If you simply specify a number of charges then these will be arranged
automatically across the field of the shield. They will all be the same
size and be evenly spaced out. The precise layout depends on a number of
factors, (all of which DrawShield takes into account automatically - or
will do eventually!) These factors include:
Whether the shield has a chief present
shape area is available for the charges (e.g. for quartered or
For certain numbers of charges,
whether the field is divided (e.g. two charges on a field per
Arrangements in Relation to Other Charges
It is possible to arrange one charge between two or
more other charges; this makes most sense with two or four charges and
there are special arrangements for four charges around one of the four
Charges may also be placed in front of each other, using any of the following constructions:
on ChargeA ChargeB
ChargeB on ChargeA
ChargeA charged with ChargeB [charged with ChargeC...etc]
In all of these cases, ChargeB is shown in front of ChargeA but reduced in size so ChargeA will still be visible. Where the number of charges is greater than one it is best to think of on as meaning on each of (and indeed, this is allowed). Similarly, charged with is shorthand for each charged with. Thus 3 golpes on 3 pellets begets 3 pellets each with 3 smaller golpes shown in front of it.
The third construction above is special in that it can be repeated indefinetly, with each new charge being placed in front of the previous but shown smaller.
A charge, or groups of charges can also be placed next to each other, using any of the following, hopefully self explanatory constructions:
ChargeA above ChargeB
above ChargeA ChargeB
ChargeA below ChargeB
below ChargeA ChargeB
ChargeA beside ChargeB
beside ChargeA ChargeB
Items 1 & 4 are equivalent, as are 2 & 3. Various synonyms like standing on and alongside are also supported.
Each of the ChargeA, ChargeB etc. above can be modified by having their orientation changed (e.g. bendwise), their layout (e.g. in fess) or adjustments applied (e.g. shown larger). The important rule is that modifiers all go between the charge in question, and the arrangements specifier above. For example, a circus act can be drawn as a lion cadent or above a golpe shown larger, in which case the lion is cadent, and the golpe is larger.
To avoid confusion, a semi-colon ';' can be used to mark the end of a sequence of relatated charges.
Some charges also have modifiers such as holding in it's
hand a. DrawShield will recognise many of these modifiers but does
not yet have the ability to draw many of them properly.
In Specific Arrangements
It is also possible to specify a specific arrangement. Obviously
there must be more one than one charge present, but in some cases only
certain numbers of charges make sense. Warnings are displayed if this
situation occurs. The following arrangements are supported:
In pale, in pale throughout, in pall, in fess, in fess
throughout, in bend, in bend sinister, in chevron, in pile, in orle, in
saltire, in cross, counter-passant, pilewise, in bar, in chief
throughout, in a quadrangle, chevronwise, in a triangle, respecting each
other, counter rampant, confronty, addorsed, in annulo
With some arrangements it is also possible to say that the charges
should be touching by using the term conjoined. Note
that this is implemented by calculating the size of the enclosing "box"
leaving no gaps, but if the charge does not extend to all sides of the
box then the charges may not actually touch. Arrangements that are
conjoined work best with the simple geometric shapes.
Some blazons use the terms above, below, with and
these terms are recognised but their use is discouraged as it is not
always obvious exactly what is meant. Use specific locations in
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