Glossary of DrawShield Terms | DrawShield

Glossary of DrawShield Terms

You will find the following terms used in the user guide (and in DrawShield error messages). They typically are very closely related to their conventional use in blazonry and Heraldry books, but as there are sometimes slight variations and additional terms I have defined exactly what I mean by them below.

Arrangement
When there is more than one charge, the arrangement describes how the charges are placed in relation to each other.
Blazon
Shield description, using the language of blazonry.
Charge
An item that can be located in various locations on the shield, it may appear multiple times and in various orientations and arrangements. Some authorities include ordinaries as charges but it will help you understand and use DrawShield if you agree to consider ordinaries and charges as very separate things!
Field
The underlying colour or pattern of the shield, typically the first thing described in the blazon.
Feature
This is a DrawShield specific term which means a part of a charge that can be given a different colour from the main body of the charge. Charges may have multiple features, each of which can be given their own colour. Note the use of the word "colour" here, DrawShield currently restricts features to being plain colours or metals only.
Fur
A repeating shape that creates patterns with fixed colours. They can be used to colourise any item.
Metal
This is a heraldic term for the colours or and argent. For most purposes, DrawShield treats metals just like any other plain colour, there are however heraldic guidelines about using colours on metals and metals next to each other. DrawShield does not at present implement these guidelines but in future they may trigger warnings if they are breached.
Modifier
This is a DrawShield specific term which means additional information that further describes a charge and how it appears. For example, the stance of an animal, how its tail is laid out or whether a cross has a hole in it.
Ordinary
A shaped item that always occupies the same location on the field of the shield. Some authorities combine charges and ordinaries but DrawShield treats them as different classes of item, with different options available.
Orientation
Most charges are not symmetrical and have a particular "default" way that they face. The orientation describes this, and how it may be changed to face a different direction, be upside down and so on.
Placement
This is a DrawShield specific term that sometimes appear in error messages. Based on the number, orientation, arrangement and location of a charge, the program tries to calculate its placement - i.e. a specific "box" on the shield that can contain the charge. Sometimes due to shortcomings in the program code, or due to conflicting information in the blazon it may not be possible to calculate this placement correctly.
Position
The location of a group of charges, or a single charge on the field of the shield.
Tincture
The colouration or pattern of an item on the shield. This may a plain colour, a treatment, a fur or a division. In this user guide, I generally use tincture when any of these options are available, and colour when only a plain colour or metal can be used.
Treatment
Various repeating shapes that create patterns of two colours and can be used to colourise items.

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