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About JGD

  • Birthday 05/30/1985

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    Lisbon, Portugal
  • Interests
    Typography, type design, modular geometric type design, grid systems, information design

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  1. By the way, I did manage to get out of the loop, by manually exporting an individual slice (through a click on the rightmost square-and-arrow widget/button, not the “Export Slices” one).
  2. Hi guys. I've been trying to export an icon file into several .PNG slices, and the Export Slices dialog consistently makes AD2 irrecoverably hang. This is an old bug that also affected, IIRC, AD1, but it seems to have gotten worse; before it was intermittent, but now it seems to have borked this functionality altogether (I can try with other similar files, however). If you want, I can also send you the file for you to test on. I've also recorded a small video of it in action; you can't see the beachball cursor, because of some weird limitation in QuickTime, but believe me, it's there and it appears just a few seconds after the dialog opens (also, even if I quickly try to change to a different destination folder, those clicks aren't ever registered). Affinity Slices crash.mov
  3. Yep. +1000 on this request. Of all the minor but recurrent annoyances with Affinity apps, this seems to be the one I run into and confuse me the most. And if my nit-picky and grandiose feedback history is anything to go by, that really is saying something. Since Affinity Designer is still a bit limited for my uses but already great to do quick edits on PDFs, I've been using it a lot, along with Publisher to add vector stuff (such as signatures) and do other edits to documents exported from Word and other apps… But I also use it a lot to create macOS icons (I just hate seeing apps with non-Big Sur-looking ones, so I've been customizing the late-comers), and time and time again I end up exporting letters in .PDF into .iconset folders. And since Affinity apps don't support the universal, Apple HIG-compliant method (or even a non-compliant contextual menu, like in Adobe apps) of right-clicking on the file name on titlebars or tab bars to locate the files on the Finder, I always have to reopen the export dialog, and sometimes even to reopen the file, just to figure out where the heck did it end up that time. It is, indeed, infuriating.
  4. Here's the issue, and if you carefully re-read what you've just wrote and even what I wrote you'll understand, because it's pretty much self-evident: These are workarounds. All of them. And really convoluted, inelegant, not that flexible ones at that. Also, what you've just suggested, I had already figured out on my own (and some variation of it is probably described by myself somewhere on this thread, albeit without illustrations), mind you. It's the whole going back-and-forth between being outside and inside of artboards that's the problem, because… trying to stay outside of them is “contrary” to Serif's philosophy, you are basically fighting against the application at every corner. And while these workarounds may work for projects with very simple artwork, like the squiggly line demo you've just shown, they immediately fall apart with multi-universal-layer documents. I know this for a fact because I did do a lot of such projects, and I tried to recreate them on AD to the best of my ability. It doesn't work (or not without you wanting to just defenestrate your computer, that is). They fall apart because then you have to repeat them with every. single. layer. And perform extraneous mouse movements and clicks, and do constant object-dragging in the Layers palette, for every. single. object. Now multiply layers by the dozens and objects by the thousands, and do the math. Let's not beat around the bush here: the real problem is there's not a one-stop-shop, set-it-once-and-fuggedaboutit toggle box where you can just change the interaction model altogether – kind of like the one that allows you to switch between Ai's and Corel's selection tool paradigm – and be done with it. And to add insult to injury, there aren't even shortcuts such as the ones I've suggested to make those highly repetitive workarounds easier and more tenable. As for “making use of the features it offers” (emphasis yours): no $***, Sherlock. Yeah, that's obviously an option for some, or even the majority of their current, digital illustration-heavy user base, but if I could do just that, and if that was good enough by my standards or even sustainable in a professional environment, do you think I – or anyone else for that matter – would be here on the forums… *checks notes* making these feature requests in the first place? 😂 Come on, man, you're welcome to make interesting observations and offer suggestions of your own, but asking us, loyal, paying customers, to just suck it up and try to make do with subpar tools (which are subpar for no good reason other than some veeeery debatable – but reversible, or at least not necessarily exclusive – philosophical choices made early on, and not really due to any inherent technical limitation) and let Serif devs live in their cool little echo chamber, instead of putting the user forum – specifically designed to accommodate feature suggestions and requests – to good use, just won't fly… As for the time I still spend here in the forums fighting against windmills, even with a freaking PhD project to do and a thesis to write, well… I'm just taking one for the team (the “team” being my students and my colleagues), because if we do get our way, I know this will end up saving hundreds or even thousands of person-hours in the long run. No, really; in the real world of graphic design, complex jobs which warrant these features are more than common enough to justify their implementation, this isn't just some capricious tug-of-war I'm having here with Serif just for the heck of it.
