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AndyQ

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Everything posted by AndyQ

  1. I'd be more than happy if Affinity dealt with floating Windows exactly the same way that Photoshop does, I've had no cause for complaint with the sizing calculations (and compromises ) that Photoshop employs. As it stands with Affinity Photo, every time I open a file it's a two step process - open file and resize display (I never work with tabbed images, only floating ones, and usually lots of 'em).
  2. Yep - five years later and it still defaults to After on the Left. The very phrase "Before & After" would indicate the order in an Anglo/euro world.
  3. It certainly shouldn't be a democracy, but there are quite a few UI failings based on objective parameters. If you are providing functionality in software you have to decide how to expose that functionality to the user. You have to know how they employ functionality and provide access to meet their needs. In the case of the preferences window it seems inarguable that going back and forth between screens is less efficient than other methods, such as a tabbed interface or a dual-pane approach (with a list of categories to flip through on the left, the parameters on the right). Another consideration is whether some of these preferences might be things users would change frequently, in which case they should be part of the main interface instead of a "preference". The developers may not always have the experience in production to know what users are doing with the software, so the feedback is necessary. I recall the early days of graphic software where setting the measurement units might be a "preference", until developers realised that people were changing units constantly from job-to-job or whilst working on a single job; thus interfaces were added to allow quick switching of measurements, mixed-measurement systems and field-based entry of values in any desired unit. Not only that, but we've now had many decades of UI design history, and there are examples of efficient solutions readily available - and if the developers aren't aware of those then the users may well be. If you make a tool you'll never know exactly how it might be used. When you get feedback you can improve that tool to better serve those purposes not envisaged. You get happier customers, you get more customers. As far as functionality goes, I'm very happy with what Affinity provides as it stands - I'd rather see development work on making the UI more consistent and efficient than adding fancy tricks.
  4. That kinda defeats the purpose of the original post, which is to allow faster access to adjustments when working - with single-click adding of adjustments. I feel the pain - having to collapse each adjustment listing to hide the presets adds up to minutes a day, and at my age every minute counts. A simple option to "hide presets" would do the trick. Easy-peasy. Just add a flyout menu to the adjustments palette. You could alternatively go the Photoshop way, with a compact set of icons for each adjustment, but I prefer Affinity's list most of the time (my brain doesn't have room to remember more than a couple of meaningless icons). In an ideal world you could implement both systems as an alternative. While we're at it...how about an option to sort the list a) alphabetically b) recently used at top (or in "most used" order) c) default (presuming there's some rationale to the current order) d) maybe allow custom ordering? Drag'n'drop re-order?) - cheers'n'beers
  5. As you say, the point of incorporating forms into the layout package is because it makes sense to edit the layout and form details in the once place, rather than manually having to recreate all the fields as a second step (and "auto-detection" isn't a solution for that). Any changes are easy and don't impact other areas of the form - you may want to keep field names the same (and meaningful) for database processing etc., and if you have hundreds or thousands of fields that's a nightmare of manual work. InDesign does have form editing features but they are bug-ridden and limited. It doesn't handle having form fields in tables*, which seems ridiculous since table layouts are essential for many types of forms (think of product or parts lists). * there is a work-around for this but it's not obvious and is bug-ridden - the fields in table cells aren't recognised by InDesign so you can't set the tab order, which still needs to be done in Acrobat. It also loses track of the tab order if fields move from page to page....
  6. They've got a long way to go before they even catch-up to the capabilities of Adobe Suite products, CorelDraw etc., and iron out bugs and crashes which are way more common than the more mature Adobe products. They've then got the entire Adobe user base to convert to Affinity, which is a lot of customers and a lot of dosh. There needs to be a change in the way businesses behave. In the past they have grown and grown until the product they make becomes redundant or a competitor "beats" them, then they die. They need to adapt, and that might mean downsizing. If the product does everything users want then cut the development team. If the market is saturated cut the marketing team. You'll still make money - you need to provide upgrades solely to provide O/S compatibility, or to improve performance to take advantage of new hardware. And don't tell me you can't think of a better way to do anything... there's always room to improve. If you make useful upgrades charge for them, but perhaps charge less if they're smaller upgrades. Make upgrading a no-brainer - here's a notable performance improvement for $25.00. Here's proper vector paint brushes and a customisable UI with the ability to save your workspace for $50.00. Maybe modularise things - here's an optional "import pack" for CAD files for $20.00. There's a million things you could add to any of these apps, and things like image processing technology are still making great strides (look at all this deep-fake facial replacement tech that's coming out)....this stuff can trickle down into graphics apps. Hell...someone needs to come up with a flawless way to isolate and etch hair please! Come up with something like that and you'll get people buying AP just for the one feature, like a piece of utility software. Cheers!
