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Hello

 

I've got two issues with duplicating objects. These aren't exactly bugs as it looks like they are so by design, but they fool me every time so I'm wondering what the rationale behind them is.

 

1. I first have to select an object before duplicating it by holding the alt-key while dragging the object. This is not the case when I just want to move the object, because this can be done without selecting it first. Is there a good reason for this behavior?

 

2. When duplicating an object and moving it immediately (for example when you drag the object with the alt-key pressed) Affinity registers two actions behind the screens: first it duplicates, then it moves the new object. This is confusing when undoing the duplication: it requires two undo's while it looks like you've only did one action. This results in having unwanted duplications right on top of the original.

 

Thanks!

Bauke

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You cannot duplicate an object without first selecting it. That is two steps. If you then move it, that is a third step, listed as transform in history.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Yes, but why? In InDesign you can easily option-drag an object and get a copy.

But aren't you still selecting it? If it isn't selected how does any app know what you want to duplicate?


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Thanks to Fixx's reply I just found out you can duplicate immediately using the command key on mac instead of the alt-key. I still wonder why there's a difference between the alt- and command-behavior though.

 

R C-R, I think you misunderstand the second issue I wrote about. Ignoring whether you have to select an object first or not, command-dragging or alt-dragging the object (which feels like one action) still lists two actions in history. To be more specific: when you start dragging the object with the command or alt key pressed, the history logs a 'duplicate' entry, and when you release the mouse button, it logs a 'transform' entry.

 

-----

Edited this message because I erroneously called the command key the option key. Option key = alt key.

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I did not misunderstand you. They are separate steps, even though we do not normally think of them as such. Consider that a click actually consists of two separate actions: button down & button up. A drag is a button down plus a translation. A drop is a third action.

 

The History panel records the results of these actions, collapsing some but not all into a single step.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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I understand that's how it technically (behind the screens) works, but I am arguing for a more intuitive way. If you compare it with virtually all other application interfaces, including OSX or Windows itself, you'll notice that drag-to-duplicate is considered one user-action.

 

Even Affinity itself uses this logic most of the time. For example, when you click and drag with the pen-tool, you add a node and change the curve in one user-action. The history panel merges the adding of the node and changing of the curve in one entry. It requires one step back to undo both actions.

 

I'd like to see this logic extended to drag-to-duplicate.

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But aren't you still selecting it? If it isn't selected how does any app know what you want to duplicate?

As like I am option-clicking the object and then dragging it without releasing mouse button app knows perfectly well what is being duplicated.

 

Now, option and alt is supposed to be same key in Mac. BUT. I can COMMAND-drag an object and it duplicates perfectly! Now this is weird. That SHOULD be alt-dragging behaviour. Command-drag is generally not used in Mac and there is no guidelines for its use. In Win-side control-drag is duplication action.

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I understand that's how it technically (behind the screens) works, but I am arguing for a more intuitive way.

You asked for the rationale behind the behavior. I have tried to explain that. If you want a different behavior, you can add it as feature request.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Now, option and alt is supposed to be same key in Mac. BUT. I can COMMAND-drag an object and it duplicates perfectly! Now this is weird. That SHOULD be alt-dragging behaviour. Command-drag is generally not used in Mac and there is no guidelines for its use. In Win-side control-drag is duplication action.

In Affinity on a Mac, the alt/option key is used during drag operations to temporarily disable snapping. So when you alt-drag an object to duplicate it, you may have noticed that if snapping is turned on, the duplicate doesn't snap to anything until or unless you release the key during the drag. As an alternative, command-dragging lets you duplicate with snapping enabled without the need to release any key during the drag.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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You asked for the rationale behind the behavior. I have tried to explain that. If you want a different behavior, you can add it as feature request.

 

Hi R C-R,

 

Thanks for explaining that. In this case I should have been clearer (English is not my native language). I tried to find out why the developers chose this behavior. If they chose this non-conventional behavior because of a good reason, I'm sure they made a right decision but I'm curious what the reason might be. Before hearing that, I won't file a feature request, because I'm not sure yet if I would disagree with them.

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Developers need to (or at least should) consider things that end users often don't. For a product range like Affinity, that includes preserving feature parity across at least two platforms (& maybe a third if you add iOS devices to the mix), file compatibly among their current & future apps for all supported platforms, & maximizing import/export compatibility with the apps of other developers (like Adobe).

 

They also need to consider how best to integrate support for new app features without compromising any of the above or changing the existing UI so much that users have to relearn how to do things they already have learned to do in the apps.

 

It is all interrelated, so for example some of those "extra" history/undo/redo steps may be needed in the future to support things like macros/actions, batch processing, scripting, or improved plug-in support.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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