§ 7 - Area Tools Dialog


§ 7.1 - Modality

The Area Tools can be used in two ways: Modal and non-Modal. You choose which at any time by checking or unchecking the  Modal control at the bottom of the Area Toolbox.

The default mode when iToolBox is first installed is non-Modal, as this is the selection paradigm most people are already familiar with.

§ 7.1.1 - Non-Modal (Modal Unchecked)

With  Modal unchecked, you can create a selection, optionally modify it as you see necessary by adding or subtracting additional selections, then command the operation to take place by pressing the return key, or by (left-clicking) Apply in the area toolbox.

When operating in this manner, as an aid to visibility, you can use the whirl and W (shift+w)hirl keystroke commands to change the color of the area selection outline at any time, which can assist with selection visibility against image backgrounds.

§ 7.1.1.1 - Creating New Selections

You can create an entirely new selection using any of the areatools; don't press any keys while you're doing this.

§ 7.1.1.2 - Adding To Existing Selections

You can add to the current selection using any areatool by pressing shift when you complete the selection for the additional area.

§ 7.1.1.3 - Subtracting From Existing Selections

You can subtract from the current selection by pressing opt/alt when you you complete the selection for the area to be removed.

§ 7.1.1.4 - Deleting Existing Selections

You can clear the current selection with the delete keystroke.

"Complete the selection" in the above context means just prior to when you release the left mouse for a rectangle or an ellipse, or when you right-click to complete a polygonal, penciliar, or splinarific selection.

§ 7.1.1.5 - Undo and Redo of Changes to Selections

undo and redo will manage your changes to the area selection as well as changes to images.


Initial rectangular
selection
near center

Ellipse added
with shift key
at lower right

Rectangle subtracted
with opt/alt key
from selection interior

After clicking Apply with the Color Fill operator selected
Tip: In  Modal (non-Modal) mode, selection outlines are drawn over the outermost pixels of the selected region, not around the outside of the selected region.

§ 7.1.2 - Modal Selections

 Modal is a considerably faster way to work with images; changes are applied immediately when you select an area on any image view, and there are some area selection features that make this method of working fast, easy and accurate.

However, this efficiency comes at the cost of not being able to create complex area selections by combining multiple area selections. When you need to do that, non-modal selection, described previously, is the mode to use.

§ 7.2 - Mask With Alpha

When  M/Alpha is checked, area selections will additionally mask the selections you make against the alpha channel of the action image.

When  M/Alpha is unchecked, such area selections will create new, non-transparent alpha information in the action image from the area selection.

Tip: If you're placing an origin image with alpha information into the action image, for instance using the Merge operator or Place operator, this setting can have a profound effect upon how the origin image is composed into the action image.

Here's an example of the difference using the Color Fill operator:


Original image with numeric rectangle area selection
The image has an alpha channel that provides a custom shape.




Color Fill operator applied with  M/Alpha
Here, the selection is masked by the alpha channel information.




Color Fill operator applied with  M/Alpha
Here, the alpha channel is ignored, and the entire selection takes effect.


§ 7.3 - Area Selects


§ 7.3.0.1 - Entire Image

Keyboard Command: F1

Click and release anywhere on the image. The operation is applied to the entire image. There is no antialias provided for entire image operations. This selection is always filled; it ignores the fill and open/close figure settings.


§ 7.3.0.2 - Rectangle

Keyboard Command: F2

Click and drag to size, release, will fill if fill is on. The operation is applied to the selected area. Obeys the rectangular antialiasing option set in the Preferences dialog or by a. The area selection will move if you press and hold the right mouse button as well as the left one. Holding while sizing the rectangle will maintain a 1:1 aspect ratio.

Right-clicking on the rectangle tool will open a dialog with the aspect and guide settings.


