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Everything posted by JGD

  1. Sorry @Ben, this was another miscommunication. Yes, snapping an object's nodes A, B and C respectively to A, B and C is ridiculous. That's what Undo is there for. “Self-snapping” always refers to the hexagon demo, i.e. moving an object and snapping node A to node B or C's original position. If you add centre points, mid-points, geometry, paths, etc. into the mix, it gets even more useful. Add multiple object selection to the mix (then you can indeed have full A—A, B—B, C—C snaps, except to different instances), and it suddenly gets even more interesting.
  2. That's the textbook definition of a tesselation right there. It absolutely does relate to this request; I'd say that's the biggest use case for the self-snap feature is precisely that. In fact, I've been saying as much – and talking about tesselations, but also general geometric work – for a while now. And while you're right, it can be extremely useful in the set up stage. But sometimes, even while editing stuff, moving an object away from the “mesh/grid/tesselation/whatchamacallit” and still have it snap to its own nodes can be useful, especially when you're dragging a multiple object selection.
  3. Now that sounds very interesting. But please consider the usefulness of being able to do geometric work without too much prior set up (i.e. with this ersatz smart[er] snapping). Sometimes people are just whipping up a poster or a portfolio, and those carefully curated grids/tools won't carry over neatly; if one has to do quick edits, it can become a total chore, whereas if the engine itself was ready to accommodate those workflows by design, that wouldn't be an issue. Those two approaches shouldn't be mutually exclusive, obviously, and I can't wait to see what you come up with. Also: 99 words once again. At this rate, we can shut the thread down and move this to Twitter.
  4. You're dismissing an entire style of illustration, by the way. Something that goes all the way back to the 1920s (if you don't count Islamic tile work) and about which I and a great deal of scholars, whom I know personally, are doing great work on. And probably either the subject of my PhD, or some further research. And I keep seeing that style being revived in contemporary stuff (a recent rebranding done by Delta, a big coffee brand over here which exports their wares all over Europe, uses it extensively, just to give you a real-world example). Guess what: 99 words, once again [again, not counting this paragraph, sorry]. Sorry for rehashing the subject, but it did warrant a separate reply; it may be a niche, but it's a big one currently, and as dear to us as Serif itself is to you. Please bear that in mind when approaching it.
  5. That's the problem. Forcing people to work a certain way. More specifically, to use too many modifiers+shortcuts to do stuff that could be achievable only by clicking and dragging; that's not good practice. You can't self-snap an object without copying [and deleting], which itself forces one to use either Command+drag, Option+drag or Duplicate. You're complicating stuff that, with ghost/self-snapping enabled, is easier by default (and easier with the competition). Even if it's only apparently “slightly” slower*. As for the Power Duplication feature, it has enough issues of its own that it warranted its own thread. Please do check it out. … and at a 100 words, that's a wrap! _____________________________ Edit: (*) It isn't. It can be much slower. Please see my latest comment for a real-world example.
  6. Of course there isn't a use in isolation; I was just demoing general UX principles. As soon as I find old projects from my archives or come across a new one that make serious use of that, I'll post them here; it's so frequent, that it's only a matter of time. Anyhoo, when working with anything based in geometric principles – not just simple grids like those you can already set up with the app, but tesselations and other stuff –, absolutely. It makes the app feel “smarter”, and would fit right in on an already very advanced snapping manager. My €0,02, in 98 words [not counting this last paragraph, sorry], just like you asked.
  7. Yeah, I know. It's only silver bullets from now on. But I'll tell you what: even if there are workarounds I'm unaware of, if the guys at Serif are still defensive after a metric ton of real examples I'll probably throw in the towel and jump ship to Corel, Inkscape, Sketch or whatever I can grab my hands on. There's a third point you (and especially Ben) are not considering: The app feels incomplete and unpolished. That's the gist of it. I know there are workarounds, and that there are other ways of achieving certain stuff (some of them more efficient in general, and some of them maybe even more efficient in 99% of cases), but… not everyone's mental model is the same, nor is it always the same in every scenario. As I've said, there's a certain threshold under which using über-advanced automation tools and duplication voodoos may not really feel right, even if you have them somewhere in your muscle memory. And to me, to be denied that choice over some decree of efficiency, for something that really doesn't seem that hard to code (I mean, it's definitely not harder to code than, say, the stuff that's missing from Publisher, or a full-blown tracing tool or whatever) and which could bring other side benefits unrelated to snapping (comparing before/after looks of a composition comes to mind, once again; that Serif devs just ignore this super basic factor, which would make them one-up Illustrator in any conceivable way, completely boggles my mind), just seems really petty, and makes me feel like the app is fighting against me. It's hard to put that into words and UX concepts, but damn it, that's how Designer feels. It feels wrong. And not because it's different than Ai, since it inevitably would be and always will. Far from it. For instance, I got used to QuarkXPress, to the point that I could typeset entire documents with it, and yet I felt the same way about it, mainly because its shortcuts and modifier keys were so weird and non-standard; I also feel the same about Designer's completely and deliberately (as stated somewhere here) non-standard and un-Mac-like modifier key behaviour (I'll go back to that one, and ask for further customisation of those so we may one day fix Serif's decisions on those, even if we have to replicate them on any and all machines we may come across). However, I most definitely did not feel that way when switching from FreeHand to Ai, which almost feels sacrilegious to say. Or when switching from Quark to InDesign (that was, in fact, a total improvement, as I was already starting to use Ai but, IIRC, I switched to it at a time during which I was still using FreeHand to some extent). Yeah, I guess you're right. I'm divided over stuff like, say, the Corner Tool. Serif came up with it first, by creating a dedicated tool; shortly after Adobe aped it but integrated it in the Direct Selection Tool in a way that is at the same time more “elegant”, as you can just edit corners directly, but also more cumbersome, as it kinda screws up with my… Direct Selection Tool-heavy workflow (as those handles get in the way). So, in the end, even though I'm as worried as you are with the “Subtool bloat”, I'd rather have subtools that work great and don't conflict with one another, than having to deal with too much functionality condensed into a single one. InDesign now also has these frame content editing handles which are visible by default and get in the way, and maybe there's a way to turn those off, but man, what a pain those are. By trying to make an app purportedly easier to use, they screwed it up, and I don't want Serif to do that by adding too much complexity. But I don't enjoy seeing them also do just that by going the opposite route and enforcing too much simplicity (as is the case when it comes to the strictly-WYSIWYG dragging model). Oh, cool. Not having to even edit the defaults would've been good, especially for a novice. Except maybe mine were borked? It's not the first time that happens to me (at some point, the Zoom tool lost its default shortcut in Photo), but I just added it back. Thank you for telling me what the default was anyway; that way, not only did I not have to reset my shortcuts to the defaults, if I ever bump into someone else's installation of Designer I won't be completely lost. As for the arrangement, if the tools ever stop fitting my 13'' MacBook, maybe I'll have to switch to the two-column view as well; on the iMac, seeing how big its screen is, it really won't be necessary.
