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JGD

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Everything posted by JGD

  1. Ok. Imagine I have an object, any object, and I want to offset it by half its length/height; being able to snap it to its former centre point needs that feature. Imagine that I have a triangle, and I want to put one of its vertices where a different one was; same thing. Clearly none of you must make much use of vector editors for precision work, because I, for one, use that feature in Ai all the time and I miss it dearly. And no, this isn’t snapping an object back to its original position, you’ve just described undo. The feature I’m aiming at is being able to snap an object’s nodes or paths to the positions its nodes and paths originally were in before starting the drag operation, but still performing a drag operation to completion. I’m not even bothering with making more demos at this point because I’m way too busy and stressed out for that. Please fire up an Ai CC trial, turn on Smart Guides (Ctrl/Cmd+U), create some objects, drag them around and notice how they interact with themselves mid-drag. Designer lacks that feature and is much more cumbersome because of that.
  2. Hi guys! Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. I was rearranging my Studio panels across the suite so that they would be somewhat similar on both Single-window and Separated mode, and I realised Publisher was missing the Cmd+Opt+F shortcut for that toggle which is already included by default on Designer and Photo. I manually added it back via System Preferences, but having it set by default on Publisher as well is obviously the optimal scenario.
  3. Hi guys. Basically that's just it, what's on the tin. I was fooling around with my new Huion tablet drivers and realised that that essential shortcut for a multi-touch-less workflow – I've since stopped using my Bamboo Pen & Touch, and besides my H950P I only have a Magic Mouse connected to my iMac – was MIA (it's present and fully functional on both Designer and Publisher on their default personas, and also on their respective Pixel and Photo personas). Can we expect it to be back on the first 1.7.0.1 fix?
  4. Yep. I noticed that I now have a Baseline Grid Manager button across the suite, that somehow migrated from Publisher; I can't find a toggle for it anywhere else on the interface, though, which means that if I ever remove it I won't be able to add it back. Because of some weird bug, now both Photo and Designer offer extra functionality. I'm actually thinking of suggesting that that manager thing is made available by default. I also had some buttons from the wrong personas in Photo, which just crashed the app. Whoops.
  5. Thanks, that did the trick! Weird that it should've gone missing by itself, right?
  6. I also wanted to focus on this detail in particular and remind Serif devs of another essential UX trait: Photoshop, while a bit cumbersome itself in its implementation, gets this right, because it gives us some choice. When zooming in and out with the keyboard shortcuts, Command+[+] and Command+[-], the document window automatically resizes, as if the Window>Zoom command was issued concomitantly, thus eschewing the need for that extra user action; when zooming in and out with the Zoom [magnifying glass] tool or with a multitouch gesture like pinch or a Option+two-finger scroll combo, the window maintains its size. That way, managing windows in Photoshop is extremely easy and quick, even if it may appear a bit convoluted to a bystander. If we want to tile a few, we just have to hit Command+[-] a few times until they are small enough to fit; if we want to fill the screen with one image or even a few and still be able to select them with Application Mission Control (which isn't enabled by default in macOS, but should, and most self-respecting pros take care of that whenever they set up a new Mac), we can just zoom on the image with the trackpad, if it's small, and perform the Window>Zoom command to make it “maximize” (without going under the docked UI items as stated before, obviously). Alternatively, when we wish to work in only one window at a time, pressing F does the trick without having to activate the Application frame. And this is crucial, for a very important reason: activating the equivalent in Affinity Photo automatically renders Application Exposé/Mission Control completely useless, and even though you could undock file tabs from Photoshop's main window, when toggling the Application frame Photoshop sucks all files into said window, thus resulting in the very same scenario. If Affinity apps had a proper Separated mode, they would work nicely by default with Application Exposé/Mission Control. If they also offered a “Fullscreen without going fullscreen” mode, weird as that Adobe holdover from back when there wasn't a proper, OS-wide fullscreen mode may be, they would allow you to work on one document at a time and still work nicely with Application Exposé/Mission Control. The advantage of this feature, especially on bigger screens – and in particular with Adobe's implementation, which resizes any inactive windows back to their original size (and here Serif could try and one-up them by resizing all windows to their original size while App Exposé was toggled, including the current one) –, over the regular fullscreen windows mixed with virtual desktops on Mission Control, is that document windows can be huge if you only have a few of them open, whereas the latter are tiny no matter how few you have open. For photographers working with many photos, even in “pseudo-fullscreen mode”, in Photoshop, this is extremely useful. I'm not even kidding, they are a four-finger swipe – or, in my case, active corner – away, whereas in Affinity Photo you have to go and pick at a tiny tab and can never see them tiled when in proper Single-window or Fullscreen mode. You just can't have your cake and eat it too, and must either keep your desktop über-tidy, or get some desktop-obscuring app (and you would still have to deal with all the other Separated mode shortcomings, of course). This is one of those rare cases where I say: screw Apple and their official HIG implementation and current dictums. Yes, fullscreen/single-window apps and simple, all-windows-in-a-jumbled-mess-or-grouped-into-smaller-jumbled-messes Mission Control work great in small laptop screens, and should absolutely be embraced. But good old App Exposé and Adobe's arcane methods, for all their own quirkiness, are absolutely key for larger screens. They are holdovers from a nearly bygone era, yes, but there's a reason why they haven't killed them off yet, and probably never will (if anything, that Pro Display XDR beast is absolute proof that computer displays are still growing, not shrinking… 32'' 6K iMac Pro in 5 years' time when that panel – and maybe even that crazy backlighting system – drops a bit in price, anyone? And why wouldn't they add to the product range or fill its slot with a bigger, 8K Pro Display XDR? OLED-based? Who knows, really…). And, once again, Serif could add similar advanced UX tricks which might even be disabled by default so as not to confuse less demanding users. Make it a subset of Separated mode called “Concentration/Focus mode” (in a nod to Microsoft, ha), which is greyed out until the former is activated, or something. Maybe one day (soon?), when Marzipan/Catalyst gets mature enough and macOS converges further with the other two touchscreen platforms, Apple will allow “intra-window Application Exposé” (“Window Exposé”? It's a sensible name, from a strictly hierarchical standpoint) for single-window applications with a proper, public and documented API; It's not much of a stretch to assume that, since Safari on iPadOS (it's weird calling it that, but I'm sure we'll all get used to it in no time) already does this with its tabs (in fact, that feature appeared at least in iOS 9, because I'm still running it on my iPad 3 and it does that), and Safari on macOS has also been doing this for a while (since… Sierra? High Sierra? Earlier still?). Maybe those who are working with a desktop and a mouse/el cheapo pen-digitiser-only tablet can get a system-wide keyboard shortcut (hopefully a better one than Safari's weird, right-hand-friendly Command+Shift+\) instead of the predictable pinch gesture (maybe adjusted with some extra fingers, 4 or 5 in total, to distinguish it from the two-finger pinch-to-zoom gesture, possibly a back-port to the Mac of the newfangled three-finger pinch-to-cut/copy gesture and definitely the pinch-to-open-Launchpad one) which may activate it, or whatever. But, until then (and I would strongly discourage Serif devs from rushing and trying to implement such a specific feature before Apple makes it available as a prepackaged solution; variable UI gamma does indeed offer more than Apple's own binary dark mode/light mode implementation and absolutely equals Adobe's own, which made it a smart move, but going crazy with aping Safari tabs because maybe it will become a new standard UX model would be just wasting resources, and it's been already long enough since it's been available on iOS/iPadOS for it to maybe not be a priority for them), their photographer users' needs will go unaddressed, and that's a shame. For now, they should take what macOS already offers and users are already accustomed to, and adapt accordingly. I.e., be a good macOS citizen.
