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JGD

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  1. 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
  2. You know, a great way of summarising this entire issue is thusly: Affinity Designer is like a great set of brushes, pens, rulers, protractors, compass, etc., but then the draftsman table it comes with has wheels under its feet, its surface is buttered so your stuff slides around, etc. The problem with Designer is, then, not the tools, but the canvas. And my choice of word isn't innocent, either. That's a physical, white thing atop of which you scratch with pigments and splosh paint. I've said this before here on the forums about abstraction, left-vs.-right-brain, etc.; Illustrator is very WYSIWYG, even if it uses some apparently abstract conventions like the all-inclusive pasteboard (they're not abstract at all, however; originally, Ai was thought-out as a literal table where you had a literal, single sheet of paper, and now it's thought out as a literal table with multiple sheets of paper, just like Freehand was). And that behaviour in AD we're discussing here attempts to make it even more WYSIWYG but, in its… AI-ness (as in artificial intelligence, not Adobe Illustrator ), can and does rub many users off the wrong way. It rubs me off the wrong way just like, say, iTunes' and Apple Photos' automatic library management rubs off Windows switchers, used to manage their stuff manually, the wrong way. The difference being that if you buy a Mac, you're not forced to use either of those apps and can carry on doing stuff the old fashioned way, whereas switching from Ai to Affinity Designer forces you to give up useful – nay, essential – workflows for certain kinds of projects. Do you now see the deeper, underlying philosophical issues I'm getting at? Automatic ≠ WYSIWYG (especially if having a layer above an artboard creates the opposite expectation on the user…). And database (something which Affinity Designer's rigid container tree does feel a lot like) ≠ WYSIWYG. If you're working on a physical table, you may have a single sheet of transparent paper over many other sheets of paper, am I right? Shouldn't you be able to work on that level/layer unhindered, then, just like in real life? Unfortunately, from a purely psychological standpoint, AD really is also worse for visual creatives (including, yes, illustrators) than Serif devs think (no, we don't usually conceptualise our work as boxes inside other boxes, but as layers of meaning/material/pigment – the lowest of which is always the paper or the canvas, hence the reason why we’d never think of an artboard as “containing” stuff, but, instead, as the substrate atop which stuff is layered, or the final artwork cropping area extracted from a larger substrate – which can be common across several different pieces – and, indeed, I've seen people working on many at the same time and on the same table –, and that also includes web and interface design! This still comes from the annals of analog media, when stuff was physically layered and then photographed for print production, and students are still taught that way in fine arts schools and faculties). It really feels like AD was designed by engineers more than Adobe's offering was, and I never really thought of ever saying this about any piece of commercial software (GNU/GPL/FOSS stuff is a different matter), ever, as that's a common grievance when it comes to users calling them out on their mistakes (like, say, the infamous thread about gradients in Photoshop I always love to quote as an example). Look, I'm no UX expert. But I've been doing design for almost 20 years, formally studying it for 15, practicing it professionally for around 10 and am just now starting to teach it in earnest. And I've dated a painter and illustrator (who works with actual, physical media, but also with digital tools) for a couple of years and watched her and her colleagues work very closely. I know how designers and illustrators work and think, and I assure you Serif devs are absolutely in the wrong here. In real life™, physical media doesn't change its z position just because you tweaked the other two axes, you know? But that wouldn't even be an issue if we had a choice, and from a technical standpoint there are strong hints that such a choice may indeed be on the table (pun unintended), and that Serif may not be as boxed in (pun also unintended) with this model as it may appear. Let creatives be creatives and use their tools in a freer way, and if Serif devs manage to reconcile both models, they'll achieve something rather hard and not quite unlike squaring the circle. But I do think it's doable, and I'm dead sure it must be done.
