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Subho

Alignment Options greyed out in Affinity Designer 1.8.1

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I see that all Alignment options are greyed out in version 1.8.1. In this case i'm trying to align the text to the margin.

Screen Shot 2020-02-27 at 16.54.08.png

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Hi Subho,

Welcome to the forums :)

If you select an alignment option from the icons shown, you'll be able to then choose the 'Align To' options from the dropdown box.

I hope this helps!

EDIT - I've just checked and this behaviour has changed between 1.7 & 1.8 so I'm logging it as a bug with our developers - thanks for your report!

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Hi I too have been having this issue across all Affinity applications on the Mac. Affinity Photo, Designer and Publisher. It's starting to get really annoying on bigger projects. Please let us know where the dev team is on this issue. Thank you!

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2 hours ago, Grok said:

It's starting to get really annoying on bigger projects.

I'm curious why it's so annoying. As far as I know you need the same number of keystrokes with either implementation.

One to select the kind of alignment (left, right, ...) and maybe one to select the Align To option if you need one other than the default.

It's just that they're a different order now. But it's the same number of clicks, and so the project size shouldn't matter.

 


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 2004 (19041.388),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.4.693 and 1.8.4.693 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.4.693 and 1.8.4.693 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.4.693 and 1.8.4.687 Beta.

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2 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

I'm curious why it's so annoying. As far as I know you need the same number of keystrokes with either implementation.

One to select the kind of alignment (left, right, ...) and maybe one to select the Align To option if you need one other than the default.

It's just that they're a different order now. But it's the same number of clicks, and so the project size shouldn't matter.

 

Of course, you're right about the number of clicks, for me it was annoying to visually watch something line up to the last selected "Align to" option instead of letting me set up the parameters first (like it was in earlier versions) and then press the Align method. If we're just counting clicks then that's fine and as BoFG has quoted above it seems to be the intended behavior now. Just a little jarring visually for me on bigger projects but if this the intention then this is the intention. Thanks for writing!

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When this was reported for Mac I logged it with our developers and they agreed this required further investigation.

After internal discussions it's been decided that Mac has the correct behaviour, and it's actually Windows that is incorrect (as Gabe mentioned in the thread posted by BofG).

Therefore the bug report has since been updated to account for this, and our devs are currently making the required change to the Windows build.

I'm sorry to hear of your frustration regarding this UI decision, I'll be certain to pass on your feedback to our developers as they did request this following the report - we try to make sure our apps work in the best way for all users, however this isn't possible 100% of the time, my apologies!

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For what it's worth I too preferred to select the 'align to' first and then hit the button. It just seems a bit odd seeing the objects align to how I don't want them as the first step.

The bigger issue I have is hitting ctrl+g before hitting 'done'. That still throws me off no matter how many times I've done it :)

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2 hours ago, BofG said:

The bigger issue I have is hitting ctrl+g before hitting 'done'.

Context, please?

Alignment doesn't have a "done", so what is this (and ctrl+g) in reference to?


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 2004 (19041.388),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.4.693 and 1.8.4.693 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.4.693 and 1.8.4.693 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.4.693 and 1.8.4.687 Beta.

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Thank you everyone for the interesting dialog about this. Sometimes as a developer we tend to think of things as to what is most logical however working with design projects has taught me to think outside of the box in various ways.
 

I never would have imagined, for instance, how something as subtle as not being able to pick your parameters first to avoid visual movements in your selection would feel tedious after awhile. It’s all very interesting and I’m happy with whatever choices are made because I’m quite happy with the Affinity platform and applications. I’d be interested as well to hear of any other opinions about what they think of these small changes. 
 

Thank you all and to the devs for making such a great application suite. 

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8 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

Context, please?

Alignment doesn't have a "done", so what is this (and ctrl+g) in reference to?

The alignment panel that opens with the options has two buttons at the bottom, not sure of the exact labels but it's essentially "apply/cancel". If instead of applying the alignment (which has already visually altered the objects) you group them with a keyboard command, they are reset to their pre-alignment positions, but the align panel is still displayed and is "out of sync" with how the objects are.

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3 hours ago, BofG said:

If instead of applying the alignment (which has already visually altered the objects) you group them with a keyboard command, they are reset to their pre-alignment positions, but the align panel is still displayed and is "out of sync" with how the objects are.

If you group the objects when the panel is open then the panel applies to the group, not to its individual objects.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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19 minutes ago, R C-R said:

If you group the objects when the panel is open then the panel applies to the group, not to its individual objects.

It does, but if you make a change in that panel before you group the objects then when you group them they move back to their start positions and the align panel is "out of sync". Select two rectangles, open the align panel, click 'align centre', group them with the keyboard shortcut. The rectangles will not be aligned centre with themselves, nor with the document, but the centre align button is set to on. Click the align centre button to turn it off, then click to turn it on again - the group is now centred with the page.

It's probably the most minor problem I've run into :)

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42 minutes ago, R C-R said:

If you group the objects when the panel is open then the panel applies to the group, not to its individual objects.