  7. Precisely. That's the kind of workflow I was talking about. I know I'm not the only one who [sometimes] works like that (and many people do that almost on a daily basis). And I'm dead sure than even some people who are now perfectly used to and happy with working, one photo at a time, on Affinity Photo running on a small 13'' MacBook Pro (I also happen to own one, so it's not like I don't know just how limited it is) may, if they ever get their hands on a 27'' iMac or an otherwise large external display (guess what, I'm using both at the same time and have my palettes on the secondary display, that's why they're always missing from my screenshots), feel completely trapped in Single-window mode. And as soon as they venture into Separated mode, well… the lack of polish starts showing and the whole thing falls apart. Off to Photoshop they go, then, because they do the math and realize the CC subscription is, perhaps, easily paid for by the extra work they can cram through their workday as they no longer have to work around a certain limitation which completely throws off their workflow. I keep warning Serif about this kind of stuff; just because users are happy now with all the bells and whistles and the default (and arguably polished and perfectly serviceable… for small screens, that is) UX model, that doesn't mean they always will regardless of their future needs. Devs beware. I know there are many different target demographics to hit with Affinity Photo, but… are photographers working on 27'' iMacs with multiple images open at the same time a niche? Surely there must be a lot of those around, even if they are in the minority. They need a workable, seamless, delightful floating window model, not an app making weird, un-Mac-like decisions for them and which they have to fight at every corner.
  8. Yep. It could definitely be improved… Your workaround will also work, but only as a one-off for the odd project, not as a workflow to be used daily (that would drive any heavy pro user crazy). By the way, here are some examples of that feature on older software… It's not as good as full-blown video, but you can see how all of these apps respect the window chrome and force it from under any docked floaty bits: FreeHand MX 2004 with invisible toolbars (because I had Stuffit selected as the active app): FreeHand MX 2004 with visible toolbars (and also a nice example of a very old multiple-artboard document with universal layers – *wink-wink* *nudge-nudge* – which I did back when I was still a designer foetus, in my third year at the uni): I didn't have to do anything to avoid the window chrome from going behind the toolbars; when pressing the Zoom button, it would just snap to their left edge. As for the panels, the only thing I missed was the vertical scrollbar and all the scrollbar buttons and resize handles, but as I had, like most people, a scroll wheel mouse (actually, I already had an Apple Mighty Mouse by then) that was no biggie. In any case, Illustrator CS3 solved that for good, as docked panels automatically resized windows to fit along their left edge, too. Office X for Mac, taken from this article, which also explains the whole earlier Word 6 for Mac debacle, which, if I'm not mistaken, didn't include floating toolbars and irked Mac users to no end also because of that): Again, the toolbars, when snapped to the edge and to one another, wouldn't allow the title bar to go under them, no matter how hard you tried. I can't absolutely recall if that was the case, but I'm guessing that that floating panel on the side also stopped the Zoom command on its tracks along its right edge, too. And now, for a more modern app, FontLab VI, in both full “single window” and “separated” mode (they're not really called as such, but you can reproduce both by manually docking the toolbars to the sides of the screen or to the main window): For a bit of context, FontLab VI is based, of all frameworks, on Qt, for crying out loud! The very same framework used to produce that Soulseek Qt abomination. The difference here being that Adam Twardoch and his buddies have been working on a cross-platform (i.e. Mac+Windows) suite of apps for decades now, and fully respect the expectations of Mac users because they have all that prior knowledge and do care. IMHO, and no offense, but Serif devs seem to suffer a bit from the Dunning-Kruger effect when it comes to Mac-specific UX and UI; sure, they are excellent coders, and they indeed managed to produce a miraculously fast and smooth render engine and a boatload of tools to go with it. But for all their expertise, there are probably no first and foremost Mac devs/product managers over there a day older than 35 (i.e. who started coding for the Mac before 2005-ish); otherwise they would probably know just how important these details are for Mac users, and sweat them with nary a thought because they would know the good ol' Apple HIG by heart, too. I would strongly advise Serif to interact more, and compare notes with the guys from Panic, the Omni Group, John Gruber from the blog Daring Fireball, these guys from FontLab Inc. who I've just mentioned, Georg Seifert and Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer from Glyphs.app who I also mention on occasion, etc. Indy Mac devs – both Mac-centric and cross-platform but with a strong Mac tradition – who aren't even their competitors and who really show they care in whatever piece of software they put out there. I, for one, feel a bit betrayed sometimes; Affinity started out as Mac-only, but never really felt 100% like it, and that perception hasn't changed one bit. The preferences window still looks odd through and through, as do the gradient transitions on titlebars because of the custom UI gamma thing and dark/light UI before that was even a system-wide thing – I'm guessing Serif eschewed native interface elements and conventions so they could implement those features, which would also explain why the window borders and titlebar corners looked a bit off during the transition to Mojave; on the other hand, Adobe CS/CC has always looked weird for similar reasons, so… meh –, but you know what? I've already let that kind of nit-picky UI stuff slide and am willing to live with it – again, see my comments regarding CS/CC; I really stopped caring a long time ago, and as long as apps aren't broken by design to the point they use crappy Flash-based panels (yeah, Adobe really did that a lot at one point) and don't react properly to a keyboard (Affinity apps had, and maybe still do, some issues with tabbing between panel fields, by the way… and then there are all those modifier key inconsistencies with bundled or otherwise first-party macOS apps I keep harping on about) and a multi-touch mouse, I'm good. I've been focusing mostly on UX instead because, at the end of the day, that's what really counts and affects one's daily grind, and this incomplete and cumbersome Separated Mode is, accordingly, yet another hill I'm willing to die on. If FontLab Inc. devs managed to do it properly – and on version 6.0.x and using a completely different framework than the Carbon-based one, probably some arcane Metrowerks CodeWarrior nonsense or something, they were were used to, no less –, so will Serif's team, eventually.
