Jump to content
You must now use your email address to sign in [click for more info] ×

Space horizontal / vertical now considers key object


Recommended Posts

  • Staff

Apps: All
Platforms: Windows, macOS and iPad

Using even space distribution on a multiple selection will now behave differently if you have a key object nominated. This relates to either the space horizontally or space vertically options available in the alignment drop down (or Alignment Options available from the Transform panel on iPad):


image.png

 

The previous behaviour was always to space the objects in your selection with (in the case of horizontal spacing) the furthest left item and furthest right item remaining in the same position, and all other items in your selection spaced evenly between them. This is still the default behaviour.

However, the new functionality is that if you additionally specify a key object in your selection (alt-click an object) the behaviour changes to mean the furthest left object and the key object will not change position, and the other items are spaced evenly between them. This is particularly useful as you may quite often have the first two objects in your selection at the correct spacing and you want to space all other objects the same distance. Now you can nominate the second object as the key object and achieve this.

Additionally if you Alt-click the spacing button the distribution will be calculated between the furthest right object and the key object.

Below shows the different results:

image.png

 

All the above showing results for horizontal spacing, but the same applies to vertical spacing when working top to bottom.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Staff

Known Issues in this feature
A list of unresolved issues for this feature, reported by users

  • APL-1660 - Cannot set key object for distributing remaining objects relative to it setting an user-defined distance

Released Fixes
A list of issues for this feature, available in the current beta build

  • AF-1720 - Align & Space horizontal / vertical: not possible to set key object if Auto-Select is set to Objects or Groups [Fixed]

Upcoming Fixes
A list of issues for this feature, which will be available in a forthcoming build

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Staff
3 minutes ago, bbrother said:

What about adding "Nominate key object" to the list of options in "Align to" as well?

Yes, as it happens in the case of alignment if you nominate a key object that effectively becomes your first selected object. In other words if you have a key object nominated then aligning to "First Selected Object" does align to your key object. Perhaps that could be clearer!

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Correct me if I'm wrong @Ash. Does the align horizontaly/verticaly (left,center,right) option in the Alignment panel also honorate the nominate key object or not? Or only distrubute honorates the "nominate key object" selected by user?

Because that was in my mind when i asked about adding "Nominate key object" to the list of options in "Align to".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Staff

Yes if Align To is set to "First Selected" that will align to your nominated key object (or your first selected object if you have no key object nominated). This hasn't changed in this version - it is existing functionality.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Ash said:

Yes if Align To is set to "First Selected" that will align to your nominated key object (or your first selected object if you have no key object nominated). This hasn't changed in this version - it is existing functionality.

Thanks for clearing up my doubts.
I know that sometimes it is difficult to clearly both ask and answer a question.

@Ash any chance to alow user to select the "Align to" preference first before actualy apply an aligmnemt operation? Current behaviour doesnt allow to do this? (This was an between app behaviour change)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Ash said:

In other words if you have a key object nominated then aligning to "First Selected Object" does align to your key object. Perhaps that could be clearer!

I was about to post saying exactly this - especially when you don't drag the cursor over the selection but manually select objects one by one:

It is somewhat apparent that you want to align to that object when you nominate something as the key object, but would be nice for the "Key Object" to show up in the align options too

2021 14" M1 Pro Macbook Pro, 16GB RAM
2024 M4 iPad Pro 11 inch

Affinity Designer 2.5.2 | Affinity Photo 2.5.2 | Affinity Publisher 2.5.2 | Current Beta versions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Ash said:

Yes if Align To is set to "First Selected" that will align to your nominated key object (or your first selected object if you have no key object nominated)

I think a better solution would be an additional separate option for the nominated "key object" among the "Align to" list rather than combining it with "first selected".
It would be more clear for the user.

