8.10.2 Creating Drawing Objects

Add drawing objects to your Origin windows with buttons on the Tools toolbar.

Creating Drawing Objects.png

Drawing straight lines or arrows

To add a straight line or arrow to the graph window:

  1. Click on the Line tool Button Line.png or Arrow tool Button Arrow Tool.png. Click-and-drag at the desired location in the graph window. Release the mouse button and the line or arrow is displayed.
  2. To draw a vertical or horizontal line or arrow, press the SHIFT key as you drag with the Line tool Button Line.png or Arrow toolButton Arrow Tool.png . You will see that the line snaps to the horizontal or vertical. When it is oriented properly, release the mouse button.
Note: If you want to draw a vertical or horizontal line within the layer frame, select Insert: Straight Line: Open Dialog menu to open the Straight Line: addline dialog. In this dialog, you can add a vertical or horizontal line to current graph layer by specifying the position value, line format, label format, line selectivity and mobility.

To edit the line:

  • To move or resize it, single click once till diamond handles show. Drag to move it or drag the handles to resize it. Press Ctrl key down while dragging the handles will keep aspect ratio of the curve.
  • To rotate it, single click twice till circle handles show around it. Drag the circle handle to rotate it. Drag the cursor in the middle of the shape to change center of rotation.
  • To skew it, single click 3 times till triangle handles show around the shape. Drag the triangle handle to skew it.
  • Double click curve to open Properties dialog to customize line, arrow head(s), dimension, or code when clicking/moving/resizing the curve, etc.

Drawing curved arrows

To add a curved arrow to the graph:

  1. Click the Curved Arrow toolButton Curve Arrow Tool.png .
  2. Click in four places along the intended arc to locate the curved line's anchor points -- place the first click at the beginning of the curve, the second two clicks along the curve, and the final click at the point where you want the arrow head. After the fourth click, Origin displays the curved arrow. The points are connected with a Bezier curve.

To edit the curved arrow:

  • To move or resize it, single click once till diamond handles show. Drag to move it or drag the handles to resize it. Press Ctrl key down while dragging the handles will keep aspect ratio of the curve.
  • To rotate it, single click twice till circle handles show around it. Drag the circle handle to rotate it. Drag the cursor in the middle of the shape to change center of rotation.
  • To skew it, single click 3 times till triangle handles show around the shape. Drag the triangle handle to skew it.
  • You can also single click 4 times to adjust the trace of the curve.
  • Double click curve to open Properties dialog to customize line, arrow head(s), dimension, or code when clicking/moving/resizing the curve, etc.

Drawing Polylines (segmented lines)

To draw a polyline:

  1. Click on the Polyline tool (on the Tools toolbar), then click once at each intended anchor point.
  2. Terminate the polyline by double-clicking with the mouse or hitting ESC.

To edit the polyline:

  • To move or resize it, single click once till diamond handles show. Drag to move it or drag the handles to resize it. Press Ctrl key down while dragging the handles will keep aspect ratio of the curve.
  • To rotate it, single click twice till circle handles show around it. Drag the circle handle to rotate it. Drag the cursor in the middle of the shape to change center of rotation.
  • To skew it, single click 3 times till triangle handles show around the shape. Drag the triangle handle to skew it.
  • You can also single click 4 times to adjust each turning point of the polyline.
  • Double click curve to open Properties dialog to customize line, arrow head(s), dimension, or code when clicking/moving/resizing the line, etc.

Drawing freehand lines

To draw a freehand line:

  1. Click on the Freehand Draw toolButton Free Hand Draw Tool.png .
  2. Click once and hold while dragging out your line.
  3. Release the mouse button to complete the operation.

To edit the polyline:

  • To move or resize it, single click once till diamond handles show. Drag to move it or drag the handles to resize it. Press Ctrl key down while dragging the handles will keep aspect ratio of the curve.
  • To rotate it, single click twice till circle handles show around it. Drag the circle handle to rotate it. Drag the cursor in the middle of the shape to change center of rotation.
  • To skew it, single click 3 times till triangle handles show around the shape. Drag the triangle handle to skew it.
  • You can also single click 4 times to adjust the trace of the line.
  • Double click curve to open Properties dialog to customize line, arrow head(s), dimension, or code when clicking/moving/resizing the line, etc.

Drawing two-dimensional objects

To add a square, rectangle, circle, oval, polygon or region to the graph, click the respective button on the Tools toolbar:

  • For all objects but the polygon, click-and-drag at the desired location in the graph window. Release the mouse button to display the object.
  • For polygons, single click to draw corners of the polygon. Double click at the last corner.
  • To draw perfect square or circle instead of rectangle/oval, press Ctrl key while dragging.


To edit the object:

  • To move or resize the objects single click once till diamond handles show around the object. Drag to move it or drag the handles to resize it. Press Ctrl key down while dragging the handles will keep aspect ratio of the shape.
  • To rotate the object, single click twice till circle handles show around the object. Drag the circle handle to rotate it. Drag the cursor in the middle of the shape to change center of rotation.
  • To skew the object, single click 3 times till triangle handles show around the shape. Drag the triangle handle to skew it.
  • For polygon and region, you can single click 4 times to get handles along the border to adjust the shape further.
  • Double click the object to open Properties dialog to customize border, fill, position, or code when clicking/moving/resizing it, etc.

Copying and pasting objects

This is supported for a single object or multiple objects. To copy the object:

  1. Click on the object or drag a box around the object with the Pointer tool Button Pointer.png (selection handles will appear).
  2. To select multiple objects, click 1st object, then press CTRL or SHIFT key down and continue the selection. Or you can drag a big box around all the objects you want to select.
  3. Press Ctrl+C, select Edit: Copy menu or right click the select object and choose Copy context menu.

To paste the object:

  1. On the destination page, click once where you want the object to be pasted, then...
  2. Press CTRL + V, select Edit: Paste menu or right-click and select Paste context menu.
  • After selecting multiple object, you can click Group toolbar button on Object Editor toolbar to group them. Then in the future, click a single object will select all in the group. Paste will paste them as group still. You can ungroup them afterwards to edit each object separately.
  • Prior to Origin 2018b, pasted objects were, by default, positioned behind the last pasted object. In Origin 2018b and later, pasted objects are positioned in front of the last pasted object. You can change the order of overlapping objects by right-clicking on the object and choosing one of the object ordering options from the shortcut menu.

Copying Line Objects and Pasting Data to a Worksheet

Any of the line objects - line, arrow, curved arrow, polyline or freehand -- can be used to generate an XY dataset:

  1. Select the line object in the graph, then right-click and choose Copy.
  2. Click on an empty worksheet cell, right-click and choose Paste.

A set of XY coordinates will be created in the worksheet.