  9. Ok, let's address these separately: No, I do not have a video example yet, and unfortunately I shall not be doing one of those until after the 24th, as I have a keynote presentation to make, hundreds of pages to print and annotate and a few books and papers (including my entire dissertation) to review yet again. But I'll try and do a few after that, in between sending out CVs and going on vacation. As for the second one, it depends on the app; Safari, Finder, etc., (i.e. apps that open multiple windows, but which aren't necessarily documents) allow you to open new windows in a “old-school” way (usually cascading, though when they are full height they open side by side) by pressing Command+N, and tabbed, by pressing Command+T, whereas Photoshop allows you to set the default as a global preference. In either kind of app and default setting, you can always dock and undock windows from tabs (though in the Finder and Safari, to dock single windows to a different window you must have “Show tab bar enabled”. Now, the entire CS suite, traditionally, worked in a Application Frame-less state, with docked/floating toolbars, toolboxes and panels, and floating document windows that, when zoomed, would automatically fit the available space, as long as the Workspace (i.e. the Studio, in Adobe's parlance) was fully docked. The intermediate step, if I am not mistaken, was the addition of tabbed windows. And the ultimate step was the addition of an Application Frame, which looked and worked precisely like all versions of Adobe apps since Illustrator v.1 on Windows, Corel on Windows, and Affinity's default mode since its inception on both OSes. But, to this day, you can still work with Adobe CC's DTP portion (the old Design Standard/Premium subset of the larger Master Collection, which equates roughly to Affinity, except for the added bonus of Acrobat Pro) in that “classic Mac” mode. I've since stopped working in that mode in Illustrator and InDesign, mostly because of the advent of Affinity (so I would get used to the Application Frame, because Affinity's Separated Mode was and still is suboptimal), and also because I get spoiled with my 27'' iMac with 40 GB of memory and open too many windows for Exposé/Mission Control to be useful (though I usually work around that by using a dedicated desktop just for DTP apps) but I keep working in that mode in Photoshop. There's no other way to easily move entire layers across documents, period. And there's no split document view/automatic tiling on Affinity Photo, either, so… Yeah, things look a bit bleak. I tested Affinity Photo the other day for a pro bono project (basically I was recreating a vaporwave filter a friend of mine used on some Android app, except on a proper photo editor and with the original, full-res image), and I did have to compare two files side by side, which forced me to fidget with window resizing operations to get my views just right, something which, on Photoshop, would've been a breeze. Now imagine if I had to an operation across four different files at the same time or something? Imagine if I had to do that every day, for 8 hours? So, in a nutshell – and, unfortunately, only in screenshot form, and not video screen capture –, this is what I wish for. I would like to see toolbars docking to the edges of the screen, and windows not sliding behind them (whether when performing the Window>Zoom/Option+Green button command, or when manually dragging the title bar behind them), just like in Adobe CC and other old school Mac apps. Seriously, try it out on any Adobe app on a Mac (you have to turn off the Application frame first, though; it's akin to Separated Mode, except… it's functional, useful and most definitely intuitive and not frustrating in the least): when the viewport zoom level is small, the windows will neatly wrap around the content, when it's high and makes the canvas exceed your screen size the windows will neatly snap to the docked UI elements, and then you try and drag the windows behind them, no matter how far you push them, their titlebars will always snap back into full view. And this is good, well-researched UX. Is it too much to ask?
  10. Yes, that's what I eventually resorted to doing, too. Except then I end up with one (or multiple) extraneous object(s) which I then have to delete. It's an extremely cumbersome workaround, which becomes vastly impractical with larger, multi-object selections (or, worse even, selections of objects which then obscure or are obscured by others). You see, most of my proposed solutions – which are, in a nutshell, reimplementations of stuff Adobe already did – make sense, are well thought-out and can save a lot of time. Which, for all their other failings, is a testament to Adobe's developers' foresight. These aren't just “entrenched Ai user behaviours”, as if that's a inherently a bad thing or something; they are about the only practical and logical ways of solving certain use cases. Ghost objects – whether they are a ghost of the “before” or the “after” – and self-snapping are useful and, in some cases, essential features, period. And workarounds sometimes just don't cut it.
  11. I'm obviously not 100% sure, but I reckon it wouldn't. Is there anything forcing developers to implement it by default? There are many apps which, to this day, still don't support fullscreen mode as a design and UX decision, and Apple hasn't ceased promoting them. Besides Illustrator and, more importantly, Photoshop (duh… and there's a reason for that, so users can do precisely what I described above and compare images, drag layers and other stuff across documents, etc.), I can name a few other examples, if you wish. And it's not like Apple is enforcing the HIG with a stick and eschewing apps and developers if they fail to comply at every step of the way (Affinity being the most glaring example; it suffers from a lot of un-Mac-like decisions and behaviours and, yet, it's consistently put by Apple high up on a pedestal at every opportunity – like, say, WWDC, their app stores, etc.… As long as a developer takes advantage of their latest tech and SDKs, Apple really doesn't care if they veer off of conventions slightly, especially if it makes sense and doesn't break something else, and that really doesn't seem to be the case here). As for the workaround you suggested, I already addressed it in my first comment. It doesn't work properly. When you Option+Click the now mostly “Fullscreen” button, the window indeed doesn't go into Fullscreen mode, yes, but the button still behaves as a MS Windows “maximize” button (something which, on the Mac, should only ever happen with single-window apps just like Affinity apps themselves while on single-window mode, iTunes, Calendar, etc.), and not as Window>Zoom should behave as per the HIG. When performing Window>Zoom on a floating document window, the chrome should always toggle between default/custom (it starts out as a default size and once you resize it, the coordinates and size are saved somewhere) and fit-to-content sizes (I'm not even sure how that would work on Designer and Publisher, but if you were at such a small zoom level that all your artboards/objects/pages fit on your screen, I suppose the window could shrink to fit them; as for Photo, make it behave the same as in Photoshop, period). I didn't want to go there, but you forced my hand; I'm sorry if I come across as rude or something, but please don't argue with a veteran Mac user who studied UX in higher education, or if you do at least take the time to properly decode what I've said. I know my comments are long, but the information, albeit a bit drowned in fluff and asides, is all there and it's entirely factual and correct. As I've said before, I'm no expert, in the sense that I didn't take a full degree like the postgraduate one some former colleagues of mine