# Quickest way to have numbers with square or ellipse background

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If you start with a polygon and type in the number of sides at 100 or so, you get something so close to a circle that I don't think anyone's going to fault it. You can drag that down to four sides to get a square, but it's on its corner and would need to be rotated.

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3 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

I was going to say "converting a shape would be from a star to a circle" but apparently that can be done within the stars parameters so I'm going to keep shtum about that one 🤫 🤣

I assume you mean by setting the star's point count to a large enough number that its inner radius can be set to an indicated 100%, but I suspect it never really reaches 100%, so it is still just a polygon with so many straight sides that it approximates a circle.

Useful enough for a text frame but I wonder about the computational load all those points might place on the app, particularly if the text frame was stroked.

I still think it would be nice if we could convert any quick shape into any other quick shape (whether used as frame text or not) & also if we could convert a text frame to curves without converting its text to curves.

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12 minutes ago, h_d said:

You can drag that down to four sides to get a square, but it's on its corner and would need to be rotated.

You can drag a polygon down to 3 sides & get a triangle too but no matter how few sides it has, after it is converted to a text frame rotating it also rotates its text so it isn't all that useful.

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59 minutes ago, R C-R said:

after it is converted to a text frame rotating it also rotates its text

Doesn't that also happen if it's rotated before converting it to a text frame?

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4 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

Doesn't that also happen if it's rotated before converting it to a text frame?

True,

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While converting from an Ellipse to a Donut or Pie, or converting from an n-sided polygon to another n-sided polygon, is possible, what I was suggesting is converting any preset shape into any other preset shape. For example, from a Cog to a Callout Ellipse, or a Rectangle to a Tear, or an Arrow to a Segment.

Note: You can change a Polygon to a Circle by setting the Curve to 100%.

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8 minutes ago, GarryP said:

While converting from an Ellipse to a Donut or Pie, or converting from an n-sided polygon to another n-sided polygon, is possible, what I was suggesting is converting any preset shape into any other preset shape.

If it is not clear, that is what I meant when I said it would be nice if we could do that.

12 minutes ago, GarryP said:

Note: You can change a Polygon to a Circle by setting the Curve to 100%.

Technically, it is a circular or elliptical shape, depending on its proportions, but like a shape created with the Affinity Ellipse Tool, neither one is a true circle or ellipse because they are just bezier approximations of those shapes.

I mention this only because since that is what they really are, there does not seem to be any technical or practical reason that would prevent converting any of the 'quick' (preset) shapes that can approximate an elliptical shape to any of the others that can approximate that shape, in much the same way that an ellipse can be converted to a donut or pie shape.

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I missed that you mentioned “any quick shape into any other quick shape” in all the talk about polygons.
I think we’re agreed that it should be possible to convert any to any. I wonder if there’s a technical problem/reason we don’t know about.

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20 minutes ago, GarryP said:

I missed that you mentioned “any quick shape into any other quick shape” in all the talk about polygons.

About that, I don't think there is any clear consensus on the most appropriate/least confusing terminology to use to refer generically to those shapes. The AD help refers to them collectively as "geometric shapes" but I rarely see anyone use that term in the forums. "Preset shapes" could now refer to the built-in or custom presets available for them via the gear icon on the context toolbar. My personal preference is "parametric shapes" because they are parametrically adjustable, but the staff sometimes refer to them as "quick shapes" so that is what used in that post.

33 minutes ago, GarryP said:

I think we’re agreed that it should be possible to convert any to any. I wonder if there’s a technical problem/reason we don’t know about.

Maybe there is but since each of those shapes has a default (the first one in the preset list) & each of them has a 'base box' that defines its width & height, it seems like at least logically it would be simple enough to base the conversions on that, in much the same way as is done now for the option to convert an ellipse to a pie or donut.

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I can’t remember reading the phrase “quick shape” but it sounds reasonable to me, as does “parametric shape”. I don’t particularly like the idea of calling them all “geometric shapes” as some – callouts for example – are not what I would consider “geometric”, but that’s probably another discussion altogether. I’d also be pretty much okay with just using the word “shape” as long as it was widely understood that a “shape” was different to a “curve”, however that would be defined. It would be nice to have a locked-in phrase that was defined in the Help. That would make it easier for people to discuss it without extra confusion. (Having said that, how this would translate into other languages I have no idea.)

Maybe one of the team can enlighten us as to whether there’s a reason that a quick/parametric/geometric shapes can’t be switched from one form to another. To paraphrase Flynn from the Tron movie: “It looks easy from this side of the screen.”

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1 hour ago, GarryP said:

I can’t remember reading the phrase “quick shape” but it sounds reasonable to me, as does “parametric shape”.

For what little it’s worth, the parametric shapes in Serif’s ‘legacy’ applications (PagePlus, PhotoPlus, DrawPlus, etc) have always been called QuickShapes.

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10 minutes ago, Alfred said:

For what little it’s worth, the parametric shapes in Serif’s ‘legacy’ applications (PagePlus, PhotoPlus, DrawPlus, etc) have always been called QuickShapes.

In contrast, the help topic titled "About geometric shapes" in each of the three Affinity apps includes a list of 21 of the 22 shape tools (the Cat Tool is missing) with links to their individual help pages. That topic is also the first one listed if I search the help on "shapes," so I think "geometric shapes" is the official Affinity name for this class of shape objects.

Each of the terms makes sense in some contexts but none is totally free of ambiguity. The same is true of curve, image, & several other commonly used terms. I don't think there is any way to avoid that.

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