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uncle808us

Forcing a new curve or layer to open at the top of the layer list???

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One thing that drives me nuts, and there is a long list not just Affinity related, but that's another story or ten.

One thing in Designer and Photo is I draw a new curve make a new layer... where is it??  Hidden inside some other layer where I don't want it!

I open a pixel layer where did it go?   Somewhere besides at the top of the layer list!

How in the hell can I get my new layers and curves to open at the top of the layers list.Not inside some other layer or somewhere I can not see it ? ?

I hope there is an answer to this. :rolleyes:  :unsure:  :blink:

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That is strange as (in AD - can´t speak for AP) every new layer is above the last selected one here. If none is selected it goes on top of the list. Not so for you?

 

Cheers.

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Well, that is because the layer named “Templates” does not get deselected when you click on the pasteboard area at 0:06. As you can see, there is a faint blue highlight on the layer’s entry in the layers list, so your next action will create a child of the “Templates” layer on top of all other children of this layer.

 

I really wonder if that is a bug or intended behavior … shouldn’t the layer get deselected, as it is the case with groups and layers that have no children?  :unsure:

post-1198-0-25167800-1459538534_thumb.png

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I would say, just the way you did. By clicking elsewhere, or by hitting Esc. But obviously that does not work with layers that have child layers. I am not sure if this is a bug. Maybe you should file a bug report in order to see what the developers say. You could also use groups instead of layers with child layers to circumvent the issue …  :unsure:

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This is something I've come across as well, and wish could be different. I think it should be possible to deselect layers, even those with child layers, by clicking elsewhere or by pressing Esc. Having to make a new layer manually, or click to specify where the new layer should go, is an annoying and unnecessary step.

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I think it should be possible to deselect layers, even those with child layers, by clicking elsewhere or by pressing Esc.

That is how it works for me. I cannot duplicate on my iMac the behavior shown in the video by uncle808us at the 0:06 mark where the hidden child layer of the Templates layer remains selected after clicking outside the borders of the canvas -- when I do that in my AD or AP documents, it deselects the currently selected layer, whether or not it is a child layer, as does hitting the escape key.

 

I'm just guessing but one possible explanation for the difference is I noticed in the video that he has a lot of third party widgets in the OS X menu bar & some overlay thing visible at the bottom of the AD window, one or more of which I assume adds some "enhancements" to the UI. Because many of these things operate at the system level & intercept keystrokes & clicks before they are passed on to the app, & they may not all be compatible with each other or with all the standard OS X API's an application might use, it is not unusual for this to cause unusual behavior in one or more applications.

 

Because of this, I run a very 'clean' system -- I avoid installing anything that adds a third party MenuExtra plugin to the right side of the OS X main menu (not the same thing as a menu status item), anything that adds an item to the System or Library StartupItems folders (which nothing written for a modern OS X version should ever do), or anything else that could interfere with system level services.

 

I could be way off on this, but it might be useful to use something like EtreCheck or the software sections of the OS X System Information app to see what third party additions are running on systems that display this behavior, & to see if it persists when they are disabled.

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The menu bar items are not effecting anything else ever... the overlay is making the movie. I have no problem deselecting things in any other apps but AD AP.

How about you guys @ misc33 ,A_B_C?

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My "vote" first........ Bug in AD (AP seems okay). If not a bug than an UI oversight.

 

My experience in AD:

I too cannot fully deselect a layer. Empty or populated.

If I click off of (or use esc) from the selected layer or a child of a layer I get the half strength blue highlight on that same layer. 

Everything I draw will go into that "ghosted" layer. 

If I have a free floating object NOT in a layer (layers still present in stack) and click off of it (or delete it), then everything is completely deselected and a new object is placed on the top of everything.

 

@ RCR: At :06 of the vid no child layer is selected. Before Uncle clicks off of the page the Layer itself is selected (full strength blue). Clicking off shows it still has the half blue highlight. It should have no highlight (imo). Are you saying that if you click off of a layer there is no highlight at all? Try this experiment..... new AD doc > hit the layer button a few times (nothing needs to be in any of them). Now try and click off or use escape. No matter what layer I select, clicking off leaves me with a half select.

 

I think the half highlight makes sense when clicking off of an object within a layer. It lets you know where you are and quite often (in my workflow) if I'm in a layer the chances are pretty good (at least 50/50) that I want to keep working in that layer.

(It is a bit redundant though, because the little circle around the layer arrow indicates where you've been....imo the blue is a bit easier to spot in a quick scroll. But I digress....)

We just need a full click off option especially when the layer itself is selected.

 

My experience in AP:

Clicking  off of a layer or group or child results in a complete deselect..... no half highlight.

There is even a shortcut assignable Deselect Layers menu item (not to be confused with cmd D).

Anything drawn appears over what is selected. If nothing is selected it appears on the top of the stack.

So it seems that all is well here (for me).

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@ RCR: At :06 of the vid no child layer is selected. Before Uncle clicks off of the page the Layer itself is selected (full strength blue). Clicking off shows it still has the half blue highlight. It should have no highlight (imo). Are you saying that if you click off of a layer there is no highlight at all?

