Warp objects

Warping changes an object by squeezing some parts together and stretching other parts farther apart. Microsoft Expression Design can warp bitmapped image objects, vector paths, shapes, and text.

Warping a group of objects

To warp vector objects (such as paths, shapes, and text), you must first apply a warp grid (or warp mesh).

Note that you cannot include an image object in a warp group. However, you can warp a single bitmapped image object without a warp group. See the Warping bitmapped images section later in this topic.

To warp one or more objects

  1. Select one or more objects.

  2. On the Object menu, point to Envelope Distort, and then click Make Warp Group. This creates a warp grid.

  3. From the Toolbar, select the Direct Selection Cc294497.a4e92365-1fd6-473c-b727-1487d8a466c9(en-us,Expression.10).png tool, and drag the points on the warp grid.

    To move more than one point at a time, use either the Direct Selection tool or the Lasso Selection Cc294497.81bef400-2dac-4493-9ff4-8a9fc9153a33(en-us,Expression.10).png tool, press SHIFT, and click the points you want to move.

    When more than one warp node is selected at the same time with the Lasso Selection tool, Microsoft Expression Design displays resize and rotation handles around those nodes for quick scaling, rotating, and skewing.

The original objects, before they are positioned in a warp group


After dragging the warp group nodes with the Direct Selection tool


Warping vector objects changes their paths, but not the strokes or fills applied to those paths. The strokes and fills are applied to the warped paths. Therefore, they appear undeformed.

Reverting objects to their original form

When you deform a warp group by dragging the warp nodes, the appearance of the underlying paths and shapes changes, but the actual paths are not affected.

To revert an object to the original form

  1. Select your objects in the warp group.

  2. On the Object menu, point to Envelope Distort, and then click Reset Grid.

Editing paths and shapes in a warp group

You can modify the paths and shapes in a warp group, but you must open a separate window that contains those paths in their prewarped state.

To edit paths and shapes in a warp group

  1. On the Object menu, point to Envelope Distort, and then click Edit Warp Group (or press CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+W).

  2. In the second window, modify the unwarped objects, and switch to the main document window to see the results.

When you finish editing the individual objects, close the warp group window.

Changing the warp grid

The warp nodes appear at set intervals on the grid.

To change the warp grid

  • To adjust the number of points on the warp grid, on the Object menu, point to Envelope Distort, and do one of the following:

    • Click Increase Resolution (or press CTRL+PERIOD) for a finer grid with more points.

    • Click Decrease Resolution (or press CTRL+COMMA) for a coarser grid with fewer points

Warping bitmapped images

You do not have to create a warp group to warp bitmapped image objects.

To warp a bitmapped image

  1. Select an image.

  2. On the Objects menu, point to Envelope Distort, and then click either Increase Resolution or Decrease Resolution.

Unstructuring warp groups

Because deforming a warp group affects only the appearance of the paths, and not the paths themselves, there are no path nodes in the document window for you to select and edit.

To replace the original paths with warped paths

  • On the Arrange menu, click Ungroup (or press CTRL+SHIFT+G).

This deletes the original paths and replaces them with new paths. Any text objects in the warp group are automatically converted to paths.

Ungrouping a warp group causes new curves to be fitted to the vector objects. Here, a single path is selected after ungrouping to show the effect.


To ungroup without applying warping to the paths

  1. On the Object menu, point to Envelope Distort, and then click Reset Grid.

  2. On the Arrange menu, click Ungroup.

See also


Select anchor points

Use resize and rotation handles