  3. Exactly, and as I've said before on the forums and now on my little demos, I totally get the thinking behind it. Which leads me back to the entire illustration vs. design, and Designer vs. Illustrator switcheroo. Both apps are trying to address both fields at the same time, and the old 80 lbs. incumbent gorilla is still best suited for design, whereas the nimble newcomer is most definitely more suited for – and more popular among – the illustration crowd, precisely because of the features which you've mentioned and I'm addressing more as bugs than as features (not because they are bad ideas per se, but because they a) need to be optional and b) need a lot more polish). What frustrates me to no end is seeing that Designer is one centimeter away from being great for really complex design work as well and kick the gorilla in its proverbial groin. Heck, rename the current Vector Persona into an Illustration Persona and recreate a new, tweaked Design Persona if you must, or create two entirely new ones from scratch with slightly different behaviours (yes, it's a very Charing-Cross-becoming-Embankment-and-Strand-becoming-Charing-Cross kind of thing, but if you must do it, please do it ASAP). That was supposed to be the beauty of Affinity, right? Personas. I don't know if that's the solution, but it would certainly be a way of looking at it, and totally justify momentous changes of behaviour and apparent document structure. That's definitely discoverable and predictable, IMHO. Perhaps save it for v.2 but, if possible, the groundwork for such a set of features could perhaps be laid down and tested in the real world right now. Plus, it would further differentiate Designer from Publisher (which should still feature a cut-down/consolidated Vector Persona), and bring it a bit more on par with Photo (which appears to be, at first glance and with its five Personas, a much more complex application).
  4. For me, they are disastrous. There's nothing more terrible than software making these kinds of decisions for you, without affordances to prevent it. Intuitiveness is hard to explain as a concept, but what you've just seen in those videos is something Serif should've done with live testers, sitting on a chair at their HQ, with a camera pointed at their faces, and addressed before even shipping v.1. You may notice I've isolated at least three or four instances of unpredictability and objects just “disappearing” (i.e. bad UX). I know for a fact that I'm not the only one feeling this way about AD. Just because there's a sizeable number of users who don't, that doesn't mean there isn't an equally large number of those who do and either put up with it, or just bailed on it and stuck with Adobe. The difference here being that I'm not willing to take Adobe's crap anymore, but am not willing to severely downgrade my workflow, either, and I've bet heavily on Serif and Affinity. They are indeed the ones with the best chances of making it, and believe me when I tell you that I did look at alternatives and keep doing so. Nothing comes close. Not even CorelDraw, an application on which I did the first versions of those diagrams back when I was only fifteen (so, some 18 years ago now), and which I still used in the v.11, PowerPC OS X days. But that doesn't change the fact that if I can't do with AD at least 95% of what I do in Ai without wanting to pull my hair out, I just… won't.
  5. It kind of does, yes. Maybe have a super-artboard called pasteboard, above all others? And allow you to add a toggle to layers so as to force whatever objects in them to stay put in whatever artboard they belong to, including the pasteboard? And as a solution to the entire cropped objects conundrum, considering different behaviours other than cropping them outright? Just making them x% transparent? And maybe fix the entire selection model, thus allowing to select anything visible/unlocked (including, yes, artboards) regardless of where it sits on the document tree? That can of worms is already open, as you pointed out. It is inconsistent behaviour, and it will lead other people to, just like me, think they can use it for universal layers, only to become immediately frustrated and disappointed. Or, I dunno, just allow users to pick between an Ai-like document model and an Affinity-like document model, as long as they are fully-compatible between one another (say, by even allowing to automatically move all universal objects to whichever artboard they're sitting atop of at the push of a button, or automatically extract all objects from each artboard into the pasteboard – maybe you'd lose whichever universal layers you had set up before, but that would be understandable) and with Publisher, document-specific (so it could be a Document Setup-level preference) and easily discoverable (see above). We're already allowed to pick between Corel's (lasso) and Adobe's (intersection) selection model, so… why not? We could certainly hash out some ideas here and get at a more sensible solution. There is a lot to love in Designer but, as I've said it before, it feels too rigid and dumbed down, with some disastrous, unforgiving UX results. :\
  6. By the way, I know that this is slighty off-topic, but since this was another issue that was preventing me from doing a large volume of projects and that I've just noticed it's gone, I'm very happy to see that the click+Option+drag to duplicate behaviour is finally fixed (maybe it was before and I didn't notice it, but it's definitely a v.1.7.x thing). I can perform an undo and AD will finally undo both the duplicate and the drag operation, instead of the drag operation only. It's these little things that really do make me want to use Affinity instead of just firing up good ol' crusty Ai. That one in particular drove me absolutely nuts because I do a lot of modular typography and duplicate objects constantly (and, accordingly, undo those operations just as frequently when I inevitably mess up). It might have been just an extra Command+Z press, but it was a behaviour inconsistent with any other vector design app – from Adobe or otherwise –, the Finder, and the entire Apple HIG. Plus, it added up over time. Another point scored for Affinity, and at least I can now tell you that I'll probably start doing all my modular type projects in it and recommending it for students, or even for a teacher and colleague of mine who does a lot of that kind of work, too.
