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[1.9.0.733] "Select Same / Object" suggestions


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Hi there!

First of all, thanks to the Dev Team for this release and hats off to @MattP for the first implementation of the long awaited "Select Same" feature. After playing a bit with it, I thought of some things that could be great additions:

  • Select by Font: select all that is Arial, event if on text object is Arial Black, and another text object is Arial Regular.
  • Select by Font Style: same as above but for an specific font style, Arial Black only, even if there is another text object that is set to Arial Regular.
  • Select different: sometimes you simply want to select anything else... either anything that is not the same color / fill / font / opacity, etc.

That's it for now, but if I think of something that could be useful, I will add it to this post.

Best regards!

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Another idea:

  • Select base on more than one object: say I have two circles, one is blue and the other one is red, then, the "Select same" feature could select all of the objects that have the same fill
  • This could also be a good idea for the "Select different" mentioned before: select all that is not red or blue

As an IT person, I will try to think of things in the way we filter information from a Database, using SQL queries...

Best regards!

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15 hours ago, Mithferion said:

Another idea:

  • Select base on more than one object: say I have two circles, one is blue and the other one is red, then, the "Select same" feature could select all of the objects that have the same fill
  • This could also be a good idea for the "Select different" mentioned before: select all that is not red or blue

As an IT person, I will try to think of things in the way we filter information from a Database, using SQL queries...

Best regards!

You got an idea in other thread, but forgot to mentioned it here -- to select all objects that have the same multi properties as the selected one.

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58 minutes ago, Petar Petrenko said:

You got an idea in other thread, but forgot to mentioned it here -- to select all objects that have the same multi properties as the selected one.

Thanks for bringing that up. I will develop further these ideas, the way I usually explain how SQL queries work; so much can be done...

Best regards!

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Well, as promised, I will try to make more suggestions, based on how I see data in a relational Database. To make things simple, I built a Table on MS Excel where I put the usual attributes for all kind of objects (maybe I'm wrong on some things, this could be corrected; also, sorry, cometimes I write "color" or "colour"):

image.thumb.png.c82413f14ca573147e8a6fc80016a025.png

Basically, on a relational Database, you write SQL code to filter the rows and get specific data (find) from a Table, but also, you can also update said data using filtering criteria (find and replace).

Now, with this new feature, there are tons of possibilities. I will show some examples (I hid some columns).

  • Right now, you can select an Object, and then filter by color (Select Same > Fill Colour). Imagine the selected color has de Hex value #D1335B, then, 2 objects would be selected as a result:

image.png.77cad3ef1dd60bcd37a6babdddfad47f.png

  • Example 2: you can filter by fill and stroke colour (Select Same > Fill & Stroke Colour). Imagine it's the same object as in the previous example: The selected objects would be the same, because they have the same Fill and Stroke Colour:

image.png.96eacd3836dab3998710534766592d3a.png

  • Example 3: you can filter by stroke color. Same object as in the previous examples. By going to Select Same > Stroke colour, all 4 objects would be selected:

image.png.6ebebc0799f108248a64ce75301a085b.png

What this is showing is that you can select by one or more columns, searching for specific attributes. SQL Code would be like this:

  • Example 1:
SELECT * FROM Table WHERE "Fill Color" = '#D1335B'
  • Example 2:
SELECT * FROM Table WHERE "Fill Color" = '#D1335B' and "Stroke Color" = '#FFFFFF'
  • Example 3:
SELECT * FROM Table WHERE "Stroke Color" = '#FFFFFF'

Basically, SQL code writen like this is a way to say to Affinity designer: Bring me all of the Objects that has the fill color #D1335B (Example 1). The SQL Clause WHERE is the part in which you enter search criteria, and this is where things can be really powerful, for very complex documents.

I will continue on the next posts, to put some more examples for the ideas mentioned above (and hopefully, this will spark more ideas from other customers, that are not familiar with this Database concepts).

Best regards!

