Showcase and discover digital art at yex

Follow Design Stacks

Subscribe to our free newsletter to get all our latest tutorials and articles delivered directly to your inbox!

Working with Graphics in PageMaker – Drawing with PageMaker

Drawing with PageMaker

PageMaker offers a unique graphics environment. In PageMaker you can move and resize graphics with ease, and format text around them. You can also use PageMaker’s drawing tools to create your own basic shapes.

return to topCreating Lines and Shapes

PageMaker provides the tools to create basic graphic elements (e.g., lines, circles, polygons and boxes) by working with the line and shape tools in the Toolbox.


Using the Drawing Tools

  1. From the Toolbox, select the appropriate drawing tool
    That tool will appear highlighted, and when you move the mouse over the working area of PageMaker, a crossbar (+) will move across the screen.

  2. Position the center of the crossbar (+) where the line or shape should start

  3. Click and drag the mouse in any direction to create a line or shape
    Continue holding the mouse button down until the shape is positioned and is the desired size.

  4. Release the mouse button

return to topSelecting Objects

A line or shape must be selected in order for it to be deleted, moved, or modified. When a graphic element is selected, it becomes surrounded by small boxes called handles, which are used for resizing. Lines and shapes are selected directly after they are drawn and stay selected until you draw another line or shape or until you click the mouse. You can reselect a line or shape by using the Pointer tool.

Selecting a Line or Shape

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Pointer tool

  2. With the tip of the pointer, click the line or shape
    HINT: If the graphic element has a fill pattern, you can click on the fill pattern. The drawing should now have handles. If it does not, it is not selected and you must repeat this step, paying close attention to where the tip of the Pointer is positioned.

Selecting Multiple Lines and Shapes

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Pointer tool

  2. With the tip of the Pointer, click the first line or shape
    The drawing should now have handles. If it does not, try again.
    selected graphic elements

  3. Hold down the [Shift] key while clicking on other lines and shapes you want to select

  4. OPTIONAL: In order to select each layer of graphics, hold down the [Option] or [Ctrl] key while clicking on the graphic. The previous layers do not remain selected unless you are also holding down the [Shift] key.

return to topSelecting with a Net

At times it may be difficult (and seem impossible) to select a drawing. If the drawing is made inside of a text block or too close to another drawing or graphic, you may have to use a Net (sometimes referred to as a coupon box) to select it. A net is a dashed line created with the Pointer tool. Any element fully enclosed by the net will be selected.

HINT: To capture a drawing that is within a text block or too near another element to select, create a net big enough to capture the complete drawing without capturing the complete text block or other element. This will select the drawing without selecting anything else.

To create a net

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Pointer tool

  2. Click the mouse in an area where you will not select anything (a margin would typically be a safe location)

  3. Hold and drag the net over the graphics you want to select
    Notice that this creates a rectangular dashed line or net.
    selecting with a net

  4. Let go of the mouse button
    The net will disappear and all elements—a drawing, a text block, or a graphic—that were completely enclosed by the net will now be selected.

  5. If you accidentally capture the wrong element or too many elements, don’t panic. Just click away from the selected elements and they will deselect
    Hold down the [Shift] key and click on the desired elements to deselect them.

return to topChoosing Line Style and Shape Fill Color

PageMaker allows you to alter the style of your lines; you can make them thin, medium, thick, dashed, dotted or graphic. You can also fill graphic elements like rectangles with grey fill colors or patterns. Line styles and fill colors are mutually exclusive; that is, drawings can have only one line style and one fill color applied at a time.

Selecting a Line Style

  1. Select the line you want to alter

  2. From the Element menu, select Stroke

  3. From the Stroke submenu, select your line style choice

Selecting a Fill Color

If you are drawing an enclosed shape (e.g., a square-corner box, a rounded-corner box, or a circle) you may also select a fill color.

  1. Select the shape you want to fill

  2. From the Element menu, select Fill

  3. From the Fill submenu, select your fill choice

return to topDeleting an Object

  1. Select the line, shape or group of elements you want to delete using one of the selection methods

  2. Press [Delete]
    From the Edit menu, select Clear

return to topResizing Lines and Shapes

You can extend or shrink a line or shape using the handles. To modify a line or shape:

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Pointer tool

  2. Select the line or shape you want to modify

  3. Click and hold one of the element’s handles
    A double-headed arrow will appear.
    HINT: To keep a graphic element proportional, hold down the [Shift] key while dragging the handle for resizing.

  4. Drag the handle to resize the element

  5. Release the mouse button

return to topMoving Lines and Shapes

If you like the overall appearance of the graphic element but you want to change its placement on the page, you can use the Pointer to drag the graphic. To move a line or shape:

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Pointer tool

  2. Select the line, shape or element(s) to be moved
    HINT: To select more than one item, hold down the [Shift] key while selecting the items.

  3. Click and hold anywhere on the line or shape except on a handle
    The Pointer will turn into a four-headed arrow.

  4. Still holding the mouse button, drag the element to a new location and release the button

return to topRotating Objects

Rotation of items and text helps you add interest to your document. With rotation, you can turn things upside down, tilt them to the left or right, and turn graphics around.

Rotating manually takes practice. Remember the Undo feature and keep trying until you get it right or try Rotating with the Control Palette.
If you are not sure about the type specifications that you want to use when rotating text, create a style and apply it to the text. Any modifications to the style will be made to the rotated text block.

Rotating with the Rotate Tool

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Rotate tool rotate tool

  2. Select the item to be rotated

  3. Click and hold on one of the handles

  4. Drag to the desired angle

  5. Release the mouse button

To undo the rotation

  1. From the Edit menu, select Undo Rotate
    NOTE: Undo must be selected immediately after the action you want to reverse.

Rotating with the Control Palette

  1. With the Pointer tool, select the text block or object you wish to rotate

  2. If the Control Palette (shown below) is not present, from the Window menu, select Control Palette
    The Control Palette appears.
    rotate with control palette

  3. In the Control Palette rotate box, type the number of degrees to rotate

  4. Press [Return]

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as necessary

To undo the rotation

  1. With the Pointer tool, select the object

  2. In the Control Palette rotate box, type 0 (zero)

  3. Press [Return]
    The object is restored to its original orientation.