Boolean Tools for LayOut?

Have boolean tools ever been requested for LayOut ?
(A search of this category gives no matches.)

I’d think the following 2D boolean tools might be useful ?

  • Intersect

  • Union (I know there is a Join)

  • Subtract

  • Trim

  • Split

Currently users must do a convoluted unfill so shapes overlap, then do a split tool work, then do join tool work, then turn fill back on. This has result in a “sticky” feature request …


I still feel what we need is that Layout geometry works like SketchUp’s and auto merge, trim and split. Then we wouldn’t need Boolean tools.

I would see layout as a SketchUp drawing engine without z axis.


Exactly… but with the presentation capabilities of Powerpoint… eg booleans, drop shadows, links,

Disagree. SketchUp has “sticky” geometry and still has and needs boolean tools.

Boolean tools give more control to the user, not less.

The knife only works on the strokes, making it actually the intersect functionality of SketchUp, before the solid tools existed. (A lot of work)

What if you could select the fill of the primitives with the split tool instead, turning the split into a boolean operation?

No need for all the extra ‘boolean tools’
Just pick the two primitives by picking the (in)Fill,
Have three new results left (Do whatever you want with it)

The Join or glue tool could be given the same powers.

That would be a great progress compared to the ‘convulated way ’ of splitting and joining all the strokes?

The ‘2D Solid’ shouldn’t even have a perimeter, a Fill might be enough?

You seem to be fixated on there being only 2 subparts to split or remove or join in the workflow.

Boolean tools often allow the union of more than 2 sub parts if the shapes overlap in multiple places.
Traditionally Boolean operations are done with pairs of objects, but this is not all that necessary. You could pick one, the choose a tool, then be prompted to pick the objects to apply in the order desired, and the multi-boolean operation could commence.

I find it crazy that the LayOut Glue tool forces the actual picking of 2 and only 2 things !
Ridiculous! Why cannot I activate the tool, then window select multiple shapes to join ?
Why cannot I pre select multiple shapes then right-click and choose Join from the context menu ?
Why cannot I drag select with the Join tool?

I’d also desire the same kind of thing with Split. Select multiple shapes, right click and choose “Split”.
All the shapes are split at however many intersections that there are. Tools should honor any pre-selection. If there is any question, then the GUI can query the user for confirmation.

That would just be confusing the issue (the workflow.)

Perhaps the most ridiculous thing I’ve read this week. A perimeter is a fundamental aspect of geometry. You cannot fill something unless it has a perimeter.

Maybe you are proposing a “magic wand” type of tool (to use a Paint.NET tool analogy) ? A tool that cuts along a boundary between colors or things?

Instead of inventing more convoluted ways to avoid boolean or batch operations, … just implement what users have come to expect in CAD & Drawing applications.

And do so in a flexible way, that do not limit the order in which the user wishes to work. A user should be able to pre-pick objects before choosing the tool, or choose a tool with no objects selected. Tools need to be adaptable to the user, not the inverse.


Well it is called ‘boolean’ after all, and like in a lot of program languages, there are two possible outcomes, yes or no.
I was refereing to the result, not the prepicking process, per se.

The result of any boolean operation ( no matter how many selected) is always ‘are you in?’ (Join) or ‘are you out?’ (Split)

Selecting in LayOut with drag-select always has been buggy, unless you are very organised with (locked) layers etc.
An entity panel with info on what is selected, combined with a ‘Preference Selector’ (choose only text or viewport etc) would help, but that might be off topic(?)

I mostly end up clicking…

About the selecting of Fills;

You can pick Fill/Patterns independant from Strokes allready with the Style picker (B) so why not?
The confusing thing is perhaps that Boolean operations need ‘Primitives’ like rectangles and circles, but what you are drawing in LayOut is dependant of the Shape (FIll/Pattern/Stroke)

That has always confused me the most, a Line (Primitive?) can have a fill, in LayOut, without closing perimeter.

About Perimeters:

You should read my blog!:smiley:

By comparison, this is how some of those functions work in PowerCADD

Can you make a void inside an object?
Eg . A small crcle in a larger rectangle?

Technically, no, but there are work arounds to get the effect. The flood tool even uses a work around to do it.

The perimeter has to wrap inside to make the hole, and then come back out to the perimeter again. Not showing edges hides that part of the path for the fill. Then, showing the edges you want to show has to be done with more lines or entities. They can be grouped to act all as one object, but it is a work around.

Post Script has the ability to make holes because there are so many letter that do just that, and font’s the first things PS has to well. I do remember there is something in PS about “winding rules” that have to be set correctly to make the hole show. I think winding rules apply to SketchUp graphics as well?

Well I consider the lines in LayOut ‘roller blinds’ (with two sorts of blinds, color and pattern)
The U-shape that I drew, was drawn with the option ‘auto-join’ enabled, which ‘pulls the blinds out’
If you split the lines, the blinds roll up…

Strictly speaking, the fill created that way has no closing perimeter.

For the shape inside:
The thing is, if there is no crossing perimeter you would have to create a workaround in LayOut, too…

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