  5. All fair points, both on this and your earlier post. I like your idea, and would very much prefer to use margin notes in many of my multi-column layouts. AFAIK, those would also be a total PITA to achieve in APub in a semi-automated fashion, but do correct me if I'm wrong.
  6. Ah, yes. I am absolutely not calling that into question, and seeing how I only started using DTP apps in 2003, with QuarkXPress 6.x, I personally wouldn't know any better. My point was just that DTP apps intended to emulate age-old conventions… including footnotes, which, yes, had existed in metal typesetting for a loooooong time.
  7. Sure. But you do realize that there is quite a big functional overlap between word processors and DTP apps, right? It's mostly a UX thing pertaining to their lineage (as I made very clear from my, err, convoluted example workflow in LOo Writer, which to me is just a DTP app, only F/OSS and with extra steps. And way uglier, at that, but still more bearable, usable and interoperable than Scribus, of course). From a historical and functional standpoint, word processors are basically just glorified digital typewriter emulators onto which additional DTP functionality has been grafted over the years… footnotes and endnotes definitely falling under the latter category, IMHO. And if you want to look at from the opposite angle, DTP apps are just digital “typewriters” (or, better yet, descendants of actual digital typewriters, which were a – really powerful – thing) on a lot of steroids (and you could replace “typewriters” with phototypesetting terminals, hot metal typesetting machines before them, yadda yadda… Roughly speaking, and disregarding all the justification wizardry they offered and which only really advanced digital typewriters by IBM and the likes would eventually rival, they all had keyboards and allowed you to typeset stuff; no more, no less), which basically makes them really close cousins, or stepbrothers, or whatever, to word processors. To-may-to, to-mah-to, po-tay-to, po-tah-to. I won't do any more of this historiography of DTP tools, word processors or typewriters at the moment (because, incidentally, I have one class on typographic metrics values to prepare and, not-so-funnily enough, just ran into yet another annoying quirk of AD regarding “universal” guidelines which definitely warrants yet another standalone post here in the forums), but I'm willing to bet that even Aldus PageMaker had footnotes and endnotes quite early on, let alone InDesign or QuarkXPress. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Yes, APub is very affordable by comparison, but existing DTP apps have been, by their very function of serving standards and conventions that have been somewhat frozen for hundreds of years now, stagnant for decades as well. The only thing Serif has to do is catch up, and catch up they really must if they want to capture this market in earnest.
  8. Add another one to the list of those who not only need footnotes (something any basic word processor under the sun offers, mind you), but also who'll agree to disagree with your disagreement. I've been posting all sorts of really demanding comments in these forums for years (clearly not as many as you, but I've always liked to measure my output in quality over quantity), and not even a bad experience I had with a Serif developer (yes, I've had one) soured my relationship with the company, as their stance then didn't even come close to your posturing now (hey, at least they were defending their own work – something to which I always give a pass –, they don't need your help for that… And if they do need help, that's what moderators are here for). This is a user forum where users come to find solutions for their problems (whether they're something there's already a solution for, can be solved through a workaround or – as is sadly the case – can only be addressed by Serif developers at some point down the road), so I'll kindly ask you to leave us be and let us discuss what we actually need from our professional tools like adults. If we can't put pressure on a company of which we're paying customers (and potential ongoing customers still, at least when it comes to future paid updates, which I fully expect to come out one of these days), what use are the forums, anyway? Might as well shut the whole thing down and call it a night. 🙄 Just another two cents, on the subject of shortcomings, expectations and the consequences of not fixing the former and meeting the latter in a timely manner: I am now a full-blown MA teacher, with an entire class of 28 Advanced Typography students counting on me for guidance (I've been giving hint upon hint about it to Serif devs for years now, by the way), and we're now actively discussing, amongst Faculty, whether to steer our students towards Serif's Affinity apps (which are cheap enough for them to buy, even in a poor country like ours) or to just let them keep pirating CC by default like there's no tomorrow. As the latter is what they'll run into on professional studios, and what they may even be able to afford themselves if and when they set up their own freelance practices and declare it as a tax-deductible monthly expense, I guess this is still not the year when I – who my Design Department teachers/colleagues fully trust on this matter, as it seems I'm the most hardcore Affinity user and potential full-time switcher in there (incidentally, I was just “dogfooding” myself before by typesetting a basic two-page brief for my students in APub, and… well, to my surprise, no automatic footnotes for me, which means I should've stuck with my – wait for it – LibreOffice.org template¹ 🤦‍♂️) – will advise them to tell the students to take the plunge and make the switch. Sorry! 🤷‍♂️ ______________________ ¹ Crazy as this may sound, I'll actually be typesetting – as in, literally writing the work files and preparing the final versions for digital and print production – my entire PhD thesis (and have been typesetting all my papers and reports so far) in LOo Writer, of all solutions; MS Word on the Mac doesn't support vector images or DTP-like master pages and baseline guides, and strips out all index and cross-reference links when exporting to PDF, whereas neither InDesign, InCopy or APub support Zotero or Mendeley CSL field codes and automatic bibliography generation (and you won't see me asking for support for those in APub here, as not even the huge, 80lb monopolist gorilla will support them either), without which I might as well write the whole damned thing on a typewriter instead, and even if Scribus did at some point, I'd rather gouge my eyes out than subject myself to using it. But hey, APub will still be included at the very end of the print version workflow/pipeline, as LOo only supports RGB and I'll also be forced to open my final PDFs and manually change, one spread at a time, all the text to C0M0Y0K100 from whatever dark-brown-looking mess r0g0b0 is automatically converted into. 😬
