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How do I lock the Studio?


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After accidentally dragging *something* (I don't know what) and then trying to fix it, I wrecked my studio settings so badly that it looked like someone had broken in and trashed the joint. I couldn't believe what a baffling mess could be made with one or two clicks. After much brain ache, I was left with no alternative but to reset the studio and reconfigure it to my preferences. And yes, knowing better now, adding the reconfiguration as a preset.

Being able to configure the studio (panels) to personal preference is awesome, but is there some way to lock them? Accidentally dragging something and then trying to re-dock it, is fraught with danger--as I discovered today.

I've looked, but can't find an answer to this anywhere. I'm possibly using the wrong terminology or something.

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16 minutes ago, Gignero said:

I've looked, but can't find an answer to this anywhere. I'm possibly using the wrong terminology or something.

AFAIK it is not possible to lock a Studio preset. How often does it happen that you wreck the settings? Reverting is just two clicks away by re-selecting a preset. If this is not enough you could post a feature request in one of the Feature Request forums.

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3 minutes ago, joe_l said:

How often does it happen that you wreck the settings?

Today is the first time I've trashed the joint, but somehow I always manage to unintentionally swap contiguous panels around. This slows things down.

I assumed they'd already have a lock feature, but that I was just being particularly thick by not being able to find it. 😵

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8 hours ago, Gignero said:

Accidentally dragging something and then trying to re-dock it, is fraught with danger--as I discovered today.

Does choosing your studio Preset not get you back to the original?

I do what you describe, undock and move panels around, I will open Panels I rarely use. I do this alot. Then with a View > Studio > Studio Preset > Basic (my own made and saved Preset) I am back where I started from.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.6.8

Affinity Designer 1.10.5 | Affinity Photo 1.10.5 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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@Old Bruce I'm still learning things, and the reason for Studio Preset is something I learned yesterday. I don't know why I insist on enduring such frustration to get something through my skull (aka, so that's what Studio Preset is for). It got me thinking, for those of us that constantly move panels around accidentally, maybe there should be a way to lock the studio. I would certainly find it a great feature, as once I have my panels the way I like them, I rarely move them--purposely. However, making the suggestion seemed kinda silly if I was the only one with a reckless finger. If you do it too, it seems I'm not. But we may be in a special elect club--The Reckless Painters.

Sounds like a Rock n Roll band...

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1 hour ago, Gignero said:

once I have my panels the way I like them, I rarely move them--purposely. However, making the suggestion seemed kinda silly if I was the only one with a reckless finger. If you do it too, it seems I'm not.

Locking wouldn't solve the problem. It is the amount of contextual required panels and manager windows, which causes forced recklessnessity. More panel dock columns, scale & hide options or auto-open/close functions feel more like music… more music…

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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20 hours ago, thomaso said:

More panel dock columns, scale & hide options or auto-open/close functions feel more like music… more music…

Auto-open/close?

That ain't music, that's noise! I have enough trouble with autocorrect. Apparently I'm not as predictable as computers expect.😶

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1 hour ago, Gignero said:

Auto-open/close?

That ain't music, that's noise!

Contextual. Like context tool bar auto opens/closes its various UI items.

(the ancient Quark 3.1 had only 1 panel, with changing content)

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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22 hours ago, thomaso said:

Contextual. Like context tool bar auto opens/closes its various UI items.

(the ancient Quark 3.1 had only 1 panel, with changing content)

Sorry, my recklessnessity took that out of context. 😉

You think more panel dock columns etc would solve the problem? I can only imagine how badly that could go after my experience the other day--I even managed to somehow get the image scroll bar to the outer edge of the entire screen without even a glimpse of it being done. Took me ages to find it as it was hidden by the panels docked on the right.🤣

Re: The Quark...Now I'm not sure whether you're suggesting more panel dock columns as stated, or less panels but with the changing content (which would solve the problem but potentially revive the issue of constantly going to a drop down menu to change the needed panel?). Or maybe you were suggesting something entirely different?