are now teaching, but I'm a bit of a UI history buff myself (all the way back to Douglas Engelbart's famous mouse demo and the Xerox Alto) and I know without a doubt a badly implemented Mac app, professional or otherwise, when I see one. I've strongly, persistently and informedly complained about this and other issues (which you've recently saw me rehash on the forums as well) more than four years ago, and they all went unaddressed. As I've said before, I'm unabashedly sticking to a bit of a program here: not giving Serif devs a moment of respite until I'm no longer available to badger them with these requests or until they do indeed address them (whichever comes first, and right now I'll have to go offline so I can prepare for my viva voce on the 24th; after that, it's a complete blank, and maybe you'll still see me around, or maybe I'll be gone to work full-time somewhere, pursue further research opportunities, whatever). To recap: Serif's implementation of Separated Mode seems to be completely lifted off of other “lite” apps such as Pixelmator, and, thus, suffers from the same glaring limitations and “un-Mac-like behaviour”, instead of going full-on against the 800lb-gorilla-beast-thing like its marketing seems to imply. It feels like an afterthought, like something which the devs themselves don't really use daily and, as such, never got to become frustrated with, and it's not nearly as useful or practical if it had been done right in the first place. And for examples on how it can be done right, it's not like there aren't hundreds of apps, both old and recent, an official Apple HIG and nagging veteran users like myself to learn from. At this moment, Serif devs have zero excuse not to get this right by at least, say, version 2 or 3 of the suite (yes, I'm indeed giving them some leeway here, as I remember Adobe CS' palette implementation, for instance, being a complete, all-over-the-place “flustercuck” until CS3, with internally inconsistent implementations such as those weird InDesign's CS/CS2 sliding tabs). Huge screens, floaty UI bits – some of which could and should be dockable, even in separate mode – and pro photographers and designers wishing to tile their stuff, automatically or by hand, on their Macs aren't going anywhere, no matter how many million iPadOS-powered iPad Pros Apple ships, so these features should at least be tucked into some internal roadmap of theirs somewhere. Anyway, my job here is, for now, done. I'll point whatever easily fixable bugs I find here and there (and you may have noticed I'm already doing that much more frequently, again) if I keep testing Affinity apps, but hopefully these last few posts cover my biggest, “foundational” gripes with the suite (if you put them all on one table you'll recognise the two running themes are “inconsistencies with the host OS” and “inconsistencies with sound WYSIWYG behaviours well accepted and established across the industry” which Serif looked over or, worse even, created for no good – or overall positive and justifiable – reason; those are the biggest factors which, historically, made Mac – and pro – users eschew altogether or otherwise tolerate through gritted teeth certain software packages – never forget Word 6! Ai versions in general in the eyes of former FreeHand users! QuarkXPress during the OS X transition! The list goes on… –, as I've said before, perhaps Serif would have even more happy users, right now, if they addressed those). I would indeed love to be able to make more video demos, but considering all the work I have to do over the next two weeks, you guys are on your own for now, sorry. If you want to see how proper Mac apps in “separated mode” behave, fire a an old Rosetta-compatible Snow Leopard VM (there are some pre-packaged ones lying around, I'm sure), or Basilisk II/Sheepshaver if you want to go even further back (and yes, I know that would be venturing further into Mac OS Classic/Carbon territory, but it's still possible to do those under Cocoa – Adobe CC being a prime example of that, and it works perfectly –, and it should be done if and when it makes sense), download some old abandonware and see for yourselves. Do your own research, please. That should be your job, not mine.
  12. Hi guys. Despite all my latest criticism on the suite as a whole, and all the delays in Publisher in particular, your progress on the latter lately is absolutely commendable, and I must say that I am very happy with its current state (cool new splash screen too, by the way), as it does feature some essential features for longer texts, which may come in handy if it's released in time for my next project. The number of “must-have” stuff you managed to finish in time for the GM is, indeed, impressive, and I can only hope you keep up this level of work across the suite. Now, as for the pre-order pricing and installation when it finally comes out, I have just a practical question: how exactly does the whole payment and download situation work on the Mac? Does our pre-order give us access to some sort of Mac App Store download redeeming code or something? Or are we buying the app directly from you and then have to update it internally like with the betas?
  13. Oh, another thing: even if we accept the Command+Drag as the default behaviour for duplication operations as a fatality, let me just add that it is extremely buggy as of now in the latest v.1.7.0.12 beta. If the operation is done too quickly, AD will not duplicate the object and, instead, just drag the original, which makes it extra frustrating, to say the least. That was not an issue in the MAS version, and if this latest beta is already an RC, as I've read elsewhere, the next MAS update will come with a new bug right out of the gate.
  14. Also, on this subject, I should add that, for consistency and usability, objects should already snap to their originals when doing Option+Drag duplication operations, which is already their behaviour when performing Command+drag operations. And I've just realised, while looking at the status bar messages, that apparently Command is [now? Since v.1.6? Since… ever?] the default modifier for duplicating and Option the default modifier for ignoring snapping. This, per Apple's Human Interface Guidelines is completely unacceptable and inconsistent with the behaviour in the Finder and pretty much all macOS apps. When you click and drag an icon (or an image or block of text in any text editor, like TextEdit or Pages, or any object in Keynote) while pressing Option, you will always get a duplicate, and when you click and drag the same icon while pressing Command, in a window – or the desktop – with “snap to grid” activated, the Finder will ignore the grid (and so will Keynote regarding snapping, if you're dealing with objects). WHY should Affinity behave in such a blatantly inconsistent way with the rest of macOS? It started out as a macOS app, first and foremost, and if you really must have it be consistent across OSes, at least allow the users some degree of finer control as to how modifier keys affect its operation. You don't want to become the new Adobe (or, worse even, outdo them) when it comes to OS-app UX inconsistency, trust me on that one. Designers do not take that lightly.
  15. JGD

    Layers

    Well, that much I can say about InDesign, too. I rarely use layers on that. There's probably one or two complex and recurrent projects I've used them on, but that's about it. However, in Ai, that's a whole different story… I just can't work without functional, universal layers in about half of all my projects. And on AD, the only workaround I can think of is treating it like Ai CS2 and just ignore artboards altogether until I need to export stuff (which can be a bit of a bummer if I'm working with a client and need to show some .PDFs along the designing process, by the way).
