Rulers and Guides

Jump to Mobile or Windows 10


Need help drawing a straight line, circle, ellipse, or curve? Try these rulers and guides, which can be found in the toolbar. The version of Sketchbook you're running will determine the rules and guides available.

Rulers

Sketchbook has two rulers, a straight and curved. No matter which you use, they both can be moved, scaled, and rotated.

Ruler

Use Guides > Ruler icon to create a perfect line anywhere on the canvas, by moving and repositioning the ruler.

Did you know you don't have to draw directly over the ruler? Drawing anywhere in the canvas still draws a line along the edge of the ruler. Try it!

How to use the ruler

Tap Guides icon, then Guides > Ruler icon to access the ruler.

Desktop Mobile and Win 10
Desktop ruler Example of the Ruler in Sketchbook on Windows 10 in use
- To pivot the ruler, use the opposite handle as the pivot, then tap-drag pivot. - To rotate the ruler, press with 2 fingers. The ruler will snap to 0º and 90º.
- To reposition the ruler horizontally or vertically, double-tap any outer handle pivot. - To move the ruler horizontally and/or vertically, without changing its rotation, tap-drag with 1 finger.
When finished using the ruler, tap the x handle to exit the ruler. - To reset the ruler’s position, double-tap with 1 finger.

Curve Ruler

Use Curve Ruler icon in Sketchbook Desktop Curve Ruler for curves you can't create with the Ellipse or French Curve tools. Customize the curvature of this bendable ruler through direct manipulation. Draw curved lines anywhere on the canvas, as your strokes snap to the ruler.

For Sketchbook Pro users on desktop:

  • To scale the ruler, click-drag Scale icon.
  • To rotate the ruler, click-drag and rotate Rotate icon.
  • To move the ruler, click-drag Move icon.
  • To move a ruler handle, click-drag a handle Handle.
  • To create a stroke, draw on or near the section of the ruler you need.
  • To exit the ruler, click Close icon.
  • To reset the ruler to the center of the canvas, double-click a handle Handle.

For mobile and Windows 10 users:

  • To change the shape of the ruler, tap-drag a handle with one finger.
  • To scale the ruler, pinch with two fingers within the ruler.
  • To reset the ruler to its original size and position, double-tap within the ruler (but not on a handle).

Before double-tap within the ruler Reset after the double-tap

  • To retain the curvature, but fit the ruler within the view, double-tap a handle.

Before double-tap of a handle Fit to view after the double-tap

Ellipse

Use Ellipse to create ellipses, curves, and draw circles in perspective. As you rotate an ellipse, the minor axis is displayed to line it up with your vanishing lines. Both the rotation and degree of the ellipse are displayed in the readout at the bottom of the screen.

Guides - Ellipse example

Create a perfect ellipses tracing anywhere on the canvas, by moving and repositioning the guide. Draw along either edge. There are two handles. One controls the rotation and scale, the other controls scaling along the minor axis (non-proportional scale).

Ellipse

How to use the ellipse

For Sketchbook mobile and Windows 10 versions, tap Guides icon, then Guides > Ruler icon to access the ellipse.

Ellipse guide

  • To move horizontally and/or vertically, without changing its rotation, tap-drag within the ellipse with 1 finger.
  • To change the rotation, tap-drag within the ellipse and rotate with 2 fingers.

Two finger rotation for ellipse

  • To proportionally scale the ellipse, pinch or expand within the ellipse with 2 fingers.

Pinch/expand to scale your ellipse

NOTE: If you pinch or expand outside the ellipse guide, you will zoom in or out of the canvas.

  • To change the dimensions in one direction, drag the dimensions handle.

Change the dimensions of an ellipse by dragging the handle with one finger

  • To reset the ellipse to the default size and position, double-tap within the ellipse with 1 finger.

Resetting an ellipse

  • To change the degrees of the ellipse, making it a circle, tap the dimensions handle.

Double tap the ellipse to make a circle

  • To reset the rotation to zero degrees, tap the rotation handle.

For Sketchbook Pro desktop versions with a mouse, the Ellipse tool looks different.

Desktop Ellipse tool

  • To move, reshape, and resize the ellipse, tap-drag the handles.

Ellipse with mouse

  • To non-proportionally scale the ellipse, tap-drag Non-proportional scale Ellipse.
  • To scale the ellipse, tap-drag Scale Ellipse.
  • To rotate the ellipse, tap-drag Rotate Ellipse.
  • To move the ellipse, tap-drag Move Ellipse.
  • To change the ellipse to a circle, double-tap either Scale or Non-proportional scale.

When finished, tap the x handle to exit the Ellipse tool.

French Curve

Only available for Sketchbook Pro on desktop

Use French curve icon for drawing a variety of smooth curves. A toolbar appears with various French Curves to choose from and a tool for toggling the scaling on and off.

French curve example1 French curve example 2

  • To move the French curve, tap-drag Move icon.
  • To rotate the French curve around its center, tap-drag Rotate icon.
  • To equally scale the French curve in all directions, tap-drag equally scale.
  • To flip the French curve, tap-drag 
  • To cycle through different French curves, tap French curves 1, French curves 2, or French curves 3.

Using guides in Sketchbook Pro for desktop

  1. In the toolbar, select one of the guides:
  • Ruler (or press the R key) - Sketch a straight line anywhere on the canvas. The stroke snaps to the ruler.

  • Ellipse Sketch using a circular motion close to or on the elliptical ruler. The stroke doesn’t have to be perfect, since it snaps to the ellipse.

  • French curve icon (or press the F key) - Draw a variety of smooth curves. The stroke can be made above or from within the French curve, since it snaps to it.

  • Curve Ruler (or press the U key) - Draw curved lines anywhere on the canvas. The stroke snaps to this bendable ruler.

