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Affinity Publisher newbie here. After working in Publisher with an image that had changed from "image" to "pixel", I found I was no longer able to draw a thin rule around it in the way it can be done with a text frame or image frame. There's always the Outline layer effect, but it does the job only partway. With Outline there don't seem to be controls for how the corners are drawn—they are always rounded. But is there a way to alter the corners using some other controls in the program?

 


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

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I think you should be able to add a Stroke to the boundary of a Pixel layer in Publisher (or the other Affinity apps) but I can’t seem to be able to do that for some reason, see attached image (from Designer, but same thing in Publisher). Maybe it’s too early on a Sunday morning but this doesn’t make sense to me at the moment. Surely I must be doing something wrong, or forgetting something basic/important.

Annotation 2020-06-07 083925.png

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I'm jealous that you can attach screen shots to your messages. It still doesn't work for me in this forum. I've written again to Serif asking when it might be fixed.

The rules around the pixel objects surely don't work for me. And I ran across something else unexpected (it might be working as designed, but *I* didn't expect it). I was talking about this tiny project with someone in another forum. I told him: the goal is to take two pasted objects (something that was too large to get into a single screen shot), make them a single object, and draw a rule around the completed rectangular object. These two objects are (initially) Images and not Pixel objects.

His suggestion: start by using geometry-merge. I checked Publisher's help file. Following those instructions, I selected the two objects in the Layers panel, then went to the Layers panel's menu looking for the Geometry sub-menu, as suggested in the help file.

But there isn't any Geometry sub-menu in the Layers menu, at least on this machine.

The help file suggests as an alternative: Select both image objects and right-click. That did turn up a Geometry context menu.

Then, selecting any of the Geometry operations caused both images simply to disappear, leaving the bounding boxes transformed as expected. Almost the same thing happens if I first convert the two objects to picture frames, but in that case one image disappears and the other remains visible. Well—that's clearly not going to work. (Bug, or working as designed?)

Selecting both and grouping them, then drawing a rule in the conventional fashion puts a rule around both of them, of course. So that won't work.


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

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34 minutes ago, GarryP said:

I think you should be able to add a Stroke to the boundary of a Pixel layer in Publisher (or the other Affinity apps) but I can’t seem to be able to do that for some reason...

AFAIK, it has never been possible to add a stroke (or a fill) to a Pixel layer.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
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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So far the solution, sort of, seems to be:

Add the two images to the document. Align them as need be. Group them. "Rasterize." Now use the Outline layer effect to draw the rule around the object (rasterizing the group makes it a single pixel object). And, just live with the rounded corners.

And in case anyone knows, I'd be grateful to find out:

Both "Rasterize" and "Rasterize and Trim" menu items end with "..." — the ancient UI feature indicating "there'll be additional controls for this command." (Example: "Save" vs. "Save as...") But there aren't. The commands execute with no other dialog boxes appearing. Is the inclusion of "..." in these command names a simple error in the UI, or should I in fact be seeing additional controls?


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

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17 minutes ago, MikeA said:

And, just live with the rounded corners.

No need to live with them there are many ways to get a square outer outline, such as...

CTRL+Click on the layers thumbnail to make a pixel selection.
Select > Grow / Shrink and grow selection to the border width you want, then fill in the selection with the colour you want

 

22 minutes ago, MikeA said:

Both "Rasterize" and "Rasterize and Trim" menu items end with "..." — the ancient UI feature indicating "there'll be additional controls for this command." (Example: "Save" vs. "Save as...") But there aren't. The commands execute with no other dialog boxes appearing. Is the inclusion of "..." in these command names a simple error in the UI, or should I in fact be seeing additional controls?

Add some effects (fx) to a layer and you will see an additional prompt when you try to Rasterise the layer


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 worried about.

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I think we may need some clarification from the team on whether we are supposed to be able to add a Stroke (or a Fill) to a Pixel layer.
If we should be able to then the software doesn’t seem to allow this, which sounds like a problem to be fixed.
If we shouldn’t then the software is fooling us unto using functionality that has no purpose (in this case) which, again, is something that probably needs to be fixed.
Either way, it looks like something needs ‘fixing’ here.

MikeA: I’m not sure what you want now – I don’t know if the first thing is related to the second thing, one was outlines the other something to do with Geometry(?) – but it sounds like you could put your image layer(s) inside a Rectangle layer and give that Rectangle layer the Stroke outline, see attached image.

