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Robert Cailliau

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Everything posted by Robert Cailliau

  1. Robert Cailliau

    Multiple displays

    ("its" position ;-) Yes I should have been a little more explicit. It happens when I create a new document (File→New). (1) the two monitors are side by side and the laptop's lid is closed, its screen is not used at all. (2) the menu bar appears on only one of the monitors. (4) I always work in separated mode. It has now become erratic: the new document dialog pops up sometimes on one, sometimes on the other monitor, the new document window too shows up sometimes on one, sometimes on the other. But it seems that if all panels are on the main monitor then everything happens there. Really annoying these little bugs… Separated mode also does not seem to work at all in Affinity Photo on my machine, and that's a real nuisance. I've re-installed it etc. but it still produces only a single window, documents go under tabs. Sigh.
  2. Well, yes, and I tried that but could not make it work! However, now, after a re-installation, it does work!
  3. No, it only works when the centre of rotation of the combined shapes happens to coincide with one of the nine points. :( It should not be too difficult to add a tenth point, which is the centre of rotation, wherever the user has put it. Until this is fixed, what I shall do is to first draw a large circle, then design the shape such that the desired point of rotation coincides with the circle's centre and the shape is entirely inside the circle. There are two things to fix: (1) improve the transform panel to add the "tenth point" (2) make the centre of rotation one of the points that other shapes can snap to.
  4. Thanks Alfred. I read that and tried to see how I could make it work. Say I have a figure with a rotation point set. For simplicity, just let's make a rectangle and put its rotation centre P somewhere near its bottom right corner. I now want to rotate around that point P. MEB's solution seems to be to construct an auxiliary object so that the point P coincides with one of the nine points of the transform panel. In his example he makes an auxiliary line which happens indeed to do that. How can I do it for my rectangle? Note another interesting thing: objects snap to parts of other objects, but the centre of rotation is not one of them! So while MEB could construct that auxiliary line easily in that particular case, there is no way I can get a line to snap to point P. What I can do: make a circle that is sufficiently larger than the object to rotate, draw its vertical and horizontal diagonals place the object to be rotated so that its desired rotation centre coincides with the point where the diagonals cross. (this is at best approximate unless it's done from the beginning of the design of the object) keep these auxiliary figures with the object and hide them to rotate about the rotation centre, first make the circle visible again, select the group, rotate, hide the circle again. You can't rotate a group as a whole, only its visible parts. And what a workaround.
  5. R C-R: thanks for the move-by-corner tip. But snapping still can be improved. I repeat: I love the model, it's just that it does not always work well. The separated mode bug: yes, I have also not been able to reproduce it. I have reinstalled Designer and it's till the same. In the view menu both Show Toolbar and Show Contect Toolbar are checked but nothing shows up. I had already tried that. Checking/unchecking those items does work when separated mode is off. HOWEVER: starting with control and resetting "nuclear" did work: I have the toolbars back in separated mode! (I really really hate single-window mode for those applications that are used for multiple documents). So thanks for that tip! As to typing units in value fields: yes, good, and also something that Cinema 4D allows. Typographic units: there is absolutely no reason for them anymore. Millimetres are sufficient. And yes, the French did invent a number of them (but note that I'm not French :) I just happen to live in France). BTW, if any of you ever comes by Antwerp in Belgium, do not fail to visit the Plantijn museum. It's a world heritage site and the house of printer Plantijn. They have the oldest operating printing presses and the only surviving set of font punches for Garamond: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantin-Moretus_Museum There is a weird thing about font sizes: they measure the height of a font's capital letters, but there is no indication of the proportion between the upper and lower case letters, and that proportion is different for different fonts. Thus, if you write a text in a mix of fonts and choose the same size for all, lower case words in different fonts still have different sizes! Typography is an archaic mess. Just like aviation. People are proud to know the messy details because it makes them part of a distinct group, wielding a jargon. I noticed that when I learned to fly. But that's off-topic. v_kyr: after re-installing AD, the flow in the transform panel is still XWYHRS on my machine. This tab order should be independent of language. Maybe some people would like it differently, but it seems to be logical to group the coordinates and group the dimensions. Rotate: Another thing that needs improving: when rotating an object by typing in the transform panel it rotates around the point chosen in the transform panel, but when grabbing it by the rotate handle it rotates around the rotation centre. However, it is not possible to choose the rotation centre in the transform panel, only the nine predefined points (corners, middles of sides, centre). That makes it very difficult to rotate with precision unless the rotation centre coincides with one of those nine points. The rotation centre does snap however.
  6. :-) This is not for this thread of course, so we should not continue about it, but yes. Here in shops TVs are marked with cm for their size, but displays are in inches. Which is actually illegal. OK, off topic.