  16. Ok, some observations on the feature, which I may eventually use one day for the aforementioned kind of projects (and, indeed, the kinds of arrowheads available right now do seem to be mostly geared at technical drawings rather than “artistic” stuff): What I like: the fact that you can see the arrowheads in outlines mode. It really helps a lot, since in the projects they are most useful in their current state, that's also where that mode frequently comes in very handy. It's also a nice preview of the Expand Stroke command when working in that mode. So, kudos on beating Adobe on this particular point, as it's already shaping up (ha!) to be nicer overall. What I don't like much, but understand it's probably not to be expected in a v.1.7.0 implementation, as it's so new: you can't have separate “within the line/at the end of the line” parameter settings for head and tail, but must instead select it for both. Seeing how there's an “origin” terminal, it would make sense to have, say, that one “at the end of the line” on the tail, and an arrowhead at the other end, “within the line”. A small panel reshuffling would be in order, as the “swap arrowhead with tail” button would have to give way to a duplicate pair of radio buttons for that parameter (maybe by getting rid of the “Start:” and “End:” labels altogether? I mean, that portion of the stroke panel is pretty much self-explanatory)… And, by the way, the “swap…” button should also swap that parameter along with the corresponding arrowhead. Since I've mentioned Adobe before, I just realised Ai does not even allow for this option. Should you choose to implement it, you'd actually be one-upping them. Also, and I know I'm going out on a limb here, I've just realised that the “cap” on a stroke is just another form of terminal (please pardon the typographic jargon, but that's just how my brain works). What if you consolidated the panel further and got rid of those three “cap” radio selectors altogether, while changing “arrowheads” to just… “terminals”? The “square” (or, in Ai jargon, “projecting”) cap could just be achieved by using that parameter, with the added bonus that you could also have a round cap with the outermost node contained within the stroke, and different caps on different ends. Again, that's something Ai can't do, and which could be very useful in diagrams like the ones I've shown you on the other thread (and please, oh please, do add triangular caps/arrowheads that don't protrude further than the stroke, while you're at it; I know it could also be yet another form of “cap”, but the arrowhead implementation is just so much more flexible right now and could become even more so if you added that suggestion). The only issue I could see with this would be… now that you've opened the whole outlines view can of worms, how would those caps display? But eh, I suppose that would be a little inconsistency (either the caps would not be visible at all, or be visible and appear as “arrowheads”, as the strokes/stroke bounds shouldn't appear in any case) that wouldn't hurt users that much.
  17. JGD

    Layers

    Indeed it has. Maybe you could take part in the discussion and chime in on those threads, even if it's just with your reactions? You see, it's also best to consolidate the discussion on those, instead of spreading it out across new ones. This is a pervasive issue across the entire Affinity range and it must be solved ASAP (as in, hopefully in v.1.8.x, as it is way overdue) if it is to be taken seriously. I've been seeing scattered users asking for this, but I believe there are many more of us than Serif devs suspect. Many of them may not even be reacting, but just abandoning the suite altogether after they finish their trial.
  18. What feature are you alluding to, pray tell? Maybe I missed something, and/or I'm not fully understanding your comment. As for the development strategy, I do believe you can and should have a mix of both. Yes, you must adhere to some sort of over-arching strategy, lest you give off that aimless vibe I was talking about before, and not just pander to whatever preconceived notions of your audience, as that would also devolve into the whole “giving them a faster horse” thing. On the other hand, you really should listen to your user base if they flat-out tell you that one of your ideas is completely nonsensical and hinders them more than it helps them. Yes, even if that means buckling to one of said “preconceived notions”, because not all of them are inherently bad/wrong. I can absolutely guarantee that while Adobe's implementation of multiple artboards isn't as elegant as it might have been (Freehand's, as far as I can remember, was much more so, as you could even select and focus on the damn things directly on the Navigation panel, and I can't for the life of me understand nor accept how Adobe, being the sole owners of Macromedia's entire IP, couldn't have straight up lifted the entire UX from FH and put it into Ai after all these years), the overall layer concept and its relation to artboards is more flexible, WYSIWYG and intuitive. And that's not just for me, but for the entire combined mad-at-Adobe-because-of-CC Ai, former-and-even-more-disgruntled-because-of-the-Macromedia-takeover FreeHand, and curious CorelDRAW user base that Serif seems to wish to attract judging from their marketing (even though, in all fairness, they seem to be gearing themselves towards the Pixelmator and Sketch crowd with the actual product). And it's a very safe extrapolation for me to do because I happen to have used all three applications throughout my career, and so did many of my colleagues (CorelDRAW being very popular in secondary education in my country and elsewhere in Europe, I believe, and the former two in undergraduate and professional education since time immemorial); I really feel dead sure that Serif's management and devs are shooting themselves on the foot with this. Unless, of course, that is a remnant of Draw Plus' UX, to which I also say – much to the chagrin of Plus users, which I know are also a bit disgruntled – good riddance. They weren't afraid of distancing themselves from their old suite in the past, and if it's the case again they shouldn't be now, either. In any case, whether it's a rehash of an old idea or a brand new one, this whole lack of universal layer support and “artboards-as-containers” thing is the proverbial hill I'm willing to die on. Users are willing to tolerate drastic changes/omissions to their tools, and even to the UI (Corel's, for instance, is very different from everything else, with those ridiculous panels that only open one at a time and waste huge amounts of screen space, and that's one of the reasons I personally didn't wish to go back to it even if I had the chance – and, in fact, I now do once again –, but if I was forced to at least I would be able to, you know, do my job somewhat unhindered; and I guess the same goes for Quark, even with its likewise stupid, non-standard keyboard shortcuts, and its limited tool set…), but there's only so much divergence they are willing to accept and live with when it comes to core features and workflows. And if those changes/omissions render a piece of software useless for half of their projects, it's all but guaranteed they will just ignore it or, worse even, if they are reviewers or influencers, outright pan it. Once again, my mention of Corel and Quark isn't that innocent, either. Right now, Adobe has real, cross-platform competition from three different companies, and while Serif is the only one which offers a comprehensive and affordable suite that also runs on iOS, the other two also offer perpetual licenses, so if you're that mad at Adobe you could, in theory, buy a CorelDRAW suite and a QuarkXPress licence and have, right here and right now, a complete, mature, industry-standard and cross-plaftorm solution on desktop hardware. Ever since CorelDRAW came back to the Mac, this scenario became a serious existential threat to Serif, IMHO. No matter how expensive those products are, we all have to face that reality head-on, because… guess what, schools can get those software packages at a reduced price, too. On the other hand – and I'll say it again –, judging from Corel's feeble commitment to the Mac and Quark's abysmal response to Apple's technological transitions in the past, the upcoming transition of the Mac to ARM-based A-series processors is a golden opportunity for Serif. But that will only work in their favour if their product is ready for competing with the “big boys”, which, no matter how good their sales figures may look, I feel it still isn't. Edit: even with the latest “2 million users” milestone revealed at the Serif Keynote, I'm not budging on my last statement. How many of those two million bought Affinity apps and then left them in the drawer? Are those stats for customers, as in people who purchased the apps, or individual active users in the last “x” days? And how many of them are just dabbling with the apps while they get up to speed, instead of being heavy, daily or near-daily users?
