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15 Reasons Why I stopped using Affinity Photo


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Hello, Affinity Photo community. I moved from Photoshop to AP and enjoyed its new features, while struggling to either re-learn new muscle memory, it was just too hard. Here are the major reasons why I moved to another app (Acorn) as my main image manipulation app over AP:

  1. Command clicking of objects does not select their layer (and, while held, activate the Move tool). This is a Photoshop action that I just couldn't un-learn. 
  2. Perhaps the biggest weirdness, the tool I select is for the current document is not "sticky." If I switch to another document, the tool is reset to the tool I was using when I had that document open. This is not standard activity on any Mac program I can think of. 
  3. One of the most Mac-like systems going back to 1984 is that you draw a square marquee box, then add to the selection by holding the shift key, or subtract from the selection if you draw more marquee boxes holding the option key. That...doesn't work in AP in a standard way at all. 
  4. Having Macros was a good idea, but they are strange and difficult to use. When I recorded a a macro to make a selection, copy the contents of that selection and paste (my goal is to bring the right half of a book that was scanned so both sides will be closer and I can hide the ugly book binding from my image)...the data that is pasted is always the original data from the file I created the macro with. In order words, the clipboard data is saved inside the macro and that data is always pasted into whatever other image I run my script in, not the new data from a new file I'm working with. The effect renders AP useless for automation of any kind. 
  5. There is no Applescript support. While I am an expert at using Keyboard Maestro to do UI scripting to accomplish the automation I need, most other users are not. One big reason I switched to Acorn is its robust Applescript support, meaning I can automate just about any process. Yes, I know we're living in an age where codebases are shared across Mac, Windows and iOS and that Applescript is a dinosaur as far as technologies go. But some kind of useful automation is important for a tool like this.
  6. Another major frustration was that the command F key (to repeat a filter I've just run) resets when I switch to a new file. If I'm doing a blur filter on ten files, I can't use command F to quickly repeat my blur on each file, but have to manually choose it. 
  7. The program doesn't support basic Mac behaviors like, being able to command+click the title of a document and see its folder location, or option+clicking close to close all windows. 
  8. "Paste inside" just does not work, and no amount of updates made it work. What I am trying to do is, paste a larger bitmap image into a selection and have it "paste into" as Photoshop does, pasting into a new layer but constrained inside that box. I use this a lot when making memes and important images for work and not having it was frustrating.
  9. The "workspaces" idea was nice, but it only moves my palettes into the pre-set position and doesn't affect the "bar of unforgivable visual complexity" (whatever it's called...the contextual floating bar in at the top that is so overloaded with data it makes my eyes bleed). So I always had the bar showing up over the images I was working with when going from laptop mode to docked mode. 
  10. I was not a fan of the "auto scroll" feature which caused my image to zoom endlessly when I tried to draw a box marquee from one side to another. As my cursor approached the edge of the image, everything starts scrolling quickly. What pasteboard in the world moves when you approach one edge? If there's a way to "lock" the pasteboard I couldn't find it. 
  11. Working with text was...unique. There is no requirement to "accept" text changes, and I was put off by this. How do you select tools using the keyboard if you've just typed some text but can never "commit" the text changes? You apparently grab your mouse.
  12. Speaking of text, if there was an easy to select text spacing (the spacing between text lines) it was needlessly complex. I guess what I was looking for was "space between same styles" in the Paragraph tab...though something this important should be in the Character tab instead, IMO, as it's basically as important as font, font type (bold, etc) and font size and should not be located in some other place.
  13. Also, the ability to highlight some text and grab the size selector to show the text live was good, and I could use up/down arrows to move up or down a point size...but I had to press enter after each arrow to see my text size accepted. 
  14. Since you can't do some things on the background layer, I often had to copy and paste it into a new layer...which got named Background, instead of something less confusing like Layer 1. 
  15. The biggest, biggest frustration was the "beeping" that happened when I selected a tool that was already selected (as if this were an "error" I needed to be warned about). Since my workflow requires that I type M if I want the marquee tool, T if I want the text tool, etc. I turned off all the "cycling" tool options so that there was only tool per keypress, so that I didn't have to look to make sure I had the right marquee selector chosen. But this gave me the error beep in my ears constantly during usage. When I made a bug report about it (below) I was politely told the programmers had turned down my request. I felt that I was violating the "Affinity Photo community culture" by pointing out what was frustrating to me, and this made me feel future bug reports would also be politely declined. 