  7. Hi again @MattP, As promised, here are my video demos and the test file I was working on. I'm sorry for all the ranting and raving these last few days (and you can still sense my frustration in my voice), but I do feel I'm onto something here. If you can address this without opening, as I said, a few cans of worms, this should be a low-cost, high-benefit fix. I wouldn't say this is the only issue preventing me and other users from using Affinity Designer on a daily basis, but I will say it is the most serious, and it is indeed preventing me from even wishing to test it on more complex projects. All the best, João universal_layer_test.mov universal_layer_example.mov universal layer test.afdesign
  8. Hi Matt, thank you for your prompt feedback. Yes, I know of your choice of making Artboards as containers, I've read on it here on the forums before, and I see no inherent problem in that. My point being that both models, Adobe's and Affinity's, are perfectly reconcilable if some extra thought is given (and more control is devolved to the end user). As it stands, Affinity Designer already supports objects outside of/above Artboards, and will export them just fine as if they were contained in them. It's just that its default behaviour makes it seem like that isn't possible (and, in fact, it hinders its usability thereof to the point of frustration and uselessness). As promised, I will make a little narrated screencap, and will also provide you with the corresponding .afdesign demonstration files to show you just what I'm getting at. Also, I may provide you with some example .Ai files – speculative Faculty projects which could very well be actual, professional ones –, too, so you can see what kind of finished artwork can absolutely benefit from such a hybrid model. All the best, João
  9. Hi guys, I don't know if this is easily fixable without some serious reworking of the Studio code, but it irks me to no end and I never realised it before because I tend to test AD in my 27'' iMac (where I can have those floating Studio panels tucked away far from conflicting UI elements) and not in the smaller, puny 13'' MacBook Pro. As you can see in the screenshot I enclosed, my nice little Studio arrangement completely falls apart whenever I have to open a modal sheet. You know what? If you can't get it fixed any other way, as much as I like those animated macOS sheets I'd rather have Affinity apps not fully respect Apple's HIG and pop open completely detached, modal and floating dialogs instead. It'd be sad, but yeah, priorities. Plus, it's not like Affinity apps aren't doing that already anyway with Open and Save dialogs, so… It wouldn't be a first.
  10. Objects still move automatically from any layer, above all artboards, they belong to into whatever artboard they touch when dragged with the mouse/trackpad, without any visible option to toggle said behaviour. I know this is a feature request, but the default behaviour is so unintuitive that I shall be treating it as a bug, not as a feature, from now on and until it's finally addressed, on all new beta threads. I can't stress this enough: Affinity Designer doesn't truly work for me because of this, period.
  11. Four years in and this still hasn't been properly addressed. That's the reason why I'm calling it a “critical & overdue” feature. I know these posters weren't yet addressing the whole layer issue (because it wasn't yet a thing), but the fact it even arose and still lingers to this day means you still haven't figured out the core artboard and layer model in a functional manner. AD is not intuitive, it's a letdown, and the only reason I don't wish I've never bought it in the first place is because it shows a lot of promise and I know you needed the money. I've said it before and I'll say it again: though I may not seem like it, I must be one of the most patient and optimistic people around and I really want you guys to succeed, but I don't think this is working, or working as nicely as you think it is (I don't know what's your data on successful trial-to-paying-customer ratio, and maybe it's hard to figure that out as you'd have to cross-examine – on the Mac at least – the MAS data with the beta sign-up forms, but you really should double-check that). It's great that you're addressing so many important feature requests, but if the core of the application doesn't work, you won't attract users, and those newfangled features won't be properly tested (at least that's the reason I'm personally not testing them as much as I'd like, because these days I won't use AD for production work, ever, and will only do every now and then small random tests of features I know I use frequently, to check if I can finally switch). You see, AD is, in fact, so frustrating to use I just keep firing up Ai instead. And this is not just a matter of my muscle memory from Adobe apps not matching up with AD, not at all. AI's bugs, feature creep and overall crustiness are actually still more bearable than AD's über-quirky behaviour (I could get used to the whole extremely non-standard click+option+drag duplication behaviour I've beaten to death, but the entire artboard and layer situation is a total non-starter for me). These are serious and irreconcilable UX and structural issues we're talking about, here. Guys like me (you know what kind of invitations you