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Do I misunderstand assets? Why no drag into frame?


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I may be suffering from noobie syndrome as I'm relatively new to Affinity Publisher and came from Adobe inDesign. So far I have been very pleased with the product and produced my first printed brochure over a weekend, so my complaint is in context that I think it is a great app and worth exploring for more complex projects. 

It is currently not possible to drag an image in an asset library into a picture frame in a document.  

I am scratching my head wondering what the point of the assets capability is, if it cannot be used to populate templates/master pages in documents.  I have created a set of assets that I want to re-use in a variety of different documents and yet the only way I can find to use them is to do the following 

a) drag from the assets library onto the document

b) convert the placed image using context-click -> Convert to picture frame

c) manually resize the picture frame to what I need 

d) repeat for each asset I need to use. 

Instead I feel I should simply be able to drag the asset to a picture frame and have it follow the rules defined for the picture frame (re: sizing/aspect ratio). 

After all I can do this with a random image from the finder... maybe I'm using the assets incorrectly. Maybe I don't need them at all, though it does seem, convenient as a way of organising reusable content.   

I guess my expectations have been set by a variety of products I've used over the last couple of decades where this kind of behaviour is normal. It might not be me, but the behaviour is highly unintuitive and I would class it as a UX defect as such. 

Is it just me? 

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26 minutes ago, free1000 said:

Is it just me? 

In general you cannot drag an object that is already in your document into a Picture Frame by operating on the page. For example, if you Place a JPG file onto a page, then try to drag it onto a picture frame that is on the page, it won't work. You would have to Copy it, and then Paste as Content, or use the Layers panel. The intended use of Picture Frames is really via File > Place or the Place Image Tool, I think.,

Your experience with your Assets is at least consistent with these other cases.

I agree that it would be nice to be able to drag an Asset into a Picture Frame, and perhaps that's something that Serif will consider in the future. For now, you would need to use File > Place or the Place Image Tool, or drag it from an external Finder or File Explorer window, I think.

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.0..3  and 2.0.3.1670 beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.3 and 2.0.3.1670 beta / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.3 and 2.0.3.1670 beta
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.6 and 2.0.3 / Affinity Designer 1.10.6 and 2.0.3 / Affinity Publisher 2.0.3

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I understand.  I guess I'm having some problem understanding how one would use assets if they can't be flowed into frames in a document template I've already constructed. 

Right now I'm thinking that it's far better to just keep assets in a folder in the operating system as a) they can be multiply placed (flowed)  b) they can be edited over time as adjustments are made.  This is what I'll now do for my current project (photobook).

The only benefit I can see in using the asset libraries is the ability to both embed them in a document and distribute that as a unit to allow someone else to make changes without the hassle of finding the source somewhere on a network, while having the ability to embed them in a number of different documents to standardise the use of eg: logos, branding. 

However of those two benefits, the latter would be enhanced by being able to place or flow the assets in the template. 

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I'd just add that I'm pretty bowled over by the quality and utility of Affinity Publisher coupled with Affinity Photo for photobook and brochure making and printing. My nitpicking on the assets side is just that picking nits. 

Being able to flip in and out of the Publish and Photo personas is a really great thing. 

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On 11/9/2019 at 12:16 PM, free1000 said:

The only benefit I can see in using the asset libraries (...)

The benefit of an asset does increase with its complexity.

Different to a single pixel image a multi line/shape graphic like a logo for instance, or a text frame with a specific column + indent setting + some text styles, can be a handy time saver when used as assets. Or you can have (empty) picture frames in specific sizes as assets to use them in a custom layout grid to fill them with content via drag/drop from your finder/explorer.

262694712_assettextframe.jpg.a3da1f39fe771ccd5015dec8aa6f1639.jpg

 

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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  • 1 month later...

+1 to being able to place assets into frames.

I would love to have this feature as well. It seems intuitive to use the Assets panel to place images into picture frames like the Stock Panel does and I was surprised I couldn't.

I'm currently using 2 monitors so having the Affinity Publisher application and Explorer window open isn't too cumbersome. Once the Affinity Publisher makes it into iPad (I can't wait!!!), I can probably load the Affinity Publisher app and Files app in split-view but the screen real estate is diminished.

