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Text decoration – top and bottom paragraph lines don't align when they are dashed or dotted lines


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This is actually quite a nuisance – you can fiddle around a bit with the „Phase“ setting to influence where the dots/dashes begin, but it's not much use, actually...

As this is Publisher 1.9.3 I wonder if this issue has been addressed in v 1.10 or if it's just tha same there.

It's obviously related to the issue of dashed/dotted strokes not aligning correctly with a rectangle's (or any angular object's) corners. They just meet those corners randomly with some part of dash or gap...

This hasn't been a problem anymore in Illustrator or InDesign for ages now and I'm really disappointed that the Affinity apps don't seem to be able to get it right.

Bildschirmfoto 2022-04-25 um 13.09.48.png

Bildschirmfoto 2022-04-25 um 13.11.43.png

Bildschirmfoto 2022-04-25 um 13.14.24.png

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Try playing with the left and right indents, I know this is not ideal and really should have a simple solution but as with a lot of things Affinity, workarounds are the order of the day.

image.png.f09563504b7153ee94ccd528db256da8.png

 

PS, I have 1.10.5 so nothing has changed in regard to better positioning of dashed lines such as equalising to the length of the line.

iMac 27" Late 2019 Fully Loaded and running Monterey 12.6.1, iMac 27" Late 2013 running Catalina 10.15.7 - Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher V1 & V2, Adobe, Inkscape, Blender, C4D, Sketchup + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

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8 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

Try playing with the left and right indents

Ah thanks, firstdefence! I've actually tried to do so, but it's quite fiddly – you have to try out really small variations in the numbers you enter for the indents. Although it may eventually produce something more or less acceptable I found it really unnnerving...

As this  –  to me at least – seems to be exactly the sort of problem computers are here for to solve for us in the first place (it looks like pure math to me, anyway) it actually appears to be quite anachronistic when we are forced to manually enter those miniscule decimals in various input fields to finally approximate a halfway decent result...

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Yes it's clumsy at best and having to jump through hoops to get something like is very frustrating when you just want to get a job done. I gather you are on Mac so that helps me out 😊

So, another alternative and probably just as clumsy, would be to create a straight curve using the pen tool and attach artistic text using either the wingding font, or using the Character Viewer (Ctrl + Cmd + Space) and using the text icons under Bullets/Stars.
image.png.e212523c71551fb112eca3d7a8ac853b.png

from there you could copy/paste and edit the text icons on the curve. To give the spacing you want try using the tracking option under the character panel, I have also ticked the No Break option so the text icons don't wrap to another line.

image.png.ebba78c413526ab8bfa6a1e1171ab5a4.png

You could also save the curve with the text icons as an Asset for repeated use. I don't know whether you could a a style preset so that you can change the text icon en masse but I'm sure someone might be able to help on that point, but I'll look into that in a bit.

iMac 27" Late 2019 Fully Loaded and running Monterey 12.6.1, iMac 27" Late 2013 running Catalina 10.15.7 - Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher V1 & V2, Adobe, Inkscape, Blender, C4D, Sketchup + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Desktop Tutorials - Feedback - FAQ - most asked questions

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Looking at the screenshots that you provided, the blue selection indicator seems to indicate that the top row of decoration boxes aren't in the text frame that contains the text and bottom row of decoration boxes.  It should still be possible to align the top and bottom row of boxes in this state, but it would be easier if both rows were inside the text frame, since each row would (unless specifically set up otherwise) be algned by the same indent specifications; that of the text frame.

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@Ken Hjulstrom:

The top row of the decoration is visible outside (over the top of) the text frame because of its negative top indent. This is just a vertical shift and it doesn't have anything to do (at least as far as I see) with the left or right alignment.

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@ firstdefence:

Using (small) square or round bullets is an interesting idea as a line of those can be finetuned quite easily regarding their size and spacing. When they form a separate line (of text, actually) that line can also be adjusted vertically by setting its line height or baseline shift.

I tried another workaround (see screenshot) by pasting a curve into the text frame (this should be quite convenient as you can still modify it according to your wishes afterwards).
While this generally works with "normal“ shapes (see the yellow triangles; one of them shifted down via baseline shift) I had some unexpected difficulties pasting that straight dotted line into the top (empty) line of text. It didn't show up at all first! When I added another node before copying & pasting to make it temporarily triangular it worked, however. I even could delete the excess node afterwards to make it straight again.
But it seems to be a bit unpredictable what's exactly happening there – Publisher even freezed once while I was trying this...

Bildschirmfoto 2022-04-26 um 10.23.17.png

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I believe this issue comes from the decoration strokes being drawn in a clockwise direction around the paragraph.

For example, the Top decoration is drawn from top-left to top-right and the Bottom decoration is drawn from bottom-right to bottom-left.
And the Right decoration is drawn from top-right to bottom-right and the Left decoration is drawn from bottom-left to top-left.

My attached image shows a dashed line on each side, each with a dash of 2/4/0/0.

This ‘clockwise drawing’ may help in certain situations but it would be nice if we could reverse the direction of drawing for each side as necessary.

Screenshot 2022-04-26 095855.png

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42 minutes ago, GarryP said:

I believe this issue comes from the decoration strokes being drawn in a clockwise direction around the paragraph.

I guess you're right – and I think it's the same with any stroke around any curve/path. The bad thing is that corners will obviously be completely ignored by default. Accordingly they all look different as to how they are hit (or not) by a dash or dot.

The only way a dotted or dashed line can be applied to an angular curve in an aesthetically satisfying way would be to draw it separately from one corner point/node to the next while putting an equal amount of the stroke length to each side of the corner. Then on the section between two corner points/nodes a calculation should happen which equalizes the gaps in a way that an overall even appearance is achieved. This should be possible with any reasonable ratio of stroke weight and section length.

As I wrote before: this nothing but pure and rather elementary mathematics and should by no means be an impossible task for a modern and aptly programmed app.

I even did that kind of calculation myself when a dashed stroke wouldn't "close" satisfyingly on a circle (though I have to admit it's relatively easy with a circle only because the precise length of the circles's circumference (2 times pi times radius[=half of width]) is always known).

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There have been various requests for improvements to dash/dot stroke drawing, a lot of them asking for corners to ‘look nicer’ and the ability to 'equalise' the space between dashes/dots around the shape, so maybe something will come from that and those improvements may have a positive knock-on effect into this area too.

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I made the dotted frame border in the attached file by using the Ellipse Tool to make a small circle, and then replicating it, snapping each to the frame border.  I made one edge at a time, and when I had enough circles, I snapped a circle to each end of the frame and used the Layer | Alignment | Distribute (Horizontally for the top and bottom, and Vertical for the sides).  Some math would still be involved if you wanted a particular spacing, and the aspect ratio of the inner text frame would have to relate correctly to the spacing of the circles, if you wanted the same spacing for the horizontal rows of circles and the vertical ones, but this would solve the "corner" issue and would result in symmetry between opposite rows of decoration. Other shapes could be used instead of circles, using the same shape distribution method.

DotsAroundFrame.afpub

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