Text Tool

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Text Tool

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Use the Text tool to create, show, hide, and edit labels; to create, edit, and resize captions; and to change the text displayed with measurements, calculations, and parameters.

Text plays an important role in Sketchpad. Labels allow you to communicate with others about specific objects in your sketch, and provide a correspondence between measurements and the objects they measure. Captions allow you to identify and describe both your sketch as a whole and individual parts of your sketch. Measurements, calculations, parameters and functions display important mathematical information in text form. The Text tool allows you to show, hide, edit and reposition labels of objects, to edit captions, and to modify the text displayed with measurements, calculations, parameters, and functions.

The Text tool has five possible appearances when you move the mouse over the sketch. These appearances depend on what it’s pointing at and indicate the effect of using the tool.

When you point the Text tool at an object that has a label to show or hide, the pointer appears as a filled hand.

Click to show the object’s label.

Click again to hide the object’s label.

You can also show and hide labels using an object’s Label Properties or by selecting one or more objects and choosing Display | Show/Hide Labels. And you can show and change labels for several objects at once by selecting them and choosing Display | Label Objects.

Sketchpad has a default labels for each kind of object. For instance, the labels of points start with A, B, and C.


Objects like points and circles can either show or not show a label. Some other objects — like action buttons or parameters — always show their label. And still other objects — like captions and pictures — never show a label.

By default, objects are labeled automatically when you measure them. (Use Edit | Preferences | Text to turn off this feature.) You can also change Text Preferences so that all new points are labeled when they’re created.

When you point the Text tool at an object’s label or at a measurement, parameter, calculation, or function, the tool appears as a labeled hand.

Double-click to change the label. (Double-clicking is the same as selecting the object and choosing Display | Label.)

Press and drag to reposition the label of an object.

You can also change the font, size, style, and color of selected objects’ labels with the Text Palette or by choosing Display | Text.

Choose Display | Label to change the labels of several selected objects at once.

When you point the Text tool at an empty place in the sketch, the tool appears as an open hand.

1.Press and drag to create a new caption.

2.Begin typing your new caption.

3.When you finish typing your caption, press the Esc key or click anywhere outside the caption.

When you point the Text tool at a caption, the tool appears as an I-beam.

Click to place an insertion point and begin editing the caption. While you're editing:

Use various caption-editing keyboard shortcuts to select text or move the insertion point.

Press and drag to select a block of text to format or replace.

Double-click to select the word under the cursor.

Double-click and drag to select text word by word.

Click an object in the sketch to insert the object’s label or value as Hot Text.

Drag the caption’s resize handle to resize the caption and reflow its contents.

Hold the Alt key (Windows) or Option key (Macintosh) while pressing one of the arrow keys to set the text alignment for the caption. Use the left arrow for left alignment, the right arrow for right alignment, and either the up or down arrow for centered alignment.

When you create a caption, by default Sketchpad displays the Text Palette. You can change the font, size, style, or color of selected caption text by using this palette or by using text commands in the Display menu. The Text Palette also contains symbolic notation tools for adding mathematical text to your caption. (You can turn off automatic display of the Text Palette using Edit | Preferences | Text, and instead use Display | Show Text Palette to summon the Text Palette as needed.)

To finish editing, press the Esc key or click anywhere outside the caption.

When you point the Text tool at a caption’s resize handle, the tool appears as an arrow. A caption’s resize handle is displayed at the lower-right corner of the caption whenever the caption is selected or being edited.

Press and drag the handle to resize the caption and reflow the text.