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About scamper

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  • Birthday 01/01/1969

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    ui designer and all round pixel whisperer, children’s book writer, music dabbler, chocolate expert, video games obsessee
  1. Showing or hiding arbitrary groups of contiguous layers is much faster in Photoshop, solely because Adobe is using a custom control that lets users click+drag. Since Designer uses a traditional checkbox for the same function, users must click each individual layer they wish to hide (or select the layers first and click one checkbox to affect all selected). I usually rail at Adobe for using non-standard UI affordances, but in this case it’s hugely beneficial to be able to show and hide vast numbers of layers at once. This is definitely one of those things that you do more often than you think! Attached image illustrates this better than I’ve described it. Please let me know if I’ve overlooked something. Otherwise, it would be nice if Serif implemented a similar mechanism for Designer.
  2. Came here to say this. It’s odd because rulers are mentioned (just once) in the documentation. But if there’s a way to actually access the rulers, it’s too subtle for me!
  3. True as that may be, it doesn’t address the request at hand. The spacebar modifier could be made to change the behavior of the cursor as you’re dragging out a shape, as it does with some other popular software packages. This is the time saver we’re interested in seeing implemented. (Moving and resizing a shape after it’s created — another matter entirely — is a given.) :)
  4. This is something I didn’t realize I used so often… until it was gone! No idea if others do this too. In Illustrator (and Photoshop, to a lesser degree), no matter what tool you have selected, holding down the Command key will briefly put the cursor into “move mode” (the Selection tool) so you can move any existing shape before you start drawing the new one. This is usually better than using the Selection tool explicitly — in fact, I never have to use the actual Selection tool — because the soft function is always available at the press of a button, and whatever you had selected on the tools palette remains selected. AF originally bound object copying to Command-drag (?!), but now that they’ve fixed that, there should be no more conflict with my suggestion. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who uses Illustrator this way…?
  5. scamper

    Tool options menus

    Actually, I think it’s simpler than that. We’re talking about placement vs. drawing. In Illustrator or Photoshop, after selecting a shape tool, merely single-clicking on the canvas (no modifier keys required) will call up the placement dialog box with some settings related to that shape (dimensions, radius, number of sides, etc.). Of course these same features are already present in the Control (Illustrator) / Options (Photoshop) bar (not sure what AF calls it), but as @jgrayillustrate says, sometimes you want to set those things before the shape is placed.
  6. Common enough to be called universal: - double-clicking the Pan tool should auto-fit the canvas to the size of the window - double-clicking the Zoom tool should auto-size the canvas to 100% magnification regardless of window size Short and sweet.
  7. It’s one of those things that may sound obscure, but you’ll come to rely on it as a time-saver, since you don’t have to draw a shape, reposition it, and then resize in three separate steps. I definitely use this feature almost daily (in other apps). As you’re dragging out a shape, before you lift up on the mouse button, the Space modifier should let you reposition the origin (with the shape remaining at its current size), until you’ve lifted up on the Spacebar. And it doesn’t conflict with any other functions.
  8. I think colors are always opaque. Transparency is adjusted at the object/layer level.
  9. +1 for a toggle to lock guides. Getting off track: As for layers being located within the layer paradigm, I'm less sure. Illustrator draws a guide on whatever layer you happen to have active. Hide that layer, and only the guides on that layer will hide. It can be useful, but also super-confusing if you're coming from Photoshop (or AF). Photoshop's guides exist outside the layer scheme entirely, and AF seems to do the same. I use Photoshop far more than I do anything else, so that's just what I'm used to. (I'm not used to keeping track of where a particular guide might be physically located within my document.) I've never used an app, like Freehand, with one single dedicated guide layer, but it sounds intriguing (though the ability to designate shapes as guides is similar to Illustrator). Maybe the best of both worlds. Anyway, I can see the pros and cons of any of these, honestly... but back to the topic at hand: yes to being able to lock guides, *however* they're implemented! :)
  10. Absolutely agreed on all... erm... points. Basically, treat selected nodes like a class of objects in themselves, and allow me to transform and permute them likewise. Industry “standard” apps are a good reference point here. ;)
  11. Well, to be fair, most of the above epic was down to user error on my part. Yeah, it's always unsettling when a key piece of functionality changes in such a drastic way... but I hardly ever use the expand button in day to day life. (I was far more disturbed when they changed the shortcut for creating a new folder to Command-Shift-N from Command-N!) Yosemite is 95% cool with me.
  12. (@ronniemcbride mentioned the right side of the screen, which was the Mavericks way.) “Problem” solved. Turns out AD’s Toolbar wasn’t docked to the top of the screen, it was merely positioned there. I blame too many years of Photoshop, whose toolbar is docked to the top of the screen. I’m sure there’s a lesson in psychology there. tl;dr: If the “shrink” button draws behind your Toolbar, move the Toolbar. (AD should do this automatically, IMO.)
  13. @Andrew Tang: Command-Control-F doesn't work in AD, as I said earlier. @Raskolnikov: The green button draws *behind* the Toolbar chrome if you have it docked to the top of your window. @ronniemcbride: That trick works only in Mavericks. They changed it for Yosemite. I appreciate the suggestions, but I explained in the OP that I've tried those things. The only thing I can't figure out is why my Toolbar is docked on my work computer. It's free-floating on my home computer, which means I can reach the "Shrink" button with ease.
  14. As it happens, I just restarted because of an Adobe CC problem (one of the reasons I'm trying other software!), so I'm pretty sure it's not some passing system glitch. Some weird configuration problem, maybe (since you're not seeing it).
  15. Here’s what I’m seeing (this is normal vs. hover). No option to shrink or close at all. I’m completely trapped in the UI! I don’t think I have anything UI-altering on my machine. This is just the default behavior. What’s going on?