Format, style, and replace icons
Once design elements – icons, stencils, templates, and images – are added to the page, they are called Objects.
All objects – including Icons – are styled and customized in the Format Panel, and they share many of the same formatting controls.
But there is one special feature specific to Icons: the Replace function.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to the Format Panel, and show you how to customize icons – as objects – to create your design. And we’ll also explain the unique utility of the Replace function.
Go to the Right Sidebar and click the Format Tab. The tab will turn blue, and will open the Format Panel. The Format Panel also opens automatically when you double-click on an icon located on the page.
The Format Panel is divided into Sections with specific formatting controls. The sections are collapsible, so clicking on a section’s name will hide or reveal that section.
The panel will always display the default sections that are common to all objects: Size & Position, Fills & Strokes, Opacity, Drop Shadow, and Blur.
Select, Size, Position, Rotate, and Flip
When you select a single object, that object’s name is displayed at the top of the panel, just above its coordinates. This makes it easy to locate and identify that object in the Outline Panel.
When you select multiple objects, the panel displays the number of objects in that group, in order to help you confirm your selection before applying any style changes or transformations.
Size, Position, Rotate, and Flip controls are grouped together below the coordinates, and each of these actions can be performed both in the panel or on the page.
On the page, use the resize handles to change the size of the object.
In the Format Panel, use the Width & Height inputs for precise values and fine-tuning, and use the arrow keys, on the keyboard, if you want to change these values incrementally.
An icon’s Aspect Ratio is locked, by default, when you add it to the page. This is to maintain its appearance and proportion. If you need to customize the icon’s proportions, click on the Unlock Aspect Ratio button and resize the icon on the horizontal or vertical axis.
On the page, select an object and drag it to the desired position.
In the Format Panel, set the object’s position by entering the exact coordinates in the input fields. Your object’s position is measured in pixel-distance from the left and top margins. You can use your keyboard’s arrow keys to change these values incrementally.
- Once an object is selected on the page, the arrow keys move objects pixel by pixel – for fine adjustment.
- Shift + arrow moves objects 10 px
On the page, click the rotation handle at the top of the object and drag to rotate.In the Format Panel, enter the degree-value in the Rotation Input Field. You can change the value by using the keyboard’s arrow keys.
You can flip an object both horizontally and vertically.
On the page, select a Resize Handle and drag it across the centerline of that object to simultaneously resize and flip.In the Format Panel, the vertical and horizontal Flip Buttons flip the object while still maintaining its size and aspect ratio.
Color Fills & Strokes, and Replace Color
To fill an object with color, go to the Fills & Strokes section and click on Background Color to open the Color Picker Popover.
Select the Swatches Tab to choose a color scheme from Moqups Classic, Material Design, Bootstrap or iOS 8. This tab also displays the colors you’ve already used in your project.
Select the Picker Tab to create your own custom colors.
In both tabs, you can…
- Enter the Hex value for a color
- Adjust the fill-color opacity
Stroke refers to the line of the object itself.
To adjust the stroke color, go to the Format Panel, and in the Fills & Stroke section, click on Stroke Color. Here, you can also set the stroke opacity.
The Replace Color section appears in the Format Panel only when all objects on the page have been deselected.
In the Replace Color section you can apply a color change to your current page, or to an entire project.
This feature makes it possible to quickly update your color scheme as you move from lo-fi wireframes to hi-fi mockups – and finally to polished designs and prototypes.
To replace a color…
- Click on the project color you wish to replace
- Select the replacement color from
- Project colors
- By entering a hex code
Opacity, Shadows, and Blur
To add a Shadow to an object, navigate to the Format Panel and open the Drop Shadow section.
Enable shadow to set the color, opacity, angle, distance, and size of the shadow.
Copy and Paste Styles
Once you have customized an object, you can apply that customization to another object or group of objects.
To copy and paste styles:
- Select the object from which you want to copy the styles
- Right-click and choose Copy Styles or press Alt/Option + C
- Select the object where you want to apply those styles
- Right-click and choose Paste Styles or press Alt/Option + V
Set Default Styles
When you set a project’s Default Style, every new object you add to the pages of that project will adopt that style.
You can set the Default Style for a project from the Format Panel, or by using the right-click Context Menu.
To set the Default Style from the Format Panel:
- Click on the empty area of any page
- Open the Format Panel
- Set style
To set the Default Style from the right-click Context Menu:
- Right-click on any object (including diagram Connectors)
- Select the Set Default Style option
To clear a Default Style, click the Clear Default Style link at the top of the Format Panel.
When you are tweaking your design, you may need to swap out an icon for a preferable one – but want to avoid the hassle of resizing and styling the new, replacement icon. That’s where Replace comes in handy:
- Locate your desired replacement icon in the Icon Library
- Drag it to the page, and drop it on the Blue Dot that appears inside the original icon
- The new icon will replace the old one – and inherit both its size and style