has a marker in its lower-right corner. You can also see these related tools by right-clicking a tool.

Toolbox with Selection tool group expanded

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The following tables describe the tools in each tool group.

Cc294523.ce7642e8-2d96-40b9-a89a-0494e481344c(en-us,Expression.10).png Selection tool group

Cc294523.959a05a6-5a4b-4b0e-98a3-fb628d2c03a2(en-us,Expression.10).png

Selection

Use this tool to select one or more whole objects in your document.

Press V

Cc294523.41beee88-9aaf-40ef-b7ae-5a802596cdfc(en-us,Expression.10).png

Group Select

Use this tool to select one or more objects in a group.

Press SHIFT+A

For more information about selection tools, see Selection tools.

Cc294523.29c262fc-55b9-4740-bef8-a8e2a91d59cc(en-us,Expression.10).png Direct Selection tool group

Cc294523.a4e92365-1fd6-473c-b727-1487d8a466c9(en-us,Expression.10).png

Direct Selection

Use this tool to select one or more anchor points in a path or a shape. You can also drag the tool to create a rectangular selection marquee to select all the points that the marquee contains.

Press A

Cc294523.81bef400-2dac-4493-9ff4-8a9fc9153a33(en-us,Expression.10).png

Lasso Selection

Use this tool to select one or more anchor points in a path or a shape. You can also use the tool to create an irregular selection marquee to select all the points that the marquee contains.

Press Q

For more information about how to select specific anchor points, see Select anchor points.

Cc294523.de7c589d-cd00-4e46-af22-5e95fbabfcf2(en-us,Expression.10).png Paintbrush tool

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Paintbrush

Use this tool to create a freehand path. Expression Design automatically fits a Bezier path to this freehand trail.

Press B

For more information about how to use this tool, see Use the Paintbrush tool.

Cc294523.90d1279a-4874-40c4-b325-83c4902ded2f(en-us,Expression.10).png Pen tool group

Cc294523.1824899c-bf6b-4368-b8c1-6251f7444d83(en-us,Expression.10).png

Pen

Use this tool to create a Bezier path by positioning a series of anchor points (sometimes named nodes) and control handles (or tangent handles). You can modify the anchor points and control handles to further adjust the line.

Press P

Cc294523.15fe5be3-c973-4c8a-815f-b70320303e4e(en-us,Expression.10).png

Add Anchor Point

Use this tool to add anchor points to an existing path.

Press = (equal sign)

Cc294523.2d99c9f9-ede8-4689-8b79-8c87fed9347b(en-us,Expression.10).png

Delete Anchor Point

Use this tool to remove existing anchor points from a path.

Press - (hyphen)

Cc294523.5c1ad0bc-3b2a-4b7d-82f9-5668009e29e0(en-us,Expression.10).png

Convert Anchor Point

Use this tool to change anchor points to corner points, curves, or symmetrical points.

Press SHIFT+C

Cc294523.5dded845-525b-4a3d-ab38-85d2140112b4(en-us,Expression.10).png

Polyline

Use this tool to create a Bezier path made of segments that are either straight lines or circular arcs.

(no shortcut)

Cc294523.2da15df7-9a4c-4c4b-b333-a2f37ef10a95(en-us,Expression.10).png

B-Spline

Use this tool to create a B-spline path by positioning a series of anchor points that indicate the direction the path should follow.

Press W

Cc294523.fde2c673-3d3d-45a9-92b6-aec1780369e1(en-us,Expression.10).png Rectangle tool group

Cc294523.ba1bf876-250a-4b92-9c85-a370408f394d(en-us,Expression.10).png

Rectangle

Use this tool to create rectangles and squares.

Press M

Cc294523.d5c0aa2c-2447-4e4f-a2ca-24499f152b92(en-us,Expression.10).png

Ellipse

Use this tool to create circles or ovals.

Press L

Cc294523.ce556df6-9e9e-46f5-9abe-2d4aca330162(en-us,Expression.10).png

Polygon

Use this tool to create a variety of polygons and stars.

Press J

Cc294523.605f739e-c9b9-4c5f-a9eb-f88d4ecc35da(en-us,Expression.10).png

Line

Use this tool to create straight lines with an anchor point at the start and finish.

Press \

For more information about tools in the Rectangle tool group, see Use the Rectangle tool, Use the Ellipse tool, Use the Polygon tool, or Use the Line tool.

Cc294523.d9162e75-fa33-4feb-a7ef-615f59052164(en-us,Expression.10).png Text tool

Cc294523.d724d595-909f-438e-a2af-c4dc7ac7f631(en-us,Expression.10).png

Text

Use this tool to add text anywhere in your document.

Press T

For more information about the Text tool, see Text.

Cc294523.2a287bc9-5d3e-45a6-a9a8-45b6e4cf46f8(en-us,Expression.10).png Slice tool group

Slice tool

Slice

Use this tool to create slices for export to other documents or applications.

Press K

For more information about the Slice tool, see Slices.

Cc294523.32d3760d-5554-42d7-8ef4-b498b99b1542(en-us,Expression.10).png Fill tool group

Cc294523.3f0a00bf-24ed-4487-94df-478ba622d10a(en-us,Expression.10).png

Gradient Transform

Use this tool to transform the gradient fill of a shape.

Press G

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Fill Transform

Use this tool to transform the image or pattern fill of a shape.

(no shortcut)

For more information about tools in the Fill tool group, see Transform image fills, or Transform gradients.

Cc294523.1f03b089-a7fe-4642-b4b2-b0b6507b1040(en-us,Expression.10).png Scissor tool group

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Scissors

Use this tool to turn an open path into two separate paths, or to split a closed path into an open path.

Press C

Cc294523.cab9d2d1-4dc2-4178-9e27-226d81e2d33e(en-us,Expression.10).png

Reverse Path

Use this tool to reverse the direction of an existing path.

Press R

Cc294523.70033c68-f75d-4677-b90f-2b9fcb05645c(en-us,Expression.10).png

Start Point

Use this tool to mark or change the starting point of a path.

(no shortcut)

For more information about tools in the Scissors tool group, see Split paths, Reverse path direction, or Change a path's starting point.

Cc294523.554f3274-4f4e-4550-8eaf-829ad86e3635(en-us,Expression.10).png Color Dropper tool group

Cc294523.287e839a-c689-45c1-8c8e-f779fefd8148(en-us,Expression.10).png

Color Dropper

Use this tool to copy the color from an existing object so that you can apply it to another object.

Press I.

Cc294523.a8a85099-b740-4e9b-883c-64b32da22abd(en-us,Expression.10).png

Attribute Dropper

Use this tool to copy fill, stroke, and effect attributes from an existing object so that you can apply them to another object.

Press SHIFT+I.

For more information about tools in the Color Dropper tools group, see Copy colors, gradients, and image fills or Copy attributes.

Cc294523.002c91b8-5a5f-424e-b06d-41d422b48770(en-us,Expression.10).png Pan tool

Cc294523.3024f965-97dd-4826-95b4-57cd6c24e34b(en-us,Expression.10).png

Pan

Use this tool to help you move around the document.

Press H.

For more information about the Pan tool, see Navigate your document.

Cc294523.d79d245c-ed3b-4d7f-b366-409640cb5632(en-us,Expression.10).jpg Zoom tool

Cc294523.12a7b35e-40e4-46b2-9b55-f76ba1295b21(en-us,Expression.10).png

Zoom

Use this tool to change the magnification of the document.

Press Z.

For more information about the Zoom tool, see Navigate your document.

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