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Designer: Making equal adjustments to node handles


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If I have a curve and want to edit a node that has two handles, how can I adjust one and have the other handle mirror that adjustment? For instance, let's say I have a semi-circular curve and I want to move the center node's handle away from the node by 20 points. I want the other handle to move 20 points in the opposite direction so that the curve adjusts equally on both sides. I tried dragging the handle using modifier keys to accomplish this, but nothing seemed to work. Maybe not possible?

 

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  • Staff

Hi Dogcow,

 

You could select the nodes you want to move a specific distance using the Node Tool [A] then use the Transform tab to move them by a specific amount instead of dragging them :)

 

C

Please tag me using @ in your reply so I can be sure to respond ASAP.

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  • Staff

Hi dogcow,

Currently it's not possible to move both handles simultaneously but if you place the first handle where you want then press ⇧ (shift) and drag the other it will snap to the same distance as the first (from the center) - you will see a small vertical line appear in each handle to let you know that both have the same distance.

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Hi dogcow. Your screen name & avatar are a nice "blast from the past."  :) Moof!

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V2.4.2 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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Hi dogcow,

Currently it's not possible to move both handles simultaneously but if you place the first handle where you want then press ⇧ (shift) and drag the other it will snap to the same distance as the first (from the center) - you will see a small vertical line appear in each handle to let you know that both have the same distance.

 

Right, it looks like the Shift key will constrict the handles to the y-axis position of the node being modified, but what I was asking for is to move handles away or towards the node with the same offset.

 

For example, currently if I drag the right handle (represented by '(H)') of a node , the other handle will remain. If the node is at the apex of a semi-circle, one side will take on a different shape.

(H)------(N)--------------(H)

 

What I'd like is to hold a modifier key while dragging a handle to mimic the same offset for the other handle. This would allow symmetric edits to both curves controlled by a node's handles.

(H)--------------(N)--------------(H)

 

 

Hi dogcow. Your screen name & avatar are a nice "blast from the past."  :) Moof!

 

 

Thanks.  :)  I grew up designing on a classic Mac, and will always have a special affection for the old OS. How things have changed, and yet haven't!

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I also would like to see a modifier key to enable symmetric adjustments of the handles. Since all the other usual ones are already used, the Control key would be the obvious choice. So for example, Control + Shift would both constrain the drag direction & adjust both handles simultaneously.

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V2.4.2 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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Hi dogcow,

Currently it's not possible to move both handles simultaneously but if you place the first handle where you want then press ⇧ (shift) and drag the other it will snap to the same distance as the first (from the center) - you will see a small vertical line appear in each handle to let you know that both have the same distance.

 

 

Right, it looks like the Shift key will constrict the handles to the y-axis position of the node being modified, but what I was asking for is to move handles away or towards the node with the same offset.

 

For example, currently if I drag the right handle (represented by '(H)') of a node , the other handle will remain. If the node is at the apex of a semi-circle, one side will take on a different shape.

(H)------(N)--------------(H)

 

MEB's instructions work for me in AD on Windows beta 1.5.0.15. The Shift key not only constrains the angle (rather than the y-axis position) but also gives me the small vertical line that he mentioned.

 

In your example, drag the left handle away from the node or drag the right handle towards the node, in either case holding down the Shift key as you drag. There should be a detent when you reach the 'small vertical line' point, and releasing the mouse button will give you the symmetric node that you want.

Alfred spacer.png
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for Windows • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for iPad • iPadOS 17.4.1 (iPad 7th gen)

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In your example, drag the left handle away from the node or drag the right handle towards the node, in either case holding down the Shift key as you drag. There should be a detent when you reach the 'small vertical line' point, and releasing the mouse button will give you the symmetric node that you want.

 

But that just moves one handle to make it symmetric with the other, already adjusted one. What is desired is a way to adjust one handle & have the other one mirror it, all in one step.

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V2.4.2 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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Hi dogcow

I understood your question but as I said currently it's not possible to adjust both nodes simultaneously. What I was trying to explain was that If you press ⇧ (shift) you are not only constraining (locking) the angle of both handles but you are also able to make them snap to the same offset (only if both handles share the same axis). You will see a small vertical line crossing both handles when this happens - check this clip (no sound).