Annotation 2020-06-07 095446.png

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7 minutes ago, carl123 said:

CTRL+Click on the layers thumbnail to make a pixel selection.
Select > Grow / Shrink and grow selection to the border width you want, then fill in the selection with the colour you want

Ok... select the Photo persona (control+clicking in Publisher doesn't seem to make a pixel selection, or at least there's no visual indicator of its having been created) and do in Photo there via Select > Grow/Shrink.

"Growing" the pixel selection certainly expanded the size of the selection. I don't know enough yet about Photo to know which control would fill the expanded selection with a color (Flood Fill simply filled the entire object). But changing the color isn't what I'm after. I'm after changing that rounded corner to a square one. I didn't see a control within Grow/Shrink that would pertain to it.

 

15 minutes ago, carl123 said:

Add some effects (fx) to a layer and you will see an additional prompt when you try to Rasterise the layer

Ok, I see now. Interestingly, unchecking "Preserve layer FX" (which I'd have thought would discard the effect just added) retained the effect. Maybe that isn't the purpose of the checkbox.


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, MikeA said:

So far the solution, sort of, seems to be:

Add the two images to the document. Align them as need be. Group them. "Rasterize." Now use the Outline layer effect to draw the rule around the object (rasterizing the group makes it a single pixel object). And, just live with the rounded corners.

If you select Image but not Pixel layers with the Move Tool, the "Convert to Curves" option is available (either from the Layers menu or in the context toolbar). Image layers converted to Curve layers can have strokes applied to them. To get square corners, set the stroke's Join property to "Miter Join" & increase the Miter value until the corners are square. Other stroke properties like Scale with Object & Align & stroke color also are adjustable if you do this.

The converted Curve's Fill color property also becomes adjustable but if you do that the image will be replaced with the fill color so it is unlikely that you would want to do that.

45 minutes ago, MikeA said:

Both "Rasterize" and "Rasterize and Trim" menu items end with "..." — the ancient UI feature indicating "there'll be additional controls for this command."

There is one situation where you do get a dialog box with those items ... but for the life of me I can't remember what it is. :$

EDIT: as @carl123 mentioned, you get the dialog box if the layer has fx applied to it.

Edited by R C-R

Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
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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7 minutes ago, MikeA said:

Ok, I see now. Interestingly, unchecking "Preserve layer FX" (which I'd have thought would discard the effect just added) retained the effect. Maybe that isn't the purpose of the checkbox.

With that option unchecked the fx are rasterized & no longer can be edited. With it checked, the layer retains its editable fx.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
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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15 minutes ago, GarryP said:

I think we may need some clarification from the team on whether we are supposed to be able to add a Stroke (or a Fill) to a Pixel layer.

If not, you'd think that the Stroke and Fill portions of the UI would be "greyed-out" (inaccessible).

16 minutes ago, GarryP said:

it sounds like you could put your image layer(s) inside a Rectangle layer and give that Rectangle layer the Stroke outline, see attached image.

That might be the best solution, yes.


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

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12 minutes ago, R C-R said:

If you select Image but not Pixel layers with the Move Tool, the "Convert to Curves" option is available (either from the Layers menu or in the context toolbar). Image layers converted to Curve layers can have strokes applied to them.

I'm finding that an image object can be given a stroke without a conversion to curves being needed. And yes, then the corner shape can be controlled.


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

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Well. Interesting. More futzing-around with this and I find... a pixel object (I'm working only in Publisher right now) cannot be converted to a picture frame. But select the Vector Crop tool and make the tiniest crop—and for some reason the pixel object now can be converted to a picture frame. Completely accidental discovery. Feature? Bug? Don't know. Anyway, the if-it's-a-bug-I-don't-mind-it-at-all feature enabled the following:

1. Paste the two image objects into the page.
2. Align them as need be.
3. Group them. Ensure the group is selected.
4. Right-click the group and select Rasterize. The group is now a single pixel object.
5. Select the Vector Crop tool; crop as need be.

NOW the object can be converted to a picture frame and NOW a stroke can be added to create a rule around it in the conventional fashion.

I wonder why that happens with the Vector Crop tool. It'd be nice to be able to tweak it numerically when need be (if you needed only the tiniest amount of cropping—hard to do with the mouse).


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

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