 

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Actually I have no detailed concept yet, I was just inspired to reply by your apparent frustration with the UI, wondering if others would experience it similar. But my problem is less moving panels around (although it is for dialogs/manager windows). I have arranged panels in a fixed set which works fine especially with two monitors and in Separated Mode (but this causes other issues of its own). With 1 monitor only I am mainly annoyed by the frequent need to switch panels, to unhide one tab of a row of 2-3 docked panels, or to close one panel placed below another to get access to the full content of the upper panel. Or the need to click the arrow at the right end of the Context Tool Bar. – The navigation behaviour feels as if not finally coded yet, respectively as if not fully conceived from the beginning but growing during developing.

I can imagine other improvements, exclusive or complementing each other. What I felt in the first weeks using Affinity was an obvious waste of screen space caused by differently handled free space within certain panel layouts. Some have a more narrow, filled layout than others, which show gaps, free areas. In particular for 1 monitor I would prefer more pixels for the artwork than pixel waste in empty panel areas. Windows (different to panels) handle screen space more luxury. However, nowadays I am used to the panel look, their unused layout areas appear less obvious to me, but of course the panels still take the same space on screen. Whereas the layout in windows still bother me more, in particular the Resource Manager, or, less important, the New... window with its large area of quite useless icons. So far their layout.

For navigation Affinity doesn't use all possible ways yet, for instance collapsing aside (as a vertical bar) or opening/unfolding when the cursor hovers a certain spot. And the already mentioned contextual appearance of panels which currently is used in the Contextual Tool Bar only. The QXP 3.1 I have in mind didn't have any or a lot less permanent panels (as far I remember, it was ~1990) but opened instead if needed 1 window on top of the layout which contained options relative to the situation, quite the same way Affinity uses the Contextual Tool Bar with altering content depending on tools and object types.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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Affinity stores all sorts of settings in xml files at C:\Users\???????\AppData\Roaming\Affinity\Photo\1.0\Settings, one of which is called "UserInterfaceSettings". I haven't yet worked out if this one is saving the display layout, but Affinity is storing it somewhere so I have backed up the lot.

Anyone know where the screen layout data is stored?

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9 minutes ago, henryg said:

C:\Users\???????\AppData\Roaming\Affinity\Photo\1.0\Settings, one of which is called "UserInterfaceSettings". I haven't yet worked out if this one is saving the display layout, but Affinity is storing it somewhere so I have backed up the lot.

Anyone know where the screen layout data is stored?

You custom arrangement of panels & bars can get saved in your custom presets (menu View > Studio Presets), which create each a separate file, for instance on mac: "com.seriflabs.Studio.Preset.Data2Photo-tab.210308.preset" in their according folder "~/Library/Application Support/Affinity Photo/presets/". It appears that this folder of custom user preferences, resources and temp files doesn't contain the current UI state when closing the app (which may be different to a saved preset). I recently renamed their entire parent folder (named with the app name) which forced Affinity to create a new folder by itself on app launch – but after launch the UI was not reset but appeared as left when closing the app.

I assume (did not test) the preference of the current UI item arrangement is set in a separate folder, for instance on mac in "~/Library/Saved Application State/com.seriflabs.affinityphoto.savedState", containing several files. Here the folder size varies for the installed Affinity apps currently between 21 kB, ~500 kB and 2.9 MB, while only the large one has its app opened.

166917925_affinitywindowprefsavedstate.jpg.f9c9f914a0aa23866f34ff04435462b7.jpg

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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6 hours ago, henryg said:

Anyone know where the screen layout data is stored?

In addition to what @thomaso said, note that each persona can have its own studio preset(s), so if the Windows versions are anything like the Mac ones the presets folder can include anything from zero to dozens of *.preset files, each of them ending in the name you have given them & including the persona name, for example com.seriflabs.Studio.Preset.Data2Liquify-tab.My Default.preset for one I created for the Liquify persona & a similarly named com.seriflabs.Studio.Preset.Data2Photo-tab.My Default.preset I created for the Photo persona.