  8. Please give it a rest already. Also, can't we discuss stuff among ourselves as fellow users, now? This isn't just a one- or two-way communication street with Serif (for that, there are DMs), but a public forum. Can't we, fellow users, discuss stuff among each other? And who's to say I wouldn't, as the OP, edit the original post with condensed versions of all the suggestions offered during that discussion? It's not like I'm the only one here writing posts way longer than 100 words (some are 50% longer, some are twice as long, and have lots of screenshots, to boot), which very interesting, too. Do you not enjoy those, either? It's just that I didn't see you telling @Mithferion, @CLC, or other users here and on other equally (nay, some of them way more) important threads to cap their posts at that “magical 100-word mark”, so… maybe that's not your only (or main) criteria here? As for my answers to Ben, they were the size they were because they had to, not because of some meanness on my part or something. Some of his comments were way off base, and some of what I said obviously wasn't yet clear enough; was I supposed to just accept those lingering misunderstandings and not retort at all? Also, I said what I had to say before, and proceeded to discuss stuff with other people (even though I did ask them to discuss that in the other thread), please let me be. When I have new demos to show, I'll post them here and tag Ben accordingly. But anyway, if you really want a digested version of this current thread, there you go (with the added bonus that the Serif team will get it as well if they do check out the thread): • Designer's Move Tool is limited (doesn't snap objects to themselves). • Ai's Selection Tool is complete (snaps objects to themselves). Nineteen words. However, how do you expect me to explain that limitation or add any suggestions in only 5x that amount of text (a measly two lines)? Without it coming across as “Ugh, feature x limited, Designer baaad, Ai goooood”? And in a way that convinces the arguably – and self-admittedly – stubborn team at Serif that giving users a choice to have this feature isn't any different than, say, having both Corel's and Adobe's selection models in Designer [], when no other app that I know of does it? No, really, try and do that yourself if you can, and then tell me how. In under 100 words, of course.
  9. So yep, here we are again. When discussing Power Duplication with another user, I tried recreating the effect I did on this old poster of mine, and ran into some limitations: My attempted workflow went as follows (and looked like this right before I performed the last step): • I created a circle; • Snapped a square to it; • Duplicated the square by pressing Command+J; • Used the Point Transformation Tool to set the square's point atop the circle's centre point; • Rotated the square x degrees; • Finally pressed Command+J again, fully expecting Designer to create another duplicate, offset another x degrees centred on the same point. This is what I expected: This is what I got: So… the new duplicate didn't budge, even though Command+J is very much still a valid shortcut when the Point Transformation Tool is active. I guess the chain broke, and Designer can only make sense of either manual, mouse-driven drag operations, or transformations done by adding/subtracting X and/or Y coordinates or rotation values in the non-contextual state of the Transform panel, only when the Move Tool is selected. And then I realised: Serif could very well emulate Adobe's “Transform again” and “Copy” functions on this Point Transformation Tool contextual state of the Transform panel (or, since this opens a bit of an UX can of worms for multiple transform operations at the same time, as it would be hard for the user to know exactly which actions would be repeated, create a modal dialog similar to this under Layer > Transform), as there's already a large, blank space on there already. Easy-peasy, mac-and-cheesy: But I guess that for single, discrete actions, it might just work and be usable, as these buttons would only repeat the last action performed on the panel; let's see how it might behave: • Press “Transform Again” before committing to that “30°” value by pressing Return or Tab or selecting another field with the mouse, and boom, Designer allows you to indefinitely rotate the thing by 30° increments without the value ever going away (obviously, if you commited to the value or selected a different field with the mouse, the chain should be broken for consistency and predictability); • Press “Duplicate”, and boom, you get the same behaviour, except with a nice trail of objects behind it; • Press “Command+J” with a value inserted into any of those fields and boom, you get the exact same behaviour as pressing “Duplicate”. Simple enough? This is a suggestion in addition to fixing the Power Duplication feature, in its current “voodoo-like” implementation (that's the term I'm going for henceforth, deal with it ), when using the Point Transformation Tool. I'm just not filing the limitation I just described as a separate bug report, for basic economy of writing (uhh, what a concept! ), but if you'd rather have me do that, I can deliver. You see, even in its current, functional state when used with the regular Move Tool, this feature is just not very discoverable. I know there are tutorials explaining how the feature works, but currently it feels more like a game cheat code than anything else. And yes, I did try it, and even when it worked as advertised, I found it really cumbersome and finicky. If the aforementioned bug and lack of discoverability weren't damning enough, it's not very forgiving of mistakes, since if you switch tools midway during an operation, the automation chain will immediately break. Yes, it will break even if you don't do anything with the other tool and revert to the Move Tool, which means a single, inadvertent key press will force you to undo any transformations you did and the original duplication task, and you'll then have to start all over from the beginning. So perhaps a modal solution would be better suited for more complex, precision tasks like this one I've tried to demonstrate here. It should be reasonable, then and IMHO, to expect at least a basic fix for Power Duplication feature when working with the Point Transformation Tool in v.1.7.x or 1.8, and the full-blown modal dialog thingy (perhaps even with “Preview” functionality like in Ai) by v.2 or later… leaving this non-modal, contextual and more limited incarnation I'm proposing right now for intermediate tasks as a v.1.9-ish thing. What are your thoughts on the matter?