Edited by inkedcode
added *like the Stock panel does* for reference

Windows 10 Home Version 2004 OS Build 19041.153, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 3.40GHz, 16GB RAM

Apple iPad 10.2 inch (2019), iPadOS 13.4

 

 

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Personally I would be even more interested in the opposite: the ability to store a frame as an asset and drag it to an image on the page to wrap that frame around it.

What you are asking for is already possible using the file management tool on your platform (Finder on the Mac or Explorer on Windoze) to organize the "assets" and drag them into the frames, but there is no way to wrap custom frames around an already-present image.

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On 2/12/2022 at 4:46 PM, fde101 said:

there is no way to wrap custom frames around an already-present image.

2 hours ago, fde101 said:

might include a group of multiple objects.

How do you mean? Regardless of eventually possible Asset features, in what way do you "wrap" a group of objects around an image? Wouldn't this rather be layer nesting and hierarchy?

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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4 minutes ago, thomaso said:

Regardless of eventually possible Asset features, in what way do you "wrap" a group of objects around an image?

That seems backward. I think the issue was with wrapping the frame around a group of objects.

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.0..3  and 2.0.3.1670 beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.3 and 2.0.3.1670 beta / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.3 and 2.0.3.1670 beta
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.6 and 2.0.3 / Affinity Designer 1.10.6 and 2.0.3 / Affinity Publisher 2.0.3

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19 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

I think the issue was with wrapping the frame around a group of objects.

I still don't get the point. Currently we can't wrap or assign a frame around an entire group but rather to its single objects only, – again regardless of Assets or Styles.

@fde101, or was your "wrap multiple objects around image" rather meant as a feature request in general – aside asset options?

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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1 hour ago, walt.farrell said:

That seems backward. I think the issue was with wrapping the frame around a group of objects.

No, I did mean what @thomaso was guessing - a frame consisting of multiple objects being used as a "picture frame" that can be wrapped around an image.

I am referring to the discussion in this thread:

 

 

 

For purposes of this thread, I am mostly just pointing out that there are multiple ways to view the value and potential use cases of assets.

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20 minutes ago, fde101 said:

a frame consisting of multiple objects being used as a "picture frame" that can be wrapped around an image.

Can you show an example of such a set of objects in layout view + layers panel which you would want to use as frame? Your linked topic seems to discuss rather what attributes can be included in an object style and what don't.

In my understanding wrapping a frame around multiple objects is not possible – regardless of assets or styles – because it would require an automatic creation of a new tight bounding frame object around selected objects. Note, this objects may have frame strokes already and be of different object types.

Currently if you assign a frame definition (saved style or not) to multiple objects (grouped or not) it will affect the single objects separately but not their entire, outer shape. Thus, to me it seems you would need to request this "common frame" possibility before requesting its use as an asset.

500069988_assignstrokeframetomultipleobjects.jpg.dd47fd2b8be25af253f7e4fc536b6e73.jpg

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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16 minutes ago, thomaso said:

Can you show an example of such a set of objects in layout view + layers panel which you would want to use as frame?

Wrap the "CumulusCloud.jpg" in your example with a picture frame and you have one.

The pink border in your case appears to be part of the JPEG; if it were not then it could easily be a stroke style applied to the picture frame - but the cog is a separate object. Group the objects with the frame and store it as an asset.

The idea is that if that asset were dropped on top of an image object on the canvas (artboard/page/etc.) then the image would be embedded in the asset's frame in such a way that its position and size on the page did not change, so the group with the cog and the like would appear with the image inside the frame (potentially with the asset scaled so that the image fits optimally inside the frame contained within the asset).

If a different, similar asset were then dropped on the group, the group would be replaced with the new one, again the image being kept in place on the canvas, but now as a child of the picture frame from the new replacement asset.

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31 minutes ago, fde101 said:

Group the objects with the frame and store it as an asset.

The idea is that if that asset were dropped on top of an image object on the canvas (artboard/page/etc.) then the image would be embedded in the asset's frame in such a way that its position and size on the page did not change, so the group with the cog and the like would appear with the image inside the frame (potentially with the asset scaled so that the image fits optimally inside the frame contained within the asset).

I might misunderstand your verbal description but to me this still sounds to lack in the current behaviour of both layer nesting and Picture Frame, respectively its frame properties (concerning scaling/clipping/position) which, in my experience, do often not behave as set (~ are buggy). So unless the behaviour is not possible without assets it can't work with them.

P.S.: above the pink border is a stroke applied to the image, otherwise the pink would appear in the group to the right, too.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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