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Let's continue to visualize current functionality, with the same Table:

  • We have an Ellipse selected and go Select Object > Shape, something like this would happen, because the criteria is based on another column (SubType, in this case):

Nt.png.f4b6aa63d5ec34aad1457d53d977d8ba.png

  • SQL query would look like this:
SELECT * FROM Table WHERE "SubType" = 'Ellipse'

Another thing that can be done is selecting all that has no fill, by going to Select Object > Unfilled Objects. The result would be:

Nt.png.48802ec2a0290726f705ce16be8f34b3.png

  • SQL query would look like this:
SELECT * FROM Table WHERE "Fill" = 'No'

But what if we want to have more precision, based on criteria that is not available with the current options? That's what I will be trying to get to, in the following posts (and how could this be possible, well, via a windows similar to the ones that FreeHand and CorelDRAW have, as shown by other users).

More to come...

Best regards!

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Now, right to my suggestions, regarding the fonts, this is how it'd work:

  • Select by Typeface. Arial:

image.png.d61cb6d4b192581ce9599cc23d191e46.png

  • Select by Typeface and Style. Example, Futura Medium. This would be the result:

image.png.d3520357b49bb23aee9649c01da012c8.png

SQL code would be something like this, for both cases:

SELECT * FROM Table WHERE "Typeface" = 'Arial'
SELECT * FROM Table WHERE "Typeface" = 'Futura' and "Font Style" = 'Extra Bold'

This shows that there could be more criteria used to filter Objects in a Document, using more than one Column.

Now, sometimes I want anything other than Arial Regular, how can that be done? SQL would look like this:

SELECT * 
FROM Table 
WHERE 
    "Typeface"   <> 'Arial' 
and "Font Style" <> 'Regular'

Result would be:

image.png.5c7d6fec97c55fb3ecb353566464fd2b.png

Hope this is starting to show the flexibility and possibility by looking at things in this way... now, @JET_Affinity mentioned something about ranges, and I'd like to show how simple it is with this Table arrangement in mind:

Imagine that you have the following objects:

image.png.e8b4d35be9a349674e6ba9da88fbab85.png

Ranges apply easily with numbers. What if I want objects with their stroke width being smaller than 1000?

Well, this would be the result:

image.png.1c970efe772e4e71e52504361bc377a3.png

And if I also want the Opacity to be smaller than 100%, well, this would be the result:

image.png.92400672918b2317de44ce5ec9eabbb6.png

So, there are myriads of combinations that may apply to our search needs. I think that by looking at things like this, there is no end for the possibilities.

So, how to build an Interface for something that can be really complex? Well, some reporting tools used in Business Intelligence, can give us a clue. Having an option to add fields, and selecting operators (=, <>, OR, AND) and attributes from the selected objects, could be all we need. Something like this example in Looker, where you can see there are 2 filters (there is no limit to this), and you can see a Table in the bottom part:

image.png.17ab13eab5a2afbc10f7095475c74b22.png

So, I imagine a floating panel, where given a selected object or objects, you can play with Filters to have the result you want.

I hope all of this make sense, and @MattP see it as a valuable comment from a happy and greateful user. :)

Best regards!

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As said before, there are theses examples from other users:

  • Freehand:

image.png.18235a93412cb47d1314b28a451a4e33.png

  • CoreDRAW:

image.png.ac34225b39f573b9908157dd24eb3089.png

I think these are powerful, but maybe having a single view could help us more, instead of having several windows or screens. Maybe something like the Filters used in Looker to filter data, selecting an attribute and giving it a value can be a more powerful way to work with complex Documents.

Let me see if I can work in a mockup to show the suggestion. Hope somebody else can join with more ideas.

IMPORTANT: The current functionality in the Select menu is very good, and I think it should stay there, because it covers many of the requirements by most users. What I am proposing is a more advance set of search options, that could be available in a Panel or a different Window, for those that have more complex situations. :)

Best regards!

 

 

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14 hours ago, Mithferion said:

I think these are powerful, but maybe having a single sigle view could help more, instead of having several windows or screens. Maybe something like the Filters used in Looker to fitler data, selecting an attribute and giving it a value can be a more powerful way to work with complex Documents.