  10. That's the kicker, right there. Depending on what you're doing, and while I may be a fringe case in the sense that I do a lot of operations where clicking stuff and deleting duplicates would be a daily chore, I also know for a fact that a) I'm not alone in that and b) even if most other users will deal with it rarely, the combined wasted man-hours from all those instances, which could be easily avoided if this little thing was fixed, could be put to better use (also, the app would very well feel nicer in those instances, and having the choice there won't hurt those who don't need it). Yep, your analysis on the number of different selection tools is very interesting and actually on topic. I've been giving this some thought myself… Designer is closer to Ai than FreeHand in that regard. For instance, I've always thought that the very existence of the Anchor Point Tool in Ai, which is a subset of the Pen Tool but feels more like a bolted on addition to the Direct Selection Tool to make up for the shortcomings of the Pen Tool when compared to that from FreeHand, was a symptom of Adobe's inability to manage the beast that Ai probably was from its inception. I mean… I like the Point Transformation Tool, but when I began playing with it in earnest I did start to wonder whether it was Designer's own “Anchor Point Tool” of sorts in philosophy, as in… a bolted-on addition. Then again, you could argue that it is basically Ai's Rotate Tool, only on steroids because it not only allows you to pick the reference point, it also lets you make any kind of transformation conceivable instead of just rotate; indeed, it really makes that tool from Ai feel dumb and limited, like a totally wasted opportunity. I may grow to like it a lot, but I absolutely must give it its own keyboard shortcut and spot on the toolbox; having it behave like a subset of the Node Tool, tucked in behind its drop-down menu and all, just won't cut it in the long run.
  11. Indeed you are correct. As a tester I am, however, in the “job” of anticipating problems and proposing, as you so well put, general solutions… Being able to specify “x degrees” is great because you can just make some simple calculations and do pretty much any even radial distribution you can think of. Yeah, I mean, I don't really care how Serif solves it. But the Power Duplication feature shows promise, as does the Point Transformation tool and this ∆X/Y/R thing. They basically have an embryo of a great Power Transform tool and advanced (and modal) Transform dialog right there already; only the UI and some coding is missing. And they needn't be mutually exclusive, as I've said. By the way, do you know what? Maybe if Serif created a dedicated “Power Duplicate” shortcut (they could just call it that and expose it in the menus, with a dedicated keyboard shortcut and all), Designer could even allow for longer chains of actions between duplication operations (maybe even with some tool switching in the process), without making it more confusing, as that would be expected by default from a “Power” feature. Now that would be cool, and likely solve the discoverability issue in one fell swoop (even if the feature itself required a tutorial for the user to grasp and master it, its exposure with a dedicated name would spike the end-user's curiosity and make it discoverable on Google/YouTube/Serif's website, as that would give them a point of reference; as it stands, it's just “hidden”). Let's face it: not everyone will watch all the tutorials that are available, and if the learning curve can be smoothed out a bit… why not?
  12. Well, that's a great effort right there, congrats! But I must ask: how long did it take you to achieve this? I worked a 9 AM to 5 PM schedule, and I probably had to whip up that pattern by the morning and finish up the rest by the afternoon (this is a piece I made much later on for the programme/book of abstracts cover; the first incarnation was a poster, so there was more information to be had, including the obligatory logo strip on the bottom), and everything had to be thought and done from scratch (just picking the fonts, considering how disorganised our collection was, would take me around 1-2 hours; my boss and colleagues didn't really “get it”, and all my pleas for us to purchase a decent font manager fell on deaf ears, so I had to use Apple's Font Book, ugh). The copying part of the entire thing was probably the fastest one. That's what I keep hammering on: Designer must work faster, or else using it won't make business sense. Ah, I didn't even notice that. I just copied mine from the APNUG logo, so they don't have that issue, but it's really imperceptible. And yes, it's really “neurourology” (except in Portuguese, which, as you know, isn't that different from Spanish); I never attended medical school, but I did learn a bit on the job, so to speak, and apparently there's a branch of urology that focuses on the importance the nervous system has in its control… It makes a lot of sense, when you think about it. The font is Foundry Sterling. It's a nice alternative to the Myriads of this world… You know, for a change. Thanks for your attention. As for the feature itself I'm proposing… don't you reckon it would've made the task a bit faster, or at least slicker and more pleasurable? I mean, if you had to duplicate each object, and then rotate it, then duplicate it, rinse and repeat, didn't that get tiresome after a while? There's a lot of them, and I'm guessing that pressing “Transform” a bunch of times was waaaay quicker back then.
  13. You should consider posting those on a separate thread on Publisher's sub-forum for bug reporting. My €0,02. But it does worry me a bit that those are even a thing. However, please bear in mind that Publisher is still a pretty young app in its current, release-quality incarnation, so there's that. Well. This has been a bit of a sticking point for me, personally. Namely, about features that are in Publisher and won't be ported to Designer. In fact, one of them was indeed “ported” to Designer, fully by accident, which was in and of itself an episode that generated quite the commotion here in the forums but into which I won't delve much (if you wish, you can search my earlier posts; you'll run into it eventually). Suffice to say: the Designer, Publisher and Photo codebases are, by design, the exact same. All features are present, in some way, in all apps; the only difference being which are exposed and which aren't. That's why a feature like StudioLink is made possible, as is opening each file in any of the other apps; when you load Publisher, you are in fact loading huge swathes of Photo and Designer code with it (only the UI code, I reckon, is left out, as the core engine is exactly the same). That's also why it's so quick to switch from one Persona to another. Obviously, when “porting” one feature from one app to the other, Serif devs have to test it for usability, and even before getting to that stage they have to ponder the implications, both commercial and technical, of exposing it. I can't safely say the reasons are behind their not answering this plea. Maybe they considered it and decided against it, or maybe they didn't have the time to even think about it, or maybe they did but didn't have the time to actually reply. In any case, I'd say that quoting yourself ad infinitum, while whimsical, doesn't seem to be having an effect. Especially when done in such quick succession. But hey, you got my attention, and further proved my point that there are indeed more users than me worried at the omission of basic features. So kudos for that, I guess. Now, for my actual, well-informed and on-topic two cents: To all the users that keep saying that “you can open your .afdesign files in Publisher/Photo to perform task x/y/z”; well, that's all well and good, except more often than not it isn't and just adds extra otherwise unnecessary steps (on other state-of-the-art Designer competitors, at least), especially when the feature in question is so dumbfoundingly basic and ubiquitous that there is zero excuse for it not to be there after four years. I certainly hope this isn't that thread all over again, with yet another commercially-justified StudioLink compartmentalisation decision, and that Serif deemed Find/Replace as a DTP-only app (heck, even Photo should have it… Indeed, any app that allows for text input should have it, even if you have to eschew the ubiquitous Command/Control+F shortcut in favour of another tool that is more deserving of it in that particular context). You already know what I think about those decisions, so, if that's the case, you can pretty much count on “Findgate” right here.