sent me, and the letters I've sent you even before you made the whole betting-the-farm-on-Affinity move public, and if not please check your internal archives) should be the canary in the coal mine. You're losing me a bit, here. Whenever I'm speaking to young aspiring designers I'm always torn between bashing Adobe (because how couldn't I?), praising you and then immediately having to recognise the sad reality that maybe you bit more than you could chew and/or are not prioritising your features right (because, you see, I really can't stick my neck out for you, as my credibility would also be on the line). Please fix the core first/ASAP. Until you can get users like me to at least do some intermediate projects (and, no, doing some artwork for brochure covers – which I then finish off in InDesign because APub is still in beta, mind you – just because AD is better at gradients is just… sad, and doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of any of the admittedly cool new features you've been adding recently), you won't make any serious dents in Adobe's armour. I'm basically using Affinity as an accessory to Adobe's apps, when I hoped it'd be the other way around already for quite a while. Remember our loud rants in the Publisher forums against you even thinking of releasing it into the wild without anchored objects properly implemented, lest you damaged your reputation among pros? Well, as of late, I've been reconsidering my initial enthusiasm regarding Designer, and realised this complete layer/artboard SNAFU is Designer's equivalent to that – actually, scratch that; this is akin to releasing Publisher without support for master pages or baseline grids, or at least with a totally borked implementation thereof –, and it's been four years already since these users gave you the very same warning. Four years of losing potential users who downloaded the trial and decided against buying it (if you're lucky enough, maybe they're now “honest pirates”, are still trialling it in less than legal fashion and maybe will indeed buy it once it gets up to spec, instead of just ignoring it altogether) or disappointing paying customers – nay, outspoken advocates and influencers – like myself. People can tolerate the lack of even basic features like “select by stroke/fill/colour”, or even bleeds (it's not like pros can't do their nifty artwork in AD and then export it into Ai or ID to put the finishing touches and send it to the printer), but if the core is completely broken, it really throws off a bad vibe, as if development is misguided or something. As if you were making it up as you went. I am seriously afraid you may be boxing yourselves in in other fields, and I only realised it yesterday once I really started thinking of the implications of adding just one checkbox or field, but if you have to break workflows to make things right once and for all (for all their inane tinkering and bloatware, you haven't seen Adobe messing around that much with that feature since they acquired Macromedia – and, by extension, Freehand – and bolted multiple artboard support onto Ai, and people haven't complained that much about it, either, so clearly they've been doing at least something right there), you'd better do it quickly and early on. Because, yes, I do believe this is “early on”, and that we're all in fact some sort of “paying beta testers” in the grand scheme of things; Affinity may not even reach critical mass – as in… InDesign-killing-Quark-like critical mass – until version 2 or 3, and that's fine… But the core should be perfect in v.1.x! In fact, judging from these old posts, and from me not even willing to use the MAS version for frequent production work, it should've been fixed in v.1.6 already.
  12. 1. Wow. I didn't know they didn't have that one yet. But I suspect it's low-hanging fruit and it will come sooner rather than later. Sooner, unfortunately, than universal layers, but alas, such is life. 2. I also didn't know that. I'll probably have to check that one out. But it's also low-hanging fruit, so keep pushing for it. 3. It's a nice-to-have feature, but unless it's something you do on a daily basis, if you have an old version of CS lying around you're better off firing up a dedicated virtual machine if need be (on the Mac you probably will have to do that, yes, and deal with its potential fugly non-Retina-ness) and load it up on there. It's a feature that I'm certain is on their internal roadmap somewhere, but it will take years to come. 4. I highly doubt it. Those files are proprietary, so I'm really not seeing that happening. Honestly, you're better off sending .PDFs and trying to convert people into the Affinity fold. The price of admission is stupidly low and the licences are perpetual; if it ever reaches critical mass, even the most die-hard Adobe fanboy may eventually relent, and it's not like you're forcing them to install Corel. As for IDML, that would be cool, and please correct me if I'm wrong; it's a bit of a more “open” format, right? 5. Same as above, and the other posters already covered it. But I'll also add: if IDML import is doable, it stands to reason that IDML export should be, too, so at least regarding Publisher you'd be covered. And Photo can already save .PSD files, so there's that. 2/3 native competitor format support is pretty good if you ask me.