  9. There used to be a rather public roadmap of really basic functionality. Easy pickings, if you will. Now there's still one, either for point releases, or for the upcoming – who knows when – 2.x branch, except it's kept secret for competitive reasons. I would say this is still the place to request new features. I am as disappointed as you in this, but at the same time happy to know I'm not the only one who cares. Also, if you know other people who do and would buy Affinity apps if these features were available, do invite them over to the forum. They can get their hands on trial versions while they're at it, too, and, who knows, maybe even give more feedback in other areas.
  10. That's pretty much it. Please add proxy icons, adhering to each OS's conventions (in the Mac's case, they should be Option/right-clickable and show a selectable file path menu so you can go directly to any of its containing folders). Separated Mode windows should behave just like in any other app, including Adobe ones, but you could one-up the competition and instead of just having a “Show in Finder” option in tabbed documents, having proxy items there as well would be great. But hey, if you can't implement those for some reason, sure, at least give us that option. Thanks!
  11. Hah, my bad. 😅 Ok, I see we're all on the same page… Yes, it's disheartening indeed, but we shouldn't let the foot off the pedal anyway. And more than disheartening, it's frustrating just to think just how easy some of these would be to fix. Or maybe not exactly easy, but easier than creating entirely new features from scratch. And, at this point, with so many people complaining about absolutely basic stuff like this, that just looks to have been put out there in a rushed and incomplete fashion, it's high time the Serif management team rethinks their priorities. Yes, competing with Adobe on features (either by upstaging them with innovative ones or just achieving some semblance of parity) is important and all, but come on… They really could and should do much better. It's just a matter of basic respect (or, in this case, lack thereof) for Apple's HIG or just established UX principles.
  12. @Kal, I like that you're paying attention to the topic, and all, but that is definitely not what this request was about. Tiling windows was never something we were clamouring for here, and recent macOS versions are great for that by default even in non-fullscreen mode, in that they automatically snap edges in a very elegant way. Sure, it works for that use case, even if it looks a bit kludgy (and I believe it is; the combination of Separated Mode and macOS's default fullscreen mode, whether with tiled windows or not, is still a bit of a disaster – and there's a reason why Adobe doesn't support it –, as the toolbar will obscure important UI elements like the rulers), but it doesn't address the impracticality of not having dockable toolbars, toolboxes and palettes, and windows smart enough to avoid them if they can. The large majority of Mac apps got these very basic concepts just right since the late '80s, and many modern ones still do, so why the heck should we cut Serif devs any slack here? We're talking about decades upon decades of accrued, tried and tested UX knowledge here. In any case, I will just say this: if you need fo perform 13 steps – if you just added two more, it would've been a nice nod to Radiohead, har – in Affinity apps to achieve something that can be done in both Photoshop 2021 and FontLab 7 – two currently shipping apps with a decent classic Mac palette model – in just one step (i.e. respectively turning off Application Frame, or tearing off the toolbars and palettes you wish to have in floating mode and snapping/docking them to the screen edges instead), clearly their entire UX underpinnings are broken/wrong by design and need more work. I said it before and I'll say it again: Separated Mode was, and still is, an afterthought. The fact that it has glaring cosmetic bugs in Big Sur, both on the latest stable release and the latest betas makes me even more certain that a) nobody at Serif tested something as basic as Persona switching in Separated Mode because nobody uses it at all, and it wasn't detected by beta testers either because anyone who cares for it doesn't use it much, as it's so sucky. I finally got around to it (and ended up running into several other issues, because of course I did), as I did some outside-of-the-box thinking and realised that if I just chucked the toolbar to the bottom and lined up the toolbox to the bottom-left corner, like in the enclosed screenshot, I could at least work with it without being constantly enraged at these shortcomings. Sure, having a different Studio layout in Affinity Photo isn't great for muscle memory, and having toolbars next to the menu bar also makes more sense from a Fitt's Law perspective (having the Dock constantly pop up by accident is a bit intrusive, and I may end up pruning it and putting it on the left screen edge if I end up working with AP a lot, but then I won't be able to summon it on my secondary screen), but being able to compare photos, quickly switch between several ones just by picking them on a visible stack, etc., is absolutely invaluable. As you can see, I found a much better workaround, so this is no longer a hill I'm willing to die on… But I still feel that the very existence of a thread that is now more than a year old, regarding a glaring shortcoming that has been plaguing an important feature since its very inception and which hasn't been addressed at all (I mean, have any devs chimed in here yet?), is a bit concerning.