  14. What @fde101 said. I'm what you could call a “long form” poster (you could even say my reputation precedes me ), and even I had trouble parsing your post (hint: shorter paragraphs and phrases help a lot, and I've been trying those lately myself ), but I immediately realised you are veering dangerously into DTP territory. Anything longer than 4 pages should be done in a DTP app. Anything with more than a few paragraphs should be done in a DTP app. Anything with more than 5 or 6 images, word-wrapped or otherwise interspersed between text (preferably in anchored form, so they flow along with it), should be done in a DTP app. Patens, like those you described (and I've read a few myself), fill all those three requirements. Doing them in anything other than a DTP app or, heck, even a run-of-the-mill word processor is, with all due respect, a bit crazy. Buy yourself a copy of Publisher and you'll thank us later.
  15. Wrong, spoke too soon! I'm quoting myself because adding this comment to the earlier post would make it even more bloated, and also because this will be the starting point for a new bug reporting/feature suggestion thread (in fact, don't be surprised if I outright excise this entire post from this thread and cross-link them instead to keep things simpler). I tried doing radial transformations just like the ones in that “APNUG” poster, using Command+J, the Point Transform Tool to set the centre using a circle's centrepoint as a guide, and manually inputting the angle values, and guess what, somewhere along the chain Designer becomes amnesiac and the Power Duplication falls completely apart. That's kinda sad, right now that I was half-excited about these nifty tools, but at least it's a start and hopefully the guys at Serif can fix this. Or, you know, they could [also?] add two little “Repeat” and “Duplicate” buttons to the Transform panel when the Point Transform tool is selected (the entire ∆X, ∆Y and ∆R fields already set a precedent for a modal and very intuitive and discoverable dialog on which those buttons would fit like a glove; it would be a “Power Power Duplicate tool for dummies”, if you will, and besides, the panel already has some blank space in that state). Once again, choice and redundancy aren't inherently bad, if they're added with parsimony; the regular Power Duplicate feature would be just fine for quick and dirty tasks, done by hand (with ghosts or no ghosts, but I'm obviously biased towards them); and the Point Transform Tool and its modified Transform panel in tandem would be awesome for more advanced, fine-controlled operations. And yes, the latter option might even make the bug/limitation I just pointed to a complete non-issue (or even a good thing, as it was a rather convoluted workflow) if it were to remain unfixed/unaddressed. Edit: it's up in a dedicated post now. If you wish to discuss that bug/feature, please do so there.
  16. Now, this is interesting. It's nice that you mentioned Ai's Transform dialog; I'm well acquainted with that beast, and it works great for complex stuff. Indeed, I used it before in the branding I did for some medical events, at this… medical event company I worked for (all the events I worked on range from the “XXV Congresso Nacional de Coloproctologia” [26/27 Nov. 2015] and the “Curso Básico de Colposcopia” [07/08 Nov. 2014], though I didn't have much control over some of the ones with recurrent identities, as you might realise, as the company was extremely conservative and so were some of its clients). This one was the second one I did, and mostly a scale job: Here, I basically did an isometrically-aligned sample by hand (three or four rows, IIRC), which I then copied using this manual snapping workflow which, yes, is arguably a bit cumbersome. But then I proceeded to transform each object, row by row, from a centre, 100% referential (a row around the first third line), into ever smaller and ever bigger percentages. Hah, back then I was young and stupid, and wasn't even wise enough to use symbols (resulting in *massive* files and my colleagues converting the vector background into a horrid, pixelated mess). :facepalm: But after working there for almost a year, I came up with this: Here, each of the background shapes is indeed a symbol, and I would never consider doing this transformation by hand. So I basically did a base ring via rotation and duplication, then made it into a symbol itself (can you say symbolception? ), and then duplicated it consecutively, except rotated by a fraction in every other operation so it would be staggered, and scaled up towards the outside and down towards the centre in every operation. To say that I know how to duplicate stuff procedurally and achieve decent effects in rigorous fashion is a bit of an understatement. I have the portfolio to prove it, and if and when I choose to do so manually is because I just figured that the shape or pattern I want to make is so basic that I don't even want to bother with thinking in numbers and pressing buttons. Sometimes I just wanna grab my tools, press some modifier keys and do it visually (or, dare I say it, WYSIWYG-y). Is that too much to ask? Can't I choose the way I'll use my brain and my hands to perform something I came up with in my head? Anyway, maybe the Power Duplication feature achieves just that. Once I get a decent connection and can actually watch video tutorials, I'll be all over those, I promise. [Edit #1: It's a good thing that Serif's tutorial video player allows you to knock it down all the way to 560p and that all the tourists are probably in bed now. ] Yeah, this does the trick, and though it's a tad less visual than Ai's Transform dialog (in the way that you can tweak the duplicate operation and see a preview on that one), but as long as you plan your transformation ahead, it should allow one to do everything I've just shown, and should at least help with the striped patterns I demoed as well. [Edit #2: Not really; please check my next post for an explanation.] However, I just tried it with these, and I realised that unless I'm missing something, I still need the ghosting and self-snapping feature to use the ghost to set the spacing to its own width without having to add extraneous objects that I then have to delete (I don't care that Serif's team feels that as an acceptable compromise; I don't, and I will stand my ground, as I do indeed use this all the time, yes), so… It's only a partial solution (that, arguably, does make things feel a bit easier, even considering the exponential feature of my technique, as you can just press and hold Command+J and let Designer do its thing; I also guess that if you were to combine both methods, Power Duplicate could become crazy fast, but then we'd be entering into pattern creation territory and would be better served with a dedicated tool for just that). There is one thing I'm just not feeling with this tool: discoverability (or its lack thereof). It feels like some weird, power-user voodoo (I mean, I can do those, sure), whereas Adobe's, while more old-school and heavy, is at least completely “in-your-face” when you open those dialogs. I know, I know, RTFM, and you can't fault Serif for not posting this on a video tutorial, and can indeed fault me for not having watched it before. But the truth of the matter remains that I found out about this on my own in Ai probably some years before doing those “SPA” and “APNUG” posters, whereas I wouldn't have found this Power Duplication feature [it even has “Power” in its name…!] in Designer in a long, long time (kind of like those cheat codes in Nintendo games; not only would it be hard to find, I might but at least many users would likely not understand the mechanics thereof on their own and be able to reproduce it). And as for consistency/reliability…? Maybe I'm just tired, but I'd swear that I tried it once and it didn't work, and then I tried it again and it did. I'll have to test it further to check for bugs, definitely.