  13. Bonus: if you want to take type designers into the fold as well (a niche of a niche of a niche, I know, but one can dream), try and test direct copy/paste PostScript compatibility with Glyphs.app (I can put you in direct contact with Rainer Scheichelbauer, one of the Glyphs devs, if you want), FontLab VI (I don't have Adam Twardoch's contact but I know someone who probably has) and RoboFont (same). It's not a basic thing, but there's something wrong/non-standard with your vector specification. Maybe Adobe didn't document its spec well enough and you had to reverse-engineer it, or something, and maybe it's too late to fix it, but if you ever do so, extra kudos for that. Well, what do you know, I may have spoken too soon. I did some quick tests and it seems to be fixed already, so maybe I'll be able to recommend you to my type design students after all. It's a really small market but, production-wise, type design is so basic that you don't need to work in the Artboard model and can just use a gigantic one-artboard document and be done with it. It basically consists of setting up a grid and some parameters, drawing curves and copying and pasting. Cool. But now you'll have to deal with my nit-picking regarding all things node-, curve- and grid-related. I may even ditch Ai for my personal modular type design-related needs sooner than I thought (Ai's node selection is getting worse and worse by the day, so when it comes to type design any current shortcomings in AD will probably still be offset by those, ha). And it's just too bad that our classes are a wee bit small (5-7 people at most for workshops, and 15 at most for MA classes)… and also students usually have to purchase Glyphs.app anyway if they want to carry on working in the field afterwards, as their licenses are always time-restricted. Oh well. As for the others, September is still the timeframe, yes.
  14. I will just link to this, in a slightly bigger font but not so big that it will get me banned/reprimanded for my insistence: Universal layers. There are various different ways of achieving this, in increasing degrees of complexity and interdependency between the various components of the suite, and achieving the most complex ones would be awesome, but extremely hard and unlikely in v.1.x, sure. But failure to even put it in the roadmap and addressing it, right now (v.1.7.x) in the… safest and simplest way possible will inevitably result in me not recommending Affinity Designer to maybe hundreds of people until it finally is. That is a basic and common feature that trumps many others already crossed-out on the list. The document/layer/artboard model is the very heart of the application, really, and it is oh-so-broken, weird, unintuitive and inflexible at the moment. It works for basic projects only (and yes, before you bring up all the cool demonstration artwork from reputable artists, from a production standpoint even the most complex of illustrations is, well, basic, whereas an apparently basic map or diagram is insanely complicated), and only a checkbox and a few lines of code separate it from being a veritable powerhouse for all things vector. @Ben, you mentioned current vs. new users, and I completely get it. However, when developing for some current users, especially teachers, you're also developing for many other future, potential users. We know in advance what kind of projects they will be faced with, so we can most certainly predict the issues that will arise in mostly any app our students use, and we will adjust our software requirements to our curricula and definitely not the other way around, as you may understand. We're talking volume licensing and entire classes buying this thing during their attendance or right after graduation, here. And the next window of opportunity may close this summer/around September. Please bear that in mind, guys. Take care!
  15. Bonus comment #2: There's also a way which you could deal with the whole “Clip to Canvas” conundrum that will inevitably arise if and when you get around to implement any of these proposed features. If said option to “Automatically move objects to and from artboards” is turned off, it stands to reason that when dragging an object outside of an artboard it would technically remain in it and thus be clipped out of view, with no draggable features unless you switched to outline mode, am I right? And that is also terrible UX, which leads me to believe that maybe that's the reason why you came up with the whole “drag—partially clip—reappear as universal object” behaviour; well, guess what, not all users like it anyway because sometimes they may end up with just a tiny visible tip of an object and thus have to resort to all sorts of shenanigans (like scouring the Layers panel or using Outline view) just to find their “missing objects”. I propose, thus, a sensible compromise, that might be activated automatically when that “manual mode” is engaged, but might also be optionally toggable in all other scenarios: what if the portion of any object outside of its parent artboard appeared slightly transparent and/or in outline view? And if it overlapped another adjacent artboard, when selecting said artboard the latter would automatically obscure those objects or, alternatively, only the clipped out objects from any given and selected artboard would show at a time in said transparent/outlined manner. And if you wanted to see all hidden objects at once, easy: either you triggered Outline mode, or you selected all artboards at the same time. In fact, the latter option might allow you to make them disappear in outline mode in unselected artboards so as not to make critical vector editing work extremely confusing on complex projects with overlapping stuff all over the place (I'm showing some foresight here, because I tend to be a mix of rational and chaotic/messy, so I know in advance that would eventually happen to me and I'm sure it would to happen to others as well). This is intuitive and completely workable, and would, as a bonus, solve that unforgiving UX scenario I mentioned first. And it could be just yet a different View mode. Call it Hybrid or something. Make the whole “Clip to Canvas” functionality a toggable set of options with various degrees of “clipping aggressiveness” (maybe even with custom transparency values?) in Artboard mode. I don't know, I'm not the UI/UX expert here and cannot (nor had the pretension to be able to) provide you with all the answers, but I know enough to at least be able to make an informed assessment, and to me it seems that, as it stands, Affinity Designer's entire layer model is a complete mess and doesn't offer users nearly as much choice as the competition. It's oversimplified for the sake of looking/feeling nice or just being different, but ends up chopping the legs off of an otherwise superb application. Please, please, please consider this feedback more seriously than the last time. I and others have been waiting for this for more than a year now.
