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Spreads are much better than artboards for documents with separate parts, IMHOP. But, I liked artboards as a palette for objects i am working on, colours, proto styles... so as not mess up the document. This functionality, could be sort of like an artists palette - Ideally though you would want to have it in a floating window on top of your document that you could keep close to the place you are working so you can easily drag stuff between the document and the artboard. 

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If it helps, and you haven't thought about it:

  1. You can put things off the page, on the pasteboard to the right or left of any spread. Must make sure you have View > View Mode > Clip to Canvas disabled.
  2. You can put things on one or more otherwise unused Master Pages.

 

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
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   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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Hi Walt

Yes, am aware of the pasteboard area... I like your idea of using master documents as a place to dump stuff in. I was looking for a way of adding pages that don’t interfere with the publication pages, but can be used for reference, linking, tracing etc and hadn’t thought of that. For this use case though I was thinking of something a bit more like a post it note that you can pin where you are working. Admittedly artboards don’t really work like that, because they don’t stay on top.

Thanks

M

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On 2/26/2021 at 12:29 AM, Roqoco said:

I was looking for a way of adding pages that don’t interfere with the publication pages, but can be used for reference, linking, tracing etc and hadn’t thought of that. For this use case though I was thinking of something a bit more like a post it note that you can pin where you are working.

Hi @Roqoco

you could use the assets panel and have there a seperate category just for your 'post it notes'. It stays visible no matter on which pages you scroll and you could even make it floating on top. With a dedicated studio workspace and a keyboard shortcut you could quickly turn it on and off.

d.

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1 minute ago, dominik said:

Hi @Roqoco

you could use the assets panel and have there a seperate category just for your 'post it notes'. It stays visible no matter on which pages you scroll and you could even make it floating on top. With a dedicated studio workspace and a keyboard shortcut you could quickly turn it on and off.

d.

Thanks for replying! Yes, I do in fact use the asset panel, but you can't directly edit shapes there, it is just a repository. All I am really getting at is that I missed artboards because they were quite useful as scratch pads before they were deprecated in favour of spreads, for those who use studio link and Affinity publisher (which is itself an awesome feature), even though they were not really designed for that. And given that the code for artboards has already been written, it might not be very hard to add the ability to make them float on top and then they would be useful alongside spreads as scratch pads. That is the basics, but there are all sorts of other things you could put on your scratch pads in the same way that an artist uses a palette board and maybe you could load and save scratch pads independtly. Another consideration is that when working on very large projects, the layer tree can become very convoluted and it is easy to forget and insert stuff all over the place or even lose it entirely, so it is often simpler to experiment on new ideas with a blank slate layer setup and then drag into your project when complete. Or am I the only one who spends lots of time refactoring layer trees? Reminds me of my days writing code.

M           

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5 minutes ago, Roqoco said:

but you can't directly edit shapes there, it is just a repository.

This is certainly true and a disadvantage compared to artboards or pages. I am not sure, though, if it is so easy as you write that artboards and spreads could be mixed. For now I think Walt's suggestion to use master pages instead is pretty workable. You could also assign a shortcut to show masterpages to quickly switch back and forth.

d.

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3 minutes ago, dominik said:

This is certainly true and a disadvantage compared to artboards or pages. I am not sure, though, if it is so easy as you write that artboards and spreads could be mixed. For now I think Walt's suggestion to use master pages instead is pretty workable. You could also assign a shortcut to show masterpages to quickly switch back and forth.

d.

Yes Walt's idea of using master pages is a work around for stashing stuff: But, obviously master pages were not designed for this or as scratch pads and have limitations. In particular it takes you away from the context you are working on. When I design a new element I want to see what I am working on and to be able to pick colours and other elements from the surrounding design. Like you want your tool bag near the ladder you are working on, not in the garage :). And moving things between windows/pages takes more steps and context switches than just dragging shapes into place from a palette. Using the master pages is little different than opening a scratch file in a new window, except it keeps things in one place.

As to whether it would be easy to implement, that is a question for Serif. I am just suggesting that since they have already implemented something not so different, that isn't being used any more in studio link, that it could be the basis for something I and maybe others would find very useful. The idea of scratchpads, viewports etc. is something that works well in a lot of other applications and contexts, you don't have to look any further than a good file manager, such as Qdir. That is how windowing UIs should work! 

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5 minutes ago, Roqoco said:

In particular it takes you away from the context you are working on. When I design a new element I want to see what I am working on and to be able to pick colours and other elements from the surrounding design. Like you want your tool bag near the ladder you are working on, not in the garage :). And moving things between windows/pages takes more steps and context switches than just dragging shapes into place from a palette.