  17. Interesting. But there's a lot to unpack here. Firstly: this does not solve my issue. The fact that you have to duplicate the object and then delete the original doesn't address my main complaint in any way, shape or form. That's where the biggest waste of time lies. And once you see other demos where selecting wasteful objects becomes more cumbersome, you'll see just how longer it takes. So I'd kindly suggest you don't waste your and my time either, looking for workarounds that won't solve my issue, regardless of how bad it might be. Secondly, the Point Transform Tool betrays an expectation of coherence; you really have to copy Adobe's approach here when it comes to polygons… So, you're meaning to tell me that the Node tool can't select the hexagon's nodes without first converting them to curves, but the Point Transform Tool can? Well, that's neat and all, in the sense that it's a neat workaround for another issue which I mentioned before and was about to address in a separate thread (and maybe I will, with… an extended version of your own demo, I guess?), but it introduces inconsistency where it really isn't desirable or even necessary. See how Adobe solved it: all polygons' nodes are fully selectable and editable with the Direct Selection Tool (their equivalent to the node tool), but once you edit the number of sides in any way, poof, they go back to being regular. That's a very nice “having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too” approach to special shapes. In Affinity Designer, I'm basically forced to use a different tool, with a different purpose, and with a more cumbersome modifier key combination, to achieve something that the Node Tool can do otherwise with any other kind of curve object (even though that “default” approach of sorts forces me to always press Command+A after switching my tool, whereas in Ai I can just be happily working with the Selection Tool – their equivalent to the Move tool – and temporarily press Command before selecting a node, because when the tool switches to Direct Selection, all nodes are selected by default; one less keyboard shortcut multiplied by several thousand times a day adds up very quickly). You see, when I tell you that even that old dog Ai can really be more elegant (*gasp*!) and easier to use (*double gasp*!) than Designer in some use cases, I absolutely have the data and the prior experience to back that up. I'll be showing just that in a dedicated demo, in another post, later on when I get a decent connection. Oh, I forgot to address this point in particular in my earlier post: All. The. Time. And I'm very quick at it, courtesy of Ai's “old” ways. Maybe there are more efficient ways of doing it in Designer (and even in Ai, and I've used them extensively in some projects, especially more complex stuff like radial transformations, as you'll soon see in my next post), and maybe they are contained in those videos I can't load. But if I'm unimpressed, yep, expect more demos. Heck, at this point, I think I should just record myself whenever I fire up Ai and make a supercut of all the relevant parts.
  18. I didn't fail to understand; I know full well what being concise is (and if you check some other posts you'll see that depending on the subject, I can be very much so). I just can't explain it any more concisely, threw in the towel and went about my merry business, sorry. Still trying my best, though. And if you must, as I've said before you can just watch the videos and be done with it. It's probably quicker and less mentally taxing than reading stuff anyway. Is it though? It's a way of working. And yes, maybe this was not the best example, but the one with the hexagon? Yes. There are practical applications for that, make no doubt about it. And I'm not just telling you that “you'll have to trust me on that”; once I find better use cases I will demo them as concisely as I can. I think that should be pretty much established by now. Please don't dissmiss or second-guess your users so much. Maybe I'm not working with Designer in the most optimal way, but that doesn't make the use cases pointless per se. It's my (and potentially other users') work and workflows you're talking about, bear that in mind. Unfortunately, not yet. As I've said, I'm on vacation with my family, but still doing some unexpected office work at the same time (yay for “vacations”), so there's not much time or mental energy left for trying new stuff in Designer. Hey, I did use Designer to do a logo yesterday, and I identified some quirks in the snapping behaviour which I'll address elsewhere, so there's that. But I'll check it out next week, rest assured, and if I find it's better for *this* particular use case (translations and rotations with duplication, something which I did in Ai before, so I know the drill), I may use it instead; that doesn't change the fact that it may still be quicker and mentally easier to just clone the damn things by hand. It's kind of comparing AutoCAD with vector programs; yes, it can be more efficient for certain tasks, but only after the economies of scale and the extra complexity kick in (if, say, the distance between objects wasn't the same as their width, or half their width, or something, sure, I'd probably use a dedicated tool). This particular bit caught my eye. You, of course, assumed absolutely right (though “elite” is a bit of a stretch; come on, man, it's more of a multitude of particular niches – mostly related to geometry and otherwise rigorous drawing – which can make use of that behaviour). And I, of course, have been saying as much for YEARS (also on this very thread, incidentally), and criticising you for that choice (or, rather, for your choice of not giving us one). And yes, I know it's a conscious one, and it has its own advantages. But, as I've said, you can have your cake and eat it too (and I personally would very much would like to have both, as I've always said I don't have anything against WYSIWYG-only approaches in general, only when they hinder me; I don't want you to get rid of it, nor do I wish, for the umpteenth time, that Designer behaved 100% like Ai). This also caught my eye, big time. That's what I've been suggesting all along. Yes, and no* (oh, I'd be totally happy of having it for this use case of snapping stuff, but I'll sure love to have it on hand for others I could try and demonstrate, yet are maybe too hard to really articulate; that won't stop me from trying, though). Also, that's what I was about to show in a video mock-up, in point #4. Except, you see, right now I'm in this Southern-Atlantic internet backwater/hellhole that is the Algarve; nothing really works during Summer, so I can't even see your video demos (which I'm very much curious about, by the way). And upload speeds are even worse, so