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Select object in front on new drag


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I asked for help on this as it felt like it should just be an easy preference option, but the replies suggest there is no preference for it, so am logging a feature request here.

I have an object selected and I drag it somewhere. I want to now drag another object in front of it. In other software, i simply drag on it to move it. I'm really used to that workflow, and I find it really speedy & efficient for how I design. Instead in Affinity, the only option is to select it first in a separate, discrete, independent step, and then drag it. If I don't do that, then Affinity simply maintains the original object selected, which is incredibly frustrating, because it adds an additional step - an additional click.... to basically every single motion I do.

I would like a new drag to recognise a new selection, selecting the front-most object under the mouse pointer, on the front-most unlocked layer. I don't want any additional short click - just to be already dragging the top most object. Although i recognise the advantages of maintaining the previous selection unless there is a new click first, a new front object selected on new drag is how a lot of other software works so it is surprising there is no preference for it at least. 

In the attached screengrab, I start by selecting the grey box and dragging it over to the left. I now want to drag the green box which is in front of it, however, just dragging on click does not recognise a new selection (the object on top, the green box), it maintains the original selection (the grey box). 

This feels SO MUCH like it could easily be an optional Preference, which then, actually I then might electively choose perhaps later in my workflow when that 'sketching' process is over. (Similar to the "Select object when intersects with selection marquee" preference where Affinity wants to do things differently, but has the option for people who need to work that way, giving users the option to experiment.) 

For me and I'm sure a lot of other designers, my workflow is like a sketching process and very intuitive/improvisational so I try lots of little things instinctively. I use lots of different software that do things differently and am always happy to adjust unless... it really is critical. This issue is really a big deal for me and the reason I'm posting here to ask about it is that it is genuinely a dealbreaker. Super happy to adjust to so much other stuff, and I'm here requesting because I really like Affinity Designer so much and I really really want it to work for me. But for this... I'm not looking for a workaround, or to adapt or to adjust to a workaround for this particular thing. To work the way I do is not better or worse, it just reflects how my mind/creativity works. So it sounds like such a tiny and trivial thing, but for me, it adds up massively, adding a click to everything so it interrupts my flow so much, it's making Affinity impossible to use. I'm so keen to switch to it, but I can't like this. it feels trivial but it really feels like someone constantly blocking me on *every* *single* *click*. 

Do let me know if this is possible or in fact if there already is a preference to adjust it that i just haven't seen yet. Thanks so much!! 

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2 hours ago, RikerT said:

Do let me know if this is possible

If you've looked at the requests here on the forum, you've probably noticed that Serif isn't responding to them.

Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.10.5.1342, 2.0.0.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080, Windows 11 Pro, Version 22H2, Build 22621.819.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080, Windows 10 Pro, Version 21H1, Build 19043.2130.
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RikerT: I cannot view the video you have uploaded – message: “We could not locate the item you are trying to view.”.

I don’t think your application is working the same way as mine does as I can drag layers without the “additional step” of clicking on a layer first.
See my attached video where each drag is just a drag with no extra click to select the layer first.
If I have misunderstood what you are wanting to do then you may need to explain it differently.

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Unfortunately, the OP did not provide a link to the original thread, from which it is clear that it requires the selection of the top layer by clicking on the area that overlaps with the currently selected object.

 

I can say for myself that it never occurred to me that the application would behave differently than Affinity. It is quite logical and natural for me that to select an object I have to click elsewhere - that is, in the currently unselected area.

Edited by Pšenda

Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.10.5.1342, 2.0.0.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080, Windows 11 Pro, Version 22H2, Build 22621.819.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080, Windows 10 Pro, Version 21H1, Build 19043.2130.
Intel NUC5PGYH, Pentium N3700 2.40 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics, EIZO EV2456 1920 x 1200, Windows 10 Pro, Version 21H1, Build 19043.2130.

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Ah, I think I understand now – see video attached to this post.

  • Dragging the red rectangle is possible if you mouse-down on a portion of the red rectangle that is outside the bounding box of the currently-selected blue rectangle.
  • But, dragging the red rectangle is not possible – without an extra select-click – when the mouse comes down on an area of the red rectangle which is inside the bounding box of the currently-selected blue rectangle.

Is this the issue being discussed?

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@GarryP hi hi there, yes - this is the exact issue - when the mouse comes down on an area of the red angle inside the bounding box of the previously selected object behind. 

This becomes particularly difficult to deal with if the objects in front i want to drag are all smaller than the object behind, so there is no area outside the originally selected bounding box, which happens often. 

Also I mentioned I'd posted it in the other thread but yes sorry for not actually linking to that thread. Am new here. no idea how to embed a video into my comment like others have done either. Thank you for everyone trying to help on this issue, would love to find a solution. 

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27 minutes ago, RikerT said:

This becomes particularly difficult to deal with if the objects in front i want to drag are all smaller than the object behind, so there is no area outside the originally selected bounding box, which happens often. 

This may not help in your case, but in Windows (and I think it's similar on Mac) holding down the Alt key allows you to select an object hidden by a larger one on top.

Acer XC-895 : Core i5-10400 Hexa-core 2.90 GHz :  32GB RAM : Intel UHD Graphics 630 : Windows 10 Home
Affinity Publisher : Affinity Photo : Affinity Designer (latest release versions) | Affinity Photo for iPad

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39 minutes ago, PaulEC said:

holding down the Alt key allows you to select an object hidden by a larger one on top.

However, the OP requires an inverted situation where the selected object is overlaid by an object that is in the layer stack above it. And it requires that clicking on the overlapping area deselects the currently selected one and selects the top one. Personally, in these situations, I press ESC (I use it automatically to deselect anything), and then I click on the top object, even in the overlapping area.

Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.10.5.1342, 2.0.0.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080, Windows 11 Pro, Version 22H2, Build 22621.819.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080, Windows 10 Pro, Version 21H1, Build 19043.2130.
Intel NUC5PGYH, Pentium N3700 2.40 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics, EIZO EV2456 1920 x 1200, Windows 10 Pro, Version 21H1, Build 19043.2130.

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As I pointed out in the other thread on Mac I just have to do a separate click, a tap, to select the other object. Frequently I will want to maintain the original selection, I haven't moved it far enough or I moved it too far and the current method of having it remain selected with a click and hold works well for me. I would not want it changed.

This is on Mac if it makes any difference.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.3 | Affinity Photo 2.0.3 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.3 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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