Hi @Mithferion,

in lack of any other feedback so far I want to thank you for your effort to put this all together. I read it with great interest because I think a clever search feature could enchance AD tremendously. I'm not saying that the recent implementation is wrong or anything. It is a good starting point and will serve many users already. It is a big step forward.

I think the challenge is to find the right balance between sophistication and usefullness 🙂

Cheers,
d.

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25 minutes ago, dominik said:

Hi @Mithferion,

in lack of any other feedback so far I want to thank you for your effort to put this all together. I read it with great interest because I think a clever search feature could enchance AD tremendously. I'm not saying that the recent implementation is wrong or anything. It is a good starting point and will serve many users already. It is a big step forward.

I think the challenge is to find the right balance between sophistication and usefullness 🙂

Cheers,
d.

Thanks, @dominik!
I'm glad you found this interesting and not boring, haha. :D

The recent implementation is very good, and it should stay there, but I am thinking of a new and single Panel where all this complex search-related situations could be covered. As I said before, this is how I look at data at my work, so bringing these concepts could give Affinity the best Select options out there (I haven't metioned the replace part, but that's the least complicated thing once you have filtered the objects by their attributes).

The challenge is to do it with a good UI and good UX (and as I said, the Business Intelligence tools I work with could point us to the right direction).

I will also tag other users that have some ideas and are very interested in this topic, but meanwhile, I will work on the mockup mentioned earlier.

Best regards!

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Greetings, mates!

@retrograde @Oval @MikeK36 @kaiwienen @fde101 @CLC @MikeW

Just to invite you to give this thread a read (I've seen you are interested in advance select-related features), and if you find it interesting, please leave a comment and share your ideas if you will.

What do you think, @Petar Petrenko?

Best regards!

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1 hour ago, Mithferion said:

but I am thinking of a new and single Panel where all this complex search-related situations could be covered.

One important aspect of this enhanced search and filter capability is - and I am sure you are aware of it - that it is (only) usefull in rather complex documents. And I would think it would help with documents created in different applications with a rather convoluted output so that things can get better organised and then worked on. We've seen examples on the forum like technical and architectural drawings, maps, perhaps even sewing patterns.

Even not directly part of this discussion it seems to me that some import formats could build a 'bridge' to import such complex data. The many times requested DXF format comes to mind 😉

I'm not sure if vector artists would benefit of such a search, but who knows?

d.

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On 9/20/2020 at 4:12 AM, dominik said:

One important aspect of this enhanced search and filter capability is - and I am sure you are aware of it - that it is (only) usefull in rather complex documents

In an ideal world, it should be useful for all scenarios, but its main goal, as you say, is working with complex documents that have little variations (like stroke widths) that cannot be managed with the basic functionality.

As you mentioned it, yes, I had in mind all those PDF generated in more technical applications that could contain hundreds of objects.

I am already working on the mockups, based on some interesting comments I've read through the forums.

Best regards!

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Well @dominik and every body watching, these are the first mockups I came up with. The main purpose is to think about all of the possibilities of how good can this feature be.

  • This would be the main and basic view of the Panel. Bottom part can be for some of the very specific search conditions that some mentioned
  • The first Filters could appear after selecting and object, to ease the use

image.png.4c8baece73a163bc5a57d994c83342ad.png

A bit of an explanation:

  1. The first combo list could be populated with the Columns that are on the Table that appears on my previous posts
  2. The second combo list would contain the operators, according to the previous combo list option selected
  3. The third combo list is for the attributes. In this example, the color is shown as in many parts of the program, but in the following screenshots you can see what the other options could contain
  4. Plus icon to add a filter
  5. X icon to delete a filter
  6. R is explaine below
  7. The AND that appears could be changed for an OR when clicked