In case you think I've got nothing bad to say about AP, it was great overall, and Inpainting (Contextual fill) is the best I've ever seen. And command+drag to duplicate a layer and drag it was genius. There were just too many minor frustrations for me to keep using the program as my daily driver.

So thanks very much to the creators of Affinity Photo for an amazing tool. I will continue to use it, and hope I won't be viewed as a strange creature by the community (if I am) for thinking that some conventions are better off working the same way as all the other programs I use for 15+ hours a day. I'll keep updating and checking out new versions avidly!

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I use Aphoto only for in-painting and patch tool.       And sometimes for a quick compositing .   It's super easy and streamlined here due to embedded docs instantly updating  and  vector masks drawing its gizmo around visible part only.      But at the same time it's so inconvenient to manage  documents and export    even with it's glorious export persona  because of a little omission : layer comps.    in Photoshop I just hit a single button and it exports all layer comps as files with right naming .   In AP I have to tediously make overlapping slices and then export them one after another manually.

Photoshop seems like wanting to turn itself  into mass market hobbyist's toy  with all that useless AI  incapable to do anything really helpful .   Still I use it more than APhoto   because it's just more convenient  in many areas with less clicks to do things.    I unsubscribed but they offered me 2 month for free and I couldn't resist.  So I will stay with Photoshop for one more year at least.

 

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On 4/29/2021 at 12:19 AM, PeterinJapan said:

add to the selection by holding the shift key

For some reason they used the control key for this in Affinity Photo.  The option key works as you described.

 

On 4/29/2021 at 12:19 AM, PeterinJapan said:

How do you select tools using the keyboard if you've just typed some text but can never "commit" the text changes?

The escape ("esc") key works for me.

 

On 4/29/2021 at 12:19 AM, PeterinJapan said:

I guess what I was looking for was "space between same styles" in the Paragraph tab...though something this important should be in the Character tab instead

Because it is a paragraph property and not a character property.  Whatever is in the character studio impacts individual characters.  Things in the paragraph studio impact the paragraph as a whole.

 

On 4/29/2021 at 12:19 AM, PeterinJapan said:

Since you can't do some things on the background layer

As far as I know the only restriction would be that it is locked by default?  If you right-click and unlock it then it should behave like any other layer.

 

On 4/29/2021 at 12:19 AM, PeterinJapan said:

"Paste inside" just does not work, and no amount of updates made it work. What I am trying to do is, paste a larger bitmap image into a selection and have it "paste into" as Photoshop does, pasting into a new layer but constrained inside that box.

This feature pastes as a child of the current layer.  It does not constrain to the pixel selection.  Create a shape, then paste inside with that shape selected, and the pasted media becomes a child of the shape, resulting in it being constrained to the shape.

To get a reasonable approximation to what you are requesting related to the selection, with an existing pixel selection, simply do a normal paste, then choose Layer -> New Mask Layer, which will convert the selection into a mask applied to the pasted image.  Deselect (Command+D or escape) then make sure Lock Children is enabled (move tool) if you want to reposition the image relative to the mask.

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On 4/30/2021 at 12:11 PM, fde101 said:
On 4/29/2021 at 5:19 AM, PeterinJapan said:

add to the selection by holding the shift key

For some reason they used the control key for this in Affinity Photo.  The option key works as you described.

Yes, it does. But one of the huge strengths of Macintosh has always been consistency between applications.

For example, in 1980, to Quit a program sometimes it was Quit, sometimes it was Exit, or Stop, or Leave, or QQuit.... Apple put an end to that by saying it had to be 'Quit'. Similarly, all programs use Cmnd-X for Cut, Cmnd-V for Paste, etc.

This consistency is worth maintaining, and I, too, would prefer it if Affinity marquees used the same keys as every other Mac program, sc. hold Shift to add to a marquee, Command to subtract from it.

MST

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  • 1 month later...

Your point about the tool resetting with every file change is on the money. It's annoying and dumb.