§ 7.3.0.3 - Numeric Rectangle

Keyboard Command: F3

Click anywhere on image, alter values and/or Drag and then drag the mouse. When satisfied with the numeric rectangle's size and position, select OK. This selection will fill if fill is on. The operation is applied to the selected area. Obeys the rectangular antialiasing option set in the Preferences dialog or by the a / antialias keystroke.

The arrow and star buttons allow you to flush the selection to an edge, or center it.

The double arrow buttons allow you to move the selection by the number of pixels set in the Step control.

If you have previously made a normal rectangular selection, then Capture Rect will set the Numeric Rectangle to the same area selection.


Numeric rectangle dialog

§ 7.3.0.4 - Ellipse

Keyboard Command: F4

Click and drag to size, release, will fill if fill is on. The operation is applied to the selected area. Obeys the elliptical antialiasing option set in the Preferences dialog or by the a / antialias keystroke. The area selection will release its anchor and slide around if you press and hold the right mouse button as well as the left one. Release the right mouse button to re-anchor it. Holding while sizing the ellipse will maintain a 1:1 aspect ratio.

Right-clicking on the ellipse tool will open a dialog with the aspect and guide settings.


§ 7.3.0.5 - Polygon

Keyboard Command: F5

Points are placed with left-click. Polygon is closed, or ended if open figure is on, with a right-click.

Pressing shift while placing points allows dragging already placed polygon points.

Pressing opt/alt while placing points allows deleting already placed polygon points.

Pressing shift and opt/alt while placing points allows adding new polygon points after the nearest point.

Will close if open figure drawing is not on, otherwise will fill, if fill is on. Obeys the polygonal antialiasing option set in the Preferences dialog or by the a / antialias keystroke.


§ 7.3.0.6 - Spline

Keyboard Command: F6

Points are placed with left-click. Spline is closed, or ended if open figure is on, with a right-click.

Pressing shift while placing points allows dragging already placed spline points.

Pressing opt/alt while placing points allows deleting already placed spline points.

Pressing shift and opt/alt while placing points allows adding new spline points after the nearest point.

Will close if open figure drawing is not on, otherwise will fill, if fill is on. Obeys the polygonal antialiasing option set in the Preferences dialog or by the a / antialias keystroke.


§ 7.3.0.7 - P-shape

Keyboard Command: F7

P-Shapes are vector objects that you can save to, and load from, mass storage such as your computer's hard drive(s.)

You create P-Shapes by making a selection with any areatool except the wand in any image, then selecting  File/Save P-Shape , which becomes available as soon as you have made such a selection.

When you save a P-Shape, it is immediately set up in the P-Shape tool, ready for use.

To select areas with a P-Shape any time after creating an area selection and using  Selections/Convert [type region] to P-Shape , or loading one using  File/Load P-Shape , select the P-Shape tool and drag the shape out. You can change the size and aspect with left-mouse drag, and you can move it around at the current size with left and right-mouse drag.

You can use the P-Shape Controller to set a specific rotation of the p-shape, and you can also lock the aspect ratio to 1:1 so that no matter how you size the p-shape, it will not be distorted.

Tip:

If you want the aspect ratio of the P-Shape to exactly match that of the original design when the aspect ratio has not been locked via the P-Shape Controller, simply ensure that your mouse is on the diagonal aspect line in the direction you are pulling out the shape, or see to it that the aspect guides form an "X" as you size the shape.


Matched aspect indications

In addition, pressing control+shift while moving the mouse will rotate the P-Shape clockwise, pressing control+ while moving the mouse will rotate the P-Shape counter-clockwise, and pressing control+shift+ while moving the mouse will reset the P-Shape's rotation to its original orientation as loaded from storage.

Or, you can use -r from any image window, or  File/P-Shape Controller  to rotate a p-shape to an arbitrary angle:


P-Shape Controller
Tip:

P-Shapes work nicely with the Brush Stroke operator. Try it!


