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Latest news 2021-06-05: New blog post: Dickimaw Books Site Account.
Previous: Join Style  Up: Line Style  Next: Winding Rule  


Markers

The start, mid and end markers are placed on the start, mid-point and end vertices, respectively. Some of the markers require a size, some of them are dependent on the line width and some of them require a size as well as being dependent on the line width.

Markers on existing paths can be set using the menu item Edit->Path->Line Styles->All Styles, and clicking on the Select button next to the appropriate marker label. This will open up the marker dialog box. Alternatively, if the start, mid and end markers all need to be the same, the menu item Edit->Path->Line Styles->All Markers can be used to set them all at the same time.

Enabling or Disabling a Marker

To enable a marker, select the Use Marker radio buttton, or to disable a marker, select the No Marker radio button. Selecting the Use Marker radio button will enable the marker type selector.

Marker Types

Marker types are divided into six categories: arrow style markers, partial arrow markers, data point style markers, bracket style markers, decorative markers and cap style markers. Note that the cap style markers do not replace the line cap style, but are in addition to the line cap style. However the cap style markers generally look best in combination with the butt cap line style.

Available markers are listed in Table 9.1 (arrow style markers), Table 9.2 (partial arrow markers), Table 9.3 (data point style markers), Table 9.4 (bracket style markers), Table 9.5 (cap style markers) and Table 9.6 (decorative markers).

Table 9.1: Available marker styles and dependencies for arrow style markers. (Line width=2bp, marker size=8bp, butt cap style.) Markers are shown in red to distinguish them from the line.
           
 Marker Size? Line Width
Dependent?
Centred on
Vertex?
Sample  
 Pointed Required Dependent No markerpointed  
 Pointed 60 Required Dependent No markerpointed60  
 Pointed 45 Required Dependent No markerpointed45  
 Cusp Required Dependent No markercusp  
 LaTeX N/A Dependent No markerlatex  
 Alt LaTeX N/A Dependent No markeraltlatex  
 Alt LaTeX Open N/A Dependent No markeraltlatexopen  
 Triangle Required Dependent No markertriangle  
 Triangle Open Required Dependent No markertriangleopen  
 Equilateral Filled Required Independent No markerequilateralfilled  
 Equilateral Open Required Independent No markerequilateralopen  
 Hooks Required Dependent No markerhooks  


Table 9.2: Available marker styles and dependencies for partial arrow style markers. (Line width=2bp, marker size=8bp, butt cap style.) Markers are shown in red to distinguish them from the line.
 Marker Size? Line Width
Dependent?
Centredon
Vertex?
Sample  
 Hook Up Required Dependent No markerhookup  
 Hook Down Required Dependent No markerhookdown  
 Half Pointed Up Required Dependent No markerhalfpointedup  
 Half Pointed Down Required Dependent No markerhalfpointeddown  
 Half Pointed 60 Up Required Dependent No markerhalfpointed60up  
 Half Pointed 60 Down Required Dependent No markerhalfpointed60down  
 Half Pointed 45 Up Required Dependent No markerhalfpointed45up  
 Half Pointed 45 Down Required Dependent No markerhalfpointed45down  
 Half Cusp Up Required Dependent No markerhalfcuspup  
 Half Cusp Down Required Dependent No markerhalfcuspdown  



Table 9.3: Available marker styles and dependencies for data point style markers. (Line width=2bp, marker size=8bp, butt cap style.) Markers are shown in red to distinguish them from the line.
 Marker Size? Line Width
Dependent?
Centred on
Vertex?
Sample  
 Dot Filled Required Independent Yes markerdotfilled  
 Dot Open Required Independent Yes markerdotopen  
 Box Filled Required Independent Yes markerboxfilled  
 Box Open Required Independent Yes markerboxopen  
 Cross Required Independent Yes markercross  
 Plus Required Independent Yes markerplus  
 Star Required Independent Yes markerstar  
 Asterisk Required Independent Yes markerasterisk  
 Open 5 Pointed Star Required Independent Yes markerstar5open  
 Filled 5 Pointed Star Required Independent Yes markerstar5filled  
 Open 6 Pointed Star Required Independent Yes markerstar6open  
 Filled 6 Pointed Star Required Independent Yes markerstar6filled  
 Triangle Up Filled Required Independent Yes markertriangleupfilled  
 Triangle Up Open Required Independent Yes markertriangleupopen  
 Triangle Down Filled Required Independent Yes markertriangledownfilled  
 Triangle Down Open Required Independent Yes markertriangledownopen  
 Rhombus Filled Required Independent Yes markerrhombusfilled  
 Rhombus Open Required Independent Yes markerrhombusopen  
 Pentagon Filled Required Independent Yes markerpentagonfilled  
 Pentagon Open Required Independent Yes markerpentagonopen  
 Hexagon Filled Required Independent Yes markerhexagonfilled  
 Hexagon Open Required Independent Yes markerhexagonopen  
 Octagon Filled Required Independent Yes markeroctagonfilled  
 Octagon Open Required Independent Yes markeroctagonopen  
 Filled Semicircle Required Independent No markersemicirclefilled  
 Open Semicircle Required Independent No markersemicircleopen  