you can forget about those until, as I've said, next week (also, I'm working on a MacBook and I feel constrained enough as it is for regular work; the demos would likely be crappier than my – and your? – standards call for). Anyway, spoiler alert: I proposed and, thus, will mock-up something like more of a “literal ghost”, i.e. a translucent rendition of the object in its original position, which may have visible outlines in a special non-preview mode à la InDesign. Not only but, yes, especially for snapping objects. That was the entire point of this thread, regardless of the practical application of that functionality (but more on that later, and you did address that and I will, too, as we'll see). Fair enough. If I do indeed fail to convince you right now, rest assured that I'll keep coming back to this thread with examples until you are. Again, not to prove some some grand point or come out on top of a discussion or whatever, but because I really miss this functionality and am dead sure that there are more than “0.01% of the time” use cases for it, and also that everybody wins when there's more choice even if it caters to, say, “5%” use case users (I'd say in such a vast application as a vector editor, that threshold is actually rather high; 1% should be enough). I would bet one of my kidneys on it if that sort of thing was legal. So, yes, for me, personally but also as a designer and teacher who knows a thing or two about the visual creative process, it's absolutely “CRITICAL”, in all-caps and all (not as much as the universal layers and advanced selection tools, I'll give you that, and the fact that you'll be addressing those is great news). Please respect that, even if I didn't fully make my point across yet. Absolutely, point taken. That's why I'll be mostly doing those from now on; the accompanying text will be there mostly for clarification purposes if something isn't obvious enough. Still; I can't vouch for those until I try them, and even if they do solve that particular use case, if they are more cumbersome in any way or if there are still others unaddressed, well… as I said, expect more demos. Ok, this is a big, BIG one. And very important at a deep, philosophical and structural level. Which I've also addressed since long ago in this thread. It is a throwback to that era, because there really was no other way of doing things. But it IS “What You See Is What You HAD (with a hint of what You'll Get)”, and it does allow the user some degree of before/after comparison, on the fly, which they can't have otherwise. You can't argue against that, as it's just an incontrovertible fact, and while you may very well dispute its real usefulness (because, at the end of the day, you have a big app to manage and every man-hour is precious), I'll stand my ground and claim, point-blank and also for the umpteenth time, that having something as generic and universal as “immediate before/after WYSIWYG-ish” behaviour – even if one of the instances is crippled, in its outlined state, by a throwback to a bygone era, a convention which I never said Designer should stick to – is useful in more than, to quote you, “0.01%” of use cases. (*) Even in cases other than the one that irks the most (the entire snapping to itself thing), hence my “no” above. I believe you're way off-base there, and maybe not many other users will agree with me because they are either illustrators who work in strictly additive workflows (as opposed to other workflows with lots of tweaking and comparing layouts, object arrangements and whatnot), or are used to the new model and can't even begin appreciate the old one (there's nothing wrong with that, but that doesn't make them right, either). Again, that's why I'm here for: to provide demos. I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. Yes, I'm all for “structurally WYSIWYG” (or, rather, functionally skeuomorphic) UX models, like a realistic Layer+Artboard model where the former behaved like universal planes and the latter behaved a bit more like paper sheets instead of containers, as I've said many times before. But sometimes our analytical designer minds do need more busy, dirty, information-rich working environments (more than the final output will look like), and stuff like Outline mode doesn't cut it as it's a bit too over the top. Is that against your apparent “our app and the documents it renders must be squeaky-clean [and WYSIWYG] at all times” ethos? Well, maybe it is. But I'm telling you: this limitation goes hand in hand with others I've mentioned. Most of it revolves around UX and deep philosophical constructs around how a design application should operate. I'm posting here in a more constructive and respectful fashion than I was before, but these latests posts from you didn't get me any less worried than I was two days ago. These are serious issues which require more discussion and less dismissal. No matter how many coding hours they “waste”. I consider that discussion more of an investment, really, as I still stand by my earlier assessment of Designer's limitations, and this omission is yet another nail on its current metaphorical “coffin” (speaking of undead stuff, like ghosts, let's think of it more of like a vampire, as I do believe it'll leave it again sooner rather than later, but still ). To recap and to deconstruct a loaded expression which you've also used: there's no universally “correct” way of doing things. There's a correct way of doing them for each specific project. Some projects call for a strictly WYSIWYG behaviour (per your definition, not even an outlined object preview – like in Ai – or a ghost of the soon-to-be-former position of it – like I proposed and you've just acknowledged as at least viable –, but a live rendition of its final position once you let go of the mouse, and that's both a fine model and a good example of WYSIWYG), and some do call for an alternative (again, you never heard me saying that I wished for the alternative to be fully WYSIWYG; I've always said quite the opposite, and it couldn't be any other way by definition). Maybe it's not a 50-50 split, but I'd wager the latter's percentage is potentially so high that it would justify being added to an entire dedicated Persona. A “technical drawing” Persona of some sort, if you will. Or a “structural view mode” (not the dumb, 1980s-ish “outline mode”, which we're all very much used to but also has its own limitations, such as making the selection process of filled objects a total pain, but something more in between), as opposed to the one-size-fits-all, totally WYSIWYG “preview view mode” (you call it “Vector”, but that's what it really is as of now, a “Vector [Print] Preview”). Sure, bring it on in v.2 or v.3 or even v.4 of the suite, but at least give it some proper consideration.
