Advanced Text Topics

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Advanced Text Topics

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There are several advanced features you can use in connection with Sketchpad’s text objects.

Hot Text in Captions

While you're editing a caption, click an object in the sketch to insert a Hot Text link showing its label or value.


Sketchpad fully supports Unicode, allowing you to insert a wide variety of mathematical symbols and to use multiple languages in captions and labels.

Align Text Objects

Sketchpad’s text-alignment shortcut allows you to line up selected text objects so that their left sides are aligned and they are spaced evenly beneath the first selected object.

When a sketch contains a number of text objects (captions, measurements, parameters, calculations, functions, and action buttons), you can line them up neatly to improve the appearance of the sketch. In the following examples, the aligned arrangement on the right looks neater than the unaligned arrangement on the left.

To align text objects, select them in the order in which you want them to appear, from top to bottom. Then hold down the Shift key and press the Enter key. The first selected object remains in its original position, and the remaining selected objects line up below the first.

To increase the spacing between the newly-aligned objects, make sure they are still selected. Then hold the Shift key and press Enter again. Each time you press Enter, a small amount of space is added between the objects. Continue holding Shift and pressing Enter until you have the vertical spacing you want.

If you accidentally create too much space, continue holding the Shift key and pressing the Enter key until the objects return to their minimum spacing.

Label Objects with a Custom Sequence

Sketchpad allows you to modify the behavior of the Label Multiple Objects dialog box by creating your own custom sequences.

When you use the Display | Label Objects command to label several objects, Sketchpad normally generates a sequence of labels by changing only the ending of whatever you type as the first label. Thus if you type A1 as the first label, Sketchpad generates a sequence in which all the labels start with A, but with different numbers following the A: A1, A2, A3, and so forth. Similarly, if you type 123a as the first label, only the endings change: 123a, 123b, 123c, and so forth.

To type a subscript such as the 1 in A1, enclose the subscript in square brackets: "A[1]."

To generate a sequence in which the changing portion is not at the end, select the objects to label and choose Display | Label Objects. In the Label Multiple Objects dialog box, define a custom sequence by entering a special first label. This special custom sequence label must begin with an equal sign (“=”), and contain “{...}” immediately following the part of the label that should change over the sequence.

For instance, you can type “=P{...}1” to generate the sequence starting with P1, Q1, and R1. Similarly, type “=A{...}[x]” to generate a sequence that begins with Ax, Bx, and Cx.

Iterate Text Attached to a Point

When text affected by an iteration is attached to a point that's also affected by the iteration, the text is iterated along with the point.