Table 9.4: Available marker styles and dependencies for bracket style markers. (Line width=2bp, marker size=8bp, butt cap style.) Markers are shown in red to distinguish them from the line.
 Marker Size? Line Width
Dependent?
Centred on
Vertex?
Sample  
 Square Bracket N/A Dependent No markersquare  
 Bar N/A Dependent Yes markerbar  
 Round Bracket N/A Dependent No markerround  
 Brace N/A Dependent No markerbrace  
 Alt Square Required Dependent No markeraltsquare  
 Alt Bar Required Dependent Yes markeraltbar  
 Alt Round Required Dependent No markeraltround  
 Alt Brace Required Dependent No markeraltbrace  


Table 9.5: Available marker styles and dependencies for cap style markers. (Line width=10bp, marker size=5bp, butt cap style.) The cap style markers are designed to be flush against the line, so they are only clearly visible for thick lines. Markers are shown in red to distinguish them from the line.
           
 Marker Size? Line Width
Dependent?
Centred on
Vertex?
Sample  
 Rectangle Cap Required Dependent No markerrectanglecap  
 Round Cap Required Dependent No markerroundcap  
 Triangle Cap Required Dependent No markertrianglecap  
 Inverted Triangle Cap Required Dependent No markerinverttrianglecap  
 Chevron Cap Required Dependent No markerchevroncap  
 Inverted Chevron Cap Required Dependent No markerinvertchevroncap  
 Fast Cap Required Dependent No markerfastcap  
 Inverted Fast Cap Required Dependent No markerinvertfastcap  
 Ball Cap Required Dependent No markerballcap  
 Leaf Cap Required Dependent No markerleafcap  
 Double Leaf Cap Required Dependent No markerleaf2cap  
 Triple Leaf Cap Required Dependent No markerleaf3cap  
 Club Cap Required Dependent No markerclubcap  
 Forward Triple Leaf Cap Required Dependent No markerleaf3forcap  
 Backwards Triple Leaf Cap Required Dependent No markerleaf3backcap  
 Forward Double Leaf Cap Required Dependent No markerleaf2forcap  
 Backwards Double Leaf Cap Required Dependent No markerleaf2backcap  
 Bulge Cap Required Dependent No markerbulgecap  
 Cutout Bulge Cap Required Dependent No markercutoutbulgecap  


Table 9.6: Available marker styles and dependencies for decorative markers. (Line width=2bp, marker size=8bp, butt cap style.) Markers are shown in red to distinguish them from the line.
 Marker Size? Line Width
Dependent?
Centred on
Vertex?
Sample  
 Circle Required Dependent No markercircle  
 Diamond N/A Dependent No markerdiamond  
 Circle Open Required Dependent No markercircleopen  
 Diamond Open N/A Dependent No markerdiamondopen  
 Scissors Up Filled Required Dependent No markerscissorsupfilled  
 Scissors Down Filled Required Dependent No markerscissorsdownfilled  
 Scissors Up Open Required Dependent No markerscissorsupopen  
 Scissors Down Open Required Dependent No markerscissorsdownopen  
 Right Heart Filled Required Independent No markerheartrightfilled  
 Right Heart Open Required Independent No markerheartrightopen  
 Heart Filled Required Independent No markerheartfilled  
 Heart Open Required Independent No markerheartopen  
 Snowflake Required Independent Yes markersnowflake  
 Star Chevron Open Required Independent Yes markerstarchevronopen  
 Star Chevron Filled Required Independent Yes markerstarchevronfilled  


Marker Size

The Size box will be enabled for only the resizeable markers. This box can be used to vary the marker size, but some markers also depend on the line width, so the size box is only meant as a general guide.

Repeating Markers

Markers can be doubled or tripled by selecting the Double or Triple radio boxes. To go back to a single marker, select the Single radio box. Figure 9.5 illustrates single, double and triple repeat markers for a path with a LaTeX style end arrow. Note that the markers are placed along the gradient vector which means that they may not lie on the actual path. (See Figure 9.6.)

   
 repeatMarker1 repeatMarker2 repeatMarker3  
 (a) (b) (c)  
Figure 9.5: Repeat markers: (a) single, (b) double, (c) triple.

bezierrepeat
Figure 9.6: Repeat markers are placed along the gradient vector.

