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lvl99

Automation, scripting, plugins...

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Would love automation/scripting/actions and ability to create all these (perhaps as "plugins") in a common scripting language like JavaScript (even allowing a "simple" mode similar to recording actions in Photoshop).

 

For workflows which are repetitive it would be great to automate common actions as well as support third-party plugins which allows sharing common workflows, extend basic functionality, etc.

 

Programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch and even something like Unity3D support this, and a cottage industry of helpful third-party plugins exist to extend the features and usability of apps beyond the capabilities of the core dev team.

 

I think for Sketch it is a huge draw-card for users to automatically do things like create interactive mockups, export multiple files/sizes at a click of a button, and I would imagine that it would open up some great community-driven potential for Affinity's range of products (especially for Affinity Publisher, which I'm really looking forward to playing with, being a long-time sufferer of InDesign since Adobe shelved Freehand).

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Examples of automation/scripts/plugins:

* Convert layers to artboards and arrange in grid with X/Y spacing

* Define interactions between artboards/layers/groups/objects to show/hide and export as HTML

* Replace colours/palette throughout document

* Define string variables and insert as special characters in text objects. Can change value of text variable which is replaced throughout variable instances within document

 

By supporting a scripting language could even open up to procedural generation artwork techniques, incorporating randomness, automating repetitive tasks, etc.

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Hi lvl99,

Welcome to Affinity Forums and thanks for your feedback  :)

There was already several threads/discussions about scripting, however as far as i know this is not something we plan to implement that soon. There's still work to do/other features planned coming first some of them may cover part of the examples you gave (prototyping, selecting/changing object's by their attributes etc). For more information on this please check Affinity Designer's roadmap.

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Thanks MEB. I've looked at the roadmap and also did some searches before I posted my thread, but didn't find anything at the time which addressed my main concerns/request.

 

I've been using Affinity Designer for a while now and find that when preparing multiple icons for creating icon fonts (via IcoMoon) that there's a lot of repetitive actions I'm doing which could be fulfilled by some automation system. For example, I have 50 layers with varying widths and heights, currently to export all as SVG at the same width/height I need to insert an empty rectangle into each layer which is the same size as the document dimensions. Painfully tedious. There must be a better way!

 

With a plugin/scripting system, I could potentially create icon font files within Affinity Designer itself just from the layers...

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I hope an SDK becomes more or priority in the future, if you look at what's happening with Sketch you can see the massive potential and I think it's one of the reasons the Sketch community has rocketed upwards over the last year or so. I'd love to see the same thing happen with Designer!

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Invision has Craft which is a suite of plugins for Photoshop and Sketch. To have some kind of API to build plugins for AD would be amazing and would allow it to interop better with a wide variety of applications & services. Sketch's benefit is that it is highly pluggable, and I think AD needs it to be competitive (I'm getting annoyed having to restart AD everytime I enable a font via my font management software).

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Hi lvl99,

You don't have to restart Affinity for the font to appear in the font list. Go to Affinity Designer/Photo Preferences ▸ Miscellaneous and click the Reset Fonts button.

It would be nice if AD would operate like everything else I use and truly see the change automatically and enumerate the newly activated fonts without doing that.

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Hi MikeW,

This should only be used as a last resource. On the Mac (MAS) newly activated fonts does appear on the font list automatically.

I will check on Windows but i believe it's working the same way.

 

Thanks, MEB.

 

It does work once in a while and I see no rhyme nor reason as to the "why" of it. 

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