OK, I stand corrected. What I described applies only to the special case of AD documents that have no layers, just curves, groups, etc., but with everything moved out of all layers & any empty layers deleted. I just happened to have such a document open when I saw this topic & neglected to test with a more typical document.   :wacko:

 

Except for that special case, I get the same thing you all have reported -- as long as at least one layer exists in the document & it has been selected, in AD there is no way to deselect every layer, so the only way to create a new item (layer or object) at the top of the layers list is to select the topmost layer and enable the middle Insert Target "Insert at the top of the layer" button on the toolbar (or the "Top" item in the Layer > Insertion menu item) before creating it ... except even that only works sometimes, & I have yet to figure out why.

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Hi everybody,

 

on closer examination, I believe the current behavior of Affinity Designer does make sense, if we understand the rationale behind it. It is useful to have a look at two main types of objects that can have children in the layers list. These are:

  • Items called “Layers”
  • Items called “Groups”

We must be aware, that Layers assume a special status, witnessed by the fact that they are the only items in the layers list that can be assigned a colour label. And firstly, they differ from Groups with respect to the selection of their children on the canvas:

  • When you click an object on the canvas that is a child of a Layer, you will always select this child itself.
  • When you click an object on the canvas that is a child of a Group, you will always select the parent, viz. the Group. In order to select the child, you have to press the Cmd key before clicking the child.

So it seems consistent that Layers also assume a special status when it comes to deselecting objects on the canvas, and therefore we have to examine the meaning of the faint blue highlight that occasionally remains on an item called “Layer” in the layers list when a canvas object is deselected. Obviously, this faint highlight indicates that the respective Layer is the target of the next action, be this action the creation of an object (this object will be inserted as the first or topmost child of that Layer) or be it the insertion of a mask, an effect, or an adjustment layer. And in this context it is not true, that a Layer can never loose its status of the target of the next action: 

  • A Layer will loose this status, as soon as an object is selected that is (a.) different from this Layer and (b.) different from every descendant (child, grandchild, …) of this Layer.
  • However, a Layer will retain this status as long as it gets deselected without selecting an object that has the properties (a.) and (b.). And this is the case when simply clicking elsewhere or using the Esc key.

What is the rationale behind this behavior? I believe it is assumed that we start structuring documents from the outset by creating Layers. These Layers will be the primary work environments of our actions, and therefore it would indeed be cumbersome if we left the environment (“Layer”) we are currently working in by simply deselecting all objects we created in this environment (“Layer”). So the current behavior does indeed make sense, as long as the basic assumption reflects the actual user’s workflow.

 

Hope that these remarks will provide an acceptable explanation …  :)

Alex

post-1198-0-59443200-1459669917_thumb.png

post-1198-0-04597800-1459670063_thumb.png

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Well described explanation A_B_C. Does double clicking elsewhere completely deselect the layer or do you have to select an unrelated object to deselect?

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No, double clicking elsewhere makes no difference …  :)

 

You can just try it yourself. Create a new document and add a single empty Layer by clicking the Add Layer button at the bottom of the layers list. Now try to “deselect” this Layer (to be more precise: try to make it loose the status as the target of the next action), and you will see that this is impossible. It will always retain this faint blue highlight I was talking of (depending on your system settings it might have a different colour).

 

Now select an object creation tool like the Pen Tool or one of the Shape Tools and create an object. You will see that regardless of your choice for the Insert Target buttons on the main toolbar, your new object will become a child of the created Layer. Alternatively, insert a mask, an effect, or an adjustment layer by clicking the respective buttons at the bottom of the layers list or by choosing the respective menu options. You will see, that the mask, the effect, or the adjustment layer will be nested to your Layer.

post-1198-0-55851600-1459669432_thumb.png

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Now select an object creation tool like the Pen Tool or one of the Shape Tools and create an object. You will see that regardless of your choice for the Insert Target buttons on the main toolbar, your new object will become a child of the created Layer.

Try this:

 

1. Create a new AD document.

2. Without first creating any layers, use the Pen or one of the shape tools to create an object.

3. Now create a new layer with the Add layer button. (At this point the Layers panel should show two items, "Layer1" at the top & the "layerless" shape object below it.)

4. Select the object. (Layer1 should still show the faint blue highlight.)

5. Create another object with the Pen or shape tools.

 

When I do this, the object created in step 5 is not a child of the (empty) "Layer1" -- instead it is inserted between the layer & the object created in step 2.

 

Other variations on this also produce "non-child" results, like after step 4 deselecting the object (faint blue highlight still showing on layer1) & using the Insert Target buttons to insert behind the selection (which creates the step 5 object at the bottom of the Layers panel) or Insert at the top of the layer button (which creates the step 5 object at the top of the Layers panel).

 

It is also not absolutely necessary to do step 2. This also works if you create an object in a layer & then drag it out of the layer so that object is "layerless" -- as long as you either select it as in step 4 or deselect it & use the Insert Target buttons as above, the next object created will not become a child of a layer, even if it shows the faint blue highlight.

