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Hey there,

today, I set out to do a piece of environment art in Affinity Photo to see if it can hold up against PS.

Unfortunately, it showed right away that a lot of my repetitive tasks require quite a few extra steps compared to my usual workflow.

I have multiple renderings in the same resolution and want to drop them into one file but Affinity does not center dropped images so I have to drop, move and snap every image to the canvas. Since there are no smart objects in Affinity, I understand that the list of possible drag & drop features is rather short but an automatic centering option would be a big help.

Thank you in advance! Sorry for typos, it's getting very late and my eyes are closing ^.^

 

TLDR:

Is there a way to have dropped images (e.g. from the explorer) center automatically? 

 

Affinity Photo 1.7.3 on Win 7

 

Take care,

Dziga

Edited by dzigakaiser

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Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.7.3.481.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1909, Build 18363.476.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.

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Hi dzigakaiser :)

8 hours ago, dzigakaiser said:

Is there a way to have dropped images (e.g. from the explorer) center automatically

Unfortunately this isn't possible automatically, however you could create a Macro which horizontally and vertically aligns your selected image, then simply run this Macro each time you place/drag and drop your image.

I've created a quick screen recording below showing how to create this Macro, and how to run the Macro (from the Library Studio). I hope this helps!

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Thanks @Pšenda,

unfortunately, as far as I can tell, that is basically as much extra work as snapping the layer to the canvas.

You drop an image, then you have to select the pixel layer, click the alignment tool, then click both horizontal and vertical alignment buttons.

Or am I missing something there?^^

 

EDIT: @Dan C I assumed it'll go the macro path ^.^ Thank you for the video! I guess I ll have to live with this for now ;D

Crazy question: Is there actually a way to setup up a custom script to run whenever an image is dropped to the canvas? Some type of event handler?

 

Cheers,

Dziga

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2 minutes ago, Dan C said:

Unfortunately this isn't possible automatically, however you could create a Macro which horizontally and vertically aligns your selected image, then simply run this Macro each time you place/drag and drop your image.

Rats! While I was busy testing a macro to do this & preparing a screenshot, @Dan C beat me to it. xD 

Anyway, this Align center.afmacro is what I created. Since it is a single macro file, it has to be imported in to the Macro panel with a document open, not the Library panel. I had hoped that by using the macro scale & alignment options it could automatically resize a placed or dropped image that is larger than the canvas to a smaller size that would completely fit into it but so far no luck with that.

Any idea if that is possible?


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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6 minutes ago, dzigakaiser said:

Is there actually a way to setup up a custom script to run whenever an image is dropped to the canvas? Some type of event handler?

Nope, no scripting and event handling, macros are all you have and you have to trigger them manually yourself.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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3 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Rats! While I was busy testing a macro to do this & preparing a screenshot, @Dan C beat me to it. xD 

Anyway, this Align center.afmacro is what I created. Since it is a single macro file, it has to be imported in to the Macro panel with a document open, not the Library panel. I had hoped that by using the macro scale & alignment options it could automatically resize a placed or dropped image that is larger than the canvas to a smaller size that would completely fit into it but so far no luck with that.

Any idea if that is possible?

Haha, thank you for going through the effort as well! I agree, the automatic resize indeed would be awesome if that's possible to do.

2 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

Nope, no scripting and event handling, macros are all you have and you have to trigger them manually yourself.

That is unfortunate. Maybe this will come in the future.

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Hi dzigakaiser,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
Besides the macro you can also try this: go to the Snapping Manager (the arrow on the right of the magnet icon on the main toolbar) and tick Snap to Spread and Include Spread Midpoints. Then when drop and image on canvas and move it to the centre - you should see smart guidelines (red and green) appearing to help you precisely align/center the image within the canvas. You can also adjust/increase the Screen tolerance value on the top right of the Snapping Manager panel if you find the current setting to finicky to quickly centre the image.

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I believe the OP was more after an setable automatic image centering behavior option for dropped in images. So probably nothing which needs any aditional manual user interaction for positioning image adjustments afterwards (so to say auto place centered).


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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Hi @MEB,

thanks for welcoming me! v_kyr is correct that I was looking for an automated centering when dropping an image.

The snapping option was my starting point from where I looked for faster alternatives;)

Cheers,

Dziga

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Hi dzigakaiser,
Sorry, from your replies above i though you were using the align button to center the image. I see now you were replying to Pšenda and were already using Snapping.

v_kyr,
I understood the request, Dan already said that it wasn't available. My reply was intended as another alternative to the suggestions posted in an attempt to speed up the process.

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1 minute ago, dzigakaiser said:

The snapping option was my starting point from where I looked for faster alternatives;)

I could be missing something, but I cannot figure out how to do this in one step with a place or drag & drop operation because the drop cursor (or whatever it is properly called) is attached to the top left corner of the image.

I have always thought that it would be more useful if it was attached to the center of the image....


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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Buy publisher and use the pictureframe object


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Win10(1909)Home / Photo / Designer / Publisher & latest (beta) versions

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@dzigakaiser

If you use File > Place (instead of Drag & Drop) the centre of the image will follow the cursor and will "snap" to the horizontal and verticle centre points of the canvas.

