AxoTools adds control bar

Illustrator users know that we need panels to access controls and options, but it quickly fills valuable working screen space. Collapsing panels to icons helps, but repeatedly opening and closing them can be a hassle, as well. One option Adobe brilliantly engineered for Illustrator is the control bar that shows a limited number of essential controls consolidated into in a thin strip.

control bar

The newest version of AxoTools now includes a control bar as well. You can access it in the menu Window > AxoTools > AxoTools Control.

The first item shows at a glance the projection of the current document. Double-click it to open the Projection panel to change it. Next is a label showing the current document’s scale ratio and units used in AxoTools’ panels that calculate scale measurements. Again, double-click the label to open the Preferences dialog to change the scale or units.

Next is a series of four buttons to project or unproject art, which work exactly like the buttons in the Projection panel.

The next set of four buttons control options that affect projecting and other functions. The first one selects whether reference points are used. This one has a blue background when active to make it easier to spot since you would normally want to keep this option off unless you are busy projecting art from various ortho views to an axonometric view as described here.

The next option controls whether to automatically project a copy of the selected art. The third button chooses whether to rotate ellipses so that the anchor points align on the major and minor axis when projected. Fourth is the option to apply properties in the Draw Settings panel when projecting art.

At the far right is a shortcut to open AxoTools’ online documentation.

Are there other items you would like to see included here? They could static like these controls, or dynamic — visible only under some conditions. Let me know what you need!