Awards & Engraving

January '20

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A&E JANUARY 2020 • a-e-mag.com 41 Laser Engraving You can manage which fonts are installed from your Corel Font Manager. Besides choosing fonts, I often want large caps/small caps combinations, which are available for most fonts, superscripts such as "1st Place," and foreign characters such as the Spanish "ñ." In CorelDRAW, these are all available from three dockers: Text and Properties (duplicates many set- tings available in text) to style text; and Insert Character or Glyphs (based on the Corel version), which offers many foreign and special characters. TEXT AND GRAPHICS LAYOUT Aligning and distributing both artistic text lines and graphics are the primary tool sets I use. You can add tools to your tool box and property bar. However, all these tools and settings are in the Align and Distribute docker. I keep my docker activated and a live tab on the right side of my screen. To align, select one or more objects; to distribute, select multiple objects (text and graphics). When aligning objects, select a setting that indicates what you want to align them to. Your choices are: Active objects, Page edge, Page center, Grid, or Specified point (which you use the two settings to specify). There are six align- ment points to choose from: left, right, bottom, top, center vertically, and center horizontally. They align the objects to what you have specified. Distributing artistic text lines (or para- graphs) and objects (or bitmaps) has two setting choices: Extent of selection or Extent of page. You can distribute your selection: left, center horizontally, right, space horizontally, top, center vertically, bottom, and space vertically. I use space vertically and horizontally most often. This equally distributes the objects between the first and last selected objects. You may have artistic lines of text or four logos you want spaced an equal distant apart. This is a quick way to dis- tribute them perfectly. Remember to group text or objects you want to be aligned or distributed and treated as one object. CUTTING SHAPES Most lasers will vector cut based on a line's width. In Corel, the Hairline line width is the thinnest line you can easily set and be treated as a cut line. If you want a default outline to be automatically set as a Hairline (or other thickness), without anything selected, select your Outline pen (17 down in your tool box), select Hairline, and in the box that pops up, only check Graphic. Now everything you draw will have a Hairline outline. If you want an easy way to create a cutout line for a group of objects, select all the objects you want an out- line around, and from your menu, select Object>Shaping>Boundary. This draws a perfect cutout Hairline around the group as a whole. I use this to make custom appli- qués, holiday ornaments, and much more. All the selected objects must be closed objects around the perimeter with no gaps. OTHER TOOLS I USE Tool Box Tools • Bezier drawing tool • Rectangle – and perfect squares (hold the Ctrl key while pulling out) • Elipse – ovals and perfect circle (hold the Ctrl down while pulling out) • Polygon, Star, Common shapes for triangles, stars, hearts • Transparency tool • Color eye dropper and fill • Interactive fill tool Shapes and Corners Dockers • Text>Fit Text to Path • Text>Writing tools>Spellcheck Objects>PowerClip • Objects>Fit Objects to Path • View>Rulers and Guidelines selected • View>SnapTo>Objects and Guide- lines selected • Convert to Curves (Ctrl+Q) – to convert text to outlines for exporting documents with text so the receiver does not have to have the font(s) that you used installed on their PC. There is so much information here already, and I could have included much more. I trust this will get you started or identify some tools you have not fully explored yet. Happy lasering! A&E

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