  16. I'm also adding a separate comment as a bonus, because this may open yet some other cans of worms and I want to keep it separate from the original one, so please bear with me: As for the universal/document layers themselves, and their visual manifestation in the Studio UI, any layer sitting above the topmost artboard could automatically become “universal”… because it technically already is. That is intuitive for any user to grasp, but some extra visual feedback – like, say, change its descriptor in the Layers panel from “(Layer)” to “(Universal Layer)” … and maybe even rename the current artboart-level layers into “(Artboard Layer)” for good measure – would also be very welcome and help a lot with discoverability. But if you want to go the extra mile and make sure people instantly get it without having to create and move layers around, you can also add a draggable separator with an independent scroll field, kind of like the one between Master Pages and regular layout pages in InDesign and APub. If you dragged layers and objects below the separator, they could automatically snap into the nearest artboard (since with the concept of universal/document layers, it would no longer make any sense to have universal/document objects sandwiched between different artboards in the layers panel like they do now, and with the “Automatically move objects…” behaviour activated, they could just jump to the topmost layer in the universal/document section when dragged, in the actual WYSIWYG document working area, from their current artboard onto the pasteboard). Boom!, instant reconciling of both Affinity's new and current artboard-centric layer model and Adobe's/Corel's/Macromedia's document-centric one, without having to add an extra Artboards panel like Adobe did. That should make a lot of people happy without cluttering the UI too much. Also, you could extend the concept to Affinity Publisher, and thus even allow for document-, master page- and layout page-level layers, in a totally logical and consistent tie-in with the Designer Persona. That would actually make Affinity superior and more flexible than Adobe's offerings.
  17. [Edit: for your convenience, I created a new, specific and more focused request, as the original one from this current thread is partially solved already. I'm leaving this comment here for archival purposes, but if you want to save yourself the trouble of reading all this, you're better off checking the new one.] Ok, @MEB, I'm tagging @Patrick Connor as well and I'll ask you for a little help here, or, if this feature I'm asking for hasn't been implemented already, a little compromise on your part, please. It should be easy to code and require either an extra button on the layers panel, or an extra checkbox in the settings window. I've just realised that if we bring the objects outside of the artboards and into a layer above all of them, we actually get a “universal layer” and can export each artboard and have objects that span them display both while editing, with the pre-selected and grayed-out “Clip to Canvas” setting, and on the exported files. This is indeed the behaviour I intended on, and will save me all of those shenanigans with slices I was talking about before. The thing is: there is no way of preventing Designer from moving objects out of one of those universal layers and into an artboard layer whenever moving an object over the artboard it was already over. It immediately gets sucked into that artboard the moment I click and drag it. Funnily enough, if I nudge it with the arrow keys, it won't do that, so there's already some inconsistency there. Please, please, PLEASE, PLEASE give us a mode where we have full control over which layers our objects go to and stay in. I've tried everything: locking the artboard layers, hiding them, disabling the “Edit all layers” option, nothing works. AD keeps doing what it thinks is best for me, even though I do not want it to. For me, AD will be useless for many projects, and all it takes is for you to add a “Automatically move objects from external layers into artboards” toggle. Please do it. It will be an insta-fix for all the issues I mentioned. I know I'm not being too clear here, but if you want I can provide you with some narrated video screen captures of both Ai and AD so I can explain you the interaction model I'm aiming at. I REALLY want to use AD for all of my work, and I REALLY want to unreservedly rally behind it and recommend it to my students. If you want me to do that, PM me or something, because now that I finally turned in my dissertation I have much more free time to help you right now.