I think you provide many good arguments and examples for your suggestion which I appreciate.

Did you try out 'View > New View'. That way you can have two (or more) windows with the same document open. You can that way display different sections of your document next to each other. You could keep a couple of 'scratch pad pages' at the end of your document and work there on your designs and scroll through the rest of your document in the other view and e.g. pick colours etc.

Given you have enough screen real estate this could work out.

d.

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1 hour ago, Roqoco said:

All I am really getting at is that I missed artboards because they were quite useful as scratch pads before they were deprecated in favour of spreads,

They were not "deprecated in favor of spreads".

You can have spreads, or you can have artboards. The choice of which one of those technologies to use is yours. However, you cannot have both in the same document.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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17 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

 However, you cannot have both in the same document.

Sure, but as spreads are so much more useful than artboards, if you have to choose, then I think "deprecates" is fair. But, maybe I didn't make my suggestion clear: The *suggestion* was that it would be nice to have *both* in the same document, especially if Serif made the implemention of artboards a little more flexible, so that you can drag them over your main design window and so use them as a palette. Actually, that is what I expected from artboards when I first saw them in Designer on day one - what a great feature! I thought for putting work in progess in... In general, although I am finding Affinity to be excellent (I wouldn't bother to comment if I didn't plan to use it) I think it still lacks some features for working on large projects with lots of separate elements, that are related to each other. Studio link is a great start...  

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1 hour ago, dominik said:

Did you try out 'View > New View'. That way you can have two (or more) windows with the same document open.

d.

This would be really handy if there was a way of showing both the views at the same time in split screen, rather than in different tabs, so you could drag and drop between them. At least I haven't found a way of doing that if there is one?... Feature request #2 perhaps?

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3 minutes ago, Roqoco said:

This would be really handy if there was a way of showing both the views at the same time in split screen, rather than in different tabs, so you could drag and drop between them. At least I haven't found a way of doing that if there is one?

On Windows:

  1. View > Float
    or
  2. Drag a tab free from the tab bar.

On Mac: Use Separated Mode.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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1 hour ago, dominik said:

Did you try out 'View > New View'. That way you can have two (or more) windows with the same document open. You can that way display different sections of your document next to each other. You could keep a couple of 'scratch pad pages' at the end of your document and work there on your designs and scroll through the rest of your document in the other view and e.g. pick colours etc.

Have you tried that with Publisher?

For me, the two views seem to be in some way synchronized, so that navigating in one changes the position in the other view, too.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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5 minutes ago, Roqoco said:

This would be really handy if there was a way of showing both the views at the same time in split screen, rather than in different tabs

Walt beat me by the minute. You can drag the Tabs off and arrange the different views next to each other. From what I understand this is very close to what you are looking for 

d.

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@walt, @dominik yes I realise you can do that, but I haven't found a way of simply dragging stuff between the two views (obviously copy pasta is going to work, but it never pastes where you want and will probably put it in the wrong layer so that is a hassle) and it is pretty messy as it always covers up UI elements I need  to see. Would much prefer to split the views... I also find that the views you make this way are strangely connected - try opening a master in one view and a page in another, not sure exactly what is going on there... Feature request #3 :).

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11 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Have you tried that with Publisher?

Yes, I am able to arrange two views next to each other and working in both in parallel. What does not work is drag and drop from one view to the other but copy and paste does. See screenshot:

new-view.thumb.jpg.efa0d26d2a9fd0ad29af6e3a829d93a3.jpg

 

d.

Affinity Designer 1.9.2 (beta 1.9.4.1065)   |   Affinity Photo 1.9.2 (beta 1.9.4.1065)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.9.2 (beta 1.9.2.1024)
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2 hours ago, Roqoco said:

and it is pretty messy as it always covers up UI elements I need  to see.

I think this method needs a little experimentation and fine tuning and getting used to it. At least it's already there and you don't have to wait for it to be incorporated. I'm not saying it's not worth to ask for this as a feature request. I just find your way of input interesting and tried to find a way on how I would do it right away.

Cheers,
d.

Edited by dominik
Typo

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1 minute ago, dominik said:

I think this method needs a little experimentation and fine tuning and getting used to it. At least it's already there and you don't have to wait for it to be incorporated. I'm not saying it's not worth to ak for this as a feature request. I just find your way of input interesting and tried to find a way on how I would do it right away.

Cheers,
d.

Yes - Thanks for the input, you made some interesting points and got me to clarify, which is all good. And it is nice not to feel one is firing one's posts into a vacuum especially during lockdown, when I sometimes think I'm living in a sensory deprivation tank.  

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