  19. True. Still, even with the current limitation in number of reactions per day (which sometimes feels a bit constraining, but I understand where you're coming from with that), it would be nice to have some more elaborate feedback from other users than the odd and not very constructive emoji. Or, you know, some suggestions as to alternative UX models or even workarounds (I just came up with one in a different thread: using AD more like Ai CS2 and older, as in, not using artboards at all while in the designing process, but just for exporting the final artwork for printing/linking… It's not 100% practical or elegant, but a functional workaround nonetheless). Debating stuff, if done with respect, is healthy, and I hope you take my jabs at you well. I don't wish to make users mad at you and pile up on you for the sake of it, and if that's the end result of my rants, well, I'm very sorry. All I say here is in good faith and with a very specific goal which is arguably in your best interests, and I'm not even mad or angry, just a bit sad and disappointed at the overall slowness of this process of attracting new users to the fold (I really wanted to work towards that goal in earnest, but I just can't bring myself to do it until a certain bare minimum of functionality is met, and I'd say this is the last big hurdle to be overcome). But oh well, at least I know I and others are being heard, which is much more than you can say about the competition.
  20. You seem to be… err, mad, and judging from the lack of positive reactions to my other posts, you don't seem to agree with my stance, either, but… care to at least elaborate on why?
  21. Yes, @ygoe, I know. And I know that expecting users to just accept having to use workarounds after four years of requests is, at the very least, worrisome. But surely you can appreciate that, in the grand scheme of things, ignoring the fact that your app doesn't work at all for a sizeable portion of your current customers and/or potential user base is, for lack of a nicer term and using the obverse of the one you just used, unacceptable. We're talking nice-to-have vs. absolutely essential here. I don't know about you, but if Serif devs spoke to me, as a customer, about their strategic decisions in the same terms I outlined in my latest posts, I would understand and applaud them, because there is indeed real power in numbers (in this case, number of users). I would feel that they would be measuring twice and cutting once, trying to attract as many users into the fold as possible, and admitting that v.1 or even v.2 would indeed be a bit “road-to-Abilene-ish”, in the sense that it wouldn't be perfect for absolutely anyone but at least barely usable for everyone (that's not what they do, quite the opposite; they will say that their product is great for some users who are very, very happy… Well, good on them all, then; I've been waiting for four years for some bare essentials, and one of my biggest “small” gripes with it took as much to be fixed; I suppose you could say that doesn't bode well for the future, am I right?). As it stands, Affinity Designer, in its current state, is great for illustrators and prosumer/amateur designers, and next to useless for almost everyone else. Or else, Serif would be swimming in cash – and might've been able to hire a few more people and speed up development – and Adobe would already be trying to acquire them, or something. Even with a manifestly incomplete product by 20/30-year-old-app standards (yes, I would buy the entire Affinity range, in an incomplete – but functional – state, for an entire, multi-seat professional studio just to stick it to Adobe, even if the current tax rules in my country actually make paying a CC subscription when you own a small business a bit of a no-brainer because of rebates). Just my €0,02. Also, this kind of shortcoming is still acceptable in a product like Publisher, as DTP is an über-complex field, the app suffered a lot of delays, and is not even commercially available yet. But Designer is supposedly the most mature of the bunch and, yet, these features aren't even on the roadmap. Instead, we're getting… arrowheads. I don't know a lot about software development but, to me, this all kind of reminds me of the active procrastination I did while finishing my MA dissertation. I would invariably turn to every fun DIY project I had going on the side instead of focusing on the boring 90+ page behemoth I really had to finish and turn in before the deadline. Sure, I would feel very accomplished, but that didn't change the fact that with every delay I'd be paying more and more tuition fees and further hampering my future career. Same here with Serif: focusing on cool new tools may make Affinity look good on paper, but it won't necessarily attract those potential users anyway and will result in a loss of media and word-of-mouth momentum. They're already losing me, for one, and I'm what you could call an “influencer” (former Mac room monitor at the leading fine arts faculty in my country, with hundreds of followers and customers, and in the future hundreds of students, anyone?). Oopsy-daisy. Anyway, I digress; until I'm proven otherwise, I'm betting Serif decided to focus on illustrators and prosumers for v.1 and that's that. I sure hope to be surprised with some v.1.8.x beta or something, but it seems that the make-or-break moment will instead be v.2. If that one isn't a serious attempt at expanding the user base, with a feature roadmap ostensibly geared for just that (having it laid out in a Trac-like system would also be nice, by the way), I will not be buying it. Worse even: I probably won't be paying much attention to its development and to v.3, unless it somehow reaches critical mass and I start getting students mentioning it. You see, if and when I become a teacher, I will be able to afford a CC subscription… forever (probably with some discount, even… or maybe I'll even get it for free, depending on where I'm working). And as much as it pains me, and as much as I hate Adobe's guts, my patience is limited, and I've been trying for more than five years to help Serif devs turn this into a serious contender. And I won't be doing that anymore, possibly soon, especially if I end up doing a PhD and my entire mental energy is directed elsewhere again.