  18. Ok, @MEB, I'm tagging @Patrick Connor as well and I'll ask you for a little help here, or, if this feature I'm asking for hasn't been implemented or isn't on the roadmap already, a little compromise on your part, please. It should be easy to code and require either an extra button on the layers panel, or an extra checkbox in the settings window. When testing this use case again on the latest Designer beta, I've just realised that if we move, in the layers panel, the objects from any of the artboards into a layer above all of the latter, we actually get a “universal layer” of sorts and can export each adjacent artboard and have any objects that span/straddle them display in their entirety both while editing – even with the pre-selected and grayed-out “Clip to Canvas” setting, yes – and on the exported .PDF files. This is indeed the behaviour I intended, and would save me all of those shenanigans with slices I was talking about before. It would indeed allow me to work with AD in the same work I do with Ai and did with Freehand. Maybe you added this from Publisher? Maybe I was just a bit of an idiot and didn't realise it was already possible-ish? The thing is: yes, it's all nice and good to see that things are progressing in the right direction, but this isn't a workable option yet as there is no way of preventing Designer from automatically moving objects out of one of those “universal layers” and into an artboard layer whenever moving an object over the artboard it was already over. It immediately gets sucked into that artboard the moment I click and drag it, thus rendering any actual “unversal layer” work, like multi-page technical diagrams, impossible (maybe I could use rectangles as faux artboards while working, and just add real ones when exporting, but I'm betting AD would start sucking objects into them left and right and screw me over anyway; edit: I've just checked, and that's precisely what AD does, so perhaps that toggle I'm proposing could also apply to newly created artboards, now that I think of it). “Frustrating”, as another user put it, doesn't even begin to describe how this feels. “Infuriating” is probably more appropriate of a term. Funnily enough, if I nudge an object with the arrow keys, it won't do that, so there's already some inconsistency there. Please, please, PLEASE, PLEASE give us a mode where we have full control over which layers/artboards our objects go to and stay on (you know, like, if we select a layer and start creating new objects, they automatically go there and stay there no matter what until we click on another layer in the Layers panel or on an object from a different layer? Even if we already have several artboards strewn around? That would also allow us to have artboard-specific objects, kind of like ersatz “master pages/watermarks” which would move along with them, while having content floating above them, which would make AD great for technical work, like technical drawing for dummies, something which Corel and even Ai are also decent for). I've tried everything to prevent that behaviour: locking the artboard layers, hiding them, disabling the “Edit all layers” option, nothing works. AD keeps doing what it thinks is best for me, even though I do not want it to. For me, AD will be useless for many projects, and all it takes to change that is for you to add an “Automatically move objects from external/universal layers into artboards” toggle (yeah, I'm not too sure on the naming convention for those layers, but you should come up with a name for them, as they are indeed special; only incomplete and useless at the moment). Please do it. It will be an insta-fix for all the issues I and other users mentioned. And if the default is the option most of your user base is used to anyway, there will be virtually no disruption to their workflow. Win-win situation, am I right? If you decided and were able to implement that “select object when intersects [sic] with selection marquee” (yes, you should fix that typo, by the way) to accommodate both Corel and Adobe users – an option which is nice but not critical, as muscle-memory is easily retrainable, whereas entire workflows may be either possible or not depending on more low-level UX issues like this one –, you should be able to throw us soon-to-be-former Ai users a little bone, yes? Call it “manual mode”, if you will. A mode in which AD doesn't decide anything for you and gives you full control, kind of like that magical “Allow document pages to shuffle” option in InDesign which puts everything into a “manual mode” of sorts but does allow you to produce extra complex documents that wouldn't be possible otherwise. Will it be harder to use for some users? Yes. Will it allow other users to actually work with your software? Also yes. And before you say it, I do know you could probably use the Designer persona in Affinity Publisher to overcome this limitation, but I feel that's a bit overkill and extremely unfair for people who may not have a need for that app otherwise (I will buy it anyway, but I should stand up for those users as well). Also, it wouldn't allow you do easily make manual booklet impositions or more complex documents, as APub can't even do multiple-page spreads yet and will never allow you to move pages on two axes, I'm guessing. Do you want students to be able use Designer for prototypes done with their large format inkjet printers, or not? Yes, I know what I'm talking about sounds a bit bizarre, but we did make such experimental projects, with objects spanning multiple spreads, at both my BFA and MA, to learn the ins and outs of imposition (we basically did the pages in InDesign and reimported them as .PDFs into Ai and did the whole thing by hand) and print production in general. Publisher can definitely handle objects spanning multiple artboards (and universal layers, by default), and Designer would also be technically able to do so (well, it already is, as long as you don't touch it with your mouse/trackpad ), if it wasn't for that choice you made for us and which we can't toggle. I know I'm probably not being too clear here, as we're all on the same timezone and it's almost 3 AM now, but if you want I can provide you with some narrated video screen captures of both Ai and AD so I can explain you the interaction model I'm aiming at. I REALLY want to use AD for all of my work, and I REALLY want to unreservedly rally behind it and recommend it to my students. If you want me to do that, PM me or something, because now that I finally turned in my dissertation I have much more free time to help you in earnest. Also, speaking of teaching, as soon as I [hopefully and finally!!] graduate in a few weeks I'll be sending CVs and portfolios to all design schools in Lisbon for teaching positions, so maybe come September you'll have yet more platforms where your wares will be promoted.
