A curve is a series of line segments, each line segment have a node at each end. Line segments can be straight or curved and they need not be connected to each other within a single curve.
Curve objects can be modified in different ways to the other objects you create. Each simple shape you draw using the tools in the toolbox can be modified in its own particular way. Rectangles can have their corners radiuses, ellipses can be converted to arcs or pies, polygons to stars etc. and text can be edited.
Converting any of these to curves loses that ability but gives you the ability to infinitely modify the shape of the object.
Certain commands automatically convert objects to curves. An example is when using the Shaping Docker tools. Converting to curves is a one-way street so make sure your object is exactly as you want it to be before you do this. You will not be able to correct a spelling mistake once you convert text to curves and the process of changing the radius on a rectangle is much more complicated.
One of the great assets CorelDRAW has is the powerful curve editing capability. This is provided by the
Shape tool in the Toolbox (Not to be confused with the Shaping Docker tools). See the section on Curve
Editing for more information.
We have almost infinite ability to change the shape of the curves we create. The position and type of nodes can be controlled, whether the line relating to the node is straight or curved, whether adjoining nodes are connected, whether nodes exist at all.
Node editing is achieved with the Shape tool in the Toolbox. You can use this to select the curve you are editing, pick up individual nodes and move them around, drag the line segment to change its form, move the node control points to alter the form of line segments, add and remove nodes.
There are four node types: cusp, smooth, symmetrical, or line. Nodes can be changed from one type to another.
Cusp nodes make the node’s intersecting line take on the shape of a corner or point when you adjust the position of the node’s control points.
Smooth nodes make the node’s intersecting line take on the shape of a curve. Each control point can be shortened or lengthened independently, giving you smaller or larger angles to work with.
Symmetrical nodes make the node’s intersecting line take on the shape of a curve as well as intersect the node at exactly the same angle.
Line nodes let you shape objects by changing the shape of their segments. You can make a curve segment straight or a straight segment curved.
The more nodes there are in a curve, the greater degree of control is possible with its shape however beware of adding too many as this will increase the work your laser has to do and may slow down its operation.
Nodes can be added by clicking on the point of the curve you wish to add the node then clicking on the + icon on the Property Bar. They can be removed by selecting them and pressing delete, clicking on the icon on the property bar or by double-clicking on the node.
Selecting a node and clicking on the Break Curve icon separates adjoining nodes. You can also use the shape tool to click on a line segment then click on the Break Curve icon to break the curve at that point.
If the path has 2 separations it is possible to break the curve apart using the Break Curve Apart command in the Arrange dropdown menu. This will produce 2 separate curves.
Selecting 2 adjoining nodes and clicking on the Join 2 nodes icon connects them.
You do not have the ability to define an absolute position for nodes directly but you can get them to snap to guidelines or to a grid to achieve this. You can also get their control points to snap to guidelines.