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2.3 Working With Frames, Shapes, and Text

In this lesson we’ll start covering some of the tools you can use when working with Figma. You’ll learn about frames, shapes, and text.

2.3 Working With Frames, Shapes, and Text

Hello and welcome back to this course. Let's start covering some of the tools that you are gonna use inside Figma. And in this lesson, we're gonna start with frames, shapes and text. So a frame is basically an art board. I think you are more familiar with the name of art board from under apps like Adobe XD and Sketch. And even Photoshop I think has something called art boards. And art board, you can think if it like a page in a book. And the book being the infinite canvas that you see here. It's basically a place where you can divide and place content. So you can create frames by accessing the frame tool, or F. And then choosing one of the presets, from the right. You have presets for mobile, for tablet, desktop and of course the ever present Apple Watch. So let's select an iPhone for example on iPhone 8, that's gonna create a frame, that's 375 by 667 pixels. You can also change the preset after the fact, if you select that frame from this drop down. So if you want the iPhone 8+, or you can do that, no problem. And you can also change the orientation by click in these two buttons. And you can resize the fits, so for example is if I have a rectangle in here and I want resize my frame to fit that rectangle, I can simply hit this and this gonna resize automatically. Really cool. Now for a particular frame, there are couple of options. You can set its background, you can set its background opacity. You can choose whether or not to hide it. You can choose whether or not to show the background in the exported files. So for example if you're designing an icon in here and you want it to be transparent as a PNG, you might choose to not export, or not show the background in the exported file. And here's another very interesting thing, Clip Content. Clip Content basically means this, let's say I have this red rectangle here. Well, notice that when I take this rectangle and I move it outside the bounds of my frame here, it's cut off, it's clipped here. But if I go back to my frame and I uncheck this, it's gonna show that content. Also a very interesting thing, if I take one element and I just drag it outside of a frame, it's not nested inside that frame anymore, right? As you can see in the layers panel, we have two elements on the same level. But if I drag it back in like this It's gonna nest it inside my frame. Pretty cool. Now a frame can also display a layout grid which is pretty awesome actually. Let's create a frame, the size of a desktop, for example, that's 1024 by 1024. Now in here I can choose to display a layout grid. By default it's five columns, but I can customize this. I can make it, let's say, a maximum of 12 columns. I can give it a width, I can give it a gutter. Let's say I want 30 pixels for the gutter. And I can choose the type either align to the left, align to the center, which is probably the most popular option, in which case, you can specify the width of each column. Let's say I want 30 width here and maybe 20 pixels of gutter. And you can also choose the color of that grid. You can also display rows not just columns. So this is very helpful when you are designing. If you are used to designing with grids and this gives you a pretty solid option for working with them. It can choose to display them on and off. And also there is a shortcut here, Ctrl+G, that will allow you to show, or enable, and disable these layouts. And that's a quick look at frames. Now how do you work with shapes? Well, it's really simple, you just select your shape from this drop down or use the dedicated keyboard shortcuts, R for rectangle tool, L for a line, O for oval or ellipse tool and so on. And then once you select you simply click and drag to create a custom shape, or you can simply click once and it will automatically create a shape that's 100 by 100. If you select the oval tool, that's gonna create a circle that's 100 by 100. Now once you draw a shape, you have several options for it. You can choose to resize it by dragging the sides or dragging the corners here. If you press shift, that's gonna allow you to resize proportionally. So both horizontal and vertical at the same time. And you can also rotate by using this handle here. So you can freely rotate like this, or if you choose to hold Shift while rotating, it will do so in increments of 15 degrees. All right so let's go back to zero and you can see the values of the rotation in the panel on the right side. Pretty cool. Now also, on a shape, you have the ability to edit it's path. So if you double-click, you will have access to it's points. So you can grab these, move them around however you want to create your desired shape. And once you're done, simply double click or hit the done button here. Now if I were to select a shape and just hold Alt outside of that shape, it's gonna give me the distances till the frame edges. If I have another shape and I hold Alt and I move the cursor over that shape, its gonna give me the distance until the edge of that shape, which is really awesome if you want to position elements in a relation to others. Speaking of positioning, you can adjust the positioning manually by simply dragging like this. Figma is smart enough to have some smart guides that will show you when things are aligned, or to show you equal distances like this. So let's say that I want to position this box in the middle of these two, right? Well, I can simply drag until Figma tells me that the distance between these are equal, really cool. Now I was talking about a moving elements. So you can move them around with your mouse or you can choose to change their position from here. You can enter the values manually. And this also works with mathematical operations. So if I want to change its width, let's say I want to make it half the width, I can simply set that by two and it's gonna calculate automatically. Also we can use the arrow keys to move or to nudge elements. So up, right, down, and left will move that selected item in those directions. But if you'll hold down Shift it's gonna move them 10 pixels at a time as opposed to 1 pixel at a time. So that's a really quick way of moving elements with your keyboard. You can also resize elements. If you hold down Command and you move the arrow keys, you will see that I can increase the width by hitting the arrow right key. I can decrease the width with the arrow left key and also the height with top from decrease and bottom key for increase. This uses the one pixel increment or decrement, but if I hold down Command and Shift at the same time, I can perform that operation with increments or decrements of ten. So by using this method, it's really easy to position elements and fine-tune your results. Now apart from the traditional shapes in Figma, you also have stuff like polygons. So you can draw a polygon here, you can change the number of points. So if you want a hexagon, you can do six here. If you want something a bit crazier, like 20 points, you can do that as well. So that is a polygon. You'll also have the star tool. Which you can use like this. And you actually have some pretty handy handles here. You can change the ratio, as you can see you can make it more blunt or a bit more aggressive like this. By choosing this handle you can also change the value here, or you can use this handle to increase the count of the points, you could go anti-clockwise or if you go clockwise you decrease the number of points. And the minimum is of course three, right?. Pretty heavy tool. And also you can change this value, right here. Now that's a quick look at shapes. Now let's see about the Text tool. Text tool it can either I click this icon where you can press T. And you can click and start typing right away, that's gonna create a normal text. You can then select that. And you can choose the text properties here, or you can select the text tool and draw a box like this. And it will essentially create a text box, which then you can resize to your liking. Now what I find very interesting about the text tool in Figma is the fact that Google fonts are kind of built in to it. So if you check out the full font list here all of these are fonts from Google fonts. And if you click this options buttons you have the ability to toggle it off if that's what you want, and now you'll see a much smaller list. But I think this is pretty good addition because you no longer have to download a font from Google if you want to just test it out, you can do that directly in Figma. Let's see what other options we have here, we can choose how to order resize, for example, with height, or if you want a fix size for this text box we can do that. We can choose from various transforms like uppercase, lowercase, capitalized, underline and strike through. And then some font features like fractions and small caps, subscript, super script and so on. So overall pretty good tools for working with text, also in this panel here on the right you have the ability to choose the font phase, the font weight, the font size, and also the line height, the letter spacing. What is this? The paragraph spacing, the paragraph indentation, alignment options for the text. You can make it centered or right justify, whatever you want. And then you have options for filling in, then you can select the fill color and you can add stroke or effects. You have to choose from either inner shadow, drop shadow, layer blur or background blur. And of course we can customize this to your liking. And that's a quick tour of how to work with frames, shapes, and text. Now on the toolbar here on the top, you saw this pen tool icon. And as you know, the pen tool is probably the best way to draw custom shapes. Now Figma takes this one step further by using something called vector networks. Basically, these enhance the pen tool, allowing you to create shapes and paths super simple and very intuitive. We'll have a look at that in more detailed in the next lesson.

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