Editing Shapes

Sketch allows you the ability to insert different shapes onto your Canvas. Whilst you can combine multiple shapes with boolean operations you might want to edit the shape by directly editing its points. All vector shapes are made up of a series of points, and connecting these are lines called paths. To edit the shape’s “skeleton”, you need to enter the vector editing mode.

To begin editing a shape, choose Insert › Shapes › Rectangle from the pop-up menu in the toolbar (or press R). Draw it on the Canvas and when done, double-click it (or press the Enter key) to begin editing:

Once in the edit mode, you will see a circular point in each of the corners. Click-and-drag on any of these points to change their position and you will see how the shape changes. You can add a new point to a shape hovering over the path between two points and click to insert. To delete a point, click to select it and press the Backspace key on your keyboard.

The paths that lie in-between points can appear either as straight lines, or as curves — depending on the type of point that’s connecting them. If you double-click a point on a rectangle, the point type will change to create a curved path.

Two little handles will appear on either side of the point that control the curvature of the path. These are called the handle control points. Think of these handle control points as if they are pulling the path towards themselves.

More information about how to create vector shapes from scratch, and further detail about points, paths, and shape editing in general can be found in the Vector Editing chapter of the documentation.

Flattening Layers

The flatten feature is most commonly associated with boolean operations, however it also has its uses when working with individual shape layers.

When you rotate or flip a layer, or adjust additional properties such as corner radius, or the number of points — the Flatten tool will become active. This destructive action will do much the same thing, to confirm the applied transformations.

In the case of a rotated layer, Flatten will set the layer’s rotation value to 0º, whilst working out the total height and width of the layer as a whole. Flattening a rectangle with rounded corners will apply new vector points at the start and ends of the curve, rather than having a single point in the corner.

Last modified on Apr 07, 2019

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