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Layer states added to Designer and Publisher plus changes to functionality


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58 minutes ago, loukash said:

I don't think that the OP was asking for a link to an external website about Regular Expressions, but rather that there should be a tool-tip definition, or help icon that leads to some Affinity specific explanation and example of a Regular Expressions, and how they might be used in the States Query.

At present I can't see any help for the States panel, so perhaps this information will be added when the help is updated?

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13 minutes ago, Aammppaa said:

some Affinity specific explanation and example of a Regular Expressions

Guess which websites are mentioned in https://affinity.help/publisher2/en-US.lproj/pages/Text/find_and_replace.html …? ;) 
Spoiler alert:

Spoiler

Regular expressions

Regular expressions extend the capabilities and power of the Find and Replace function beyond searching for simple text strings. They are widely used across the word-processing and DTP community, with a multitude of expressions available.

Listing regular expressions and their syntax is beyond the scope of Affinity Publisher Help. Please use Internet resources, such as www.regular-expressions.info and regexone.com, to research and develop your own regular expressions.

 

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22 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

The Scope pulldown for the States panel in Designer (Windows) shows Document, Spread, and Selection. Spread seems appropriate for Publisher, but odd for Designer in a document without Pages.

This appears to be a Windows issue as in Designer on Mac the choice is Document, Artboard and Selection when using Artboards and Document, Spread and Selection when using a Canvas. The same is true when opening an Artboard Document in Publisher, i.e., Document, Artboard and Selection in all Personas...

Scope.png.430de8e88d2ea04b7e692efc9ebfc916.png

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21 hours ago, loukash said:

The States panel cannot be activated in ADe in Pixel persona, and in APu in Designer persona.

It's working fine for me in the APu Designer and Photo personas, just not in the ADe Pixel persona...

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1 minute ago, Hangman said:

It's working fine for me in the APu Designer and Photo personas

Alright, I just had an idea and did a Reset Studio. Then it works.
Getting back to my saved preset, and it doesn't work. So I'll have to rebuild this preset as it seems.

4 minutes ago, Hangman said:

just not in the ADe Pixel persona

The same: Reset Studio, then it works. Then rebuild your previous preset and save anew.

But that still makes it a bug.

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13 minutes ago, loukash said:

The same: Reset Studio, then it works. Then rebuild your previous preset and save anew.

Perfect, now it's a happy 🐇

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Three Additional Feature Requests

  1. The option to duplicate Queries... Quite often you may have an almost identical set of Query criteria where you only need to change one or two settings so rather than recreate from scratch each time it would be great to be able to duplicate an existing Query, rename it and just change the relevant setting/s...
     
  2. The ability to reorder Queries similarly to reordering Asset categories in the Assets Panel via drag and drop...
     
  3. The ability to select multiple Queries together using Shift or Cmd (Ctrl) Click so they can be deleted (or dragged) to a new location in the stack... Currently, Queries can only be deleted one at a time...

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1 hour ago, Aammppaa said:

At present I can't see any help for the States panel, so perhaps this information will be added when the help is updated?

You'll find the older Help online or in the Photo application.

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5 hours ago, Hangman said:

Is there a need for both the show and hide icons, would one togglable icon not suffice in the same way it does for Password Protection in the PDF Export settings to either show or hide the password? This would make it much easier to determine the state of any Query especially as currently there is no visual feedback in the States Panel to indicate when a Query is shown or hidden (other than looking at the canvas itself)...

Perhaps white icons in dark mode and dark grey in light move for consistency and simple ease of viewing...

StatesPanel.png.d498f8ea04de21863f14b8d99b1a7fd2.png

A definite need, again as mentioned earlier in the thread, to be able to rename Queries...

I totally agree with this, this should totally be a toggle, and the eyeball should likely be changed out to a DOT, similar to the layer pallet to keep consistency. The separate visible, non visible buttons felt super fumbly since i'm so used to toggling a single icon to activate or deactivate any function in affinity apps. 

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5 hours ago, Hangman said:

Is there a need for both the show and hide icons, would one togglable icon not suffice

At first I thought your observation made perfect sense, but upon reflection, I do think there is a need for both buttons, and that is because the visible state of the different objects that make up a query could have their visibility changed from the layer panel. For example, let’s say that you have some objects matching a state query that are currently invisible, and some others matching the same query that are currently visible. In that case with mixed visibility, which state should a single toggle show? In the current implementation, the two buttons are effectively “make all visible” and “make all hidden,” and they will both have an effect when the objects have mixed visibility settings.

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11 minutes ago, garrettm30 said:

At first I thought your observation made perfect sense, but upon reflection, I do think there is a need for both buttons, and that is because the visible state of the different objects that make up a query could have their visibility changed from the layer panel.

Unless I've missed something if you do that you effectively disable the query because you've created a new state... A query can only ever be shown or hidden which can be achieved using a single toggle icon...

17 minutes ago, garrettm30 said:

For example, let’s say that you have some objects matching a state query that are currently invisible, and some others matching the same query that are currently visible. In that case with mixed visibility, which state should a single toggle show?

The mixed visibility for the same state is what makes the query in the first place, clicking the show icon doesn't make the hidden items for that query visible alongside those that are already visible it simply toggles the query on or off...

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Just now, Hangman said:

Unless I've missed something if you do that you effectively disable the query because you've created a new state

Not really: the query still exists, and all of the objects matching the query still exist and still match the query criteria. It’s just that they no longer have uniform visibility settings.

Or to put it another way, even if the query is “disabled” (I am not sure what that actually means in this context), then it would be nice to have both buttons to “enable” it again, either to reset all matching objects to visible, or to reset all matching objects to hidden.

