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
  • What shape area is available for the charges (e.g. for quartered or dimidiated shields)
  • For certain numbers of charges, whether the field is divided (e.g. two charges on a field per bend

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 armed crosses.

One or more charges may also be placed on another charge. 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

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 preference.

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