Shapes and Styles with Breakdown Notes

Shapes, styles, paragraphs and paths

In this tutorial you will be introduced to the basic shapes that are available in Breakdown Notes, and what parts you can style.


Up first is the rectangle. Stylable parts of rectangles are the border and the fill.

For the fill, you can set the color and opacity.

For 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.


Polygons and ellipses

assorted shapes

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 morph 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 using the menu.

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. These green buttons will appear once you select a paragraph by clicking it, and then hover the paragraph.

paragraph displayed


Sometimes you want to highlight some text inside a paragraph: for instance, make it bold, italic, or give part of the paragraph a different font, size or color. You can do this with tags.

To create a tag, simply select with your mouse the part of the paragraph you want to 'tag'. Then, to make it bold, underlined or italic, click the button in the font menu or the context menu for the paragraph. To make the selection a different color, font, size (or all), just click a new font, color, or size in the (context)menu. You can also style the border of a tag.

paragraph displayed

Connect with paths

assorted paths

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 or side menu).

You can also alter the flow of paths yourself. Just double click, the path: control points show up. By dragging these, you change the flow.

They have a fill and a border, which you can use to also style the path 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 add as many rectangles styled blocks to a path as you wish, but can only add one text-path.


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.

Fonts sizes and font families

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.