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Object creation data entry


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  • Staff

Apps: All
Platforms: macOS & Windows

In any of the shape tools, picture frame tools and artboard tool you can now cmd+click (macOS) or ctrl+click (Windows) to bring up a dialog to manually specify the size and other properties of the object you want to create. The new object will be created in the position that you clicked, and you have the option in the dialog to change whether that position relates to a specific corner, side or the centre of the shape being created.

For example, here I want to create a circle with 20mm diameter centred at the corner of the square. So I choose the Ellipse tool and then cmd / ctrl + click over the corner of the square. I then get the option to manually enter the size I want the circle to be, set the anchor position to be centre, and hit OK.

image.png

Each tool will remember the settings of the last time you created that shape. So in this case the next time I cmd+click with the Ellipse tool it will still be set to 20mm x 20mm anchored to centre.

Some additional notes about this feature:

  • When the dialog is up you can commit by clicking OK, hitting Return / Enter or clicking anywhere else on the document
  • You can cancel by clicking Cancel or hitting Esc
  • You can click-drag on any of the labels in these dialogs to change the values. So here you could click-drag on the "Width:" label for example.
  • Hover + mouse roll over the values also changes them of course (along with Shift or Alt modifiers to increase / decrease steps made by a factor of 10).
  • If you create a shape by dragging it out on your document, that will also set the W+H for the next time you cmd+click. e.g. if you drag out a rectangle at 100mm x 50mm and want to create another one you can just cmd+click and that size will be preset.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When click-dragging labels to change the value of rounded rectangle corners it is only possible to change values in whole units regardless of the unit selected, the number of decimal places set for the unit or the modifier key, so if the default corner value is X.5mm then click-dragging the corner value labels will only change in increments of 1mm, so e.g., 25.5 mm, 24.5 mm, 23.5 mm and so on. I don't know if this is intentional.

Using the arrow keys allows fine adjustments of up to 0.000001 units for both the corner radius and width and height values.

Not a major issue but thought it was worth mentioning... 🤔

 

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It would be nice to have the option to make additional changes to an already created shape using the object creation data entry floating window, perhaps a Cmd Option (Ctrl Alt) click on the already created shape re-invokes the object creation data entry floating window for that shape to allow further adjustments to the shapes settings.

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10 minutes ago, Hangman said:

It would be nice to have the option to make additional changes to an already created shape using the object creation data entry floating window, perhaps a Cmd Option (Ctrl Alt) click on the already created shape re-invokes the object creation data entry floating window for that shape to allow further adjustments to the shapes settings.

Thanks - yes we have had similar thoughts and we might look at that for 2.3 (particularly when we look to implement on iPad, as actually having a dialog like to edit an existing shape would be very beneficial on that device vs. the context toolbar).

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36 minutes ago, Return said:

Not sure if this is the expected behavior

Unless I missed something, what I see in your video is the behavior I would expect. The shape is supposed to move around based on which origin point is selected. The absolute X & Y position of your click should stay fixed, but which point on the object that the absolute position relates to is what you are selecting.

For general feedback of the feature, I would add an X and Y field, prefilled with the clicked position if in canvas (i.e., the position that is used currently in this beta). I would suppose the main advantage to numeric entry would be precision versus the imprecise nature of clicking and dragging, but the same would be true about the position of the initial click (though snapping does really help). As an added benefit, this numeric entry makes automation through solutions such as Keyboard Maestro more achievable.

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Great new feature!

I don't know that I'll ever use this myself so I'm not really asking for more enhancements, but there are a lot of fields in some of these dialogs so it might be nice to add a Reset button in the bottom left corner of each dialog to clear the saved values and do a factory reset. Also I noted that it works for shapes and picture frames but not text frames.

Thanks

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26 minutes ago, MikeTO said:

Also I noted that it works for shapes and picture frames but not text frames.

Yes we will run with the scope of tools we have now for 2.2, but indeed there are other tools we plan to add to including text frames, table tool, possibility pixel marquee selections, etc. Tables and text frames could have additional parameters such as rows, columns, gutter, etc. These will hopefully come in 2.3 cycle.

