By: Brian Edgin
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Last week we introduced you to the Wave Auto Shape. This week we will introduce the Ribbon Auto Shape. As stated last week, these two Auto Shapes were created by Hiroshi Miyazawa, who works for Macromedia on the Fireworks QA team. The Auto Shape can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. After you download the file, unzip it and double click on the Ribbon.mxp file. The Extension manager should open and present you with a message that the extension was successfully installed.
The Ribbon Auto Shape is very similar to the Wave Auto Shape we covered last week. It is basically an adjustable sine wave. However, the Ribbon Auto Shape uses the waves that are generated to build "inside" and "outside" shapes that give the illusion that you have a curly ribbon on screen. Like the Wave Auto Shape, you can change the number of cycles and adjust the size of the shape, thereby changing the period and amplitude of the wave. The Ribbon Auto Shape also gives you the ability to control the thickness of the ribbon. The shape's controls are illustrated in the diagram below:
Figure 1: Ribbon Auto Shape's Controls
Let's use the Ribbon Auto Shape to make a telephone cord. (Remember those?) First, let's adjust the width of the ribbon. Click and drag the Width control point and adjust your shape to look like this...
Figure 2: Click and Drag the Width control point
Next, click on the Cycles control point and enter the number of cycles you want for your cable. For the example below I entered a value of 4. I also adjusted the height of the shape by clicking and dragging the Size control point.
Figure 3: Adjusting the number of cycles and the height of the shape