A Guide to Selection in Concepts 4

One of the beauties about vector graphics — and the main reason why we chose to create a design app using vectors instead of pixels — is the ability to select, move and adjust anything you draw, after you’ve drawn it.

When you create a design or an illustration with vectors, and it needs a bit of tweaking to achieve the next version, forget redrawing the entire plan. Just duplicate it and adjust the existing lines. This is a really powerful ability that allows you to get through iterations exponentially faster. As a creative professional, you know how valuable this is.

Let’s walk through how to use Selection to adjust your strokes.

Basic Selection

Tap-and-hold a stroke with one finger to select it.

In an area where strokes are more concentrated, you’ll see some pins pop up, which give you a bit more detail about which stroke you might be trying to select. Tap one to choose it.

You can tap-hold-drag on screen to select multiple strokes at once.

Once you’ve selected a stroke or multiple strokes (we call this an object), you’ll see this nifty menu appear above it.

This is your Selection popup. It allows you to access all sorts of helpful functionalities right where you need them — at your fingertips.

You can also see the main toolbar has changed to a Selection toolbar. This has many other abilities you might find handy for working with your vectors.

The Selection Popup


The clipboard is a versatile feature that allows you to bring a selection to any drawing, to an email or a message, or into your favorite document editor with a touch.

Tap the Paperclip and it will copy the object to your device’s clipboard.

Inside Concepts, you can access the clipboard via a tap-and-hold on any empty piece of canvas — same drawing or different drawing — with this little clipboard icon.

You can also find your selection in the Import menu (just touch the image)…

Notice it’s on a transparent background. Only your selected lines get copied, handy with a vector program.

… and you can find it in the Gallery.

Inside an email, message or document, tap-and-hold until the Paste option appears, then paste your selection directly where you want it.


The next option on the Selection Popup is the Duplicate button.

Anything you select, you can copy.

Many are on the same search for love.


The Delete option helps you get rid of the unwanted extras.

We recommend this as your choice for permanent eraser. Since Concepts saves every line you’ve drawn for unlimited Undo, “erasing” doesn’t truly erase a stroke from the program. In fact, our erasers function as masks, not as pixel erasers. Deleting helps keep your drawing clean.

Not that they’re all unwanted. We’ll assume the rest found their true loves, while our hero still searches.


Tap this button so it’s highlighted to enable rotation. You can rotate your selection with two fingers on the screen.

The heights we scale for love make you tough.

Tap the button again to disable rotation. This is useful for dragging around images, text, or some of your precision line-work, and keeping them steady.

Static, Stretch and Scale

Onto the special multi-faceted button. This button has three options built into one, but it’s a quick tap to rotate through.

Static (no highlight) locks your selection from stretching or scaling.

Stretch allows you to expand or shrink your linework while keeping your tool size the same. This is great for stretching a line a bit longer or shorter to fit a space, instead of redrawing.

Must. Keep. Going.

Scale maintains the proportions of your tools whether your sketch grows or shrinks. Since different tools function at different rates, we recommend scaling for when you use multiple tools, to keep them in sync.

The Selection Menu

The Selection Menu also has a load of useful options to help you adjust your strokes. From the top of the menu reading down…

Selection Tool

This arrow means you’re using Selection. Tap it to leave Selection mode and return to your drawing mode.

You can also find this arrow on the tool wheel and add it your main toolbar. When used as a tool, it makes selecting and moving your strokes quicker. It uses a tap (or tap-drag) instead of a tap-and-hold (or tap-hold-drag) to select items, and allows you to use just one finger to pan the canvas instead of two.


For those who like to use the other hand, duplicate is here as well as on the popup.


You can lock your selection and keep it from being selected or tampered with when selecting other strokes on the screen.


Again, that handy delete button here for bi-handers.


You can link or group your strokes together into a single object to make strokes easier to select and move about. This is handy for separating certain elements from others inside a complex drawing. One tap when it’s linked will select the whole object, instead of having to fish about and lasso them all over again.

Add to a New Layer

This puts your selection on its very own new layer. You can find it in the Layers menu.

Mirror and Flip

These buttons flip your selection horizontally or vertically and back again. Really useful for creating reflections and shadows if you make a copy first.

Advanced Transforms

Advanced Transforms refer to what you can do with the four Control Points you see around your selection. You can select one or two at a time, and stretch and pull them to create some great gymnastics for your sketch. We have an in-depth article on these here. Mostly, you should play with them and see how fun it is to tweak your selection so it’s exactly right.

We hope you see the incredible power behind vectors, and enjoy the full spectrum of their capabilities as you iterate quickly and efficiently on your designs.

Best of sketching to you,

The Concepts Team

By Erica Christensen — Writer | Illustrator | Designer at TopHatch

Infinite, flexible sketching for your ideas · iPad & iPhone | Windows 10 | Android & Chrome OS

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