Creating Objects

Smile2 offers a series of commands and term:tools <Tool> to create objects.


The Create menu (in edit-mode) form the Main Menu. Commands offer a Command options window. With tools objects can be created interactively with the mouse.

Most (all?) object creation actions can be found in the Create menu of the main menu. or in the Create tab (Fig.1) of the Action Shelf.


Default content of the Create toolbar in the Action Shelf


New objects are always added to the currently selected layer. See: Layer Editor.

Creating objects by task

smile2 offers a wide range of objects and possibilities how to create them. The following list groups object creation by “task” and object type.

All kind of irregular and complex polygons.

Use the

to create all kind of polygons


You can further edit polygons (eg. with the boolean command) to create more complex polygon objects.

Regular Polygons

Use the

to create regular polygons. Use the

to create rectangles


All properties of the regular polygon (or rectangle) can be changed after creation in the Construction History sheet of the Attribute Editor.


Use the Create Text (createText) command to create text.


The text (and its properties) can be changed after creation in the Construction History sheet of the Attribute Editor.

Ribbons, wires and B-Splines shapes

Use the

to create ribbons an wires.


Setting of the ribbon can be changed after creation in the Construction History sheet of the Attribute Editor.

Use the Create BSpline Polygons tool to create “soft” B-Spline shapes.

Position markers, Points and Lines
Object arrays, procedural shapes and crystal objects

Really special shapes can be found in the Special Shapes sub-menu, located in the Create menu (in edit-mode) of the Main Menu.


Also consult the Reference chapter, for a complete list of all creation tools an commands.

Creating objects with Commands

Commands are good to create objects based on numeric input (eg. a hexagon placed at -30,-30 and a radius of 20). All “create objects” commands offer an execution with options (normal menu or button invocation) or direct execution (with the last used options. See also Command options window).


All “create commands” create objects with an Construction History, meaning that all settings can be changed after creation in the Construction History sheet in the Attribute Editor.

A list of all object creation commands can be found in the Command Reference chapter.

Creating objects with Tools

Tools allow the creation of objects by mouse in the Document View. All tools respect the snap settings. Tool also offer a set of attributes that can be altered in the Tool Settings window.

You might use the following tool quite frequently to create shapes:

For a list of all object creation tools consult the Tools Reference chapter.

Common Tool Attributes

All create tools share some common attributes described here:

Autoquit Tool
If on the selected tool does quit itself (and the move tool becomes active again) after the first object has been created. If off the tool stays active and more objects can be added. The tool can be finished with the Esc key or by selection an other tool (eg. by pressing M key selects the move tool again).
Keep Points in Global Coordinates
If on all added vertices are kept in global coordinates. If off the coordinates are changed such that they are relative to the objects center of mass (and the object itself is translated to this position)

Under the Hood

One should keep in mind, that “objects” in smile2 are not “elementary” but composed from :doc:`different nodes </doc_structure>. All tools and commands that create “objects”, by creating and setting up a node graph. The advantage of this is, that the different aspects of the object (its shape, its location, behavior, etc.) can be changed later.

Most of these commands create a Transform node (responsible for the placement), a leaf node (describing the shape) and a generator node, that feeds the leaf with the shape data. For example, the Create a Rectangle (createRect) command creates a Transform, a PolygonNode (leaf), and a RectangleNode (generator).


Nodes for a rectangle object depicted in the node graph (left) and in the attribute editor (right).

The nodes can be later on, accessed in the attribute editor. The node editor can be used to inspect, edit and change the node graph.