About the Rectangle, Ellipse and Line Modes

When you select the Rectangle, Ellipse, Polyline or Line tool, the Tool Properties view displays the different modes that control how the shape is drawn. Different modes are available depending on the selected tool and whether the layer is vector or bitmap.

Draw Behind Mode

When drawing on vector layers, the Draw Behind mode lets you paint behind existing art. By default, strokes appear over your work until you release the tool. If you want a live preview of your stroke, activate the Realistic Preview option by selecting View > Realistic Preview.

Snap Modes

When drawing a shape, you can snap it to any line at which you begin drawing. This helps you set objects in your drawing with greater precision. You can also create objects that snap to an anchor point of an existing object in your drawing.

NOTE: When snapping and aligning objects, it is helpful to display the grid—see About Drawing Space Efficiency.

Auto Fill Mode

You can automatically fill a shape with a selected colour as you draw. By default the Shape tool creates the contour of an empty shape that you can later fill using the Paint tool.

Auto Flatten Mode

When drawing on vector layers, lines do not usually become one object. The Auto-Flatten mode automatically merges lines created with the existing ones into one single object as you draw.

When drawing on a bitmap layer, you are laying down the bare pixels, so they are always flattened. You can no longer access the individual stroke after you draw it.


Using the Select tool, you can use select and remove a segment of flattened pencil lines. Overlapping pencil lines drawn with the Auto-Flatten mode are essentially cut into segments by the overlap and can be treated as individual lines.

Auto Close Gap Mode

When using the pencil tool, you can automatically close strokes with an invisible stroke.

It is recommended to keep this option enabled when drawing with the Pencil tool.