  7. Yes Alfred, obviously. :rolleyes: (I hope that was a tongue-in-cheek answer!) What I'm asking for is that when I indicate I want mm then I also want "round" values. What I have now is similar to a particular idea of going metric: writing 0.3048m instead of 1 foot and then being surprised that people object. It's not just literal conversion that's needed for that list to be useful(*). It would also be useful for all lists to show the set of values most used in the document at the top, as is the case for font selection. Robert (*) therefore going metric means retooling: the sizes of many objects need to be slightly adapted. A can of peas that used to contain 10floz now must contain 10.144 so as to get a label of 300ml instead of 295.7ml. And the signpost along the road saying "Edinburgh 12 miles" has to be uprooted and placed 687metres further, then re-painted to say "Edinburgh 20km". It's no good repainting it "Edinburgh 19km 312metres" This re-tooling is the only reason the US is still mostly imperial. But even they have realised that if one uses base 10 to calculate then units had better come in multiples of 10 too: most 3D printers move in metric steps. That said, the really good solution would have been to change calculations to base 12 (needing two extra digit glyphs) and then use the metric principle.
  8. Wow. Thanks all! (3) RC-R: double clicking to switch from text to move is great. I did not know. (5) it would be easier to snap a corner to another corner or point. A_B_C: no, that does not work for me either. It does in the Transform panel. And that raises another interface ergonomics point: a selected field in Transform is surrounded by a thin dark blue outline that is almost imperceptible. I have great difficulty seeing it. The colours of the interface should be settable. Again I refer to Cinema 4D, where all these things are customisable. I do understand that some graphic designers sit in dark rooms all day, but I'm using AD for technical drawings and am in a normally lit room. I would have stayed with Illustrator if it were not that Sierra broke CS6 and I firmly refuse to pay a subscription. And I tried again but on my machine too clicking on field labels does not work: no blue outline, no nothing and starting to type does not work. This must be a bug that is similar to the one by which the toolbars disappear when going to separated mode. I absolutely hate single window (and full screen even more) but I can't have multiple document windows (not on my machine at least) because when I switch to separated mode the tool bars disappear (when I first installed Designer, in Mavericks, this feature did work). v_kyr: if the flow for you is XYWH, for me it is not. There are quite a few behaviours that seem to be linked to some settings file being screwed up. I'll try to reinstall completely this weekend and see what that does. v_kyr & RC_R: thanks for the arrows tip: that works indeed. If it is in the tutorials or the manual, then I'm sorry for having raised it. The increment also changes from coarse to fine with the option key. Good! That leaves (4), (5), (6), (7) and (9). I'll report on a re-install next week.
  9. Agree! I want better user interface contrast especially for text. I'm using Designer as my tool for technical drawings, so this puts somewhat of a slant on what follows. I would propose: (1) selecting the entire value when clicking in an input field, (especially in the Transform panel), or at least an interface option to choose whether clicking selects all or just places the insertion point. (2) when pressing the tab key in an input field the next field selected should be of the same type. E.g. in the transform panel there are fields for position X, Y and dimensions W, H. But pressing tab in X goes to W not Y: the currently implemented sequence is XWYH but I would prefer XYWH. This tab-order problem occurs elsewhere too I think. (3) switching from text to the move tool by typing v usually inserts a letter v into the text (Illustrator had the same problem). I know there is no easy solution but I bet most people, even experienced ones, fall into the trap of typing v instead of first command-clicking elsewhere. I tried to assign a non-text key such as "page down" or "home" but that does not work. I.e. all keys, even function keys, go into the text and some are then ignored. The only way out of text now is to command-click elsewhere and then type v. (4) whole numbers for type size. I set type sizes to mm not points (what an archaic measure "points" are…) but then the list of sizes is not usable, it contains 1.76mm, 2.12mm, 2.47mm, … 101.6mm. Which are just round numbers in points converted to mm. Obviously I want a list with something like 1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, … (does anybody ever really want to use letters that are 101.6mm high instead of 100mm?) Actually, it would be even better if the size list (and some other lists) worked like the type font list: keeping the values most used in the document at the top. (5) ability to move an object by one of its corners. (have I missed something?) (6) improved snapping. I like the basic ideas of Designer's snapping model very much more than that of Illustrator. But sometimes there is no indication of which point will be used for snapping and sometimes it snaps not at all. Also, with snapping on, when starting a polygon with the pen tool, the first point cannot be snapped at all. (or am I missing something?) (7) numeric spline editing. In Cinema 4D (Maxon) I can edit a spline point by point. There is a "structure" panel which shows for each point its x,y coordinates relative to the spline's position, and the coordinates of the bézier curve handles relative to those of the point. This list of numbers can be exported and also imported, which allows me for example to use a spreadsheet to calculate complex shapes accurately depending on parameters and then import them. Obviously Designer already maintains such a list internally for each polygon. It would be nice to be able to edit it and import/export it as a tab-separated list. I used to use Illustrator to drawn shapes, then import them into Cinema4D for 3D work, but now I have to do the inverse… (8) increment/decrement for numeric input fields. They would profit from little arrows to increase/decrease their values in addition to the pop-up sliders. I use this feature all the time in Cinema 4D to adjust values precisely. It could work with the settings of the nudge distance and modifier nudge distance. Then I could, say, increase by 0.1 when clicking on the little arrows and by 1.0 if holding down the shift key. (9) nudge distances independent of each other. In fact, I would set the modifier nudge distance to be smaller than the nudge distance, but I can't do that now (for no good reason). :-) (and btw, text contrast on the forums could also improve: the search box is almost unreadable because the two shades of grey are so close.)
  10. Robert Cailliau

