Use the Polygon tool

The Polygon tool lets you create a variety of polygons and stars, such as hexagons, sickle blades, and spirals.

Drawing a shape with the Polygon tool gives you a closed path that consists of either Bezier corner points (for straight-edged shapes) or B-spline nodes (for curved shapes).

To draw a shape

  1. In the Toolbox, select the Polygon Cc294820.ce556df6-9e9e-46f5-9abe-2d4aca330162(en-us,Expression.10).png tool.

  2. In the Properties panel, in the Create Polygon category, set up values for the polygon you want to create. Specify the number of points, inner depth, and twirl angle. For more information about these options, see the following section on "Adjusting Polygon tool settings."

  3. Position the pointer where you want the center point of the shape, and then drag out the shape. Dragging farther from the initial point where you clicked determines the shape's size. As you drag, the shape also rotates around its center point. You can constrain the angle of rotation by holding down the SHIFT key.

  4. When you have the shape you want, release the mouse button.

The angle of the rotation depends on the value set in the Options dialog box.

To set the number of rotation steps

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Options, and then click Units and Grids.

  2. On the Units and Grids panel, under Arrangement, adjust the number of Rotation steps.

When no objects are selected on your page, and you select the Polygon tool in the Toolbox, in the Properties panel, the Create Polygon category appears. Also, when you select a polygon object, the very similar Edit Polygon category appears. These controls determine the look of the resulting shape.

Microsoft Expression Design creates polygons and stars by positioning a series of Bezier or B-spline points. After you create the shape, you can edit these anchor points to adjust the shape of the path. However, as soon as you modify an anchor point, the object is no longer a star shape and the Edit Polygon category disappears from the panel.

The Create Polygon category


To create or edit Polygon settings

  • On the Properties panel, in either the Create Polygon or Edit Polygon category, adjust the following properties:

    • Points   The Points slider determines the number of points on the shape (to a maximum of 50). For example, if you set this to 3, you will create a triangle. If you set it to 6, you will create a hexagon or a six-pointed star.

    • Inner Depth   When the Inner Depth slider is set to 0, your shape will be a regular polygon, such as a triangle or a square. If you increase the inner depth value, Expression Design adds "inner points" between each of the corner points and indents them to create a star shape. The inner depth is a percentage of the radius. Consequently, an inner depth of 100 percent makes the "arms" of the star so narrow that they become lines.

    • Twirl Angle   The Twirl Angle determines the curve from the inner points and the outer points. If the Inner Depth control is set to 0, increasing the Twirl Angle rotates the polygon. If the Inner Depth control is set to anything other than 0, the "arms" of the star curve.

A polygon without a Twirl Angle or Inner Depth (1), with an Inner Depth setting of 30 percent (2), and with a Twirl Angle (3)