Text Objects

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Text Objects

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There are certain objects in Sketchpad that are displayed in text form. These objects are collectively referred to as text objects. Text objects include:


values (parameters, measurements, and calculations)


action buttons

coordinates (generated by the Measure | Coordinates command)

equations (generated by the Measure | Equations command)

You use similar methods to position the various kinds of text objects, to format them, and to merge a text object to a point.

Position Text Objects

When you create a new text object, Sketchpad tries to position it in relation to existing text objects.

A new parameter, measurement, calculation, or function is created aligned with and slightly below the most recent similar object, provided there’s room for the new object without overlapping existing text objects.

A new action button is created aligned with and slightly below the most recent action button, provided there’s room.

You can reposition text objects to display them neatly.

If you drag a text object near other text objects, it becomes sticky to help you align it to the nearby objects.

You can press Shift+Enter to arrange selected text objects in an evenly spaced vertical column with their left edges aligned, and you can press Shift+Enter repeatedly to increase the vertical spacing.

Format Text Objects

You can format one or more selected text objects.

To change the font, size, style, or color of the selected text objects, use the Text Palette.


The new font, size, style, or color will become the default for future objects of the same type. To change the format of the selected object(s) without affecting future objects, hold the Shift key while you choose the new format. You can also use Text Preferences panel to determine the default text style for future objects.

To make all selected text objects larger or smaller, choose Display | Text | Increase/Decrease Size, or use the equivalent keyboard shortcuts: hold Alt (Windows) or (Mac) and press the > or < key.

To display selected text objects in bold, italic, or underline style, use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+B, Ctrl+I, and Ctrl+U (Windows) or B, I, and U (Mac).

To format parts of a caption rather than the entire caption, double-click the caption with either the Text tool or the Arrow tool, and then select the text you want to format.

Merge a Text Object to a Point

You can  merge any text object except an action button to a point so that it moves with the point. For instance, if you want an angle measurement to appear in the middle of the angle it measures, you can follow these steps:

1.Construct the angle bisector by choosing Construct |  Angle Bisector.

2.Construct a point on the angle bisector by choosing Construct | Point on Bisector.

3.Merge the measurement to the point by selecting both objects, holding the Shift key, and choosing Edit | Merge Text to Point.

4.Hide the point and the angle bisector by choosing Display | Hide Objects.

The measurement will remain in the middle of the angle even when the angle’s position or size changes.