There are a number of ways to create Paths in Blend. You can use the Pencil or the Pen Tools to draw them as you can see below;
The Pencil gives you the freedom to draw whatever you like ( or, in my case it allows you to just make a big mess );
You’ll notice that I’ve ended up with 5 separate paths here for each separate stroke that I drew. That’s probably not what I want but I’ll return to that in a second.
The pen tool lets me draw curves. It’s explained in the docs better than I’ll ever explain it but the limited way in which I use it is to left mouse click to mark a point and then left-mouse-click and drag to define the curve between the 2 points;
and then I can continue to add extra pieces to the curve including coming back to the starting point to form a closed shape.
when I switch to Selection mode ( remember the V key ) it’s a little odd at first because the whole Path acts as one object.
but then I can get back to the individual “sections” that make up my shape by using the direct selection tool;
and I can manipulate the Path again. The exact mouse cursor becomes important at this point as I can select a particular path section and move it around;
or I can select and “endpoint” of a section and manipulate that instead;
and then I can get fancy. I can add new points to my Path ( use the Pen tool again and a little + sign will appear when you hover over the Path), I can remove points from my Path and so on and so forth.
But creating Paths like this isn’t the only way to make Paths. I could start with an Ellipse or a Rectangle like this one;
and use the right mouse menu on that Rectangle;
and now I’ve got a Path representing that rounded rectangle. I can also ( interestingly ) do this with a piece of text. So, if I replace my content with a TextBlock;
then I can use the same right mouse option to make a Path;
once you’ve got a Path there’s lots you can do with it – you can combine it with friends, you can use it to clip other content or even use it as a layout path. I’ll come back to those in a subsequent post…