Glossary

Alt/Option Key - This is a modifier key present on all computer keyboards. It appears on the bottom left of the keyboard just inboard from the Control Key. On Windows keyboards it is labeled as "Alt" and on Mac keyboards as "Option."

anti-aliasing - a method of smoothing lines and edges in a digital drawing to minimize the appearance of stair-stepping, also known as "the jaggies"

attribute - a trait or aspect of a MandalaMaker shape which can be altered by direct manipulation or through palette controls

base shape - the starting shape for a transform - i.e. the shape conforming to the settings in the Shape Palette and Ringshape Palette

calling swatch - When the user opens one of the paint selection palettes by clicking on a paint swatch, we refer to the clicked swatch as the palette's calling swatch. Any adjustments made to the palette will effect the calling swatch and the attribute that it controls.

color space - a range of colors defined in a certain way. For a detailed discussion of color spaces see Working with Paints

compound shape - a term used to describe shapes such as the Planet and Ring of Shapes. Compound shapes arrange one or more basic shapes known as ringshapes in a particular configuration.

Control Key - This is a modifier key present on all computer keyboards. It appears on the bottom left of the keyboard just outboard from the Alt/Option Key. On most keyboards this key is labeled "Control" but is also sometimes labeled or referred to as "CNTL."

drag, dragging - a mouse or trackpad action involving the following: (1) moving the cursor over an onscreen object...
 (2) pressing and holding the primary button down while... (3) moving the cursor (with the selected object in tow) to the desired location...
 (4) releasing the button

fill - the interior area of a shape and particularly the paint with which it is colored

focus - the software component currently receiving user actions such as mouse clicks or key presses is said to have focus. Depending on the software and operating system, the component with focus may be highlighted in some way. For example, in text input components the flashing insertion point generally appears when the component has focus. Focus can be moved by clicking on a component or (sometimes) by pressing the Tab key.

gradient - Paints that blend from one color to another over a certain distance. See Working with Paints for details

layer - one drawing element (shape) at a specified position in the drawing's stacking order.

line - the outline of a shape and particularly the paint and stroke with which it is drawn

modifier keys - a group of keyboard keys which can be pressed along with another key or while clicking with the mouse to modify the behavior of the click or key press. The most commonly used modifiers are the Shift key, Control (CNTL) key, Alt/Option key, and (on Mac) the Command key.

opaque - solid as opposed to transparent - an element with an opaque paint hides any elements which are behind it

paint - a color or gradient used to fill or stroke a shape

resolution - the density of a pixel (dot) based digital image, generally specified in pixels per inch (PPI), dots per inch (DPI) or pixels per meter (PPM). Computer screens typically have resolutions between 72 dpi (CRT display) and 120 dpi (high-res LCD), but most software still "thinks" of screen resolution as 72 dpi. High quality printed images range from 300 dpi to as high as 1200 dpi.

ringshape - a term used to describe a shape when it is contained within a compound shape. Ringshape attributes are adjusted using the Ringshape Palette

rotation factor - An inherent value of each shape type that modifies how the value of its Rotation attribute is interpreted. This factor is based on the radial symmetry of the shape, so that a shape with simple left-right symmetry such as the Doorways have a factor of 1 and will rotate a full 360°, while a shape with two-fold symmetry such as the Oval, has a factor of 2 and will rotate 180°. A five-pointed Star has a factor of 5 and will rotate 72° (360° divided by 5).

selected, selection - Selection means placing the input focus on a particular item. In MandalaMaker, that item could be a layer, shape, or interface control. When a layer or shape is selected, its attributes can be altered. When an interface control (for example, a Slider in an Attribute Box) is selected, it can be effected by certain keyboard actions.

selected shape - The currently active shape. The selected shape will display selection handles, its representative Shape Pane in the Layer Palette will display with a blue highlight, and changes made in the various palettes will affect its attributes.

selection handles - Small rectangles which appear at various points around the edges of a shape when it is the selected shape. Selection handles help identify the selection and may also be dragged to adjust some of the attributes of the shape.

shape - one of the geometrical forms which provide the structure of a MandalaMaker drawing

shape types - the set of basic shape forms available in MandalaMaker, such as Circle, Diamond, or Ring of Shapes. The shape type is set using the Shape Popup Menu on the Shape Palette.

stroke - sometimes used interchangeably with line, stroke refers to the attributes with which a line is painted. In MandalaMaker the width of the stroke can be changed using the Line Width control in the Line & Fill Palette

transform - a MandalaMaker shape to which the Transform feature has been applied. This feature draws a series of shapes one after the other, beginning with a base shape and modifying each subsequent shape according to the user's selected transform settings. For details see the Transform Palette section.

transparency - see-through as opposed to opaque - paints in MandalaMaker can have varying level of transparency which allow background elements to show through

vector graphics - a type of computer graphic in which drawing elements (like MandalaMaker Shapes) are defined mathematically, as opposed to pixel (dot) based graphics in which shapes are just groups of dots. Vector graphics are resolution independent, meaning that they can be scaled up or down with no loss of image quality or sharpness.

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