This is an example of what the first and second combo list could contain:

image.thumb.png.c9412576d0bbb3ab2738ad30a1151aeb.png

  • What if there are no objects and we want to put filters from scratch? This could be the "empty" panel view, and the plus symbol could be there to add a new Filter:

image.png.aec75ecde1103abc72ccb69e04e3c1c9.png

  • The next thing, how could we replace the content. Well, I propose the "R" button on the right part of the Filter. If activated, it could look like this
  • The "Select / Replace" button could do only the Select or the Replace operation, according to the R button being activated or not

image.png.7de2309e52c0d328f7532d80f47a9e5b.png

  • Now, remember I mentioned values? This is how it could look like, with the Replace option activated:

image.png.e1e70912668c054d887632305a337014.png

  • And this is how a very populated Panel would look like. Notice that the Filters have the Columns (with a few corrections) of the Table that appears in my previous posts:

 image.thumb.png.cff8ecf6f1c0c1a96638ce87cfcc1c89.png

  • Lastly, the hamburguer menu could be to Select all Filters and Save the Filters, to have them as Presets for future selections.

I hope you excuse the lack of further detail, and that I couldn't do a longer explanation, but I hope this gives you a good idea of what I am proposing, for the benefit of all. :)

Best regards!

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9 minutes ago, Mithferion said:

I hope you exceuse the lack of further detail, and that I couldn't do a longer explanation

Well, I don't see there a 'lack of detail' 😉

I think you sum your ideas up very well on how this could work. At first sight I do not see anything that I think needs to be added. It is a good take on making a complex think manageable. Your way to build this according to other applications helps (at least me) to easily understand on how to operate this.

Let's see what others have to say.
Cheers,
d

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Your detailed suggestions is wonderful, @Mithferion! I really like the idea of adding filters as needed, to keep the Select Panel uncluttered.

To add, I would like to suggest a feature to save and load selections so that we can readily choose objects based on previously set selections.

Aside from AND and OR, adding a NOT filter would be great too.

Thanks to the Affinity staff for the “Select Same” feature! I can't wait to use this on the iPad! 😊

 

Wishlist: calligraphic vector brush, blend/replicate tool, vector pattern feature

 

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23 minutes ago, inkedcode said:

To add, I would like to suggest a feature to save and load selections so that we can readily choose objects based on previously set selections

Yes, I thought about the same thing. That could be in the hamburguer menu.

23 minutes ago, inkedcode said:

Aside from AND and OR, adding a NOT filter would be great too.

That part is on the second combo list as "Is not". Just to follow the usual and stablished way of working under the SQL Logic.

24 minutes ago, inkedcode said:

Thanks to the Affinity staff for the “Select Same” feature!

Very well deserved words of gratitude.

Best regards!

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On 9/20/2020 at 9:58 AM, Mithferion said:

Greetings, mates!

@retrograde @Oval @MikeK36 @kaiwienen @fde101 @CLC @MikeW

Just to invite you to give this thread a read (I've seen you are interested in advance select-related features), and if you find it interesting, please leave a comment and share your ideas if you will.

What do you think, @Petar Petrenko?

Best regards!

Sorry @Mithferion it took too long to answer you, but I wasn't at home these days. I admire your dedidaction about what you've done. It's very impressive. Here  are my addition to this thread. Text and Item Find/Change in QuarkXPress:

Border.png

Box Color.png

Box.png

Drop Shadow.png

Find-Change.png

Line.png

Picture.png

Summary.png

Text.png

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8 hours ago, Petar Petrenko said:

 Text and Item Find/Change in QuarkXPress:

I'm not familiar with QuarkXPress, so I find these screenshots very interesting and helpful. They illustrate quite well how complex this task can be and it shows a different approach on how to handle this huge amount of values. In this regard @Mithferion's prototype looks a little less overwhelming (except for this last 'very populated' panel).

But this is just a personal preference and of course all hypothetical 😉

d.

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9 hours ago, Petar Petrenko said:

Sorry @Mithferion it took too long to answer you, but I wasn't at home these days. I admire your dedidaction about what you've done. It's very impressive. Here  are my addition to this thread. Text and Item Find/Change in QuarkXPress:

Thanks for your words, Petar. And thanks for the screenshots, they are very interesting.

I was thinking about going as far as to select and replace specific Effects properties / Adjustments, but I wasn't sure about using Tabs (like the ones your screenshots show: Box, Box Color, Border, etc.). It could be done by adding another level in the combo lists, but maybe that's too much? I will give it a second thought.

