The most common type of layers in your document will be shapes. There is a large variety of default shapes provided with Sketch such as circles, rectangles, stars and more. Some of these shapes have extra options, such as (rounded) rectangles and the star shape.
To add a new shape to your document, simply click Insert › Shape in the toolbar and choose one of the available alternatives. Click and drag anywhere in the canvas to insert the shape. While you’re dragging the mouse to insert the shape Sketch will indicate how large the inserted shape will become. Let go of the mouse and the final shape is inserted. You will see the inspector update and maybe display some extra options for your shape.
Some of the default shapes in Sketch come with some interesting extra options. The star and rounded rectangle shapes being the most notable. For the star shape the radius and the number of points and the radius can be adjusted and for the rounded rectangle, the corner radius.
The basic building block of a shape is a point. These are connected by straight or bended lines into a path. A shape can have one or multiple paths. If there is more than one, they are combined together using Boolean Operations into one path. Think for example of two circular paths; one big, and one small, where the small one is used to ‘punch’ a hole in the bigger one. This concept of combining simple paths into complex shapes is discussed in detail in our section on Boolean Operations.