In this tutorial you will be introduced to the basic shapes that are available in Breakdown Notes, and what parts you can style. How you make, move and resize shapes, paragraphs and paths is covered in this map.
Up first is the rectangle. Stylable parts of rectangles are the border and the fill.
With the border, you can control the color, the width and the radius (how round the corners are). You can also choose which side has a border and which has not, or choose to make a border dotted or dashed.
The fill is just a color. There are many colors to choose from, and of course you can also set the opacity.
Next up are ellipses and polygons. These are almost similar to rectangles: apart from their shape, the only difference is that hey do not have a border radius.
There are many polygons: they make up arrows, rhombusses, triangles. But that is just a few of them. For some polygons, like the arrow, you can also somewhat alter the shape.
All of these shapes (Rectangle , ellipse, polygons) can contain paragraphs with text. Just like shapes, paragraphs have a border and a fill too.
Paragraphs do not have a border or a fill when they are added to a shape. They are transparent, so they take on the color of the shape they are in. You can change this by clicking the paragraph and choose a color and a border width.
The text inside a paragraph can have a number of different font families, colors, and italics / bolds or underlining. More about choosing these further on in this blog.
You can control the position of the paragraph inside the shape: click and hover the paragraph and look for the green circles on the top left and right of the paragraph. Click hold and drag there buttons to position the paragraph.
All shapes (but not paragraphs) can be connected with paths. There are four types of path flows and 3 major stylings (all accessible via the context menu). You can also alter the flow of paths yourself. Just double click, the path: control points show up and by dragging these, you change the flow. .
Paths can also be thickened and coloured. They have a fill and a border, with the exception of the most basic path, named plain, which only has a border. That means you can also style the fill and border to your liking: change the width, the colors, or add dots and dashes.
Paths can have text added to them. These come in 2 forms: a text block, which is just text inside a rectangle, and text paths, which is text that follows the flow of the path. The text and the block can also be colored (Stroke fill, fonts). You can only add one to a path (so either a textblock or a textpath).
Colouring shapes, paths or paragraps is possible by either choosing a custom color with the color picker, or choosing one of the predefined colors.
While the color picker offers a lot of flexibility, the predefined colors do offer a benefit: they are quicker to select, and they allow you to group similarly styled shapes very quickly. After you have grouped these shapes, Breakdown Notes offers the possibility to change these, or move them together.
You can also change the predefined colors: style one shape with a custom color (fill and border), make sure this shape is selected and then click the predefined color you want to change while holding control. This will change all the shapes that were styled with this predefined class.
Font sizes work a bit like colors, There are also 5 predefined font sizes ranging from XL to XS, and there's to choose a custom size for each paragraph or text.
While a shape does not contain text itself (The paragraph does), it is possible to give a font size to a shape: this font size will then be the default for all the paragraphs in that shape, unless the paragraph has a font size of its own.
What goes for font sizes, also goes for font families. Shapes can have a font family attached to them, which will be the default of paragraphs inside them. But you can always overrule one or more paragraphs by giving those paragraphs there own font family.
Check out this map to see what is displayed in the images in this blog post.
Check out what more you can do with Breakdown Notes by reading one of the other blog post below. Or look at the example maps (see examples menu in the upper navigation bar).
By setting the transparancy of shapes you can get some neat effects (with svg in general, not just breakdown Notes). This picture was generated using 500 rectangles, with each a specific color, transparancy, position and size. Compare that to the original image you can find here.
The picture is the result of starting out with just one rectangle, and then keep adding rectangles in a way that makes the whole look more like the picture. Want to see more like this or read more about it, then take a look here.
And just for the heck of it, here's the result on a breakdown map here