 

I'm not sure what to make of all this other than when "layerless" objects are involved, the "target for the next action" logic is different.

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In fact, I followed your recipe and got a completely different result, which is still in harmony with my explanation:

  • I created an empty document,
  • created a rectangle shape,
  • added a Layer using the Add Layer button,
  • selected my rectangle on the canvas,
  • [the Layer lost its blue background highlight],
  • created another rectangle,
  • and it was, at is to be expected, inserted on top of the first rectangle.

See below. So could you demonstrate your findings in a screen cast, R C-R? I guess this would be very helpful. When I perform all the other actions you suggested, my Layer will inevitably loose the faint blue highlight.

 

Thanks for your patience,

Alex  :)

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Oh, wait, just to prevent one possible misunderstanding: I am talking about the blue background highlight (blue arrow), not about the blue or green labels (red arrows) …  :)

post-1198-0-47625100-1459689904_thumb.png

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Well, this is frustrating! After quitting & relaunching AD, I no longer get the the faint blue highlight in my step 4 -- my results are now the same as yours. I normally leave it open all the time, hidden with cmd+H with all documents closed when I'm not using it but I don't know if that might somehow have caused this.

 

I have noticed at least one oddity that might be a contributing factor, that being that sometimes one of the Insert Target buttons remains enabled until I disable it manually if it was enabled when I closed all previously opened documents. If it was not enabled when I closed them & I click it after opening a new one, it reverts to being disabled after each new object creation, which I assume is the expected behavior. So maybe something related to selection targeting is not getting set to the default values after a document is closed & a new one is opened?

 

Anyway, I need to do more testing to see how repeatable any of this is, & if possible to figure out what triggers it. It would be helpful if the documentation was clearer -- I feel like some this is probably the result of having to guess about how it is supposed to work. If nothing else, the Insert at the top of the layer & insert behind the selection buttons apparently do not always do what their names suggest. like when nothing is selected or a "layerless" object is selected.

 

By the way, I have noticed that it is possible to make layers & objects children of "layerless" objects, which causes weird problems like not being able to select them on the canvas or see their bounding boxes if selected from the Layers panel. (The attached may make this clearer.) That probably is an indication that the program logic is not quite as well thought out as it might be with respect to layerless" objects....

Parent object.afdesign

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Oh, wait, just to prevent one possible misunderstanding: I am talking about the blue background highlight (blue arrow), not about the blue or green labels (red arrows) …  :)

I admit that might have been a contributing factor to what I thought I was seeing with my recipe -- at one point I did confuse the two -- but there still seems to be more to it than that, at least with whatever state the app was in before I relaunched it.

 

I should have taken a screen shot before relaunching it but as it is I can't be sure if it was just the label I mistook for the highlight or not. When I tested my recipe, the System Preferences > Accessibility > Display settings & the AD user Interface preferences for UI gamma then in use made it hard to see the faint blue background highlight & some other UI elements clearly. That has been a problem for me since I first started using the Affinity apps, as it has for a few other users. 

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RCR, in Parent object.afdesign your bounding box/selection problem is because those objects are........ off the canvas  :P  .

Remember also that an object (or a layer with several objects) that is a child of an object is being clipped by the parent. So, even if on the canvas, it will only be selectable on screen on a piece that's visible (always selectable in Layers).

 

I think both of you guys' experiments are describing the same thing.

I even glanced on it in my post (not the target buttons though...will have to try those). 

If fact I even said the logic kinda makes sense... in a layer centric sort of way. It's just missing a final level of control.

 

All of this underscores the need for a simple Deselect All Layers option.

 

Otherwise we are left with:

In order to deselect... first select a "free" object (or make an object and drag to a free position)... 

Then deselect. Which is sort of silly.

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RCR, in Parent object.afdesign your bounding box/selection problem is because those objects are........ off the canvas  :P  .

But I did not manually place any of those objects off the canvas -- all of them were created completely well within the 640 x 640 boundaries of the canvas. I did not change the position of any of them to an off-canvas position with the Move tool, using the Transform panel, or by any other means.

 

Just moving them into the child position of the dark blue "Parent" rectangle in the layers panel by itself moved them off the canvas to what seem to be completely arbitrary new positions.

 

That is exactly the kind of weird problem I was talking about encountering when making things children of "layerless" objects. For this, the logic does not even kinda make sense, at least to me.

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But I did not manually place any of those objects off the canvas -- all of them were created completely well within the 640 x 640 boundaries of the canvas. I did not change the position of any of them to an off-canvas position with the Move tool, using the Transform panel, or by any other means.

 

Just moving them into the child position of the dark blue "Parent" rectangle in the layers panel by itself moved them off the canvas to what seem to be completely arbitrary new positions.

 

That is exactly the kind of weird problem I was talking about encountering when making things children of "layerless" objects. For this, the logic does not even kinda make sense, at least to me.

 

Huh? Is that reproducible on your end?? I've never had that happen.

If so, that's a serious bug and, of course, not part of the layer "logic" I'm taking about.

Can you post a pre "drag to child state" setup that ends up that way?

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