  7. Corel's attitude to customers has bothered me for a long time, and the move towards subscription was the final straw. I had a last chance to upgrade to the latest version at an affordable price but then you're on the train and committed to regular upgrades regardless of how useless (or buggy) they are. I made the decision to drop CorelDraw, which wasn't easy as I've been using it since the first version, albeit very rarely. The old voluntary upgrade model that the software industry grew up on was the best system for consumers, of that I have no doubt. If a company wanted to earn income they needed to offer an upgrade that people wanted to buy...that (and wide competition) is what drove decades of real innovation in software design.
  8. I wouldn't be so harsh, and I prefer the interface had a thorough fix-up and testing first (with ability to save workspaces), but agree it'd be very handy for DXF/DWG import (then I'd have one less reason to keep CorelDraw)
  9. Let's not distract them! There's a long way to go on the three desktop apps and iPad variants. It'll be a great idea once they've got Designer, Photo and Publisher to a level where they match the Adobe equivalents for functionality (hopefully with some UI improvements as well). I'm sure they'll then be looking for new fields to conquer...
  10. Thanks, I'll give that a try. I must say I find the whole layering system very confusing, inconsistent and un-intuitive, certainly the visual representation of it in the layers palette. I'm finding most things I want to achieve can be done, but it's like solving a puzzle game every time, it doesn't appear obvious. Even building vector masks is a pain...I can't find a way to add shapes to a mask without making separate shapes then using Booleans to put 'em together (Designer has a button for appending shapes to the current curve object but Photo does not). Not being able to invert a mask, or parametrically feather it is a big shortcoming as well.
  11. Thanks, I never would have guessed that, although I'm trying to use vector masks. I know these can be applied individually if a live filter is in it's own layer (i.e. affecting everything below), but not when it's attached to an pixel layer (I'm not sure of the correct terminology, but when live filters are applied to a layer they appear grouped beneath it)
  12. It does seem a bit useless as it stands, I'm not sure why they bothered putting it in. The "distort" live filters are a bit of a waste of time - for instance the max radius values for most of these filters are only 1024 px. I can't figure out any use for these things as they stand.
  13. In Designer there is a context button for "add new curve to selected curve" so you can easily build a vector shape from multiple curves. This button doesn't seem to exist in Photo. Am I missing something? It's especially useful in Photo as you can't invert vector masks, so to create an inverted mask you always need to combine two shapes, which entails having to perform Booleans to get the mask you need. Is there some other shortcut to add separate shapes to an existing curve object? Imagine wanting to mask a bunch of separate strawberries in a photo where you need to combine a dozen strawberry shapes....that's a lot of f-ing around with booleans rather than simply drawing more and more separate curves in the same shape layer....
  14. How does one mask a single live filter in Photo in cases where a number of live filters are applied? My attempts to do so result in the mask being applied to all live filters on a layer..
  15. I think we can let Affinity figure that out, I would have guessed at "OK"/"Cancel" to proceed with an operation after a warning. As well as that, making any changed to tool-tips part of the "undo" queue would also be handy, or as an alternative have a three column list where the default key combo is displayed next to the current setting, so whatever customisations you make can always be compared to the default setting. That way you can return to a default for a single function without resetting all of them or having to look up documentation to find out what the original setting was.
  16. Thanks.... I often miss tool-tips as I'm using a Wacom with a shaky hand (unless it's after whisky time), so I have to be very deliberate in order to get them to pop up. I thought I'd checked that but I must have been wobbling too much....cheers!
  17. Suggestions for the preferences->shortcuts editor. 1) some way of searching for a shortcut - i.e. enter the keystroke combo to see if it's assigned to anything and what (I know you get a warning if a shortcut is used, but then you can't find out what function is using it) 2) confirmation modal dialog if clicking "reset" or "clear all shortcut". Yes, I have accidentally clicked the latter. Since these aren't "undo-able" operations then at least request confirmation before proceeding with such a drastic action!