§ 7.3.0.8 - Pencil

Keyboard Command: F8

Click and then drag. Will close if open figure drawing is not on, otherwise will fill, if fill is on. Obeys the penciliar* antialiasing option set in the Preferences dialog or by the a / antialias keystroke.

* Yes, I know there's no such word as "penciliar." I don't care. smile

§ 7.3.0.9 - Text

Keyboard Command: F9

This generates text into a new image via the Text dialog. You might then use the Merge operator or Place operator to compose the result. It is best to generate the text large if you are going to use it large; this produces the highest quality anti-aliasing. Experiment with smaller text placements. You can also use the t keyboard command in image context to do this. When typing in the text entry box, if you press the tab key, this will immediately close the dialog and generate the text. If you press the esc key, this will immediately close the dialog and cancel text generation. The text generation dialog blocks; that is, you have to close it before you can do anything with the rest of the application.


§ 7.3.0.10 - Magic Wand


Wand options

Keyboard Command: F10

Click on the location that has the color you want to use to control the fill.

The wand's tolerance is set by the vertical slider at the left of the toolbox; this is what controls how "near" colors have to be to each other in order for the selection to extend itself. The tolerance value is displayed below the tool icons.

If the tolerance is set to 0, the wand will do a global pick. This wand mode will match the exact color you select anywhere on the image, regardless of if it is a neighbor to the picked color. This is a fast way to change every occurrence of an exact color in an image.

If what you want to do is is change every occurace of a color within a range, then check  Global Pick in the Preferences dialog. Now the wand will globally pick all matching colors within the tolerance setting in the Areatools.

The wand obeys the wandular* antialiasing option set in the Preferences dialog or by the a / antialias keystroke. It also obeys the  M/Alpha setting in the Areatools; it will not extend the fill anywhere the target image's transparency is zero when  M/Alpha is checked.

The Preferences dialog options that affect the wand are highlighted in the image to the right.

Tip: In  Modal (non-modal) mode (this control is found at the bottom left of the areatools), clicking and dragging (the left-mouse) button will adjust the tolerance interactively.
 
When you release the mouse button, the area selection remains at the adjusted size, but the Tolerance returns to its previous setting.
 
During such an adjustment, it is not possible to set tolerance to zero.
Note: * still don't care...

§ 7.3.0.11 - Redo

Keyboard Command: F11

Tip: There are actually two operations in iToolBox called "redo."

The first is this area tool, which will re-select an area in an image.

The second is the redo function, which reverses undo operations.

It can be a little confusing, but inasmuch as the context in which one would want one or the other is quite different, it'll quickly become second nature.

If you have made an area selection previously, that area selection used again if the image you are using it in is the same size as the image that it was originally made in.

If the image you are applying redo to is not the same size in any dimension, the area selection from the previous selection in another image will be scaled to the current image's size and then applied; if the images are of significantly different sizes, the selection will be less true to the original.

If the images are not the same aspect ratio — for instance, one is square and one is tall & narrow, the aspect of the area selection will change as well.


§ 7.3.0.12 - Magnify

Keyboard Command: F12

Left-click without dragging will zoom. Right-click will unzoom, in both cases centering where you click the mouse. You can also zoom with zoom-in, Z (shift+z) Zoom-out, and opt/alt+zoom to 1:1 relative to the window size. If you drag out a rectangle with the magnify tool, that region will be zoomed to fit in the current view.

You can invoke the magnify tool for one-time use with control+z.

The current zoom levels of an image are displayed in the Areatools titlebar.

Tip: Because iToolBox is resolution-independent, window size affects the zoom level.

§ 7.4 - Selection Modifiers


§ 7.4.0.1 - Complement

Keyboard Command: shift+F3

The area you did not select is selected.


§ 7.4.0.2 - Open Figure

Keyboard Command: shift+F4

Affects polygon, pencil.

If the figure is open, the polygon and pencil area selections will never be filled, regardless of the setting of the fill button. One circumstance where you might want open figure off is when using the brushstroke operator.


