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Chapter 22. Drawing and Editing to Creat... > Understanding Shape Geometry

Understanding Shape Geometry

You can create most Visio diagrams successfully without a detailed understanding of how shapes work. However, if you want to create your own shapes or revise an existing shape, your task is easier if you know what you’re dealing with. This section breaks shapes down into their geometric parts, explains shape vocabulary, and explains why shape geometry is useful to understand. If you remember your high school geometry, you have an advantage, but even if you don’t know a vertex from a vortex, you’ll learn some practical techniques for getting shapes to look and act the way you want.

Visio includes many terms for describing the vector-based geometry that underlies shapes. If you reduce any shape to its simplest, constituent parts—what’s left after you remove the colors, styles, and other formatting attributes—you have line segments and arc segments. It’s easiest to see them when you select shapes with the Pencil tool, as Figure 22-1 shows. Where these segments join, a diamond-shaped vertex appears. In the middle of a line segment, a control point appears, which looks like a circle with a dot in it. To reshape any shape, you can add, move, and delete vertices using the Pencil tool. You can also change the curvature of a line segment by dragging its control point.


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