  18. I've just finished a job in Indesign CC doing tabular price-list/ordering forms to PDF and in the process have discovered a massive pile of bugs in Adobe's implementation. Indesign has a "tab order" panel for setting the tab order of all fields/controls, but it doesn't work in certain instances - for example if you have fields in table cells (and tables seem the perfect way to set up a spreadsheet like product inventory/order form). Tab orders also get screwed up if a table flows over multiple pages and that flow is changed - it's fine when you first create a table, but if you delete a row or change the page breaks then any fields that move from one page to another completely disappear from the tab-order list. I could go on with a huge list of Indesign bugs, but basically what I'm saying is that Adobe have put f-all effort and testing into forms support for Indesign, so Affinity could almost make a case for Publisher as a PDF forms creation tool if they put some work into it. For the price of Publisher it would be something big companies could easily afford to implement en-masse. My basic recipe for required functionality would be: 1) a toolbox of form field objects that can be placed anywhere in the layout, encapsulated in table cells or within nested frames, anywhere any other object can be placed 2) be able to set all the properties for that field/control that acrobat supports, including naming fields. Perhaps an "auto name" function would be handy too, that looks at the reading order of fields/controls and assigns numeric prefixes that would match that order (e.g. button_001, field_001). This would be handy if a large table of fields was edited, with rows deleted, for regenerating a numeric list of fields 3) be able to set the tab order for all controls on a page/document in a single, expandable easy-to-use list 4) allow styling of field controls to an extend supported by PDF, with embedding of fonts used in fields 5) allow multi-selection of fields for applying properties changes or application of styles to them simultaneously (not possible in Indesign!). I'm sure there would be a lot more that could be done, but those are the main things that have cropped up whilst I was working on a "real" project.
  19. ideally you should be able to set either % or values for a corner radius, then have a checkbox in the context toolbar for either scaling corners with the shape or keeping the radius fixed. e.g. If it's set to "scale with object" and you have a radius of 4mm on a corner and scale the object 50% then the corner radius will become 2mm. Also, if selecting a node with the node edit tool, the radius of that node should be reported and editable in the context toolbar - it's a pain having to switch to the "corner tool" just to see the values or edit them. I'm presuming Adobe has some sort of copyright on their Illustrator method of setting corner curvatures otherwise you'd just copy that, as it's a much better and more intuitive system. Having parametric corner radius settings is super-helpful, so I'm glad it's there, but you need to be able to optionally scale the corners with the object.
  20. This checkbox appears for the rounded rectangle object but I'm not seeing it for the corner radius tool, either during transform or if editing with the corner-radius tool. Is it not possible to specify corner radius in units then have it scale with the object? e.g. corner radius 1mm on an object scaled 50% should result in the corner radius becoming 0.5mm.... if this isn't possible Affinity peeps, could you please make it so?
  21. It becomes even more of a problem if you used both applications daily, or if Illustrator is your main application. Designer's similarity to Illustrator is why I'm moving towards it and away from CorelDraw. CTRL-Enter is really bothering me. If it did nothing that would be OK - the fact that it does something highly undesirable (in my context) is the problem. In choosing a short cut for "convert to curves" surely some other key combo would be preferable - something meaningful e.g. CTRL-C ("curves") or "CTRL-O" (outlines)....anything really. Any shortcut using the "enter/return" key should be reserved for operations logically linked to the termination of an operation, a submission or a return to a previous state. It's OK to say the shortcuts are customisable but if you use dozens of applications on multiple machines, or you are implementing an application for a team of employees, it's considerably easier to stick with defaults (and less pain for support staff!). As people have mentioned in this thread, you can end up not realising you've converted text to curves until way-too-late.
  22. Affinity have a good opportunity here, as Indesign does a shit job of creating PDF forms - it lets you add fields and controls but only in a very basic sense. You can set the font for a text field but you have to do it on a per-field basis - so if you have an order form with a list of 100 products in a table with fields for order qty you have to individually set the font and font size for each of those 100 fields - not only can't you apply any kind of "style" to them but you can't even set the default font that it assigns. On the topic of order forms and other such data-intensive tables, adding support for PDF scripting in the authoring environment would be killer. For example, an order form table would list products and prices, with user-fillable fields for the quanity they want to order. It would be sweet to be able to multiply that quality by the price data and show subtotals, then add those up for the total order amount. This can be done in the PDF itself but that's an awful approach - having to export a file then edit the exported version. To do this in the authoring package would be hugely more efficient and would make Publisher a must-have for PDF form publishing. Take advantage of Adobe's poor efforts in this area!
  23. I do a lot of whining about UI issues, but this item is a critical one for me - being able to set up documents, especially raster documents, using dots-per-centimetre settings rather than dots-per-inch. These figures can't be translated easily - there's no perfect dpcm value equivalent to 300 dpi (300 / 2.54 = 118.110236220474...). My need for this is a bit arcane, but in essence it means I can work on metric-based document sizes but define a useful pixel-based grid subdivision. Primarily I use this when doing presentation slides and templates, to set up metric documents that match grids in both my pixel-based backgrounds a PowerPoint grid system (based on divisions per cm), but I have a lot of other uses for it. METRIC is a GOOD THING. It's the way of the future - thank you French Revolution! P.S. if even pig-headed Americans like Adobe can manage to provide this, European Affinity surely can match them...
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