Reversing Markers

Markers can be reversed by selecting the Reversed checkbox. (See Figure 9.7.)

   
 reversedMarker1 reversedMarker2 reversedMarker3  
 (a) (b) (c)  
Figure 9.7: Reversed markers: (a) single reversed, (b) double reversed, (c) triple reversed.

Composite Markers

A marker can be combined with another marker by selecting the Composite checkbox which will enable the secondary marker tab. If the Overlay checkbox is selected, the primary and secondary markers will be positioned so that their origins coincide, otherwise the secondary marker will be offset from the primary marker (see also Marker Offset below). Figure 9.8 shows two examples of composite markers: in Figure 9.8(a) the start and end markers are formed from a pointed arrow primary marker of size 5bp and a composite bar secondary marker, while in Figure 9.8(b) the start and end markers are formed from an open semicircle primary marker of size 5bp with an overlaid reversed filled semicircle secondary marker of size 5bp.

   
 composite1 composite2  
 (a) (b)  
Figure 9.8: Examples of composite markers: (a) a bar primary marker with a pointed secondary marker of size 5bp; (b) an open semicircle primary marker of size 5bp overlaid with a reversed filled semicircle secondary marker of size 5bp.

Marker Orientation

If the Auto Orientation box is checked, the marker will be rotated so that the marker's x-axis lies along the path's gradient vector (start markers point in the opposite direction). If this box is not checked, the marker will be rotated according to the angle specified (in degrees) in the box next to the Auto Orientation box.


Marker Offset

If the Auto Offset box is checked, the marker's offset from the vertex will be computed automatically. (The primary marker will be placed with its origin coinciding with the vertex, but the secondary marker will be offset from the primary marker according to whether any duplicate markers have been specified and according to the line width.) If this box is not checked, the marker will be offset according to the length specified in the adjoining box. Examples: in Figure 9.9(a) both the start and end markers have been set to the LaTeX style marker with an offset of -10bp, and in Figure 9.9(b) both the start and end markers are composite markers formed from a bar primary marker and a pointed secondary marker, where the secondary marker's offset has been set to 2bp. Note that setting the secondary marker's offset to 0 is equivalent to using the overlay function.

Note that markers are placed along the path's gradient vector, so the marker may not necessarily lie on the path. For example, in Figure 9.10, a marker with offset 10bp has been placed at the end of a Bézier curve. The marker's offset has moved it along the gradient vector, away from the curve.

   
 markeroffset1 markeroffset2  
 (a) (b)  
Figure 9.9: Disabling the marker auto offset: (a) a negative offset makes the marker protrude off the end of the line; (b) the secondary marker has an offset of 2bp so that it is only slightly behind the primary marker.

bezieroffset
Figure 9.10: Changing a marker's offset moves it along the gradient vector.

Repeat Gap

If the Auto Repeat Gap box is checked, the gap between repeat markers is given by 7 times the line width. If this box is not selected, the gap will be given by the length specified in the adjoining box. For example, in Figure 9.11(a) a line has an end marker with a triple arrow with the auto repeat function selected. Since the line width is 1bp, the gap between the markers is 7bp. In Figure 9.11(b) the line width is 2bp, so the gap between the markers is 14bp. In Figure 9.11(c), the line width is 1bp and the repeat gap has been set to 10bp and in Figure 9.11(d) the line width is 2bp again with a repeat gap of 10bp.

repeatgap1 repeatgap2 repeatgap3 repeatgap4
(a) (b) (c) (d)
Figure 9.11: Repeat gap: (a) line width of 1bp and auto repeat gap; (b) line width of 2bp and auto repeat gap; (c) line width of 1bp and repeat gap set to 10bp; (d) line width of 2bp and repeat gap set to 10bp.

Marker Colour

If the Colour As Path box is checked, the marker will have the same colour as the path. If you want the marker to have a specific colour, you should check the Specific Colour box, which will enable the colour panel. Note that if the marker has been assigned a specific colour, it will remain unchanged if you change the line colour of the path, otherwise it will change with the path. For example, Figure 9.12 shows a path with a transparent line colour and blue start, mid and end markers.

sampleplot
Figure 9.12: Marker colour may be independent of the line colour: this path has a transparent line colour and blue start, mid and end markers.

Primary and secondary marker colour settings are independent of each other. For example, in Figure 9.13 the start and end markers are composite markers formed from a filled yellow pentagon primary marker and an open pentagon secondary marker. The secondary marker colour is set to the line colour, so if the line colour is changed the pentagon outline will change accordingly, but the filled pentagon will remain yellow.

markercolour
Figure 9.13: Primary and Secondary Markers are Independent



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