    Separate/Merge All Windows

    Hi MEB, Checking/unchecking separated mode works on the document windows but when it is checked the toolbar disappears. (I think this was reported before but can't find where) I positively hate working with tabs, I want every document in a separate window, but I also need the toolbar (and context bar of course). I have not found a way to work in separated mode with the toolbar displayed. Any solution?
  11. I have a related question: an SVG drawing opened in Designer sits on a chequered background. This is presumably to show where there are no objects. However, this chequered background does not appear in non-SVG drawings. It does not seem to appear behind "holes" in Affinity Photo layers. There is a similar background behind holes in PhotoShop layers, but not in Illustrator drawings. To edit SVG drawings this chequered background is annoying (to me at least). Is there a way to choose the colours of the little squares, similar to choosing the colours of the major and minor grid lines? Then I could simply set them to the same colour and the chequered pattern would disappear. Robert.
  12. I have done so, and it works. However, it seems to me a little too generous from the Affinity people. In this setup I can go around and put the software on all machines of my family and friends and whatever. They can then run it until they need to reinstall or update for some reason, at which point they need me again. While I definitely hugely dislike periodic subscription fees, there is a middle way too: for example, I would be very happy if the licence covered say 5 machines (as much AppStore items do). That would allow me and my wife to use it for our purposes (which are purely non-commercial), plus an extra machine or so (as in my case) but not an unlimited number. After all, the developers have to pay the rent, even after the peak of initial purchases is over. Then there is the question of upgrades: I don't mind to pay for upgrades once in a while if the changes are significant. E.g. not from, say, version n.x.y to n.x.y+1, but it would be OK from n.x to (n+1).x What I do object to is a monthly fee and a constant activation-check over the network. With Affinity at least I can sleep well at night: the product will continue to work even if I go to Tasmania for a 6-month quiet creative work period, without an internet connection(*). :-) (*) should you not know: Tasmania is very well connected to the net, they had the first high school with its own website
  13. Great! And the Mac App Store knows about that I suppose.
  14. Hi, Fine, but I have a Macbook Air and a Macbook Pro. Do I need two purchases or only one?
  15. See my post https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/30038-ad-repeat-rotate/ about repeating rotations using command-J. Two bugs: (1) precision (2) rotation around the wrong centre when typing into the transform box.
  16. Printing on an OKI MC562 colour laser printer prints fine, but then leaves the printer in a blocked state with first EPS error then PostScript error. I can clear this on the printer of course, but it should be fixed. Not terribly urgent. Similar thing happens when printing a jpeg exported from Photo.
  17. Robert Cailliau

    [AD] Repeat / Rotate?