  13. Another addendum: the other day, on an Affinity Designer user group on Facebook, yet another user posed THE SAME QUESTION: https://www.facebook.com/groups/affinity.designer/permalink/2894383684174789 In this case, she was a textile/fashion designer, who wanted to lay some patterns spanning across several printed sheets, as you can see from the image she offered as an example and reproduced below. We had, again, to explain all of this to her, and the users' suggestions for workarounds were all over the place. Unsurprisingly, I was the only one who could somewhat elaborate on the advantages and limitations of each one of them, as well as on the sad reality that none will match – at least for the time being – Ai's bog-standard, no-frills, WYSIWYG UX in this camp. The. Artboard. Model. Is. Broken. I warned Serif devs that professional designers would run into this issue and, sure enough, time and time again they do. How many of those will just cave in and pay up for CC, I wonder? Yes, I know there are better, specially-tailored (ha! See what I did there?) tools for industries like that one (quite literally so; a PhD colleague of mine is a textile/fashion designer who happens to be an expert in patterns, and I know for a fact she did use specialised, ultra expensive software for that in the last company she worked at, not a run-of-the-mill vector editor), but should Serif be passing up on the chance of selling workable tools for students and freelancers across all industries? Wouldn't avoiding their departure or, worse even, negative word-of-mouth be worth slapping a checkbox somewhere to fix this mess once and for all? I'm sorry if this bothers any of you, but anytime another one pops up, I'll be posting it here on this thread (or create a new one if this one's closed), because if there's one thing I know is that hiding your head in the sand does you no good in the long run. Don't forget: for every user that actively complains about this, there is potentially an entire class of similar cases who may just be silently calling it quits.
  14. As an addendum, to all Serif developers, after doing a quick test in the latest Beta and seeing that this would indeed work: For the love of all that is good and sacred, if you're not giving us a quick but undiscoverable and potentially confusing – but definitely very much usable – fix such as the one I proposed (I'll refresh your memory: using a modifier key+mouse/trackpad click to ad hoc override that single-layer focus for selection operations, either to switch to a different layer altogether or to select objects across different layers by adding Shift to it), and the only viable way to work in that mode will indeed be having to constantly drag the cursor all the way to the Studio and click the “Edit All Layers” toggle button in any project complex enough, at least PLEASE give us a – preferably customisable – keyboard shortcut for it. PLEASE. And if you're weary of setting a precedent, well, just leave it blank but give us the option to pick one. Do not underestimate how much extraneous cursor drag + click operations add up in wasted time and make using a piece of software feel more like a frustrating chore and less like an almost fun activity (even lowly web developers across the world know this, and you seem to underestimate it… In my interactions with you, it sometimes feels as if you eventually and begrudgingly address some general grievances without actually understanding what they were really all about in the first place, which, in the infamous and maybe apocryphal words of Comrade Dyatlov, is “not great, not terrible”). It's the least that you could do for v.1.x, without bothering anyone or introducing too much complexity. As a matter of fact, this is such an important feature, because it changes the entire MODE of operation of AD, that it should also be featured somewhere in the Layer menu (and not on a sub-menu, but at the top level, for that matter; maybe right above or under the Show/Hide and Lock/Unlock groups). I get that adding an entire section to your Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts system just to enable customizable shortcuts for Studio panel buttons would be a PITA at this point, and it's something I would only expect for a v.2 or even v.3 release of the suite, but that alternative would just be sensible UX, enhance feature discoverability and solve a lot of issues in one fell swoop. And yes, I know that all items in the Layer menu only affect the currently selected object(s) but, to be fair, you also have a completely redundant (and at times useless) “Find in Layers Panel” item in there; the behaviour triggered by it is also automatically triggered the moment you select an individual object on the document, and if you have more than one object selected it becomes inactive… Chuck it away, use the spot it currently occupies for a perfectly standard “Edit All Layers” checkmark toggle and the menu doesn't even have to grow in size. Boom, problem solved! Still feel uncomfortable with that option? Well, put it under Select, as it affects – duh – object selection, or under View, a menu also featuring items such “Lock Guides”, which definitely affects direct interactions with elements and not just their visibility; and in a roundabout way, since the “Edit All Layers” model is also all about visibility, maybe you could and should put it in View > View Mode, right under “Clip to Canvas”, as that's the feature it is most closely related to in real-world usage. Look, please figure it out, that's just what I'm saying. As always, you are this close to a perfectly workable – if not 100% elegant – solution, and yet soooo far, so I hope you don't take this as anything but a little, constructive nudge. About the only thing I can't be faulted for is not dishing out enough sensible solutions for the problems I come across.
