(Last Updated: January 29, 2018)

ActivePresenter provides dozens of ready-made shapes such as rectangles, ovals, callouts, arrows, and stars. At the same time, it allows you to create your own shape from scratch. The software comes with four line drawing tools: Line, Curve, Freeform Shape, and Freeform Scribble. Let’s learn how to draw freeform shapes with these tools.

In a word, use the line drawing tools to draw different types of lines and shapes:

  • Line: Draw simple straight, point to point lines.
  • Curve: Draw curved lines or shapes.
  • Freeform Shape: Draw lines/shapes that have both straight and curved segments (dual capability).
  • Freeform Scribble: Draw lines/shapes as if you were using a pencil on paper.

How to Draw Freeform

You can find the line drawing tools within the Shapes gallery. In the Home tab or Annotations tab, click Shapes. In the drop-down gallery, notice the Lines and Arrows section.

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Click to choose the tool you want. As soon as you select the drawing tool, the cursor changes into a cross hair . The following parts show you what to do next.

Draw Lines

To draw a line, follow these steps:

Step 1: Click anywhere on the Canvas to set the start point. Move the mouse without releasing the mouse button to draw the line.

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Step 2: Release the mouse button to set the end point of the line.

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Tip: Hold down the SHIFT key while drawing a line to make a truly horizontal, vertical, or diagonal straight line. You can draw a 0, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 135, 150, and 180-degree line.

Draw Curves

To draw a curve, do the following:

Step 1: Click anywhere on the Canvas to set the start point. Move the mouse to a different position to form a line.

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Step 2: Press the mouse button to curve the line. As you move the mouse, the curve changes correspondingly.

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Step 3: Move the mouse and press the mouse button again to add turns to the curve. Each click equals a new curve.

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Step 4: A drawing shape can be either open or closed. Do one of the following to finish your drawing:

  • To leave the curve open, double-click at any time.
  • To close the curve, move the mouse near the start point. The curve gets filled to indicate that it is closed. Then, double-click near the start point to get a curved shape filled with a solid color.

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Draw Freeform Shapes

Freeform Shape drawing tool has a dual capability to draw both curves and straight lines. Perform the following steps:

Step 1: Click anywhere on the Canvas to set the start point. Now you can:

  • Release the mouse button and place the cursor elsewhere, then click to draw a straight line.

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  • Hold down the mouse button and draw freeform lines.

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Step 3: To finish your drawing, refer to the fourth step when you draw a curve.

  • To draw an open shape, double-click at any time.
  • To draw a closed shape, double-click near the start point.

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Note: You can alternate between straight and freeform lines within the same line shape. While drawing, keep holding down the mouse button and move the mouse to draw freeform lines. Whenever you want to draw straight lines, release the mouse button. Simply move the mouse and click to set the end point of the straight line. Then, keep holding down the mouse button and repeat the cycle.

Draw Freeform Scribbles

The Freeform Scribble tool is almost similar to the Freeform Shape tool as you can mimic drawing by hand. But there is one essential difference. Once you start drawing with the Freeform Scribble tool, you have to keep holding down the mouse button until you finish. The point where you release the mouse button will be the end point of your drawing.

Step 1: Click anywhere on the Canvas to set the start point. Move the mouse without releasing the mouse button to draw the shape.

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Step 2: To finish your drawing, just release the mouse button.

  • To draw an open shape, release the mouse button at any time.
  • To draw a closed shape, release the mouse button near the start point.

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How to Edit Drawn Shapes

ActivePresenter enables you to change a shape’s appearance after drawing it. To do that, right-click a shape and select Edit Point . This opens the Edit Point mode where the shape is outlined by a red dashed line. Enter the Edit Point mode to edit your shape. When you’re done, click any elsewhere outside to exit the Edit Point mode.

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In the Edit Point mode, work with the anchor points and control points to alter the shape.

  • Anchor points: Black squares within the outline that indicates where a curve ends or where two line segments meet. Drag or edit these points to change the shape’s appearance.
  • Control points: When you select an anchor point, two blue handles appear with white squares aka control points at their ends. Drag these points to adjust the degree of the curve or line on either side of the point in relation to the next point along the line.

Click and drag an anchor point to sharpen or smooth a corner or a curve (1). A red dashed line appears indicating changes.

Alternatively, drag a control point to adjust the degree of the curve or line (2).

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Add and Delete Anchor Points

In the Edit Point mode:

  • To add an anchor point, place the cursor on the outline of the shape. Click to add a new anchor point, then drag the anchor point to put another corner or curve in the shape.

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  • To delete an anchor point, right-click it > Delete Point. The selected anchor point will disappear, making the shape change accordingly.

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Change the Point Types

In the Edit Point mode, right-click an anchor point and select an option to change the type of the point.

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  • Smooth Point: The two handles point in exactly the opposite direction (180 degrees) from each other. They’re also positioned the same distance away from the anchor point.

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  • Straight Point: The two handles point in exactly the opposite direction (180 degrees) from each other.

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  • Corner Point: The two handles go off in different directions. This is the default mode.

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Open and Close Paths

In the Edit Point mode of an open shape, right-click an anchor point. Then, select Close Path to close the shape. A linear path is added from the previous end point to the start point.

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Otherwise, select Open Path to open a closed shape right at the selected point.

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Make Straight Segments

You can straighten a curved segment between two anchor points. In the Edit Point mode, right-click along the segment and select Straight Segment.

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Now you can create your own shape in ActivePresenter. Draw freeform and unleash your creativity right now!

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