I’ve never been much of a draftsperson. Precise linework isn’t really my area of expertise. More of a tracing guy, really. All of which is why I love shape transforms, which were introduced in Axure RP 8 but continue to be a lesser-known feature.

When it comes to working with vectors in Axure RP, I’m not usually reaching for the pen tool. (But if you are—or wish you were—here’s our training article on vector drawing in Axure RP.) Instead, I love creating custom shapes by combining regular shape widgets using the available shape transforms: unite, subtract, intersect, and exclude. These four commands make it possible to construct just about any shape not already available via the standard shape widget or the icon library. For example, here’s an animation of me building a spinning indicator using shape widgets plus the subtract and unite transforms:

Animation of performing several shape transforms in the Axure RP UI to create a spinner icon

Click here to download the shape transforms example .rp file and give it a try yourself. I trust you’ll find the experience transformative. 😉

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