  19. I haven't used it in a while, and yes, it hasn't been as promoted or as spruced up as it should've been for its age. If you knew the guy personally, you'd probably understand why. I almost feel bad for inviting him to be my PhD co-supervisor, as he already has so much on his plate right now… He and I think in very similar ways; we almost always put others in front of our own interests. He's barely older than me, and only now is he seriously worrying about his health and slowing down a bit. Yeah, the entire “having one of his best friends offing himself” thing probably took a big toll on him, too (I had to give a class with him the day after, and it was probably one of the weirdest, hardest things I've ever done on a mixed personal/professional level, especially considering I also knew and really admired that other guy, so I wasn't exactly in the best shape either but was in that socially-awkward situation of not wanting to upstage anyone in my own grief and having to keep my cool…), but I'd say the academic life in general is still the biggest burden, bar none. I sometimes think I must be out of my damn mind for even thinking that getting into that is a good idea for myself, and yet… I don't know, man, we're just like these crazy Lemmings, always walking towards the academic abyss of not having a life just to make sure others do. But hey, if you ever try it out and have some suggestions you want to fast-track straight to the source, drop me a hint. Hopefully he'll get around to giving it some TLC soon, and I'm guessing the entire iPadOS thing may be a great pretext for that (I know I'll be asking him about it in September regardless, as we're giving another workshop then). And judging from what I know, behind the scenes (*wink-wink*; there are no NDAs here, because there's a preexisting relationship of trust which renders them unnecessary, but let's just pretend for the sake of argument there are), we can and should expect great things from that app in the future. The only question now is, well, when.
  20. It doesn't? Wow. I'm itching to fire up a trial here and check out just how botched it is, then. If it's as bad as you described it, it's yet further motivation for Serif to come up with the “spiritual successor” to FreeHand's selection dialog boxes at some point. It would trounce the competition, no doubt about it.
  21. In hindsight, I probably should've had the same level of respect, so yeah. I'll take that lesson from you. I cut your quote short there, because you did repeat yourself a bit. The only reason I'm not criticising you for doing the same that I do, is… well, because I do it, too. (No, really, I'm not criticising, I'm just acknowledging it). But it does work well with me (reinforcing a point until it's, well… pretty much covered). Still, I should just say that… Serif did create an expectation of free and quick updates. So… we were probably as shocked with the Publisher delay, and just how hard 1.7 was to get out of the door also, as Apple customers were when Leopard was delayed because of the iPhone. Again, in hindsight, my past knowledge of how internal management can seem to apparently have gone awry from an outside perspective and, yet, still be fully under control from an internal one, should've made me know better. Ah. Except I'm not just a “paying customer”. Sorry to interject and turn your argument on its head, but… the NDA I signed makes me feel more like an “unpaid tester”. An “unpaid tester” who failed on his duties for a while, but who fully wished to make due on his promises, and who was duly and promptly ignored when dishing out harsh, belated warnings. Maybe I got an overly inflated sense of self, and indeed I readjusted my expectations upon learning, when watching the Keynote, that there were thousands of us (though I'd still argue that in a sea of millions, we're still Serif's “1%ers”, and being a teacher in training, that does add some colour to that sentiment, but I digress). Anyway, I'm sorry if I'm not always nice, but I'm usually honest. When I say I'm not recommending Designer to students, well… I'm not. The least I could give Serif is the explanation I owe them for that and other decisions. I feel embarrassed by the way I write long, inscrutable texts, and how I let – nay, actively contributed to make – an otherwise civil discussion devolve into something a bit less so. But I'm most definitely not embarrassed of speaking the truth. Only the form was mostly wrong, and not most of the substance. Look, I might've been wrong and naïve in feeling overly pumped up about Designer, but I've said time and time again that I was far from the only person I know of who was and got disappointed. Facts are facts, regardless of how they may make other people feel. Could I have been more sensible about the way I put it? Absolutely. Would that have contributed towards a better relationship with Serif? Also likely. Would the information I would eventually give have been materially different? Unfortunately, no, because the source material (i.e. my experience with the product and the feedback from third parties) would still be the same. Duly noted, and thank you for that recognition. On that subject, it does seem that I am better at public speaking than at writing, which is kind of ridiculous because the former calls for a lot more improv and the latter should allow me to take more time and be more sensitive with other people. It boggles the mind, really, and if I ever crack the code, I'll be sure to try to be – and hopefully succeed at being – nicer “in writing” as well (I would venture a guess and say, though, that maybe the physical disconnect when hammering at a keyboard and not seeing other people's faces or even listening to one's own voice has something to do with it). People have been making the same suggestion you just made, and I seriously took it into consideration. Since I can't seem to help myself with my musings, I'll probably record videos and still add further commentary to them, as some sort of “public notes/thought process”, but at least the former should be self-explanatory enough and materially contribute to the advancement of the Affinity range, and if the developers wish to skip the fluff if and when they don't have the time, they'll at least still get something usable out of my efforts. As for me having been unfair, I fully own up to it. I will, however, not change my general stance, as I do believe criticism is the best drive for progress. It may not always seem so, and my hissy fits may paint the picture of a deranged, selfish mind, but rest assured that I would never do anything which I believed to be really destructive or against Serif's interests. If I had a truly twisted, grandiose, narcissistic mind, I'd take my videos asking for new features and criticising Affinity in direct comparison with Adobe CC apps and post them straight to a YouTube channel of my own (kind of like the otherwise venerable Louis Rossman and his endless, anti-Apple rants that, for all their merits, are stale and bothersome by now, even considering the existential threat their substance poses to his own business; the same could be said of the threat Adobe CC costing what it does and Affinity not yet being a workable alternative poses to my own, and you don't see me going his overly public, self-serving, holier-than-thou route), instead of here, in the farthest recesses of Serif's own forums, where moderators may delete them right away if they so wish (in fact, if the Serif team asked me to send them my feedback videos directly, far from the prying eyes of the other users and the competition