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Types of objects

Constructing a file in Microsoft Expression Design consists primarily of drawing and editing various types of objects. Simple objects include paths, ellipses, text, and bitmapped images. There are also structured objects built up from other simple objects: clones, text in or on a path, clipping groups, and warp groups.

  • Path Objects   Paths are the basic building blocks in Expression Design. You can apply various strokes and fills, and use them to build new brush strokes. You can build paths with several different tools, including the Paintbrush Cc294738.7e843b01-0c2a-4914-8464-206dd3c19ad3(en-us,Expression.40).png tool, the Pen Cc294738.1824899c-bf6b-4368-b8c1-6251f7444d83(en-us,Expression.40).png tool, the Ellipse Cc294738.d5c0aa2c-2447-4e4f-a2ca-24499f152b92(en-us,Expression.40).png tool, and the Line Cc294738.605f739e-c9b9-4c5f-a9eb-f88d4ecc35da(en-us,Expression.40).png tool.

    For more information, see the following topics:

  • Rectangle Objects   When you draw a rectangle or square with the Rectangle Cc294738.ba1bf876-250a-4b92-9c85-a370408f394d(en-us,Expression.40).png tool, Expression Design lets you control the roundedness of its corners.

    For more information, see Use the Rectangle tool.

  • Polygon Objects   The Polygon Cc294738.ce556df6-9e9e-46f5-9abe-2d4aca330162(en-us,Expression.40).png tool lets you create regularly shaped polygons, such as triangles and hexagons, or starbursts. These objects offer special controls, such as Twirl angle, in the Properties panel.

    For more information, see Use the Polygon tool.

  • Text   A text object contains one or more text characters. Each character can have its own stroke and fill attributes, but when you apply a transform (scaling, rotating, and so on), the whole text block is affected. You can convert text to path objects, fit them along a path, or even fit them inside a path (so that the path acts as a frame for the text to flow in).

    For more information, see Convert text to path, Display text on a path, and Add text in a path.

  • Clones   A clone can be created from any path object. When the shape of the original (or master) path is modified, the clone changes, too. However, each clone can have its own transformation and Properties panel attributes. You can use clones to create multiple instances of the same shape in different locations.

  • Bitmapped images   A bitmapped image is always a rectangular grid of pixels (though it can contain transparency to make it appear nonrectangular). Expression Design works with bitmaps as individual objects on a layer. You can import images (such as TIFF or JPEG files) or draw them from scratch in Expression Design. You can also convert images to path objects (by auto-tracing them). For more information, see Convert bitmapped images to paths.

  • Clipping mask   A clipping mask group consists of objects grouped together with a clipping mask. The clipping mask is just a path used for clipping other graphics objects so that you can only see those objects inside the bounds of the path. For more information about clipping mask groups, see Create clipping masks.

  • Warp groups   You can group one or more graphic objects (paths, text, ellipses, and clones) into a warp group in order to perform nonlinear warping (deformation). Each object in the warp group continues to be editable. For more information about warp groups, see Warp objects.

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