  22. I was thinking more of technical drawings of 3D objects with top, bottom and side views, with measurements and stuff… In fact, you can see that in the examples I've given on my videos, there's probably only two arrows in total, and those are precisely the instances where I wouldn't mind in the least drawing them by hand (in fact, I did draw them manually in Illustrator, as those aren't even strokes, but shapes, and the arrows aren't even arrows per se, but just pointy bits). Imaging doing this other example I'm attaching without automatic arrowheads; yeah, it would be an absolute pain to do. But one could argue that a) this isn't yet one of Affinity Designer's target use cases (nor should it probably be anytime soon… A communication designer like myself, who can't use product design-bound CAD apps, doing a project such as this one will always be an extremely niche case) and b) for me to be able to even think of doing this in AD I'd need a sensible layer model, and having the whole mass-selection situation sorted out would come in handy, too. Even with arrowheads in AD, yes, so I really fail to see the urgency in implementing them, even with this 4-year-old request. Do you people now see where I'm getting at with my logic? I'm not being all pompous and envious about it, there's a thought process and a method to my opinions as to Serif's priorities. Features and tools don't exist in a vacuum; they must support each other, make sense, and correspond to the needs of specific target users. In fact, even Ai isn't very well suited for this… If I was making this today, now that CorelDRAW is finally available on the Mac again, and not two years ago, I might give it a spin instead – and bear with its horrid selection, zoom and pan model, which is all but erased from my muscle memory after 15 years without touching it – just because it has a dedicated and automatic measure-marking tool. If Serif ever wants to tackle that market and try to eat Corel's lunch as well by implementing such a tool, sure, I'm all for it, but only after the basics are addressed. I believe even Adobe initially implemented arrowheads as a a bone to throw at this kind of niche case more than anything else; the fact that it's also useful in other scenarios, including artistic ones, is just a nice side effect that eventually became their main application (because, you know, almost everyone uses Ai anyway). And yet, Ai is horrible for this kind of work because if you need to make a 3D render of one of these, boy oh boy, are you in for a world of hurt. But at least you can manage to do it with a sensible layer model, as SketchUp can import vector files just fine. Now try and do that with AD, and having three plates (this one I've shown is just plate 2 out of 3) in the same document (which makes sense, as you can have guidelines across them) with the same layers on all of them (which is critical for subtracting all the unneeded, human-bound measurement fluff when doing those renders); whoops, you can't, because AD will insist on treating artboards as “containers” and moving all your stuff (oh, I forgot to add: including guidelines) into them instead of letting you have it on specialised layers. So, to sum it up: Affinity Designer is great for doing collections of self-contained artwork, like different illustrations or logo versions (and even then I have a few doubts about its limitations), but positively, absolutely horrid for complex projects where some logical relationships between each artboard's content are needed or at least just desired. Really, if all we can have are several small “mini-documents” instead of projects containing an entire document-level logic, we might as well not have/make use of the current multiple artboard tools at all and work like we did in Ai in the pre-Macromedia days (as in, we could have rectangles on their own layer as faux artboards, and turn them into actual artboards whenever exporting and be careful enough not to save our artwork and thus screw up the entire layer situation). It's just that sad and would, indeed, make more sense as a workaround.
  23. That is not in any way, shape or form what I said. What I said was that automatic arrowheads at the end of strokes are useful mostly for technical drawings, when you may have to draw hundreds of them at a time just to indicate measurements. For everything else, manually drawing them and saving them as symbols is most definitely an acceptable workaround, especially if you're drawing just a few of them. My issue with Serif's priorities is the fact that there are no possible workarounds for issues like the ones I cited. Missing core functionality usually turns your life into a living hell and just makes you stick with what you already have. To add insult to injury, it does seem like those two features could be implemented with a few lines of code. They are not even tools that you have to draw entire icons and design entire studio panels for (well, when it comes to universal layers and if they want to implement those in a neater fashion, maybe, but there could be an intermediate and even temporary compromise just for v.1.x, as my demonstration videos attest; it's already technically possible to somewhat circumvent Designer's weird “artboard-as-container model”, with no ill effects, except you can't really work at all because you'll be fighting the application at every corner; as for selection options, Serif could very well implement basic, Ai-like selection options for v.1, and work on a more advanced, Freehand-like selection dialog for v.2 or even v.3). If you have users trying, or wishing, to fight your app, and if not addressing that is reason enough for them to quit using your app, and if addressing it is easy enough for you to do, you should definitely consider yielding. To me, this entire container model nonsense feels like it's Serif's “darling” and they're afraid, or just too proud, to “kill it”. This isn't a case of being something too hard to implement, no. It's the case of them having reinvented the wheel five years ago for no real good reason, and now maybe being stuck (except they aren't; their document engine would work just fine in an Ai-like way if only we were given a measly checkbox). There's a lot I hate about Ai, but their implementation of layers and artboards is not one of those things (the overall crustiness and slowness of the app, the horrid bézier tools, etc. are, and Affinity Designer did seem to bring a breath of fresh air when it came to tools). And sure, they got a lot of compliments from users – mostly illustrators, I'm guessing – on their model, but those users could very well live with Ai's model and wouldn't even bat an eye because they wouldn't know any better, whereas many other users just can't use Serif's container model. At all. Period. And before you tell me that I'm being stupid because I want Affinity Designer to be more like an Adobe app, well… No. I want Affinity Designer to be more like every single design app in existence since the beginning of time. Glyphs.app (a type design app) works like this. AutoCAD works like this. ArchiCAD works like this. CorelDRAW works like this. Inkscape works like this. Illustrator obviously works like this. ALL design apps feature universal layers which are sacred. Affinity is the only app that treats artboards as containers (I will say it again: paper is always the bottom layer, not a container; and if you want a container, well… I dunno, create/use a specific slice/crop tool/whatever for that, or just group your objects into a group or a layer) and makes layering/grouping decisions for you, and before you tell me that that kind of abstraction is a good idea because kids these days will just use iPads and be done with it, no, no and no. Some professionals will always use some kind of real media, just like some photographers and DJs will always use some kind of physical media, and even if they don't, having a sensible, WYSIWYG/skeumorphic/whatchamacallit connection with the physical world and its inner workings is always a good idea. I am sad about this, but I'll have to repeat it again in this thread: Serif devs think more like engineers than like artists, and whichever artists or designers who worked with them and told them this was a good idea or at least failed to warn them of the side effects led them astray because they didn't know any better. I'll even go further and say that I will consult with some former MA colleagues of mine and UX buffs (I mean, they are teaching a postgraduate degree on that very subject) at my faculty just to confirm that I'm not the one in the wrong here. And yes, having your app making decisions for you can be good in some scenarios, but if some of your users start actively complaining about it maybe you should reconsider having that as the only option. And in this case, being different from the established standard interaction model, with not enough of a tangible benefit and verifiable disadvantages is indefensible, no matter how happy some users may be about it. At least give the users the option to disable that “feature” (I've said it before and I will say it again: in some cases, especially those which I've outlined in my demonstration videos, it feels more like a bug than anything else). Since I've already talked about wheels and reinventing them, I'll adapt an analogy used elsewhere in these forums: Affinity Designer is a bit like a Lamborghini with square wheels. Or maybe with a square, rusty steering wheel on a curved column. Or both. Sure, it has a beefy, modern engine and you can go reeeeaaaally fast with it (as in, you can import very complex .PDF documents, and look at them with buttery-smooth scrolling and zooming), but you can't make it go where you want it to go. You can't work with it. I mean, maybe you personally can, but many users – including myself and my future students – can't, not for the lack of tools (heck, I've been manually doing stuff that I know for a fact to be easier or automatic in other competing apps for years, that's just par for the course), but for the lack of core features or the weird document model. This is a deeper issue and Serif's priorities are completely lopsided, that's what I was getting at. And yes, you may be able to do simpler projects with it, but consider this from a professional's perspective; if you have to invest time – and, thus, money – in retraining your muscle memory for a new app, wouldn't you wait until you could do like 95% of your projects with it, just for the economies of scale/ROI? For me, Affinity Designer hasn't even passed the 50% threshold, hence why I'm holding off (I may make an exception for modular type design or the odd illustration to put into InDesign documents, as Designer would be just another cog in a larger workflow, but for end-to-end, .afdesign-made print media? Fuggedaboutit).
