Bézier Shapes in QuarkXPress

By Jay J. Nelson

Before you can work with Bézier shapes in QuarkXPress, you must understand some things about them. Bézier shape (or path) consists of line segments, points, and curve handles. Line segments connect at points. Handles are attached to the points and control the shape of the line segments going into and out of the points. This figure shows an example of a Bézier path and shape.

A Bézier path (left) and Bézier shape (right), with curve handles attached to the point connecting two line segments.

Here’s a breakdown of the terms used to describe the various parts of a Bézier shape:

  • Point: A point connects two line segments. QuarkXPress has three kinds of points: corner, smooth, and symmetrical, as shown in the following image:
    • Corner point: Connects two straight lines, a straight line and a curved line, or two curved lines that connect at a corner. When connecting curved lines, a corner point’s curve handles can be moved independently to form a sharp transition between the two segments.
    • Smooth point: Connects two curved lines to form a continuous curve. The curve handles always make a straight line through the point, but they can be lengthened independently.
    • Symmetrical point: As with a smooth point, a symmetrical point connects two curved lines to form a continuous curve. However, the curve handles are always equidistant from the point.
  • Curve handles: Extend from both sides of a point and control a curve’s shape.
  • Line segments: Straight or curved line sections connecting two points.
A corner point (left), smooth point (center), and symmetrical point (right).