Warp objects

Warping changes an object by squeezing some parts together and stretching other parts farther apart. Microsoft Expression Design can warp bitmapped image objects, vector paths, shapes, and text.

To warp one or more objects

To warp vector objects (such as paths, shapes, and text), you must first apply a warp grid (or warp mesh).

Note that you cannot include an image object in a warp group. However, you can warp a single bitmapped image object without a warp group. See the "To warp a bitmapped image" section later in this topic.

  1. Select one or more objects.

  2. On the Object menu, point to Envelope Distort, and then click Make Warp Group. This creates a warp grid.

  3. From the Toolbar, select the Direct Selection tool Cc294497.a4e92365-1fd6-473c-b727-1487d8a466c9(en-us,Expression.40).png, and drag the points on the warp grid.

    To move more than one point at a time, use either the Direct Selection tool or the Lasso Selection tool Cc294497.81bef400-2dac-4493-9ff4-8a9fc9153a33(en-us,Expression.40).png, press SHIFT, and click the points you want to move.

    When more than one warp node is selected at the same time with the Lasso Selection tool, Microsoft Expression Design displays resize and rotation handles around those nodes for quick scaling, rotating, and skewing.

The original objects, before they are positioned in a warp group

After dragging the warp group nodes with the Direct Selection tool


Warping vector objects changes their paths, but not the strokes or fills applied to those paths. The strokes and fills are applied to the warped paths. Therefore, they appear undeformed.

To restore an object to its original form

When you deform a warp group by dragging the warp nodes, the appearance of the underlying paths and shapes changes, but the actual paths are not affected.

  1. Select your objects in the warp group.

  2. On the Object menu, point to Envelope Distort, and then click Reset Grid.

To edit paths and shapes in a warp group

You can modify the paths and shapes in a warp group, but you must open a separate window that contains those paths in their prewarped state.

  1. On the Object menu, point to Envelope Distort, and then click Edit Warp Group (or press CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+W).

  2. In the second window, modify the unwarped objects, and switch to the main document window to see the results.

When you finish editing the individual objects, close the warp group window.

To change the warp grid

The warp nodes appear at set intervals on the grid.

  • To adjust the number of points on the warp grid, on the Object menu, point to Envelope Distort, and do one of the following:

    • Click Increase Resolution (or press CTRL+PERIOD) for a finer grid with more points.

    • Click Decrease Resolution (or press CTRL+COMMA) for a coarser grid with fewer points.

To warp a bitmapped image

You do not have to create a warp group to warp bitmapped image objects.

  1. Select an image.

  2. On the Objects menu, point to Envelope Distort, and then click either Increase Resolution or Decrease Resolution.

To replace the original paths with warped paths

Because deforming a warp group affects only the appearance of the paths, and not the paths themselves, there are no path nodes in the document window for you to select and edit. If you want to edit the warped paths, you have to first ungroup them. Ungrouping a warped path deletes the original paths and replaces them with new, warped paths. Any text objects in the warp group are automatically converted to paths.

Ungrouping a warp group causes new curves to be fitted to the vector objects. Here, a single path is selected after ungrouping to show the effect.


  • On the Arrange menu, click Ungroup (or press CTRL+SHIFT+G).

To remove warping and ungroup

You may want to cancel all of your warping adjustments. To do this without affecting the paths, you must first reset the warp grid, and then ungroup.

  1. On the Object menu, point to Envelope Distort, and then click Reset Grid.

  2. On the Arrange menu, click Ungroup.

See also

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