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Thank you so much for this it will really help get perfect shapes. :)

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An odd behavior I encountered:

  1. I created an object.
  2. CTRL click on it and the dialog box appears, then if you continue CTRL clicking;
  3. on every odd click dialog box dissapears, on every even click it appears with a new instance of the object.

Bug or expected behavior?

EDITED: this happens in Publisher.

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17 minutes ago, Petar Petrenko said:

Bug or expected behavior?

I would say expected in as much as you see the same behaviour, i.e., the box disappearing when you don't have the Ctrl key held down so it's the same behaviour as releasing the Ctrl key between alternate mouse clicks...

Ctrl Mouse Click, the box appears, release the Ctrl Key and Mouse Click, the box disappears, Ctrl Mouse Click, the box appears, release the Ctrl key and Mouse Click, the box disappears...

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This is a welcome feature. I always want to click to insert something manually from my Adobe days, but we never had that option in Affinity (until now). The positioning is helpful too if I start to build things based on a grid, which I often do, so I'm particularly great as this will be helpful for keeping things pixel precise and neat. Will check it soon.

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5 hours ago, Hangman said:

It would be nice to have the option to make additional changes to an already created shape

It would be great if this could also be possible on multiple objects at the same time (maybe selecting them in the Layers pane).

Paolo

 

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55 minutes ago, Hangman said:

Ctrl Mouse Click, the box appears, release the Ctrl Key and Mouse Click, the box disappears, Ctrl Mouse Click, the box appears, release the Ctrl key and Mouse Click, the box disappears...

I holded CTRL all the time and just click, click... :)

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13 minutes ago, Petar Petrenko said:

I holded CTRL all the time and just click, click... :)

That's what I was getting at, I think the Ctrl key is a red herring in this instance, i.e., it's having zero effect on the alternate mouse clicks when held down if that makes any sense as in not holding it down on the same alternate mouse clicks gives the same result... :)

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Some thoughts:

1) I really recommend at first initialization of this tool, to have some kind of "default" value like 100px x 100px, 1 in x 1 in (whatever the document units are), until they have a last remembered value... that way the user has some indicator of what it is meant to do because there will be not be an object generated in advance, but it will have positioning. It's a bit more intuitive/user friendly that way at first glance.

2) Being able to tab through and do manual entry is powerful for heavy keyboard users (thaaat's me). The only other thing I can suggest to add, and this one is tricky because Numpad keys don't have individual assignments, but if it were somehow possible to bind Numkeys with a modifier so that we can set positioning with a keyboard on the fly.

Ex: So for the 3x3 layout... simply use the 1 - 9 Numpad plus some modifier to set the position. Done.

3) Please add a hover tool-tip for the position-y area, just so that some people will fully realize what it is meant for. Yes they can test it and check with things like Rectangle, but with none rectangular shapes, it may be helpful to say "hey this is for the bounding box, not for any of the pointys of a star...", etc

4) It would be very helpful to include an indicator/cursor/point/etc where the initial click was made so that we can see at a glance positioning and target origin actually will be.

5) I appreciate that this acknowledges snapping so that makes this function more powerful with grids and guides that are already setup, imo. SO thank you for that!

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Unsure if this is intended behaviour but it appears that you can create duplicate shapes simply by moving the cursor and hitting the Enter key without even needing to mouse click... :)

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27 minutes ago, Hangman said:

Unsure if this is intended behaviour but it appears that you can create duplicate shapes simply by moving the cursor and hitting the Enter key without even needing to mouse click... :)

 

That's expected. Enter invokes the dialog, and then enter accepts the parameters :) 

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Does it work for the Marquee tools in photo?

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3 minutes ago, tzvi20 said:

Does it work for the Marquee tools in photo?

The Marquee tools are for making selections, not for making objects. As stated in the first post above, this function is for making objects and applies to the

Quote

shape tools, picture frame tools and artboard tool

It might be a nice enhancement sometime to allow it for making Marquee selections, too.

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Yep that's what I said - marquee selections will likely come in a future update (i.e. after 2.2) along with text frame, table tool and possibly others. 

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I will be looking forward to that when it comes hopefully soon.

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