13 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2016 7:57 AM by Mark Colman

    How to skew a sketch?

    Mark Colman

      I have line text as a sketch (no font was used, it was "custom drawn" including arcs, lines and a couple splines). I would like to skew this sketch to get italics letters. How can I do that? (Some people were suggesting to just rotate each letter, but that is not the same as skewed letters (italics). When skewed, horizontal lines stay horizontal)
      Any help is appreciated.

        • Re: How to skew a sketch?
          Steve Calvert

          If you use that line for the text itself, you should be able to change the font to be Italic.  Is that what you're after?



          Steve C

          • Re: How to skew a sketch?
            Glenn Schroeder

            It's going to depend on how the sketch entities used to create the letters were done, and what relations are applied to them.  I'd suggest  making a copy so you don't mess up the original, then play with it.  Make sure that the bottom entities are fixed, or if there's a spline or arc at the bottom then place a point on it at bottom and fix the point.  Next make sure that any vertical lines don't have vertical relations, or perpendicular relations to horizontal lines.  Now Ctrl+select the entities at the top of the letters and drag them to the right.  It probably won't be quite that simple, but it's all I can think of.

              • Re: How to skew a sketch?
                Mark Colman

                Thanks for the suggestion. I gave it a try but it unfortunately doesn't work. Circles don't deform correctly and splines don't either. Only works with vertical lines unless I'm doing something wrong.
                Any more ideas? Quite surprised that there isn't an easy method just like in photoshop --> transform --> skew

                  • Re: How to skew a sketch?
                    Tom Gagnon

                    Typography is a detailed and slightly varied topic, to understate.


                    To add to Glenn Schroeder's comment, you can also: dimension length of all horizontal items, dimension distance between the top of each letter pair, create a horizontal construction line to define the shift if Moving for a from/to relationship (optional), THEN drag the top of a letter to the right, carrying the rest of them with it. This is more complex but potentially more precise in result than CTRL+selecting the tops.


                    Another helpful thing to carry through is to make all formerly vertical lines parallel to each other. For example, a Y's vertical line wont move by dragging its top, but making it parallel will alter it same as other formerly vertical lines when they are dragged.


                    Either way, your oblong C, O, G, Q, S, even U or J will likely need another method in order to look right, but may work out nicely if you have some vertical elements which can be placed parallel as noted above. I am assuming only capitol letters, though that may not be the case (pun intended). Lowercase letters would be altered separately but similarly, I'd think, and have far more variables such as tall, short, and letters with sub-baseline characteristics like g, y, etc.


                    I would find it easier to use an italicized font, and at very least place it next to the original you're altering, for comparison when creating relations to keep and deleting unneeded ones.

                    • Re: How to skew a sketch?
                      Chris Dordoni

                      Try Inkscape, open source, has skew function and many others, vector based.


                      You'll have to use PDF export from SolidWorks if you have splines, (the DXF import in Inkscape does not support them). However, splines are supported in the DXF export from Inkscape

                  • Re: How to skew a sketch?
                    Roland Schwarz

                    Put the sketch on a plane that's not quite square with where you want to project it.

                    • Re: How to skew a sketch?
                      John Stoltzfus

                      Did you try the Flex Feature, anchor the bottom of the letters and stretch accordingly, could you upload a sample??


                      • Re: How to skew a sketch?
                        Mark Colman

                        Thanks for all the suggestions. I tried to project it onto another plane but that also compresses the font so it doesn't quite work. Couldn't make the flex feature work since it doesn't work on sketches, and since it is just drawn as a single line font, I can't simply extrude it. The one thing I haven't tried yet is to export it into a different program, however I had a lot of issues with PDF exports before (disconnected lines) so I was hoping to avoid it.


                        Here's a sample of a dxf I tried to import and then turn the letters into "italics": http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=02144787257441197182


                        Also, here's a screenshot of the dxf file:


                        Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 10.45.46 PM.png

                        • Re: How to skew a sketch?
                          Mark Colman

                          Thanks for all the suggestions. It turned out that Chris Dordoni's solution turned out to be the best one (Inkscape roundtrip). It's the only one that gives you easy control over the amount of scew and let's you easily line up the skew angle of the font with other elements.
                          I installed Inkscape on Mac and was actually able to import the dxf (which includes splines) directly without needing to convert it to a pdf.


                          Where do you do a feature request for Solidworks?  Something as simple as skewing a sketch should be possible directly in Solidworks without a lot of workarounds where you don't have good control. Also, I found others with the same issue and the proposed solutions only work within limits: How do I skew a text (or part)?