  1. Use the guide handles to move, scale, flip, rotate, and cycle through different French Curves.
  2. Select a brush and trace part or all of the guide.
  3. To hide any of the guides, tap the close handle Close.

Using guides for Sketchbook for mobile devices

If you are using a version before Sketchbook 4.0, your guides will be different. For information on the guides for your version of Sketchbook, see the sections below:

Using the ruler

The ruler looks like a ruler.

Example of the Ruler in Sketchbook on Windows 10 in use

  • Tap-drag it to position it.
  • Use two fingers to rotate it.
  • Double-tap with one to reset it to it’s default position.

Once you’ve positioned it, draw. You don't have to draw along the edge of the ruler to make a line. However, this doesn't mean that it makes a straight line elsewhere. It will only create a line along the edges of the ruler.

  1. In the toolbar, tap Guides icon, then select Guides > Ruler icon Ruler.

Guide tools Android tablet

  1. Position your ruler to create a perfect line anywhere on the canvas:
  • Tap-drag with one finger to move the ruler horizontally and/or veritcally, without changing its rotation. Use two fingers to rotate it.
  • Double-tap with one to reset it to it’s default position.
  1. To exit the tool, tap Guides icon again.

Using the curve ruler in Sketchbook for mobile devices

We added a bendable ruler Example of the Curved Ruler in Sketchbook to create the exact curve you need.

  • Tap-drag it to position it.
  • Use two fingers to rotate it.
  • Double-tap with one finger to reset it to it’s default position.

Once you’ve positioned it, draw. To draw along the edge of the ruler to make a line. However, this doesn’t mean that it makes a straight line anywhere. It will only creates one along the edges of the ruler.

  1. In the toolbar, tap Guides icon, then select Example of the Curve Ruler in Sketchbook Curve Ruler.

Guide tools Android tablet

  1. Position your ruler to create a perfect line anywhere on the canvas:
  • Tap-drag with one finger to move the ruler horizontally and/or vertically without changing its rotation.
  • Use two fingers to rotate it.
  • Double-tap with one to reset it to it’s default position.
  1. To exit the tool, tap Guides icon again.

Using the Ellipse in Sketchbook for mobile devices

Create a perfect ellipse, tracing anywhere on the canvas. All you need to do is move and position the handles, then draw on the elliptical guide to create an ellipse. However, this doesn’t mean you’re drawing an ellipse anywhere on the canvas. It will only create one along the edges of the guide. Notice the two handles. One (the major axis) controls the rotation and scale. The other controls scaling along the minor axis (non-proportional scale).

  1. In the toolbar, tap Guides icon, then select Guides > Ellipse icon in Sketchbook Ellipse.

Guide tools in Sketchbook for iOS

  1. Position and scale your ellipse using the handles:

Ellipse in Sketchbook for  Android Ellipse reposition Ellipse for the back tire Drawing the ellipse in Sketchbook for Android 

  • Tap-drag within the ellipse with 1 finger to move horizontally and/or vertically, without changing its rotation.
  • With 2 fingers, tap-drag and twist within the ellipse to change the rotation.
  • With 2 fingers, pinch or expand within the ellipse to proportionally scale. If you pinch or expand outside the ellipse guide, you will zoom in or out of the canvas.
  • Drag the dimensional handle to change the dimensions in one direction, affecting the minor axis of the ellipse.
  • When you double-tap within the ellipse with 1 finger, it resets the ellipse to the default size and position.
  • Double-tap the dimensional handle to make a circle.
  • Double-tap the rotational handle (major axis of the ellipse) to reset the rotation of the major axis to zero degrees.
  1. To exit the tool, tap Guides icon again.

Using guides for Sketchbook for Windows 10

Need help drawing a straight line, circle, or ellipse? Use the guides to help as you draw.

NOTE: This version does not have a French Curve.

  1. Tap Guides icon.
  2. Select a guide:

Guides > Ruler icon Ruler or Guides > Ellipse icon in Sketchbook Ellipse.

ruler

  1. Reposition your guide:

Guides > Ruler icon Ruler - Create a perfect line anywhere on the canvas, by moving and positioning the guide. Draw along either edge for a straight line.

  • Tap-drag with 1 finger to move the ruler horizontally and/or vertically, without changing its rotation.
  • Press with 2 fingers to rotate the ruler. It will snap to 0º and 90º.
  • Double-tap with 1 finger to reset the ruler’s position.

Example of the Ruler in Sketchbook on Windows 10 in use

Guides > Ellipse icon in Sketchbook Ellipse - Create a perfect ellipses tracing anywhere on the canvas, by moving and positioning the guide. Draw along either edge. There are two handles. One controls the rotation and scale, then other controls scaling along the minor axis (non-proportional scale).

Natural ellipse

  • Tap-drag within the ellipse with 1 finger to move horizontally and/or vertically, without changing its rotation.

  • Tap-drag within the ellipse and rotate with 2 fingers to change the rotation.

    Two finger rotation for ellipse

  • Pinch or expand within the ellipse with 2 fingers to proportionally scale.

    Pinch/expand to scale your ellipse

    If you pinch or expand outside the ellipse guide, you will zoom in or out of the canvas.

  • Drag the dimensions manipulator to change the dimensions in one direction.

    Change the dimensions of an ellipse by dragging the manip with one finger

  • When you double-tap within the ellipse with 1 finger, it resets the ellipse to the default size and position.

    Resetting an ellipse

  • Tap the dimensions manipulator to change the degrees of the ellipse, making it a circle.

    Double tap the ellipse to make a circle

  • Tap the rotation manipulator to reset the rotation to zero degrees.

  1. To exit the tool, tap Guides icon again.