  24. It would be lovely to see other long-running threads such as this one being put to bed, too: Or other, more recent ones detailing also long-standing conceptual issues in Affinity Designer, like this one: The popularity of certain feature request threads and the time Serif devs take to address them makes me sometimes wonder what exactly is their criteria; is it the marketability of them towards a certain target user? Is it the technological implications and dependencies of each tool or feature? Well, I'll tell you something: this tool seems to be very useful mostly for people into technical drawing. It is no accident that in Ai it's lumped in with stroke customisation, such as dotted/dashed strokes. But… I will stand my ground. If they are finally trying to attract technical drawing users now, they must implement these two features I mentioned first, because… they will also benefit other less technically-inclined users and lay an important groundwork without which those users won't even get to use or even test those arrow-head terminations. It's a simple cost-benefit equation and a matter of priorities, even if these two features are harder to implement on a deeper level. Or maybe they are in fact not trying to attract those users by adding arrow-heads because… people may want to use them artistically? Or just sparingly? If that's the case, I believe they are wasting their time on fluff (users who need them artistically would probably be better served drawing them by hand, and if they are doing just a few of them at a time can very well afford to do so) and only dangling yet another carrot which will only serve to disappoint those technical drawing users when they inevitably run into the aforementioned limitations. Yes, I'm actually saying it: some new tools may actually harm Serif's reputation more than they help it because of the expectation they raise. It's better to keep a certain user at bay, by not offering nearly any of the critical tools they need, than to attract them and disappoint them, as that may actually be your only chance of successfully luring them in. Again, here are Serif devs focusing on the tools instead of on the core and general usability features. Please fix the core first, guys. And I'll tell you something else, which is indeed very worrying coming from me, the soon-to-be-graduate in a MA in Typography: these omissions are more serious than even those pertaining to typography. And I know I've badgered you with how important those were even before Publisher was a blip on the radar, but… drop everything else, including those, and focus on these features first, even if you have to address these in a phased manner. Show some commitment into making Affinity Designer a bit more “universal”, even if the tools that go with many potential use cases aren't there yet and won't even be there for a while. That will at least signal to your user base your true intentions of eventually replacing Ai, while not really hurting your current, happy user base in any way, shape or form. And yes, I will make no excuses for my use of that verb, no matter what the apologists will inevitably say about “Affinity being an alternative and not a replacement”. Of course it won't be but an alternative for a while, and of course the end-game is for it to become a replacement, even if it takes them 20 years to do so. But for them to be able to do so, they will have to line up their actions in the correct order and create the kind of proper, positive engagement with their user base. And yes, I know what I'm proposing sounds a bit paradoxical and even hypocritical, but to me it somehow feels that it's much easier to justify that you don't have the time to implement tool a or b because you're busy getting the basics, core feature x or y, right. I know that I would be much more accepting of that than the current status quo. It feels as if Serif set some lofty goals, and still boasts about them on their website, but in all truth has just settled for keeping their illustrator/artistic/web/UX user base happy (by the way, I can't, for the life of me, understand how their UX clients haven't raised the same issues I did; or maybe many of them could, but just fled from Affinity instead of putting in the time to explain their reasoning…) while migrating them to iOS. Those two goals are super important, I'm sure (and regarding the latter, the upcoming rumoured transition Apple will make on the Mac from Intel x86 processors to ARM-based, A-series ones will be a golden opportunity for Serif to do to Adobe what they did to Quark), but I'd rather see a price increase on the entire Affinity range and see them hire a few more developers and UX experts (and yes, I also know that putting more people in a project doesn't always translate into faster developing times, but clearly Serif seems to be biting more than they wanted to chew and could certainly use a few more hands on deck) so that four-year-old basic requests and inexplicable and indefensible UX gripes become a thing of the past. For all those who may think that I'm being self-centred, well, I'm not. I'm thinking not of what I do currently (or not just of that), but as a former design student and potential design teacher (as in, of the main project subject). I can immediately think of several academic and professional projects that would be an absolute pain to do, if not outright impossible, without those two features I mentioned, whereas… arrowheads? Excluding technical drawing, those would be just nice to have in some niche cases. As for the whole Mac vs. Windows thing, and the slight mismatch in tools and/or features – in a beta, mind you – I'm siding with the devs on this one; it's commendable that their releases are as in sync as they are right now. What other companies, besides the 800lb gorillas in the room – i.e. Adobe and Microsoft (and maybe now Corel, too) –, do you know that can keep entire cross-platform software suites so very much aligned in their feature set and so cross-compatible in their file formats? Come on, give us some examples… You can fault Serif for a lot of what happened (and especially what hasn't) these past few years but, if there's something you can't really be mad about is their level of commitment to different platforms. Indeed, it's that very commitment that admittedly caused all the delays in projects like Publisher, so, as someone who eagerly waited for that piece of software (and still does, for its final commercial release, at least), methinks the gentlemen (and ladies?) doth protest too much.
  25. I'm quoting you again because only now did I have the time to properly check out the other threads. So, as I said, there are indeed other users speaking about this issue in as strong a language as I am (“wrong layer concept”, “users won't take Affinity seriously”, etc.). The omission of Global/Universal/Document layers is severe enough to make some users dismiss the Affinity Suite altogether as an Adobe CC alternative. @TonyB was made aware of that, as his quoted reply on one of those threads seems to imply, but I feel I should tag him anyway, because this mustn't be a Designer-only or Publisher-only issue, and the proliferation of similar requests across the board proves just that. Many projects of a certain level and/or kind of complexity, whether they are DTP or large-scale print ones, absolutely require this feature, and even optimistic and enthusiastic potential switchers like myself won't do so until it is properly implemented. Tools are flashy and make quite an impression on feature set website pages and social media posts, as do all those state-of-the-art technologies, formats and standards already supported by Affinity apps; but low-level, workflow-defining behaviours and features like this one are absolutely make-or-break and those upon which users decide to stick with an app or not. You're better off attracting users to strong, dependable apps still lacking some tools (users can always fire up a CS5 counterpart or something else if they need to trace a bitmap into a vector, or do a vector blend, or use a specific Photoshop filter, or something else altogether), than doing things the other way around (what good are Affinity's nice tools if users feel more like using Adobe CS/CC apps from the ground up anyway? Case in point: I've been using AD/APhoto for the occasional gradient, which I then import straight into Illustrator or InDesign, so… that's telling).
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