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Grokking The Gimp
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3.4.2 The Control Point Mode Buttons

The Control Point Mode Buttons are shown in Figure  3.21. These consist of the New Point,  Add Point , Delete Point , and Edit Point  buttons. These control the behavior, or mode, of mouse clicks in the image window when you're using the Bezier Path tool.

When using the Bezier Path tool with the New Point mode button selected in the Paths dialog, there are two behaviors for a mouse click in the image window. The first behavior is associated to working on an open path. In this case, clicking in the image window creates a new control point that is immediately connected to the last control point on the path by a path segment. The last new control point on an open path is displayed as a circle outline. All the other points on the path are displayed as solid circles.

The second behavior of the New Point mode button is when there is no open path. Then, a mouse click in the image window initializes a new path.

When the Bezier path is in New Point mode, the mouse cursor appears in the image window as an arrow with a filled circle below it. This indicates that the next mouse click will create a new control point.

The Add Point mode button is for adding a point to a path segment between two existing control points. This is useful when a path has been created but doesn't have a sufficient number of points to properly follow the desired shape. When the Add Point mode button is active, the mouse cursor changes to an arrow with a plus symbol below it whenever the cursor is close enough to a path segment to add a point. If the mouse button is not released when the point is added, the point can immediately be edited. In other words, if the mouse button remains pressed the control handles will appear when you drag the mouse, and the Shift and Control keys can be used to manipulate the control point and the control handles. This is a handy feature because a control point can be added to a path and then immediately edited without having to return to the Paths menu.

The Delete Point mode button removes control points from a Bezier path. This can be used to delete extraneous control points or those that were added accidentally. When you use the Delete Point mode button, the mouse cursor changes to an arrow with a minus symbol below it whenever the cursor is close enough to a control point to delete it. If the Shift key is pressed while using the Delete Point mode button, the mouse click deletes the entire path.

Finally, the Edit Point mode button allows the control handles to be manipulated and the control points to be moved, as described in Section  3.1.1. That is, clicking and dragging on a control point moves the point's control handles in unison. Shift-clicking and dragging a control handle moves that handle independently of the other one. Control-clicking and dragging the mouse on a control point makes the control point move, following the mouse. Finally, Alt-clicking and dragging the mouse on a control point causes the entire path to follow the mouse. When you're using the Edit Point mode button, the mouse cursor changes to an arrow with the outline of a square below it whenever the mouse cursor is close enough to a control point to edit it.

Grokking The Gimp
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  Published under the terms of the Open Publication License Design by Interspire