You forgot the eyedropper. First of all, this thing is backward. Who the hell drags A COLOR WELL around a screen instead of the eyedropper itself? And once you look up what the problem is and drag the well to select a color somewhere... it doesn't set the color of the object you're working on. In fact it does nothing, except put the sampled color in the eyedropper well. You then have to click on the eyedropper well again to move the color into the main color well and actually change the color of the object you're working on. WTF? Why do you think I was sampling a color? So I could change the color of the object I'm working on, DUH.

I tried to find some granule of benefit to this asinine workflow. I thought maybe there's some reason you want that color in the eyedropper well... perhaps to serve as a handy quick-access storage area for the color in case you want to go back to it after changing the foreground or background color wells. But nope: The eyedropper well doesn't even retain the color between uses, so even that tiny bit of utility doesn't exist. Straight-up stupid.

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1 hour ago, Stokestack said:

I tried to find some granule of benefit to this asinine workflow. I thought maybe there's some reason you want that color in the eyedropper well... perhaps to serve as a handy quick-access storage area for the color in case you want to go back to it after changing the foreground or background color wells. But nope: The eyedropper well doesn't even retain the color between uses, so even that tiny bit of utility doesn't exist. Straight-up stupid.

That works for me. The sampled colour is kept in the well until I make a new sample.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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2 hours ago, Stokestack said:

You forgot the eyedropper. First of all, this thing is backward. Who the hell drags A COLOR WELL around a screen instead of the eyedropper itself? And once you look up what the problem is and drag the well to select a color somewhere... it doesn't set the color of the object you're working on. In fact it does nothing, except put the sampled color in the eyedropper well. You then have to click on the eyedropper well again to move the color into the main color well and actually change the color of the object you're working on. WTF? Why do you think I was sampling a color? So I could change the color of the object I'm working on, DUH.

If you don't like the way that eyedropper works, then don't use it. Use the Color Picker Tool instead.

By the way, you can drag that eyedropper, rather than dragging the well.

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.0.0 / Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.0 / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.0
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.1.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.6 and 2.0.2 / Affinity Designer 1.10.6 and 2.0.2 / Affinity Publisher 2.0.2

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1 hour ago, Old Bruce said:

That works for me. The sampled colour is kept in the well until I make a new sample.

Not for me. Maybe it's a Mac-specific bug. Check out the screen grab.

28 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

If you don't like the way that eyedropper works, then don't use it. Use the Color Picker Tool instead.

By the way, you can drag that eyedropper, rather than dragging the well.

What "Color Picker tool?" I'm using the color selector for the object, right in the toolbar. I wouldn't put it past Affinity to hide another "color picker" tool in the palette, but I don't see it there either.

The first thing you learn is that clicking the eyedropper applies the color in its well to the selected object. So why would you drag it? I don't try to drag buttons around.

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37 minutes ago, Stokestack said:

What "Color Picker tool?" I'm using the color selector for the object, right in the toolbar. I wouldn't put it past Affinity to hide another "color picker" tool in the palette, but I don't see it there either.

From your screenshot:

image.png.b467a0c515ba5743d4095c2924c2664e.png

And from the Help: https://affinity.help/photo/en-US.lproj/pages/Tools/tools_clrpicker.html

40 minutes ago, Stokestack said:

Not for me. Maybe it's a Mac-specific bug. Check out the screen grab.

I didn't see you try to drag the Eyedropper in the color panel in that video. You grabbed and dragged the well. You can actually grab and drag either; it's really one control. But you click on the well to apply the color to something.

42 minutes ago, Stokestack said:

The first thing you learn is that clicking the eyedropper applies the color in its well to the selected object

You learned something that is incorrect.

Again, the Help (different section): https://affinity.help/photo/en-US.lproj/pages/Clr/samplingClr.html
There, check the section "To use a panel's color picker", with my emphasis:

Quote

From the Color panel, Swatches panel or any pop-up panels, drag from the color picker icon to select any pixel on your screen.

 

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.0.0 / Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.0 / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.0
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.1.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.6 and 2.0.2 / Affinity Designer 1.10.6 and 2.0.2 / Affinity Publisher 2.0.2

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