  15. The reason Serif took this route was, I believe, because they always wanted to cater to the iPadOS crowd, where you'll have a single artboard onscreen (I'm not sure if that's how Affinity apps behave on that platform, as my iPad is too old for me to test them, but even if that isn't the case by design and you can zoom out and rearrange them just like in desktop Affinity apps and Ai, 90% of the time you will work zoomed in because even the bigger iPads Pro are tiny when compared with, say, a 27'' iMac like the one I work with). As for Ai, guess what, it's the other way around, and you don't see people complaining about it. Sure, you will have to use clipping masks to prevent that from happening, but doing the opposite, i.e. having objects spanning multiple artboards, InDesign/APub-style, is MUCH easier by design. I've said it before, and I will say it again: this all comes down to a philosophical decision from Serif's developer team regarding workflows. Their “container-like” model makes no sense from a WYSIWYG approach to classical, hand-made artistic workflows… In the real world, if you want to crop your artwork, you have to do it BY HAND, by folding, cutting, erasing, masking, whatever. And anyone with a background in fine arts, life drawing, illustration, yadda yadda, made with real, physical media and supplies, will look at artboards as SHEETS OF PAPER on a desk, atop which stuff can be laid, and not as abstract containers in a database, which have a life of their own and crop stuff automatically. I warned the Serif dev team about many users potentially becoming unhappy with this model in the long run, and it took them years to even add the option of toggling automatic clipping of objects into artboard boundaries, and only partially at that, with some less than stellar consequences. The only way you can prevent artboards from sucking objects in is by creating one or multiple layers, and disable “Edit All Layers”. It almost works like Ai, except… you can't quickly switch from one layer to another and select an object from a different layer, or even make a selection of different objects across different layers, without having to go to that ghastly, do-it-all, jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none Layers+Artboards panel. Also, it's not like you could create a super-layer to work around that, as clicking that automatically selects all objects inside all sub-layers. If I didn't do so already for that last, super-layer idea (maybe I did, but my memory fails me, so please bear with me), I could and should do a video demonstrating just that and its frustrating limitations but, as I've also said several times before, I'm now doing a PhD to become a Design teacher. I'm not fooling around, and was not joking either when I said my teachers, supervisors, fellow workshop tutors, classmates, students, etc., no longer pay much attention to Affinity Designer (or not as much as they did after the initial hype). I sincerely hope Serif polishes this thing up for v. 2 of the suite, because if Adobe gets their act together (or *gasp* backtracks on their subscription-only model!), they are either toast, or will forever be relegated to third place at best, no matter how much Apple propped Affinity up to keep their long-term frenemy on their toes (something oh-so-convenient considering their upcoming ISA transition, which tends to shake up the market and can be very dangerous to proprietary platforms like the Mac). Ehhh. Oh, but I'm putting my money where my mouth is… As much as I love and respect Affinity apps – which, mind you, I will always buy, as I feel I have an obligation towards my students to stay informed and know what's out there in the market, and the price of admission is low enough for me not to balk at it – and Serif's lofty goals – again, I know I'm extremely harsh, but I am indeed rooting for them; it's just that I'm not a “yes-man” for anyone, and when I see BS and bad design/UX/etc. I will speak up –, I'm very likely taking some of my upcoming research scholarship allowance and putting it towards a Creative Cloud student subscription, as I will indeed need a graphic design suite for my project at some point (even if it's just to make some diagrams, and edit my final thesis manuscript in InCopy and typeset it in InDesign) and don't have time to deal with these shenanigans or retrain my muscle memory for the next 3-5 years of my life. #sorrynotsorry
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