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"Keep selected" preference now available in Pencil Tool


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  • Staff

Apps: Designer
Platforms: macOS, Windows and iPad

When using Pencil Tool the behaviour has always been that after drawing any curve that curve is then selected. There has been many requests to add an option to change that behaviour so the newly created curve is not selected. This is particularly useful when you often want to change the colour or stroke width of the curve you create next without changing the properties of the curve you have just created.

You can find this option in the context toolbar of the Pencil Tool (“Keep selected” checkbox, default value is on as per current behaviour).

On iPad the option is represented with the below icon (again it's toggled on by default)

image.png

 

We have also added this option to all shape tools on iPad too. This was previously available on desktop versions only (note we have also changed the name of that option on desktop from "Select new object" to "Keep selected" for consistency)

Managing Director

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MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021) / Apple M1 Max / 64GB / macOS 12.0.1

iPad Pro 11-inch 3rd Gen / iPadOS 16.2

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Hi @Ash

Just a clarification question so I understand the use case 🙂 - why is it not relevant for the pen tools

I only work with pen tool, and I seem to remember it could be relevant there during intensive hand tracing. Unfortunately, it's too much of a Saturday morning for me to remember it more clearly. 😄

I simply no longer believe that there are any professional graphic designers here. Everything follows suit. Just everything.

 

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I could kind of see this with the pen tool, but if the option were set to NOT retain the selection, you would only be able to deselect a stroke after closing it.  If you are creating open paths, you basically need to deselect one in order to start another anyway, or the tool extends the existing curve instead of starting a new one.

Curiously, there is an existing option to do the opposite of this new feature: normally, when starting a new curve, the previous one is deselected; there is an existing option to keep it selected when starting the new one.  Sadly, it also breaks up all existing curves when doing so, limiting you to the two endpoints on each curve.  A rather strange feature, but I'm sure someone must have a use case of some sort for it.

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  • Staff

You actually have two options in pen tool. The default behaviour is that when you start a new curve any existing selection is lost. Alternatively you can "Preserve selection when creating new curves" which will keep everything selected as you create new curves with the tool (e.g. after you draw something in pen and hit esc / double click on last node drawn / close the curve and then start drawing another curve the first curve remains selected). This is useful to be able to edit properties of all drawn curves in that session at once, or go back to edit the position of any nodes drawn on a previous curve (e.g. by pressing cmd to switch to node tool).

Additionally there is another option of "Add new curve to selected curves object" which will add additional curves you create to the same object (i.e. will appear as a single object in your layers panel rather than multiple objects being created for each curve). This is more efficient in than to draw the curves separately with and then use Geometry -> Merge Curves which achieves the same thing.

Managing Director

Help make our apps better by joining our beta program!


MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021) / Apple M1 Max / 64GB / macOS 12.0.1

iPad Pro 11-inch 3rd Gen / iPadOS 16.2

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23 hours ago, Ash said:

You actually have two options in pen tool. The default behaviour is that when you start a new curve any existing selection is lost. Alternatively you can "Preserve selection when creating new curves" which will keep everything selected as you create new curves with the tool (e.g. after you draw something in pen and hit esc / double click on last node drawn / close the curve and then start drawing another curve the first curve remains selected). This is useful to be able to edit properties of all drawn curves in that session at once, or go back to edit the position of any nodes drawn on a previous curve (e.g. by pressing cmd to switch to node tool).

Additionally there is another option of "Add new curve to selected curves object" which will add additional curves you create to the same object (i.e. will appear as a single object in your layers panel rather than multiple objects being created for each curve). This is more efficient in than to draw the curves separately with and then use Geometry -> Merge Curves which achieves the same thing.

The reason I like the Pen Tool so much in Affinity is how powerful all the settings are and how easy it is to use compared to similar tools in other software. I hope there will be similar options for the Pencil Tool and Vector Brush Tool eventually.

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On 11/7/2023 at 10:28 AM, Ash said:

You actually have two options in pen tool. The default behaviour is that when you start a new curve any existing selection is lost. Alternatively you can "Preserve selection when creating new curves" which will keep everything selected as you create new curves with the tool (e.g. after you draw something in pen and hit esc / double click on last node drawn / close the curve and then start drawing another curve the first curve remains selected). This is useful to be able to edit properties of all drawn curves in that session at once, or go back to edit the position of any nodes drawn on a previous curve (e.g. by pressing cmd to switch to node tool).

Additionally there is another option of "Add new curve to selected curves object" which will add additional curves you create to the same object (i.e. will appear as a single object in your layers panel rather than multiple objects being created for each curve). This is more efficient in than to draw the curves separately with and then use Geometry -> Merge Curves which achieves the same thing.

@Ash thanks for the clarification, I asked because I was led astray by the behaviour of the pen tool in the app for months:

If I draw a curve and move the pen away from it, and the status bar on desktop apps says "Drag to create staring point of new curve", the previous layer is deselected when I create the second node in the new curve. I only noticed this today when reading your answer and investigating a bit.

In the iPad version, there is no status bar by default that tells you this, and I thought I continued to draw in the previous curve because it was still selected when I created the first new node, and therefore pressed the X icon constantly during tracing which is super annoying. But apparently not necessary.

Is there a reason why the previous curve is only deselected when you put the second node in a new curve?

I simply no longer believe that there are any professional graphic designers here. Everything follows suit. Just everything.

 

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30 minutes ago, Bit Arts said:

In the iPad version, there is no status bar by default

By default, no, but you can add the Status Bar in V2 using the application Settings, User Interface.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
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iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
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  • 2 weeks later...

😄 I was often frustrated when it came to drawing more organic forms, and was torn between using the pencil and brush tool. While using the pencil tool it was very distracting to see the selection after each line, but the pencil tool has the superior set of functions! Also, it could get frustrating to try and jump between all three line drawing tools, as the stroke width and pressure information is not shared between the three seamlessely. The ability to toggle "keep selected" is an answered prayer. Thank you. This is an exciting addition!

2020 M1 Mac Mini, 16GB, Mac OS Sonoma 14.1.1
iPad Pro 12.9, Gen 4, iPad OS 16.3.1

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  • 2 months later...

Just adding another two cents here guys. It's been a few months now, and I have really been enjoying the new keep selected toggle. Thank you guys again. Combined with other keyboard shortcuts and possibilities, it really speeds up line drawing and inking. Would love to see a shortcut for it for those rare but key moments, and in general, I just wanna say I hope you guys will really open up and expand the possibilities and new features where line drawing and traditional style illustration is concerned. Can't believe how excited about this I was and still am. I feel like we’re reaching the point with computing and processing that working with vector tools instead of pixel tools for comic and cartoon illustration is so much more viable and attractive. Just, ... yeah loving the pencil tool's reclaimed "cool" and hoping to see more where the line drawing and illustration tools, shortcuts, and options are concerned. 

2020 M1 Mac Mini, 16GB, Mac OS Sonoma 14.1.1
iPad Pro 12.9, Gen 4, iPad OS 16.3.1

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