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Hi forum,

I am looking to connect shapes with curved lines in order to create flowcharts-like figures. I am trying to see if it's possible to have a line land on an object and lock its position relative to the object, very much like how objects are connected in Draw.io. I understand this is not the primary use of Affinity Photo; although the tool has proven invaluable for me in engineering work and I am looking to see if it would work with this need.

A sample of what I am trying to achieve is below, and straightforward to do:

image.png.cfcc1d60fbea33e35ffb393220bae2f8.png

 

The problem is that if I rearrange the shapes, the path does not follow and must be repositioned manually:

image.png.fc3c769410fa9e307e753b36830bbc85.png

 

The result I hope to achieve would move the path along with the object as I drag it:
image.png.c69a6f6f6f80c33d388eba7352c85f18.png

 

Thanks!

 

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6 hours ago, stroplog said:

very much like how objects are connected in Draw.io.

Just a question, do you expect Draw.io to be able to edit photos like APhoto? If I were to expect the mentioned capabilities of dynamic connection somewhere, then perhaps in ADesigner.

 

 


Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.8.3.
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I'd like to add a tiny bit to this request, or perhaps a starting point.  The ability to add manually snap points to an object/layer in addition to those automatically defined by its geometry is very useful, even in the absence of persistent connections.  I frequently have complex shapes that need to be snapped to guides, other objects, etc., but at points that are not automatically defined.  For example, on the convex hull or in the interior (but not the exact midpoint) of the overall shape.  In Visio, for example, you can manually add anchor points to an object anywhere you like (including outside its bounds or in its interior) and these can be used for snapping and alignment as well as connection endpoints.

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1 hour ago, sfriedberg said:

I'd like to add a tiny bit to this request, or perhaps a starting point.  The ability to add manually snap points to an object/layer in addition to those automatically defined by its geometry is very useful, even in the absence of persistent connections.  I frequently have complex shapes that need to be snapped to guides, other objects, etc., but at points that are not automatically defined.  For example, on the convex hull or in the interior (but not the exact midpoint) of the overall shape.  In Visio, for example, you can manually add anchor points to an object anywhere you like (including outside its bounds or in its interior) and these can be used for snapping and alignment as well as connection endpoints.

You can do all that (if I understand correctly). Use the Node Tool or the Point Transform Tool.

@stroplog
If everything is in nodes you can do it. Just make sure the connecting node of the curve is also selected. Use "Transform Mode" in Node Tool context toolbar.
Of course that means your text will no longer be editable..... but you did ask for workarounds. Certainly nothing like the diagram connector tool in Inkscape.

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Ah yes. You doubled up on the shape and a text frame. That'll work.

I don't have it but maybe in Publisher just one fillable text element would be needed.
..... but the op was talking photo, so.... at least doable.
Curved connection..... okay. A stepped connection would require more hand work.

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7 hours ago, JimmyJack said:

You doubled up on the shape and a text frame. (...) but the op was talking photo

No need two double an object. Just...

  1. create a shape object (e.g. rounded rectangle) 
  2. convert to curves
  3. convert to text frame

Now you can enter / edit / format the text AND select the appropriate nodes to move them all together. Can also be created in APhoto.

It's rather the selection which appears cumbersome here, since both objects have to be selected first with the Move Tool + then certain nodes with the Node Tool before moving. However, I wouldn't even think of expecting typical flowchart features from an image editor app like APhoto.


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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5 hours ago, thomaso said:

No need two double an object. Just...

  1. create a shape object (e.g. rounded rectangle) 
  2. convert to curves
  3. convert to text frame

Now you can enter / edit / format the text AND select the appropriate nodes to move them all together. Can also be created in APhoto.

It's rather the selection which appears cumbersome here, since both objects have to be selected first with the Move Tool + then certain nodes with the Node Tool before moving. However, I wouldn't even think of expecting typical flowchart features from an image editor app like APhoto.

When I convert to a text frame in AD & APh I lose the ability to ad a stroke or fill to the shape. Hence the need for a second object.
Has something changed? (I'm on Mac Desktop)

Yes the whole thing is cumbersome.

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On 6/27/2020 at 5:29 PM, JimmyJack said:

When I convert to a text frame in AD & APh I lose the ability to ad a stroke or fill to the shape.

You can colorize before converting to a text frame. (I'd say this a different topic: the missing Text Frame Panel.)

  1. create a shape object (e.g. rounded rectangle)
  2. colorize the shape object as wanted
  3. convert to curves
  4. convert to text frame

macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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On 6/26/2020 at 5:43 PM, JimmyJack said:

You can do all that (if I understand correctly).

Well, no, the thrust of my comment was about a behavior you cannot get today with the Node or Point Transform tool.  The Point Transform tool comes much closer, but it is limited to adding one point for the duration of interactive transformation of the object itself.  It does not create persistent new anchor/snapping points on the object to which other objects might be aligned (or connected if/when the Affinity suite gets connectors).  And it does not add multiple snapping points during an interactive transformation.

The Visio functionality can be thought of as a variant Node tool where you can add any number of anchor/snapping points to an object, not limited to being on any curve or limited to any particular geometry.  In particular, you can put them a 1/4" (or a foot) outside your object.  These points are persistent until explicitly deleted.  They can act as snap points when transforming the object using the regular transform tools.  They also act as snap points while you are transforming other objects.  And connectors (the subject of the original request in this thread) anchor to them, so the anchored end of a connector moves with the object when you transform it.

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On 6/28/2020 at 2:55 PM, thomaso said:

You can colorize before converting to a text frame. (I'd say this a different topic: the missing Text Frame Panel.)

  1. create a shape object (e.g. rounded rectangle)
  2. colorize the shape object as wanted
  3. convert to curves
  4. convert to text frame

Hi Thomaso,
Lol. I understand your steps 🙂. 
My point is that this is not possible to do natively in Designer or Photo. Please try it.
It is only possible in Publisher.
You are clearly using Publisher in your example video.

It is, however, possible to open an .afpub file in the other two programs (or use Studio Link) and retain some of the desired functionality….i.e. moving as one unit and text edibility. But you will not be able to alter the fill or stroke of the object itself. 
….but you still need Publisher to do it in the first place.

It’s relevant to this thread because people will try it and run into the issue seen below and get frustrated and start calling out a bug when there isn’t one. There simply is no Text Frame tool set in the other two programs. A Frame Text Tool yes, but that's all.

This is what happens natively in Ad and APh. Two objects are needed.
(…. unless, like I mentioned above, it’s different on PC or iPad?) (I’m up to date on MAS releases and Betas as of this writing)
Cheers 🍻

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6 minutes ago, JimmyJack said:

It’s relevant to this thread because people will try it and run into the issue seen below and get frustrated and start calling out a bug when there isn’t one.

Well that explains why I was getting frustrated. 😛

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47 minutes ago, JimmyJack said:

My point is that this is not possible to do natively in Designer or Photo. Please try it.
It is only possible in Publisher.
You are clearly using Publisher in your example video.

It becomes weird: Before recently updating my "recipe" above I had done just a quick trial within APhoto in my current test file (which initially was a JPG opened in APhoto, never an .afpub). I don't know why but I still can reproduce it in this .afphoto – but not in another. For any reason in this file created text frames get by default this background color:

I am surprised myself because I can't detect any place in the UI where this background color is set. Maybe this file is someway corrupted, I use it for tests since months meanwhile with many delete and undo actions.


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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