And please Ash alow users to setup the "Align to" preference before the alignment action. It's not intuitive that you cannot set action preferences before performing it.
An floating panel would be also very handy for better accessibility, not only from toolbar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/3/2024 at 10:52 AM, Ash said:

However, the new functionality is that if you additionally specify a key object in your selection (alt-click an object)

Wait, what? There are key objects in Affinity? When did this happen? I just tested it in 2.3 and it works!

I had no idea. Is this even in the documentation? Well, I guess finding out there's key objects is the best feature announcement! 😂😂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, LCamachoDesign said:

Wait, what? There are key objects in Affinity? When did this happen? I just tested it in 2.3 and it works!I had no idea. Is this even in the documentation?

Yes. But no mention that it can be used with the Alignment panel and that you need to set the "Align to" to "First Selected.

You can read in the docs (ADe)
[The following settings can also be used from the context toolbar, either in relation to selection bounds or to a key object, designated by clicking on an object to align to with the ALT key pressed (the key object is identified with a strong blue outline)...]

 

PS: This is what happens when documentation doesn't explain the details. The details are crucial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was growing frustrated when trying this out but thanks to @Maxdanger's video I was able to understand that you must select the objects first… and only then, mark the key object with alt + click.

Once I knew what to look for, "specify a key object in your selection" was clear, but at first I was trying to specify it while making the selection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, THEDZKO said:

Are there any plans of adding a two-dimensional alignment option? Akin to the "Tidy Up" option present in Figma.

I understand the objectives of those programs are a bit outside of the central scope of Affinity, but additions like that seem like the next logical step. Thank you!

Illustration showing layer alignment and distribution before and after using the tidy up function on a two dimensional selection.png

Although it relates somewhat to this feature, maybe you should post it in  Feedback & suggestions (in the homepage) for more reachability of more users and the team. Ill go there like it immediately!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Staff
1 hour ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

Was going to try this myself, but alt+L clicking to mark a key object doesn't work in the current Beta for me on Windows. It just deselect everything except the object I clicked on.

Do you have Auto-Select set to Objects in the context toolbar? If you set it to Default does it now work for you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Staff
17 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

It was on with with the default settings, yes. Tried all combinations of settings just now and none of them works.

It should work with the Auto-Select set to Default at least. Can you try other tool please for example with a path already drawn select the Node Tool, press ALT and draw a free selection around some nodes to select them. Does it work for you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do welcome this change, but it really strikes me as a hidden feature, and although I don’t know what to suggest that would make it discoverable, it does merit some consideration. In this case, this new feature relies on two different pieces of knowledge that unless one has been informed about outside of the software (and can remember when it is needed!) there is no way to discover it by usage of the software except by sheer accident:

1. That there is such a thing as a “key object” and how to designate it.

2. That designating a key object changes the behavior of the distribute options (spacing horizontally and vertically).

I don’t think that including it in the software manual is sufficient. To give an example, I read this thread yesterday. Today I decided to try it out in the beta, but I could not figure out how to do it even though I read the thread yesterday. It was not until I went back and read again that I was able to identify what steps I had missed. If that happened with just one thread in the space of one day, what about those few people who actually do read through the manual entirely? When they read about such a feature that is a little bit on the niche side, will they remember that it even exists when it may be many weeks later before the opportunity for its use presents itself?

I did not even know that “key object” existed in 2.3. As a follower of betas, I probably read about it when it was new, but clearly it didn’t stick because I did not then have a use for it. And although there have been occasioned since where I would have found it useful in my work, it was as good as non-existent to me because I did not know it existed and therefore I did not go looking for it.

It may be that there is no way to make it more discoverable, and I certainly don’t mean that the feature should be removed if so.

Now that I do know that there is such a thing as a key object, I recommend that the concept should work not only for alignment, but also for transform operations, as I would use it for that as well. That is a separate feature request from this feature, so I don’t mean to derail the discussion, but I do bring it up because if a procedure is used more broadly throughout the software, it becomes somewhat less hidden, and that is at least a partial solution to discoverability.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.