 

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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On 1/23/2022 at 9:52 AM, thomaso said:

 With 1 monitor only I am mainly annoyed by the frequent need to switch panels, to unhide one tab of a row of 2-3 docked panels, or to close one panel placed below another to get access to the full content of the upper panel.

Yes. This is a problem, the need to move one panel to access the full content of another panel. And I guess, this is one of the reasons the Studio couldn't be locked even if there was that capability. But it's annoying to have to do that and often causes unplanned 'rearrangement' of panels. Sometimes inserting a panel into another unintentionally, 'splitting' the main panel, so options of the main panel then sit below the accidentally inserted one. Having to chase them around the UI is time consuming. Less so now that the Preset button is sorted.😂 I guess there is a price for everything. If we want the capability of moving panels around, then we have to expect that they will wander sometimes.

 

On 1/23/2022 at 9:52 AM, thomaso said:

Whereas the layout in windows still bother me more, in particular the Resource Manager, or, less important, the New... window with its large area of quite useless icons. So far their layout.

Okay, so I just learned there is such a thing as Resource Manager.😆 Obviously not a feature I've needed--yet. And what do you mean...useless icons? Mine opens to "My Presets" and I have nearly filled that 'large area' of which you speak.😄 Not having to recall and enter all those presets is a godsend.

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19 hours ago, R C-R said:

In addition to what @thomaso said, note that each persona can have its own studio preset(s), so if the Windows versions are anything like the Mac ones the presets folder can include anything from zero to dozens of *.preset files, each of them ending in the name you have given them & including the persona name, for example com.seriflabs.Studio.Preset.Data2Liquify-tab.My Default.preset for one I created for the Liquify persona & a similarly named com.seriflabs.Studio.Preset.Data2Photo-tab.My Default.preset I created for the Photo persona.

 

Interesting, but the only ones I can find anywhere on my pc appear to be are *presets.strings which appear to do with translation.

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On 1/23/2022 at 1:44 PM, thomaso said:

You custom arrangement of panels & bars can get saved in your custom presets (menu View > Studio Presets...

I didn't have a Studio Preset saved, so I created one. But there is no export facility AND searching did not find any .preset files. I even looked in the xml files for the name of the preset I had created to no avail. No savedState files either.

In case it is saved in the Windows Registry somewhere, I saved a preset with a weird/unique name and did a registry search which failed to find it.

I using Windows 10x64

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10 hours ago, Gignero said:

the need to move one panel to access the full content of another panel. And I guess, this is one of the reasons the Studio couldn't be locked even if there was that capability. But it's annoying to have to do that and often causes unplanned 'rearrangement' of panels. Sometimes inserting a panel into another unintentionally, 'splitting' the main panel, so options of the main panel then sit below the accidentally inserted one.

Instead of moving you could alternatively just click on the name of a panel to make it collapse and free its space for other panels. This also works if your panels are arranged with more than 1 in a row (= several side by side). Nevertheless, it doesn't prevent you from the need to show / hide panels again and again … at least you don't need to re-arrange them repeatedly this way but just click on their names instead. – And, it doesn't solve the pixel wasting layout of dialog windows of course which nearly always force the user to move them if they get opened. One of my "favourites" is the Text Style Editor window, which seems to know exactly how to cover the text that is being styled … although it has massively empty space in the layout of its various sections.

Yes, the custom insertion of panels may appear to work different than expected, it took me a while to experience the correct handling. This two posts might shed more light on the way it works:

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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2 minutes ago, thomaso said:

the Text Style Editor window, which seems to know exactly how to cover the text that is being styled

If you move that window out of the way before closing it then the next time you open it.... [expletives deleted] Why does it not remember that I moved it out of the middle of the screen!?

