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Expand Stroke vs Convert to Curves?

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Hi SaucyWeeTart,

The Expand Stroke does exactly what it says - it expands the stroke of a shape or line turning it into a shape itself. For example draw a line and change its pressure curve in the stroke width pop-up in the context toolbar to create a tapered line. Now suppose you want to adjust it boundaries: you can't because it's still a line (an open path). You can only adjust the "skeletal" path that defines the line. Expanding the stroke converts the line's boundaries into paths forming a closed shape - see screenshot below - so you can edit them individually as you do with regular shapes.




Convert to Curves is used to convert text objects or parametric objects (like geometric shapes) into "regular" shapes (paths). Text and shape objects have specific attributes/settings you can change from the context toolbar to customise them in some way - this is quite convenient but sometimes you may need to customise those objects even further - for example to distort some letters on a logo, or in the case of geometric shapes to adjust just a few nodes of the shape individually. These operations can't be done retaining the parametric/adjustable settings these objects possess in their original form so we have to convert them to "regular" shapes (paths) to be able to customise them (losing their parametric properties).


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'...I'll keep messing about until I do."


I find messing about to be great fun, at least when I have the "aHah!"" moment.


Not to deprive you, but maybe defining some terms will help. In Affinity, if you work in the "Outline" view, you will only see a thin black lines representing the objects. One does not see either "strokes" or "fills", altho' the object(s) may have those attributes. If you are using the node tool, you will see the squares or circles that define the shape of hand drawn objects. The built in "shape" objects, such as the polygon, star, trapezoid, etc will show red control dots when interacting with the node tool.


One can directly alter the position of the nodes in a hand drawn shape. One may add or delete them. Not so the built in shapes. One can move the control points, making a star more pointy, for example. One can change the proportions by modifying the shape's bounding box. One cannot add or delete nodes, except where their number is changeable, such as turning a 5 point star into an eight point star. 


So if you wanted to delete a lib from a star, it needs to be "changed to curve." That was a single node could be deleted, truncating the star.


If one then shifts to the vector view, one will see the object with their associated fills and strokes. If you look at the stroke dialogue, you'll see that the stroke can aa wide range of thickness, as well as being aligned and capped in various ways. Sometimes you might want to do something with the stroke other than having it be a solid or a dotted line. Perhaps you would want one side to be irregular compared to the other side. This can be done after using the expand stroke command. Instead of the stroke being a line drawn over the wireframe, it becomes a wire frame itself, which can then be re-formed w. the node tool, and have its own fill and stroke. Those strokes can then be expanded again, and given their own stroke properties, etc, etc.





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Yea, I used to use Illustrator all the time and was only familiar with the 'expand stroke' type functionality. I was a bit confused with the addition of the whole 'convert to curves' thing.


I'll admit, I'm still a bit lost even after your explaination. Any good videos on the subject you can think of?



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