User manual for Structural Sketcher


Main keys:

[Delete] – delete selected object;

[Space] down – apply transformation only to the KITE manipulator;

[Ctrl] down – transform object separately (ignoring relations to other objects);

[Tab] (when contour or line is activated) – switch between contours/lines.

[Shift] down (only for axial system) – objects grouping in order to mirror them;

Mouse wheel – changes the order of objects;

[+] and [-] - change the transparency of selected Image.





Geometry manipulator: the KITE

KITE reacts directly to user actions. The user specifies the type of geometric transformation by affecting an interaction zone that corresponds to the type of desired transformation:

  1. Zones for translation:
  2. Zones for scaling:

·        ·       Non-uniform one axis scaling:

·        ·       Non-uniform scaling:

·        ·       Uniform scaling:

  1. Zone for rotation:
  2. Zones for skewing:



Figure 1. Manipulator interaction zones placement.

Some interactions zones present two types of transformations. The initial direction of the mouse at the start of a drag action is used to define which one of two transformation modes becomes active. For example, if the user drags the mouse along the scaling/skewing interaction zone, then skewing is activated; if the user drags the mouse orthogonal to this interaction zone, then scaling is activated (to switch on skewing use Options->Manipulator->Skewing).

Figure ‑2. Orthogonal mouse movements distinguish skewing and one axis scaling operations.

The ball on the lower left corner of the manipulator defines the origin for rotation, scaling and skewing transformations.

The manipulator can be used in two modes:

Optionally, the user can enable a mode to make the manipulator elastic: after each manipulation the manipulator restores its shape (Options->Manipulator->Elastic).


Graphic units


Contour: can be opened or closed. Also, you can manipulate positions of vertices in a contour.

For box creation use button from the toolbar;

To define it by vertices use ; in order to finish it you must click on a last specified vertex twice, or to click on first vertex

For freehand contour use - ;

Grid: for a grid template use buttonfrom the toolbar;


Axial system (symmetry): mirrors geometrical transformations between objects (but not objects by themselves). In order to created a mirrored copy of a graphic unit: select an object, click on , and define the position of a mirrored copy by positioning of an axial system;

Zone: a kind of grouping; automatically relates to itself objects that are partially covered by it.


Image: allows loading image to a design project.

Layer: creates a layer to which a set of objects is related.