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21 minutes ago, garrettm30 said:

Or to put it another way, even if the query is “disabled” (I am not sure what that actually means in this context),

The query still physically exists (i.e., it's not removed from the States panel) but with a query selected, changing the visibility of a layer in the Layers panel turns any active components for the query off, i.e., the 'Layer tag is', 'Layer type is' and 'Layer name is' sliders off, effectively disabling the query which by association would logically change the show/hide icon for that query to hide...

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It could just be semantics, but I don’t really think a query is ever really on or off. It seems it is just a definition of a group of objects, to which you could reapply either all on or all off regardless of what their current state is. Maybe you don’t have to think about it that way, but it does at least work that way in my test. However you wish to think about it from our standpoint, I suspect that internally each query does not track its own state as “visible” or “invisible.” It is really just a different kind of pre-defined object selection across a whole document.

This discussion also made me notice the “select” option, which I appreciate. The visible and invisible buttons seem to be a shortcut to version to clicking select and then clicking one of the selected objects as visible in the layers studio, which will set all of them the same. It’s not exactly the same because of altering the currently selected items, but it is helpful at understanding what is happening.

And the “select” option means that this feature has application beyond setting visible and invisible, as it is essentially special smart groupings of objects for multiple purposes.

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On 1/3/2024 at 7:27 AM, Ash said:

Each artboard had 4 variants for English, Japanese, German and French language.

I can see now that I've been under utilizing this feature.

I appreciate the addition of States, especially for Designer, because that's largely what I use in combination with Export Persona for pushing out collections. It makes me more likely to use it more regularly. Publisher I think particularly for extensive media output, it's a welcome add.

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34 minutes ago, garrettm30 said:

It could just be semantics, but I don’t really think a query is ever really on or off. It seems it is just a definition of a group of objects, to which you could reapply either all on or all off regardless of what their current state is.

Quite possibly... if I'm missing something or have not seen something you're seeing then absolutely happy to learn and be corrected...

To my way of thinking (rightly or wrongly), a query is binary, it's either 'on' or 'off'...

A Query has Two States, On or Off

 

Changing Layer Visibility in the Layers Panel for a Current Query Disables the Query

As shown by the 'Layer type is' and 'Layer name is' sliders being switched off once a Layer is changed to visible in the Layers panel... Note: changing the layer visibility in the Layers panel doesn't update the Query to include the changed state (even if it may initially look as though it does). Hide the queries in the states panel and then show them and you can see that they still show the original saved states rather than the new state where a layer or layers are made visible in the Layers panel...

56 minutes ago, garrettm30 said:

And the “select” option means that this feature has application beyond setting visible and invisible, as it is essentially special smart groupings of objects for multiple purposes.

Reading the original post by @Ash, I believe there are enhancements to follow which will greatly increase the power of States...

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On 1/9/2024 at 11:01 AM, Ash said:

Yes agreed - I noted briefly on the post but we do intend to add the ability to save presets in a future update (but that will be after 2.4 release). Also to set up more complex rules based on multiple queries (e.g. in the example I gave in the OP you could set up a smart state which says "Turn all layers which fulfils EN query on AND turn all layers which fulfil DE query off AND turn all layers which fulfil JA query off". i.e. so in a single click you could get to your English version.

@Ash It would be REALLY beneficial if the new Captured States feature also supported Transform changes. Oftentimes I need to adjust the position of background elements when changing language translations or testing compositions, so that objects remain in proper relative alignment. Thanks for your consideration and everything you do!

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10 hours ago, Viktor CR said:

I'd like to test changing words/terms within a larger portion of copy based on selected state.

How would I do this without duplicating the entire text frame, which is also connected to a flow of further text frames, if visibility is decided only on the level of layers?

Unfortunately, this feature seems to be conceived for mostly-graphical documents, not text-based ones. The ability to hide portions of text in the same layer/frame is not there.

Yet, it seems to me that it would make much sense in Publisher.

Paolo

 

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3 hours ago, Hangman said:

Quite possibly... if I'm missing something or have not seen something you're seeing then absolutely happy to learn and be corrected...

It may just be a different way of thinking about it. I made a video where I try to demonstrate why I think about it the way I do, but it is fine if you or others may not like to think about it in this way. In the video, I try to show why I think of query states as smart selections defined according to chosen criteria to which we can apply numerous operations, especially “show all” and “hide all,” but others as well.

If nothing else, I have come to realize what a powerful feature this is. Thanks Serif!

 
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Hi @garrettm30,

Many thanks for your video, I can see exactly where you're coming from now and you are right... I'd been thinking about this in a slightly different way but your video highlights the true power of this function more so when you have hundreds or thousands of layers in a file.

Thank you for taking the time to explain this in the way you have, I now realise the feature is way more powerful than I originally thought...

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On 1/3/2024 at 8:27 AM, Ash said:
  • Create queries based on various criteria to use to make a selection or toggle visibility of layers

Hello @Ash,

The new States studio has a great feature called Select ↖️ enabling selecting Layers matching the Query's criteria. This exposes a mechanism for saving object selections.

Please consider adding a Save Selection… command to the Select menu (and supporting UI), so we can save a manual selection of objects which cannot be grouped due to hierarchy issues. I don't think it should live in the States studio, but at least initially in the Select menu.

Alternatively, please consider adding a Select command/icon to the Captured States item list, so we can save and select items.

This is a must for complex designs, as grouping does not work when objects are in different groups in the Layer hierarchy. Thanks for your consideration and all you do!

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