The OP probably refers to odd half-modal state of the Alignment panel where only "Applying" the alignment actually changes the status of the objects, even if the actual operation has already been done. If you e.g. have two objects selected and left align them, you seemingly already get what you want, and then press Ctrl+G to group the objects (while still having the Alignment panel open), instead of grouping the objects, you get them restored to non-aligned positions. IMO, the whole panel is a master example of bad UI design. But when we know how it works, it is still usable.

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32 minutes ago, BofG said:

Select two rectangles, open the align panel, click 'align centre', group them with the keyboard shortcut. The rectangles will not be aligned centre with themselves, nor with the document, but the centre align button is set to on.

I am not sure why you would expect anything different. By grouping them, you have changed the context of what the alignment refers to, so the "Align to:" choices no longer have the same clearly defined referent as they did before grouping them.

I suppose the alignment panel could be programmed to check for any context changes made while it is open, but that seems like an unnecessary use of computer resources better allocated to other things.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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23 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I am not sure why you would expect anything different. By grouping them, you have changed the context of what the alignment refers to, so the "Align to:" choices no longer have the same clearly defined referent as they did before grouping them.

I think @Lagarto put it better than I did, it's just not in keeping with how anything else works. It should either be modal and force you to choose to apply/cancel or it should apply the action straight away and add it to the undo stack. Also, why are you ignoring the fact that the alignment panel is allowed to show a state that does not refect the actual state of what is selected? If you think the context has changed, then the state of the panel should update to reflect that.

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52 minutes ago, BofG said:

If you think the context has changed, then the state of the panel should update to reflect that.

Like I said, I think that would be a needless use of computer resources better allocated to other things.

I also do not consider it to be a "half-modal" state. It is clearly 100% non-modal because you can group items with it open.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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55 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I also do not consider it to be a "half-modal" state.

If it allows seemingly non-modal actions and allows doing things like grouping (Ctrl + G) with contradicting results, it acts as a poorly designed non-modal control. But it also requires separate action for confirming or canceling actions performed in the control, similarly as modal dialogs. You cannot simply just close the dialog, if you have taken actions, and trust that "previewed" actions really take place, because the the action status history is not really up-to-date, and consequences may become odd if you e.g. undo and redo operations.

"Half-modal" of course is not a proper term. I used it to describe the poor behavior of this control, which IMO just further deteriorated with 1.8. version because now we are assumed to take "logical" steps (in the mind of the UI designer), rather than do what normally can be done in a graphical user interface: the user clicks whatever they want as long as it is not conflicting, rather than are directed to old-school procedural command sequences. 

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Just want to add my voice to this thread to say that I too would love to see the align function returned to the way it used to be.  This change to the align dialogue seems completely unnecessary and is very annoying.  Everyone's been used to it being the other way around, and now it's changed apparently for no real reason....if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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The align control and functionality is a nightmare (Mac). I've just finished a very finnicky job with a couple of hundred paths to align and it would have been a doddle in Illustrator. I love Affinity but this is unforgivable — let us use this control as WE want, for crying out loud. In this case, by letting us set the parameters FIRST if we want. Who thought it would be a good idea to have objects leaping about the place before we go on to click the right options? Apart from anything else, it's very, very distracting and wearing, particularly after watching everything go to the wrong place before jumping to what is actually desired for the fiftieth time in five minutes. This is such a crucial part of the process, I'm staggered at how poorly it is handled. It has the sense of a developer putting a vague notion of logical process ahead of actually asking people who have been using similar software for decades to see what is most productive and comfortable for them. How about having a separate floating panel with proper options on it instead of having to fanny about heading to the menu button every damn time? Please sort this nonsense out pronto; it badly lets the app down.

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11 hours ago, Grrrrrr said:

The align control and functionality is a nightmare (Mac). I've just finished a very finnicky job with a couple of hundred paths to align and it would have been a doddle in Illustrator. I love Affinity but this is unforgivable — let us use this control as WE want, for crying out loud. In this case, by letting us set the parameters FIRST if we want. Who thought it would be a good idea to have objects leaping about the place before we go on to click the right options? Apart from anything else, it's very, very distracting and wearing, particularly after watching everything go to the wrong place before jumping to what is actually desired for the fiftieth time in five minutes. This is such a crucial part of the process, I'm staggered at how poorly it is handled. It has the sense of a developer putting a vague notion of logical process ahead of actually asking people who have been using similar software for decades to see what is most productive and comfortable for them. How about having a separate floating panel with proper options on it instead of having to fanny about heading to the menu button every damn time? Please sort this nonsense out pronto; it badly lets the app down.

Brilliantly articulated — well done that man!  The floating panel idea is great...please Affinity, get this feature sorted out.  I should also mention that while I'm using Publisher, not Designer, then align tool functionality is the same.

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I think at the moment as intermediate "fix" it would be great if you can set a default value.

I'm used to "align to First Selected" and if i could change this to default I would use the single action buttons as before without opening the floating panel at all.

Now the single action buttons are more or less useless because the default is "align to Selection Bounds" : (

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