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For thousands of years, since the time of Euclid, the fundamental tools of geometry have been the compass and the straightedge. Sketchpad’s Toolbox includes these two tools — used to construct circles and straight objects — and several other tools that allow you to select and drag objects, to construct points, to create and manipulate text and labels, and to define and manage custom tools. This section describes how to use each of the tools in Sketchpad’s Toolbox.

The Toolbox appears on the left of the screen when you start Sketchpad, and includes nine tools.

Custom toolsInformation toolMarker toolText toolPolygon toolsStraightedge toolsCompass toolPoint toolSelection Arrow tools

Selection Arrow tools: Use these tools to select and drag objects in your sketch. The three variations of the tool allow you to drag-translate (move), drag-rotate (turn), and drag-dilate (shrink or grow) objects.

Point tool: Use this tool to construct points.

Compass tool: Use this tool to construct circles.

Straightedge tools: Use these tools to construct straight objects. The three variations of the tool allow you to construct segments, rays, and lines.

Polygon tools: Use these tools to construct polygons. The three variations of the tool allow you to construct a polygon, a polygon and the segments that form its edges, or the edge segments only.

Text tool: Use this tool to create and edit text and labels.

Marker tool: Use this tool to create angle markers and tick marks, and to make freehand drawings and notations.

Information tool: Use this tool to explore how a sketch is constructed and how the objects relate to each other.

Custom tools icon: Use this icon to define, use, and manage custom tools.

Choosing and Using Tools

To use any of Sketchpad’s tools, click the desired tool in the Toolbox. Then move the your pointer over the sketch and click or press and drag to use the tool.

The Selection Arrow, Straightedge, and Polygon tools each come in three variations. To change from one variation to another, press and hold the Selection Arrow tool, the Straightedge tool, or the Polygon tool in the Toolbox until a menu pops out. Choose a different variation of the tool from this menu to make it active.

You can change the active tool by using the keyboard instead of clicking in the Toolbox. Hold the Shift key and press the up or down arrow keys to change the active tool. You can also hold the Shift key and press the right or left arrow keys to switch the Selection Arrow, Straightedge, or Polygon tool from one variation to another.

Once you’ve chosen a tool, that tool remains active until you choose a different one, so there’s no need to click the same tool repeatedly to use it multiple times.

Hold the Alt (Win) or Option (Mac) keyUsing Tools to Scroll the Sketch Window

Use any of Sketchpad’s tools to scroll the sketch window and see different parts of the sketch. Hold down the Alt key (Windows) or the Option key (Macintosh) and press and drag in the sketch to scroll the entire sketch in the direction in which you drag. This feature works no matter which tool is active in the toolbox.

(Depending on your computer, you may be able to scroll the window by dragging two fingers on the touchpad or on the screen itself.)

Press Ctrl-T (Win) or Cmd-T (Mac)Hiding and Showing the Toolbox

Hide or show the Toolbox by using the Hide Toolbox and Show Toolbox commands at the bottom of the Display menu.

You may want to hide the Toolbox when making presentations.

Moving, Resizing, and Docking the Toolbox

To move the Toolbox, (Windows or Macintosh) grab it by the title bar or (Windows only) by the gray area surrounding the buttons and drag it to a different location on the screen.

Windows users can dock the Toolbox to the left, top, right, or bottom edge of the application window. When the Toolbox is not docked, Windows users can also resize the Toolbox by dragging a border of the Toolbox window.

Macintosh users can make the Toolbox large or small by choosing Edit | Preferences | Tools.