 

7 hours ago, LCamachoDesign said:

Err... I just came here to suggest puny a 'select all text objects' option... But I've been clearly and brutally outdone by everyone else. 😂🤣😂🤣😂

That could be possible in the suggestion I made, for sure. :)

 

1 hour ago, dominik said:

hey illustrate quite well how complex this task can be and it shows a different approach on how to handle this huge amount of values

Indeed. Remember my Table? It could grow by a lot.

 

Best regards!

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Well, this is the idea I came up with... and maybe this is me playing with forces beyond my comprehension, but maybe for this level of detail, this could be an option:

  • Instead of adding Tabs or Filters to the ride, the same scheme could followed: ident and add options as with the filters
  • Thous would look similar to the exporting options in the Export persona, where you can add several output formats
  • As before, you could add, delete or mark for replacement
  • People would need to be cautious and avoid using too many Fitlers, by the way
  • The advantage of this is that no matter how many attributes the Effect has, the interface is still consistent and manageable
  • I don't know if this approach should be done for the Adjustment layers... they represent different scenarios, the way I see them

ST.thumb.png.e6858902c367cc7ac210a959722a471b.png

Best regards!

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54 minutes ago, Mithferion said:

Indeed. Remember my Table? It could grow by a lot.

Actually I had your tables in mind. That is why I appreciate your prototype because it translates those huge tables into something that seems quite usable 🙂

d.

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@Petar Petrenko

 

The problem with numerical values is what I got few weeks ago trying to apply some specific Paragraph' style to some paragraphs of a book imported with poor formatting (as no paragraph styles used in a thousand+ pages).

The visible indent in the input field was something like this: x.xxx, but the app wasn't able to find any paragraph with this value.

I had to create a script to retrieve and check the original value that was more like y.333333333333333333333333..., and create another script able to fix the original value to y.yyy before comparing to my value x.xxx, and applying the paragraph style if needed.

A solution would be to get a drop down list with all possibilities available, but it would be cumbersome and difficult to choose, if different values are rounded to the same x.xx or x% values (while the search engine search the not rounded value).

I suppose that's why they implemented the feature to search depending of a selected item, to get the exact values in its original type, without the problem we can have when displaying pixel, mm, points that can be rounded.

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On ‎9‎/‎16‎/‎2020 at 9:07 AM, Mithferion said:

Select different: sometimes you simply want to select anything else... either anything that is not the same color / fill / font / opacity, etc.

A simple "Select Inverse" command nested with the existing Select Previous and Select Next would work for that. It doesn't need to be associated with any 'Select Same..." feature. You could make as complicated a criteria-based selection as you want, and the Select Inverse command would work for that. Or, you could simply make any kind of selection you want having nothing to do with attributes (objects within a lasso selection, for example) and the Select Inverse command would work for that, too.

In a nutshell, you guys are basically talking about what has been mentioned in the various related Feature Requests: Something more akin to FreeHand's Graphic Find and Replace feature than Illustrator's comparatively lame late-to-the-game answer to it (a few Select Same... commands).

Obviously (and unfortunately) Serif decided to go with the latter (I assume to assuage the incessant "must have it now!" demands), rather than the former. So now we have it, and here we are in the Beta testing and feedback forum still trying to get it turned into the former.

For those not familiar, FreeHand's Graphic Find and Replace was not a clutter; it resided in a single but powerful palette. It could select or replace combinations of attributes, and with ranges where appropriate. 

SQL is fine for databases. I also use it everyday. But if you want to provide for user-defined logic for finds (yeah, I'm a FileMaker guy), in a graphics program, you can kill that stone—and countless more—with one bird: a JavaScript object model, API, and documentation.

As with what I see as the 'we gave in' Arrowheads treatment, I'm disappointed in this Adobe-esque Select Same feature. But the ship has sailed, at least for now, and this software segment continues drifting in its 'me, too' doldrums. Hope for making it something better at this point just constitutes more Feature Request discussion.

JET

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