The RiscOS Drawing Package
To view files from Vector (or Draw, DrawPlus, Chameleon, Poster or any
application that uses the Draw file format) on Linux or any other
system that supports
Vector is an advanced object-oriented vector graphics
application for Acorn machines and compatibles running RiscOS, mostly
compatible with Draw (using the same file format and with a
similar user interface) but with many new and powerful features.
The screenshot below shows a Vector drawing window (running
under RiscOS 3·7), with the toolbar, status bar and rulers
displayed. All of the standard Draw objects are available:
in addition, there are others which are specifiec to Vector
(although files including them can be exported in a
Draw-compatible form for use in other applications).
Click on any of the graphics for a
high-resolution full colour (and patent-friendly) version.
A Vector drawing window (53K PNG)
This is the toolbar. It can be hidden or shown with a single
keystroke, and while hidden all of the tools and options are available
from the menu or with keystroke equivalents.
The toolbar: Select does this - Adjust does this
This is the status bar, which again can be hidden or shown or
controlled from the menu or by keystrokes.
The status bar (11K PNG)
There is not enough space here to describe all of the standard and
special objects supported. But this diagram shows an example of all
of them - of course, it does not show all of the effects that can be
The full repertoire of Vector objects (110K PNG)
The application includes a library which can be used for
storing standard symbols, graphics, or clip art. The library is
independent of any drawing: objects are stored in it simply by
selecting them from a drawing and assigning them a name, and an object
can be pasted from the library into the same or even a different
drawing with a single click. The library can be saved (with its own
file type) and reloaded when required.
The library window (13K PNG)
There are far too many features to give a complete list here, but some
of the main ones are:
- Layers can be used to organise objects into related categories, to hide
objects in order to reduce complexity or to eliminate the risk of them
being accidentally changed, and to selectively view different
categories of information.
The "Layers" dialogue box (21K PNG)
- Large paper sizes (up to size 12A0) are available.
A simple "Print Setup" option is available for easy production of
single-page drawings; larger ones can be split up into as many pages
as necessary for printing, with full control over page selection,
sheet layout and scale.
The "Page Setup" dialogue box (15K PNG)
The "Print Options" dialogue box (20K PNG)
- Quick copying of objects (simply press the CTRL key and drag an object to
- Built-in tools for drawing arcs and polygons as well as
lines, moves, fitted and Bezier curves.
Overlay lines to ease the creation of features such as roads and rivers on maps.
- Multi-line text objects to allow a block of text to be created and edited
as a single object (no more aligning, grouping and then having to
ungroup to re-edit the text!). Font kerning and background blending,
where supported by the operating system (background blending may not
be supported by all printer drivers).
A multi-line text object, and the "Text layout" dialogue box (15K PNG)
- Scaling and rotation (using the mouse or via a dialogue) of
objects about their centre, corner or any point on the
drawing. User-definable rotation step.
- A user-definable colour palette for each document. In addition to the
standard desktop colours, up to 32 more colours can be defined as
required and then applied to objects with just two mouse
clicks. Colours can be selected using a 256-colour, 256-grey or RGB
dialogue; on systems that support the colour picker
(RiscOS 3·5 and later) this can be used instead if
- Locking of objects so that they cannot be accidentally changed or
deleted. Deleted objects are saved and can be restored.
- Up to four rulers and grids with user-selectable units, scaling, origin
and resolution. Horizontal and vertical rulers can be displayed. All
measurements are displayed and can be entered in defined units.
The "Rulers" dialogue box (15K PNG)
The "Grid" dialogue box (17K PNG)
The "Origin" dialogue box (17K PNG)
- Replication and radiation for repeating objects, saving memory and
keeping all copies of an object consistent. Path merge, split and reverse.
- Saving of drawings in either Vector format (compressed to save disc
space, and with all settings included) or in Draw format (for compatibility
with other applications). Also in 4Mation's Compressed Draw and Poster
- Style Guide compatible (mostly!).
Configurable display colours.
There have been a number of versions and
upgrades of Vector since its initial release. In general,
upgrades are available from 4Mation for
- Version 1·0 - 1992, Initial release
- Version 1·1 - 1993
- Version 1·3 - 1996
- Version 1·5 - 1999
1·50 is bundled with RiscOS 4, and will not run on any lower
OS. 1·55 is available from 4Mation, and will run on any OS.
Apart from the number, these two versions are identical.
Vector requires a minimum of RiscOS 3 and 2Mb memory,
but of course is fully compatible with RiscOS 4, Risc PC and
StrongARM. It supports high resolution and 16- and 32-bit colour
graphics, background printing, font kerning, etc.
Version 1·5 supports long filenames. On
RiscOS 3·5 and later, dynamic areas are used to improve
performance and to allow
Virtualise to be used.
RiscOS 3·5 requires !System to be updated to fix
a bug with the colour picker. An update (which can be applied with
!SysMerge) is included on the Vector disc and with
the demo version.
The downloadable demonstration version includes a restricted
Vector application (with all of the facilities available
apart from saving and printing), a
!System update (required for RiscOS 3·5 only), and
a number of example files showing the facilities available.
Download Vector demo
425K SparkFS/ArcFS archive
The full Vector package (two discs and a 100 page
colour-printed manual) costs approximately £60+VAT; this includes
a free site licence.
As well as the Vector application, the package includes a
full set of sample files, libraries, examples and tutorials.
Also included are a !System update (required for
RiscOS 3·5 only), a patch to correct a problem with certain
versions of Snippet, and a standalone file conversion
There is no disc-based, limited install or machine ID protection, and
a key disc is not required after initial registration.