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eab

Layer names shown in alphabetical or numerical list

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While working on an actual project (designing a geographical map with distinct regions) involving loads of layers (either labels or actual illustrations), I would be an enormous help to be able to sort on the layers' field name I order to be able to sort either alphabetically as well as numerically. This feature is imho relevant for all Affinity Suite apps, for all of them use layers of some sort.

I happen to love Affinity Designer on desktop as well as iPad from its first beta. Thank you very much for all the magnificent features up until version 1.8.2. Keep up the good work to make us even more professional and amazingly productive!!!!!!.

 

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I don't understand how that could work.

The layer order in the Layers panel determines which layers are on top of other layers.

In the general case where layer content overlaps, if you sorted the layers by name, and the order in the Layers panel changed, then where layer B had previously covered part of layer A, suddenly layer A's content would be covering layer B's content. That would change the actual image composition.


-- 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 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.911 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.911 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.911 Beta.

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I do acknowledge your concern. The file consists of several functional layers, based on the specific content shown. Any object on these functional layers have same Z-axis level. Maybe I need to work a little bit harder to facilitate the correct order myself. Maybe I had better asked for ways of sorting according to stacking order.

Just to give you some background information:

The project consist of an Affinity Designer file with different layers of specific visual map content. The base layer is showing the map with all postal codes we use in The Netherlands. Every single postal code was traced and has its own object on this base layer. These objects are coloured to show the individual postal codes. These postal codes are part of larger regions, say major postal codes based on 2 digit postal code, and therefor grouped accordingly. All objects are now individually distinguisable and fillable with 'regional' defined colours. The rationale for this project is that this file will facilitate the building blocks for additional use cases:

  1. These major postal code areas are used to develop sales territories allocated to different sales people/teams visualising their responsibility for their 'own' sales territory.  
  2. Our Customer Care Center is using this map to allocate appointments and care requests to the responsible sales and customer care representatives.

Necessary changes to numerous objects on this map used to take a lot of time. So I developed a layer and object structure in Affinity Designer that make any changes in personnel/teams, sales territories and adding any additional information a breeze. Sorting these same layer objects on the same stacking order can be done manually but it would be much more convenient to have this automated, at least in my mind.

In the meantime, I have ordered the objects by hand. This was fun after all, knowing how many hours I worked in the latest version of Affinity Designer. Affinity friends: any suggestions are more than welcome!!!

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It's an interesting sounding project. And I can see that if everything is partitioned in a non-overlapping way then there would be no issue with the Z-ordering. But can everything be partitioned that way? For example, do you have any text labels on your postal code objec

In part, the difficulty I perceive with your sorting idea is that everything in Designer is a layer. Each of your postal codes is a layer. Each group of them is a kind of layer. Assuming you have text labels on the postal code objects that text is a layer.

And in addition to Groups you might have actual "Layer" layers.

So, when one sorts "the layers", what exactly is sorted? Just the Layer layers? Just the Group layers? The Layer layers, and within them the Group layers, and within them ....

I'm not sure that the automatic sorting would necessarily work even in your project, and if it did I'm not sure it would be applicable to other projects in general.


-- 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 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.911 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.911 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.911 Beta.

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I think, @eab's suggestion could be an interesting enhancement to the layers panel. But at the same time I share @walt.farrell's point about layers stacking order.

This could be solved with the addition of layer tags. Currently layers can be assigned colours. Layer tags would be similar to these colours just that they are keywords. Some of the these keywords could automatically* be generated from layer names or even text content. Others could be assigned manually.

Additionally to layer tags add a filter and sorting feature to the layers panel. That way one can show layers in any custom way without changing the stacking order.

What do you think?
d.

 

* Perhaps(?) all properties of a layer could be automatically layer tags. This could be one way to include the missing 'Select Same' feature that gets discussed and requested over and over.


Affinity Designer 1.8.5 (beta 1.9.0.911)   |   Affinity Photo 1.8.5 (beta 1.9.0.911)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.8.5 (beta 1.9.0.902)
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.8.4   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

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This is an excellent suggestion. For this project I have numbered the objects (one layer of postal code regions and one layer of labels). These are locked base layers. Any 'to be changed' layers will be on top or in between and always be distinctly one purpose, e.q. dynamic sales territories or regional marketing campaigns. It would be nice and safer to be able to sort on the tags involved in the stacking order (Z-axis). 

 

In due course I will upload a screenshot of the finished project. Thank you both for your thinking this through.

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