§ 7.4.0.3 - Filled Figure

Keyboard Command: shift+F5

Affects polygon, pencil, rectangle, and ellipse.

You will generally want this on. Otherwise, the selection will only be the outline drawn with the area tool.


§ 7.4.0.4 - Outline Modifier

Keyboard Command: shift+F6

Affects all fill tools.

Options for the outline modifier can be set by (right-clicking) the outline modifier tool icon:


Outline settings dialog

When this tool is in bulletsel.png Selection  Mode, and  Edge Only is checked, the selection will be of the pixels immediately outside the selected region. If  Edge Only is not checked, then the selection will also include the pixels immediately outside the selected region (another way to think about this is that the selection will be one pixel larger than it would normally be.)

When set to bulletsel.png 8-way  Fill Type, pixels in all eight directions from the edge pixels will be considered outline pixels:


bulletsel.png 8-way  setting
Selection was center pixel only
 Edge Only checked

When set to bulletsel.png 4-way  Fill Type, only the four pixels to the right, left, top and bottom of edge pixels will be considered outline pixels:


bulletsel.png 4-way  setting
Selection was center pixel only
 Edge Only checked

When this is on in bulletsel.png Alpha  Mode, a selection only occurs at the transition between transparent and non-transparent within the selected region. In this case, the level of transparency set in the options dialog is used as a trigger.

Warning: If the M/Alpha setting is checked when in bulletsel.png Alpha  Mode, the outline modifier will have no effect, as the placement of the selection beyond the regions with alpha transparency will be masked off; in order to use this area selection modifier, make sure  M/Alpha is not checked.
Warning: If your image does not have transparent alpha, area selection results in bulletsel.png Alpha  Mode with the outline modifier turned on can be unexpected, as it is possible that no area selection at all is created, or that the area selection will not be at all like what you were anticipating.

§ 7.5 - Non-selects


§ 7.5.1 - Text Tool

Keyboard Command: F7

See above.


§ 7.5.2 - Eyedropper

Keyboard Command: shift+F2

One-shot activation of the Sample operator using the current area selection mode.


§ 7.5.3 - Preview Eyepoint

Keyboard Command: shift+F1

This is also changeable with , , , and in the operator window, and by clicking and dragging on the preview window. This changes where the operator window previews the operations when it is in  1x    or  2x    mode.


§ 7.5.4 - Magnify

Left-click to zoom in, right-click to zoom out.

§ 7.5.5 - Status Flag Area

Lets you know at a glance if grid, antialias, etc. are in effect:

  • [A/a] indicator: Antialias for the current areatool ([-] for entire image) On/off
  • [G/g] indicator: Grid On/off
  • [W/B] indicator: White or Black grid color
  • [C/c] indicator: Alpha Checking On/off
  • [O/o] indicator: Outside-of-image checking On/off
  • [M/n] indicator: M/Alpha On/off
  • [Y/y] indicator: Aspect Locking On/off
  • [S/s] indicator: Grid Snap On/off

§ 7.6 - Status Bar

The status bar displays various bits of information. When you hover over the active image, it reads out the x and y position of the cursor over the image, and the RGB values of the color of the image immediately under the cursor. You can capture this color using the capture keystroke command.

Tip: While the status bar only displays colors to 24-bits precision, when you capture the color, it is captured to the full 48-bits precision.

§ 7.7 - Customize the Tool Icons

If you'd like to customize one or more of the area toolbox icons, you can do that from the Preferences dialog.

§ 7.8 - Color Wells


§ 7.8.1 - Foreground Well

The color painted when the blend mode is set to Foreground. Click it to set its color, or it can be set indirectly via the Color Fill operator using →Foreground


§ 7.8.2 - Background Well

The color painted when the blend mode is set to Background. Click it to set its color, or it can be set indirectly via the Color Fill operator using →Background

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