alike, I'd gladly do so, as I oh-so-often volunteered to do). I could probably even make good money from it if I went a different route. Except I won't, because I still have a conscience, and wouldn't feel at all happy being in the business of dissing others for personal gain (obviously with all due respect to all critics, whatever their personal niche may be; I can only deal with a hands-on, private-ish critical approach – Academia as a whole being a bit of a gray area, because it's very much public but still full of all these different, small niches –, and perhaps that's also why I'd like to become a teacher). Also, even though I like to pull the subject to myself more often than not, I do focus on Serif as a company, on Affinity as a product, and especially on its end-users (mostly from my perspective, yes, because that's the one I know best, but I always acknowledge there are workflows different than mine – some of which I personally know up-close, by the way – and that they should be catered for as well). And Serif, for me, is indeed something other than just another big, faceless company. Technically it's not perfect, in strictly practical terms it's way behind, and some of the culture could probably use some fine tuning, but it's still about the best in its camp, so… And I know for a fact that even the big ones are filled with decent, hardworking people (I personally know a lot of them); I usually only lash out in any material way at truly evil companies (some certain social network companies come to mind), and specifically at their executives, so there's that. Those are the real psychopaths (more often than not, literally, as statistics prove it time and time again), and the ones who we should all be seriously concerned about. I will, however, dish out a temporary 1/2/3-star review “in Serif's best interest” for an application otherwise rated as a 5-star product, if I really believe it's best to keep über-pro CC users at bay for a little while until things are more stabilised. Sure, it's twisted, but I believe in it and will stand by that decision for as long as I personally deem it necessary. At the end of the day, I truly believe in ethics, and those sometimes entail doing some really weird, counterintuitive stuff. That whole “borderline-conflict” indeed bothered me some but, at the end of the day, I sleep perfectly at night, and when I don't, it ain't over what transpired here in these forums, that's for sure.
  22. Another aside: I'm only now realising that for self-snapping to fully work when duplicating (as in, to be as useful as selecting with the node tool and the Command+A workaround already is, and the “ghosting” feature will be), we must be able to duplicate via dragging and pressing Command/Option (whatever you pick, or both). Currently they are unused, and I see no reason why they shouldn't work. Actually, this would be doubly useful; what would, then, stop you from besides duplicating the entire thing(s) if all nodes are selected, as I'm proposing, also duplicating only certain selected sections/paths of [a] certain curve(s)? That would make Designer way more powerful than even Ai currently is for regular vector and especially geometric work (if you select a few nodes in Ai and duplicate via dragging, it will duplicate the entire object(s), not just the selected nodes/paths, and since Serif hasn't implemented that behaviour yet, there's no set user expectation to be broken… which is just golden, for a change). I will be sure to add that as a separate feature request, with its own included visual demos. Once you see it, you'll realise it can actually be predictable and intuitive.
  23. And before you people tell me I'm not fair (yes, I may commit mistakes and jump to conclusions, but I am fair, will own up to them and correct them), here's the optimised version of the earlier demo: 3-A, part II. – A complex, real world scenario (in Designer, except fixed this time): Designer Stripes (fixed).mov So, as you can see, this task takes around 1m40s total in Designer in a near-best-case-scenario, as opposed to a little under 50s in Illustrator. Still: it requires considerable more precision and feels way more cumbersome, requiring a ridiculous amount of extra clicks. And while this example isn't as terrible as I made it out to be, once we get into polygon territory and have to deal with other objects also on the selection level, all hell breaks loose. Also, the “All Layers” setting does introduce some – necessary – noise, whereas in Ai, snapping to nodes is usually more “sticky” than other Smart Guide candidates. Perhaps Designer should follow its lead and increase the “hit box” on nearby nodes over other farther candidates?
  24. Hi guys. Sorry in advance for the redundancy, but I'm creating a new, separate topic, since part of this request was already kinda “solved” and my earlier post on said thread is TL;DR material. So here goes the shortened [it ballooned a bit again, but now with new, useful ideas] and focused version: There's a super easy way to solve a very serious philosophical UX choice which almost completely prevents me to recommend Affinity Designer to, well, mostly everyone. As you know, when you have a document into artboard mode, objects will be cropped whenever they go past the boundary(ies) of their respective artboard and reappear once they fully transition into the pasteboard, and AD automatically moves them in the layers panel according to whichever artboard they touch/hover above. This is already normal and expected AD behaviour for most users. You can also manually move objects and layers outside/above artboards (I'm henceforth calling those “universal layers”, but feel free to give them a better name, like “document layers” or whatever), which do allow you to have any objects they contain appear – and, obviously, export – in two or more adjacent/close artboards. This is a great sign of a potential UX choice, as it is proof the document and layer model is completely ready for the addition I'm proposing; only the UX and the UI need a slight tweak in the form of a toggle and a few lines of code (by the way, nudging objects with the arrow keys doesn't trigger this behaviour, so it should be properly harmonised with the click+drag behaviour in both modes). The only issue is that doesn't allow you to deactivate said behaviour of automatically moving objects/groups/layers into artboards when dragging them around with the mouse/trackpad, even with the “Edit All Layers” option disabled (the logical behaviour would be for objects not to switch layers or move into artboards under any circumstance if you're working in one layer in isolation, period. That particular case should be treated as a bug, not as a feature, and maybe the devs should ask users if they mind that slight change). That could and should still be the default behaviour, so as not to confuse current happy users, but if we were given said toggle, AD would instantly become much more usable for 99,9% of use cases and a much bigger percentage of current and prospective users. As I've said before, if any of the devs/mods or other users want me to do a little narrated screen capture to demonstrate this, I'm all up for it. Kudos for the Affinity team and all the best for you all, João
  25. I suppose 10 u is… Norwegian for 10 hours? So… if you took this screenshot this summer, it can't be older than a month, am I right? Hm. So that makes it 3/4 years from now? As in, 3x18 months for 1.8, 1.9 and 2.0 to be ready? That makes it absurdly affordable, even more so than I thought.

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