Cloning Objects

Cloning Objects

Object cloning is similar to object duplication, but instead of copying an object and its attributes, object clones are linked to the source (original) object, and will reuse the source object shape and style. The object that will be cloned is called the source object, while the new object is the clone object.

When a property of a source object is changed, all clones of that object will update and copy the corresponding property. Properties of clone objects can be changed freely, using the various object editing tools. When a property of a clone object is changed, that property will not be mirrored anymore from the source object.

Cloning objects enables the reuse of objects, while keeping a link to the original object, so that all common styles are synchronized. For example: it is possible to create multiple clones of an object, each filled with a different color. When the shape of the source object is changed, all clone object shapes are automatically updated and the clones will continue to have their own color.

Creating Clones

An object can be cloned, by selecting the object and then selecting the Clone command from the Edit menu. Clones can also be created by dragging and dropping the object from the Layers panel, while holding the Control key.

The cloned object can be freely moved around and changed, just like any other regular object. Any changes applied to a clone will overwrite the corresponding object properties, breaking the link to the source for that property. Cloned object links to the source can be managed using the Cloned Properties menu from the Object menu.

A cloned object can be detached from the source, by selecting the cloned object and selecting the Detach Clone command from the Edit menu. Once a clone is detached from its source, it becomes a regular object, and changes made on the source are not mirrored anymore on this object.

A source object can also be detached from all of its clones, using the Detach source command from the Edit menu. Once a source is detached, all of its clones will become regular objects, and changes made on the source will not be mirrored anymore on any of its former clones.

Selecting Cloned Properties

When a property of a cloned object is changed, the link for that property to the source is broken. Changes of the same property in the source object, will not be mirrored for this clone anymore.

Links to the source object can be restored, using options from the Cloned Properties menu from the Object menu. Selecting an option from the Cloned Properties menu will enable or disable the link for the corresponding object property. When a link is disabled, changes in the source object are not mirrored on the clone object, for the selected property. When the link is enabled, the clone object will be updated on changes made in the source object.

Selecting the Source Object

The source object of a clone can be changed to any other object with the clone source role. Changing the source of a clone can be used to replace the reused properties of the clone, by directing the clone to another source object. To change the source of clone objects, use the following steps.

  • Define the source objects using object roles. This can be done using the Object Options command in the Object menu. The object with the source role must have a name, and the Clone Source Object role must be enabled.
  • Select the clone objects, whose source object must be changed.
  • The available source objects are listed in the Select Clone Source menu of the Object menu.
  • Select a source object from the Select Clone Source menu.
  • The selected clone objects are redirected to use the newly selected source object.