  19. Ha, that's cute. The other day, I had to do a book cover in spot colours, and just couldn't, for the life of me, get InDesign to respect the separations from a linked file generated in Illustrator. I tried everything: saving it in .Ai format, in .Ai format with a .PDF stream, in pure .PDF format, in .EPS format, nothing worked. I kept getting CMYK output no matter what I did, and yes, I knew I had the correct export settings in ID and the separations were indeed correct inside of Ai. I ended up linking a new version of that file with only the black elements and the duotone .EPS pictures I had done in Photoshop, and pasting the spot colour vector elements atop it, directly from Illustrator into InDesign (which is hugely impractical, as vector editing in ID, if I ever need to do it, is a total disaster). A complete shambles, if you ask me. Why in the hell did ID get the separations right in the photos' channels and not in the objects' fills? Also, and maybe I'm just misremembering it or something, it seems I can no longer do proper separation previews in Acrobat Pro, either (just the ink coverage estimate), so if I want to do those I have to reimport my final .PDF exports made with ID back into Ai just to check them. If APub can at least get all of this right, and I believe it will eventually do so, I'll be immediately sold. As for the entire transparency and gradient situation when it comes to spot colours, I will obviously check it again, as I always do periodically (I even have a test file ready, with all possible combinations, such as gradient from 100% to 0% opacity, from one spot colour to white, from one spot colour to another, and different blending modes of spot colours on top of others), but the last time I did it seemed to be coming along rather nicely. For comparison, back in the pre-v.1.6 days of AD they'd mostly get converted into CMYK at the slightest disturbance.
  20. Hi guys, My issue is basically what I described in the title. It's a bit of an issue on my 13'' MacBook Pro, as the Text Frame palette is only really usable in floating mode and by itself. The only way to counteract that is by collapsing sub-sections, but that isn't very practical. Edit: it's my 200th post, yeah!
  21. I'm not getting this on Mojave 10.14.3 (that I've noticed yet). I'm not updating to 10.14.4 because of the infamous Mail.app + Gmail, as I depend too much on my Gmail accounts for my work, so maybe that has something to do with it?
  22. Also bumping. This thread must be kept alive, and every time a new Publisher update/beta comes out we should be checking in the release notes whether this feature is finally being put to its paces.
  23. YES. Also: this. I'll definitely be using Publisher for most (if not all) of my projects as soon as it comes out of beta. Bring on the multi-line composer with hyphenation fine-tuning controls, and I'll be using it for typesetting entire books, too.
  24. Another UI consistency nit I must pick, just to be sure: I see you've increased the button/icon size and total height, and reduced the left padding on the main toolbar, starting on Photo and now also on the latest build of Designer; we can expect the same change in the next build of Publisher, am I right?
  25. Uhh, a default Ctrl+W shortcut for Preview mode, I like it. Is this new on this build, or did I just miss it? I've always found it supremely stupid how in InDesign such an essential shortcut was modifier-less and thus could never be toggled while editing a text box and, even though having to press a modifier key on every other instance takes a little bit more effort, seeing how your hands are both on the keyboard in that scenario and how it's a shortcut which you can perform with only your left hand anyway, not having to occasionally perform that extra mouse click and leave your editing task is a usability win by my book. You may find my excitement over such a small detail to be a bit silly but, in all fairness, that's actually the shortcut I use the most in InDesign. Being the perfectionist that I am, I'm very conscious of my grids but also of my final output, so that WYSIWYG toggle is of paramount importance to me. I know you can always customise those, but having sensible defaults is also great for everyone, especially for fostering best practices when it comes to teaching students how to work with certain apps; the less preparatory work on classes and workshops, the better.
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