PS If you set the snapping Screen Tolerance to it's maximum (50) you don't have to be as accurate where you "drop/release" the cursor 


Due to the fact that Boris Johnson is now our Prime Minister, punctuation, spelling and grammar will never be worried about ever again.  We now have far bigger problems to be concerned about.

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Since there is no automatic place centered option/mode, you have to use some of the above mentioned workarounds, or setup in prefs a shortkey for "Orientation -> Center" and use that afterwards.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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5 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

Since there is no automatic place centered option/mode, you have to use some of the above mentioned workarounds, or setup in prefs a shortkey for "Orientation -> Center" and use that afterwards.

On Windows File > Place is centred on the cursor.  MACs may be different (?)


Due to the fact that Boris Johnson is now our Prime Minister, punctuation, spelling and grammar will never be worried about ever again.  We now have far bigger problems to be concerned about.

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Or just don't drag from explorer.
Copy from explorer(ctrl+c)>paste in photo will center object(ctrl+v)
No resize though


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Win10(1909)Home / Photo / Designer / Publisher & latest (beta) versions

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2 minutes ago, carl123 said:

On Windows File > Place it centred on the cursor.  MACs may be different (?)

I meant when using just drag'n'drop instead as the OP initially adds images and the thread title tells. - For File > Place it behaves the same on Macs.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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19 minutes ago, haakoo said:

Buy publisher and use the pictureframe object

Haha, well if life would only be so easy ;P On a serious note, though, it's actually an interesting idea. It basically works as smart objects as I understand?

Unfortunately, in the end it would slow me down way more than it would help :D 

7 minutes ago, carl123 said:

@dzigakaiser

If you use File > Place (instead of Drag & Drop) the centre of the image will follow the cursor and will "snap" to the horizontal and verticle centre points of the canvas.

PS If you set the snapping Screen Tolerance to it's maximum (50) you don't have to be as accurate where you "drop/release" the cursor 

That's a cool little workaround. I will stick to the macro workflow, as I like to keep snapping off when I am working^^

Very good to know this trick, though!

3 minutes ago, haakoo said:

Or just don't drag from explorer.
Copy from explorer(ctrl+c)>paste in photo will center object(ctrl+v)
No resize though

Well, now we are talking! That is actually the best one yet.

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29 minutes ago, dzigakaiser said:

Unfortunately, in the end it would slow me down way more than it would help

This is what I meant and you can go on and edit your image in APhoto through the StudioLink or by edit in Photo

InOutPictureFrame.thumb.gif.b685cf71ce2c7cac8fe234e30eb2e24f.gif


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Win10(1909)Home / Photo / Designer / Publisher & latest (beta) versions

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2 hours ago, haakoo said:

This is what I meant and you can go on and edit your image in APhoto through the StudioLink or by edit in Photo

 

Thanks for explaining it. The type of work I do requires me to drag and drop files into my document a houndred times per shot, adjusting stuff, painting, cutting, moving, mixing.

Adding an additional piece of software for the placement of all CG layers is not the right direction. I was just shortly contemplating if having the publisher file as the master and then treat everything as smart objects somehow could work for me but I don't think I could work like this in a manner that is as efficient as it's required of me.

Your solution to copy paste from my image library is the best approach for me when centering is required.

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4 hours ago, carl123 said:

If you use File > Place (instead of Drag & Drop) the centre of the image will follow the cursor and will "snap" to the horizontal and verticle centre points of the canvas.

On my Mac, that works if I place the image with a click to drop it at its default size. Dragging to size the image places the top left corner at the start of the drag. However, if I hold down the CMD key before starting the drag it places it centered around the drag start point. Holding down CTRL previews the image at its default size before placing it. Holding down both CMD & CTRL before starting the drag previews the image at its default size & then, when I start dragging it is placed centered outward from the drag start point.

The Status bar lists all the place options:

1796089734_PlaceimageStatusbar.jpg.94140ff39091b0f64161c84f24192d91.jpg

I don't know if the Windows version offers similar place options, but if it does this would simplify centering objects on the canvas for the OP if placing instead of dragging & dropping is an acceptable alternative.

 

4 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Since there is no automatic place centered option/mode, you have to use some of the above mentioned workarounds, or setup in prefs a shortkey for "Orientation -> Center" and use that afterwards.

Maybe I am just having a 'senior moment' or something, but I can't find an entry for "Orientation -> Center" in AP's keyboard shortcuts preferences. Could you tell me which combo of popup shortcuts categories lists it?


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

Could you tell me which combo of popup shortcuts categories lists it?

shorty.jpg.243a5df2ee70f93a9962205a18e4e433.jpg


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

Maybe I am just having a 'senior moment' or something, but I can't find an entry for "Orientation -> Center" in AP's keyboard shortcuts preferences. Could you tell me which combo of popup shortcuts categories lists it?

It is listed under Photo -> Arrange :)

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2 hours ago, dzigakaiser said:

It is listed under Photo -> Arrange :)

I thought that might be what was meant, but on my Mac "Align Center" only centers horizontally. To center both horizontally and vertically, I must use that plus "Align Middle."

728918723_Arrangeshortcuts.jpg.2b4c94e786a16bbaea4bf5b522d0540e.jpg

Perhaps I am still suffering from the aforementioned senior moment, but I do not see a way to combine the two into one keyboard shortcut. :/


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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