# How to link circles and lines

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Hi there,

I am trying to do something, which probably is not possible. I am designing a simple thing with 2 circles and a line which connects both.

Using the snap tool, I have set the line to start and end from the center of the circles. Now, I would like to link the 3 shapes together in a way that when I move a circle, the line stretches and follow the new circle position.

Group and compound do not work for this, because they create a shape which is the result of all shapes in the compound.

Is this even possible?

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What you want to do may be possible, in certain circumstances, but we need more information.
Can you show us what you have got already and tell us

1. how the line and circles should be “linked”;
2. how you want to move the circle;
3. and what you mean by “follow”?
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17 minutes ago, LunaticMuch said:

Using the snap tool, I have set the line to start and end from the center of the circles. Now, I would like to link the 3 shapes together in a way that when I move a circle, the line stretches and follow the new circle position.

Affinity Designer (assuming that’s what you’re using) doesn’t have connector lines, so unless there’s some clever way to achieve it via the Constraints feature I don’t think it’s possible to have an elastic connection between two shapes.

Alfred
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for Windows • Windows 10 Home/Pro

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29 minutes ago, GarryP said:

What you want to do may be possible, in certain circumstances, but we need more information.
Can you show us what you have got already and tell us

1. how the line and circles should be “linked”;
2. how you want to move the circle;
3. and what you mean by “follow”?

Here the concept, pardon if it's powerpoint. I am making an illustration where I need to design a graph network (many of -). So I need to put say 10 circles, lines that links logically these circle, and then rearrange them. As you see, with the line anchored to the circle, moving a circle cause the line to move. If manually, it is time consuming.

Is there a way for me to design the graph network and then move arounds the nodes (i.e. circles) causing the line which are linking them to follow?

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Note: This is on Desktop – didn’t realise this was an iPad question – but it should work on either platform (I think).

You can do something basic with Constraints Groups – see attached video and document – but Designer really isn’t the best software to be doing this sort of thing in.

Edited by GarryP
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For this task I really wondering if Visio is the more capable tool. Even PowerPoint allows to link endpoints of lines to the center point of circles (you may need to add a node there). Just keep the circles arranged above the lines will give you the desired result when rearranging objects.

PS: To add connector points in the middle, as a workaround just add another very small circle and group both circles.

Edited by NotMyFault

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LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

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1 hour ago, Alfred said:

Affinity Designer (assuming that’s what you’re using) doesn’t have connector lines, so unless there’s some clever way to achieve it via the Constraints feature I don’t think it’s possible to have an elastic connection between two shapes.

46 minutes ago, GarryP said:

You can do something basic with Constraints Groups – see attached video and document – but Designer really isn’t the best software to be doing this sort of thing in.

Thanks, Garry!

Alfred
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for Windows • Windows 10 Home/Pro

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1 hour ago, NotMyFault said:

For this task I really wondering if Visio is the more capable tool. Even PowerPoint allows to link endpoints of lines to the center point of circles (you may need to add a node there). Just keep the circles arranged above the lines will give you the desired result when rearranging objects.

PS: To add connector points in the middle, as a workaround just add another very small circle and group both circles.

Technically yes, it would be easier with Visio or even Powerpoint. I could do there and them embed the result in design and do the rest of the illustration. I can use just pixel instead of vectorial and draw it by hand, but I am very bad with hand free unless it's a whiteboard.

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@GarryP this is interesting. Gotta test it later. Thanks a lot!

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You’re welcome.
Be advised that it might take longer trying to do this sort of thing in Designer than it might take to learn the basics of some other application which is designed to do what you want.

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