    Yes, this is true but there is a small snag, unless I have not understood something. I used this process to make tick marks of a clock face. Hence I needed an angle of 360/60=6 degrees. However, 59 duplicates did not close the circle. I struggled with this until I decided to type 6.0000 into the angle field of the transform panel after setting the first rotation. Here is the object (a simple line segment), with its rotation centre moved to the left: Now we start duplicate rotation by first dragging it by the rotation handle, to 6 degrees: But when I then make duplicates, they are not correctly positioned. The 61st will not coincide with the original: However, if I type 6.0000 into the transform box, just after the first rotation drag and before typing further CMD-Js: then the 61st copy will be correct: You can also verify this by clicking one of the duplicates and looking at the angle in the transform box. I consider this a bug. It has to do with the way Designer calculates internally and should be fixed. Making technical drawings (my main usage) is tedious until these issues are fixed. Note also that typing into the transform box rotates the object around the position of the default rotation centre, not the one you have set. That too is a bug. Robert.
  18. In Affinity Photo, when I export the file extension jpeg is refused, I'm obliged to use the three letter abbreviation "jpg": Please change this, as I always use jpeg and browsers also recognise jpeg. (the 3 letter extension is a relic from the old Windows days).
  19. Robert Cailliau

    Coordinate systems

    Thanks RC-R for the details on actual size. The thanks were because Adobe Illustrator does not allow me to get true size on screen. I need to set the scale to 184% to see drawings as they will appear in print. As to the type sizes: I knew there were conflicting standards. However, when I set Designer to give me mm for type sizes, I also want the menu to list round mm numbers, not things like 4.2mm, and that was the reason for my request.
  20. Hello, Is there an option to have y-coordinates go up in the up direction? Computer graphics, for historic reasons, works the other way around as mathematics: the y axis points down. But in the mainly technical drawings I make, I want the y axis to point up. In Illustrator this can be set (admittedly by a command-line preference). So when I move an object in y by +10mm I want it to move "up", not down. The rotation is fine: it increases counter-clockwise, as desired. BTW, thanks for allowing expressions in the numeric fields, that is really good. Also thanks for having "acual size" take into account the screen's pixel density(*), so I do indeed get the actual size, unlike Illustrator where 100% has no meaning as it does not use the real screen pixel sizes. And yet another thanks for keeping drawings as objects, especially complex ones such as cogs, stars etc., but even for simple things like rectangles it is extremely useful to be able to set the rotation back to 0 for example. But be sure to store the data in the desired units, not convert them to points or pixels! When saving a drawing in svg, I get everything converted to pixels, which then leads to rounding errors when reading it in again. SVG is perfectly capable of working in mm! It would be a boon if I could make, say, a rectangle, just by clicking on the canvas and then typing in the sizes rather than having to drag a rectangle first. When units is set to mm, I still get a drop-down list of character sizes in weird values: 1.8mm, 2.1mm, … I want 1mm, 2mm, … Sorry for mixing several things in one post, and sorry if this should have gone to a different topic. Robert. (*)"pixel density" is a convoluted way of saying "resolution", which should mean pixels/mm but resolution has been changed to mean "number of pixels". I mean pixels per mm of course.
  21. Robert Cailliau

    Open/Import .AI files

    Well… If the .ai file is not pdf compatible then all I get inside AD is that Illustrator error panel telling me there is no pdf content. If there is pdf content too, then AD imports it as pdf, and the size is not right. It is scaled with this horrible 2.87… factor (coming from these archaic "point" measures). So the question remains: how do I convert my .ai files to AD without losing scale and without having to pass them all through Illustrator to give them pdf content?
  22. Robert Cailliau

    Upper toolbar colours

    MEB, sorry, I tried to find a topic about text size units but nothing came up. So I put my question to you: Is there a way to specify text sizes in mm instead of points?
  23. Robert Cailliau

    Upper toolbar colours

    Hi MEB: Same problem here: I want all tool strips and panels to have a white or very light background. Black is OK for those who work in dark places, which I don't. So yes, please, at the very least a choice between dark and light. :-(
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