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Eigys

Distribute objects by centerline, edge, and text baseline

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Hi, is there a way to distribute objects by their centerline (column 2 in the image below) and edge (bottom edge is in column 3) and by text baseline (column 4)? All I can find is to distribute objects by space between objects (column 1), which doesn't solve the problem for objects that aren't equal sizes (like text height). Is there's a trick that will solve the problem without this specific feature? I can somehow manually place #2 and #3 (really annoying and time consuming), but column 4 text is impossible to get perfect by hand.

image.png.b61837c97a55e5d94f03975edfaa9d92.png

Inkscape has additional controls that are hard to do without. But maybe I need to change my workflow...

image.png.6414c77cf5ecf444e7e2778455758710.png

Thanks!

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Annoyingly the distribute is limited to space between bounding boxes.

For text, depending on the font, you might be able to set it to all capitals first, distribute it and then set it back to "none" (which despite the name preserves any capitals which were there).

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2 minutes ago, BofG said:

Annoyingly the distribute is limited to space between bounding boxes.

For text, depending on the font, you might be able to set it to all capitals first, distribute it and then set it back to "none" (which despite the name preserves any capitals which were there).

Heh, that's a funny solution. It probably won't work though, unless the same largest character is in all the text.

Is there a reason these other alignment options aren't available? Has it been discussed somewhere?

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There's a huge list of features that people would like included that aren't yet available, it's just a case of not having the available development time.

24 minutes ago, Eigys said:

Heh, that's a funny solution. It probably won't work though, unless the same largest character is in all the text.

It does depend on the font style, I find it works for a lot of them. It's far from an ideal approach.

The other thing is to use a grid, but that's a bit slow and cumbersome.

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23 minutes ago, Eigys said:

is there a way to distribute objects by their centerline (column 2 in the image below)

Ensure the top and bottom (that is vertical position on page, not stacking order in Layers panel) objects are in their required location, then select all required objects and do Layer > Alignment > Distribute Vertically.

 

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@Eigys I’m not quite sure which way round you want to align your layers – shapes to text, or text to shapes – and you don’t say which Affinity application you are using but, in Publisher, you can align objects to the text Baseline Grid by using the Alignment Handles.
See attached video.

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@GarryP you've confused alignment with distribute :)

Manually spacing elements using snapping is a pain when it should be possible to get the first and last in place and have the distribute do the work.

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Note: What I say here isn't quite correct; see later posts for more/better information.

The Affinity way of distributing layers is to put the same distance between the extents of the layers (because there’s no way to specify where the distribution process should take its measurement from, e.g. centre, bottom, etc.).
None of the OP’s examples showed this same-distance distribution – there’s always a different distance between the layers – so I gave an example for using alignments instead.

Edited by GarryP
What I said isn't quite correct.

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17 minutes ago, GarryP said:

there’s no way to specify where the distribution process should take its measurement from, e.g. centre, bottom, etc

See my post above. It has the command for vertical distribution of object centres. There is also horizontal distribution of object centres.

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Ah, thanks for that. I never knew that was a different function. That’s good to know.
Maybe the wording was confusing me.
In the “Alignment” pop-up, when you select “Space Vertically” there’s an option for “Auto distribute” which changes the spacing between the layers, which is the same as choosing menu “Layer → Align → Space Vertically”.
But the menu item “Distribute Vertically” distributes the layers vertically via their centres but is in the “Layer → Alignment” menu.
Maybe if “Auto distribute” was renamed “Auto spacing”, and the distribution options were moved from the Alignment sub-menu to a different sub-menu, to make the differentiation more specific, it might make things less confusing.
Or maybe it’s just me.

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12 minutes ago, GarryP said:

Or maybe it’s just me.

Definitely not just you :)

There is much room for improvement, both in the range of functionality and in the clarity of the UI.

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Glad it’s not just me.
Hopefully these little UI ‘quirks’ will be cleared up soon.
I don’t mind if things get moved around and/or renamed if it all makes things clearer in the long-run.

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1 hour ago, GarryP said:

Hopefully these little UI ‘quirks’ will be cleared up soon.

I doubt that. Look at the new tools being introduced. The team apparently has no UX/UI specialist.

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22 minutes ago, anon2 said:

I doubt that. Look at the new tools being introduced. The team apparently has no UX/UI specialist.

It does seem a bit like that, I recently discovered the joy that is the "toggle button" to view the noise slider. Then you have things like the change to the alignment panel to force you to choose an alignment before selecting what to align to. Oh and the "it's not quite modal but acts like it is" panel that these controls are in.

Still, it's better than gimp/InkScape, those are still way ahead in lack of usability :)

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I only left Inkscape because it's not well supported on MacOS. It has all the features I need (but not all I want, like artboards). Nothing is perfect, apparently.

But this particular problem of distribution is a borderline deal-breaker. It's disappointing to hear they may not have the developers to quickly add things like this.

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