Send e-mail Download ZIP version More Tips Drag and Drop Whatever You’re Doing Xara lets you drag and drop a duplicate copy if you drag holding down the right mouse button. Release the right mouse button and you drop a duplicate copy. Or the more laborious method: Drag with the left mouse button and click the right mouse button to drop a duplicate. Here’s a third method. Drag and press the + key on the Numeric keypad to drop a duplicate copy. Drag and Duplicate Guidelines If you drag an existing guideline and press the Ctrl key, a new guideline will be added to the page when you release the mouse button. Delete all Guidelines with One Click Sometimes you can’t see your work for all the guidelines on the page. Simply right click on the screen ruler and select Delete all Guidelines. Quickly Modifying QuickShape Properties Create an ellipse. Double click on any of the four control points (that appear after the ellipse has been drawn) and the ellipse becomes a circle! Draw a rectangle and click on any of the four corner control points, and the corners become curved! And, the curvature can be edited. Double click on the X on the inside of an ellipse and the ellipse becomes a hexagon! And double click the X in the center of a rectangle and the rectangle becomes an ellipse! I’m not real sure why you would ever want to do this, but it does make for an amusing party trick. Fast, Intuitive, Interactive, Alignment Those funny shapes in the middle of the Alignment menu are in fact graphic representations that show how selected objects will align. For example, if all the icons are in the center of the panel, then all selected objects will be centered. You can select most alignment options from the two drop down menus, but that can be a drag. Here’s a simple method. To center a selection of objects, simple click in the center of the panel. Or click in any corner, or middle areas as shown top left. All objects will align thusly. If you hold down the Ctrl key and click top, middle or bottom, the selected objects will align horizontally. Shift Click to the left, center or right side and the selected objects will align vertically. And you can open the Alignment menu by pressing Shift Ctrl L (So, who needs a mouse? I ask you.) Selective Selecting Sometimes, trying to select something on the page without disturbing something else is neigh unto impossible. But if you press the ESC key (to de-select everything), then hold down the Shift  key, only the object or objects within the selection marquee will be selected. It’s a real sanity saver. Outlines View works as well (Window > Quality > Outlines). Precisely Mirror an Object If you need to flip a selection from a specific point, click twice on the object to enable rotate/skew mode, drag the Center of Rotation bulls eye to the halfway point, press Ctrl k  to clone the selection, then press the Flip Horizontally icon on the Infobar. This also works with the Flip Vertically icon if the halfway point is above or below the selected object. Math for the Math Challenged If you have an object and need to divide it into several equal sections, create a series of rectangles, the same number as the desired number of divisions, then scale this selection down to the width of the object you wish to divide up. You can drag and snap guidelines if needed. Math for the Math Challenged II: Units Conversion Sometimes I get a request to create an image in a unit size other than what I normally work in, say cm or mm. I create a rectangle and enter the size on the Infobar, for example W 30cm H 25cm, and press Enter. The units are automatically converted to Inches (or whatever your default units are), in this case 11.81 x 9.45 inches. Last Tip Years ago, I asked readers for their favorite non-Xara related tip. This one has always come in handy. If you get stung by a bee, mosquito, or bitten by a spider (assuming it is not a poisonous spider or you are not allergic to bee stings), apply a small amount of household bleach to the sting/bite. This prevents the sting/bite from itching. And that’s it. You can find more useful Tips and Tricks, actually over one hundred, in the Xara Xone Tips and Tricks section. Your comments, questions, corrections, etc. are always welcome. Gary W. Priester Host and Editor Send e-mail