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Working with Smart Shapes

The built-in clipart contains the Smart Shapes category. Smart Shapes are vector images. In addition to generic properties, Smart Shapes have:

The graphic tools common for all images are described in these sections:

Note that tools like Tile and Mask Image cannot be applied to a Smart Shape, but to an image inside it.


Adjusting the Shape

The shape of some Smart Shapes can be changed using the Curve and Side Count controls located on the Geometry tab of the Inspector.
Adjust Smart Shape

For example, you can change the number of rays of a star using the Side Count control and the ray angle using the Curve control.


Filling a Smart Shape with an Image

A Smart Shape can be filled with a solid color, gradient and an image. To insert an image into a Smart Shape, select the shape, then drag and drop the image from the Clipart into the Smart Shape.


  1. Select the Smart Shape.

  2. Open the Fill & Shadow tab of the Inspector (Window > Inspector > Fill & Shadow).

  3. Enable the Fill option.

  4. Choose Image Fill in the drop-down list.

  5. Drag the image into the box on the left from the Browse button.

  6. Choose the appropriate way of filling in the Scale type option.

When you resize a Smart Shape, the inserted image gets resized too.

The Scale type parameter in the Inspector controls how to insert the image into the Smart Shape.

ScaleType1 Original Smart Shape
ScaleType2 Original image
ScaleType3 Fill – does not change the aspect ratio of the image. A part of the image may not be seen in the Smart Shape.
ScaleType4 Stretch – the whole image fits into the Smart Shape. The image may be deformed.
ScaleType5 Fit – the whole image fits into the Smart Shape. The proportion of the sides will not change. Blank space may be left inside the Smart Shape.


Smart Shape or Image?

A rectangular Smart Shape filled with an image may look like the image itself. You may need to know for sure what was used in the design.

Smart Shapes (when selected) have all the Fill items enabled in the drop-down list in the Fill & Shadow tab of Inspector. When you select an image, Image Fill is not enabled. Use this to distinguish the objects.


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