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Toggle tools with keyboard shortcuts – bug or feature?


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At first glance, there's a significant difference between Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo: In Designer, the Pen tool (P) and the Node tool (A) have two different shortcut keys, while in Photo both are mapped to (P) by default. (Affinity Publisher seems to side with Designer in this respect.)

Playing with the shortcut keys I find an interesting “feature” when I try to toggle between tools by pressing the same key(s) repeatedly:

All three Affinity programs seem to “remember” the origin tool and jump back to it with the shortcut key of the target tool. For example, you can  toggle from the Move tool to the Pen tool with (P) and back with a second (P). Likewise, you can toggle from the Pen tool to the Move tool with (V) and also back with (V).

In Affinity Designer and Publisher this is also true for the pairs Move—Node and Pen—Node when pressing the (A) shortcut key repeatedly.

Of course, if you toggle into a group of related tools, you won't jump back to the origin tool. For example, in Affinity Photo, shortcut key (P) jumps from the Move to either the Pen or the Node tool, but not back to the Move tool.

 I couldn't find a description of this feature in the online help, so my question is: Is this behaviour of the Affinity programs intended?

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I do find, considering the intended integration between the three apps, that there are some oddities in things like keyboard shortcuts, UI layout, available tabs etc.

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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There are several things you can do to change how the keyboard shortcuts work in any or all of the three apps. The most obvious is of course to change them to whatever you want in Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts, so for example, I have set all of them to use A for the Node Tool & P for the Pen Tool.

Less obvious, to prevent cycling (toggling) between two or more tools when a shortcut key is pressed repeatedly, in Preferences > Tools you can enable "Use Shift modifier to cycle tools" so cycling will occur only if the Shift key is held down.

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 15.7

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