 

The ability to adjust both nodes handles simultaneously was already requested quite a few times and I believe will be implemented in a future version.

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What is desired is a way to adjust one handle & have the other one mirror it, all in one step.

 

Understood, R C-R. I was treating it as a given that, as Miguel had already stated, it isn't currently possible to move both handles simultaneously. :)

Alfred spacer.png
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for Windows • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for iPad • iPadOS 17.4.1 (iPad 7th gen)

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  • 2 years later...
  • 1 year later...

Hello,

   I was curious if anyone has heard anything about this being offered in the near future? I see the recent update has not changes anything.  This is a huge drawback and makes for allot of extra time being spent for a simple adjustment.

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1 hour ago, CJ_LAX said:

I was curious if anyone has heard anything about this being offered in the near future? I see the recent update has not changes anything.  This is a huge drawback and makes for allot of extra time being spent for a simple adjustment.

Yes, it's been in the last several versions.  Holding down the ctrl key (on the mac) will adjust both handles proportional to their starting size, in opposite directions.  When combined with the shift key it's easy to move both handles at the same time.

iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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2 minutes ago, Gear maker said:

Yes, it's been in the last several versions.  Holding down the ctrl key (on the mac) will adjust both handles proportional to their starting size, in opposite directions.  When combined with the shift key it's easy to move both handles at the same time.

awesome!  Sorry, completely spaced out that.  Thank You

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  • 1 year later...

And yet another question regarding the same issue. Am I reading it right that it's implemented it Mac version but not in Windows? I'm on Windows, AD v1.10.5 and I can't manipulate both handles simultaneously, e.g. increasing the length of one does not increase the length of the opposite handle. It doesn't do it with CTRL either. I've tried all combinations I could think of.

That's such a pity that when I google something regarding an "issue" in AD, I land on this forum, where the most common answer is "it's not possible" (at least what I personally search for), and often the answer is made several years ago, and trying it several years after the initial post, still nothing changed. I can understand some special features not being implemented, but some very fundamental ones - I just don't get it. Pity. I'd honestly paid more (to Affinity only, never to Adobe) just to get the updates that make me work more productively.

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29 minutes ago, JOleg said:

 I can't manipulate both handles simultaneously

Click on the handle with the left mouse button, hold it down and then press the right mouse button. Keep both buttons pressed while adjusting the handle.
When finished, release the left mouse button first, then the right.

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6 minutes ago, G13RL said:

Click on the handle with the left mouse button, hold it down and then press the right mouse button. Keep both buttons pressed while adjusting the handle.
When finished, release the left mouse button first, then the right.

Wow! That is actually working!! 🤩 Thank you! A very unexpected key combination but it sure works! Another cool thing I've found is that if you click-and-drag the node itself (not the handles) while pressing 2 mouse keys at the same time, then the node moves but the handles stay in place, that's awesome.

And while I was searching for this "mirroring" function, I've found one more cool thing: suppose you are dragging one handle but you want to reposition the node it belongs to. So, normally, you'd stop dragging the handle, clicked the node, repositioned the node and then modified the handle again. Well, you can reposition the node while you're dragging the handle: press SPACE while manipulating a handle, that will momentarily switch to manipulating the node.

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  • 1 year later...
On 4/14/2022 at 3:11 AM, G13RL said:

Click on the handle with the left mouse button, hold it down and then press the right mouse button. Keep both buttons pressed while adjusting the handle.
When finished, release the left mouse button first, then the right.

I had forgotten this didn't exist, and wasn't aware of this extra-convoluted workaround.

There are so many times where you really need the opposite handles to mirror each other, and this workaround is clumsy, at best. (Although I am glad it exists and was posted here.)

Considering this basic path editing function is available on the Mac and not Windows (and every other vector program I'm aware of) really does add to the frustration.

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  • 7 months later...

I have a somehow similar question: Is it possible to make simultaneous adjustments to handles of different nodes? In my case nodes that are on the exact opposite of a curve object or group, so that I would be able to warp it exactly consistent on both sides. I suppose that it is probably not possible, but it would be very helpful if it was, so I'm asking.

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