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.6.8

Affinity Designer 1.10.5 | Affinity Photo 1.10.5 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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1 hour ago, thomaso said:

One of my "favourites" is the Text Style Editor window, which seems to know exactly how to cover the text that is being styled …

On my iMac, it always opens centered on the screen, not that uncommon for modal windows in many Mac apps .. but no less annoying either.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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2 hours ago, henryg said:

Interesting, but the only ones I can find anywhere on my pc appear to be are *presets.strings which appear to do with translation.

Did you look in the folder @joe_l suggested:

2 hours ago, joe_l said:

C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Roaming\Affinity\Publisher\1.0\Workspaces\Custom

I am not a Windows user so I do not know how much the organization of the support files differ or how they are named compared to Macs but as long as you have created at least one custom Studio preset, it must be stored somewhere, & that sounds like the most likely place.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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12 hours ago, Gignero said:

This is a problem, the need to move one panel to access the full content of another panel.

Instead of constantly moving panels around, why not make use of studio presets, double (not single) clicking on panel names to collapse them as @thomaso suggested, & setting keyboard shortcuts (in the View subsection of Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts) so you can toggle open ones you do not need to use frequently & then toggle them closed when you don't.

Combined, these options should not only greatly eliminate the need to move studio panels (but unfortunately not modal windows) around manually as you work, but also streamline a lot of workflows.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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One thing I do is pay attention to what I actually use and then either edit the current Studio Preset or make a totally different one. For example; it is amazing how rarely I use the History panel in any of the Applications.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.6.8

Affinity Designer 1.10.5 | Affinity Photo 1.10.5 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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1 hour ago, R C-R said:

setting keyboard shortcuts (in the View subsection of Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts) so you can toggle open ones you do not need to use frequently & then toggle them closed when you don't.

Are you using it? It sounds appealing more theoretically only and may disappoint in practice if you consider what panels you would need. For instance text editing & styling may require more panels opened with some of their sections unfolded than the 2 (officially supported) columns can display, aside the fact that just the paragraph panel or the text frame panel can fill the screen height by themself if one really wants to avoid switching on/off.

14 hours ago, Gignero said:

...useless icons? Mine opens to "My Presets" and I have nearly filled that 'large area'

Yes, this illustration in this icons for pages, artboards or canvases has no function. They all look the same, have same size and aspect ratio, ignore page orientation or confuse it, some have 1 others have 2 borders (for any reason?), and each of them insists to keep being highlighted even if you have altered one of its properties in the right details column. – Personally I would prefer to replace that large icons with a list view, with or without tiny thumbnails in correct ratio, maybe indicating color space (rgb/4c) and with some main properties in the list, sortable by various aspects (e.g. name / long edge dimension / aspect ratio, …).

Since we are there: The need of clicks which feel unnecessary –> annoying is also caused by the fact how certain interaction was defined by the concept. There are several spots where I wonder each time entering them "Why is there a step in between, why may I not edit without that additional click?" and the interface feels to reply "Do you really want to edit this property? Well, then I'll give you access just this time." For instance the stroke width in the Context Toolbar, deleting a swatch in the Swatches panel (not to mention deleting more than 1), or the stubbornness of the user interface not to remember certain user decisions, for instance a certain colour chooser (swatch/slider/wheel) or when exporting a certain "area" (selection, all pages, etc.). As if the app is deliberately trying to make life difficult ... In my darkest moments I have the feeling that it was really done on purpose to have things for future updates to positively surprise users.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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6 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

One thing I do is pay attention to what I actually use and then either edit the current Studio Preset or make a totally different one.

I do that too, although most often I use just one Studio Preset plus some keyboard shortcuts to pop open a few of the other larger panels like the Character & Paragraph ones I don't need to have using up screen space when I do not need to access them. I also have set a keyboard shortcut for Show Left Studio & keep a lot of less often used panels in it.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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