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Suggestions and missing things in the Layers panel


rubs
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I'm posting some new topics on things I feel are missing in AD. I use Xara Designer as my workhorse since it exists, but I really want to replace it -- seems the new company is focusing less and less in the professional market. I also use CorelDraw, Illustrator (with my students) and and even Inkscape now and then.

 

So about the Layers panel, here are my suggestions along with some points I feel AD lags behind the competition:

  1. To toggle an object's visibility I just click its checkbox. That's fine, but to toggle its editability I have to select the object then click the single padlock in the upper right. (Which is misaligned BTW: the padlock icon is above the visibility checkboxes so it will mislead novice users into thinking that the checkboxes are used to lock layers.) Then a padlock icon appears and I can click it to unlock the object. I know AD is modeled after Illustrator, but these are quite inconsistent approaches for similar actions. Xara, CorelDRAW and even Inkscape have a much better solution: both commands are toggle icons for every object, and the padlock never disappears: it just changes state.
  2. Productivity tool: Solo layer / object (Xara).
  3. Productivity tool: a button to make all layers / objects visible (Xara again).
  4. Productivity tool: a button to make all layers / objects editable (Xara again).
  5. The thumbnails in AD are way better than the others, but they may become invisible because the background is always dark gray. Affinity should show a checkered background or compute the background color automatically, perhaps.
 
Of course if anyone knows about hidden shortcuts of alternate ways of doing the above I'd love to hear from you. Thanks, and sorry for the long post...
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Moved to suggestions, as these would affect Mac and Windows versions.

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
When moving objects around in the layer panel, the flexibility of Affinity Designer to nest objects inside one another may be a bit confusing. It's too easy to insert an object inside another when your real intention is to insert it above or below the other object. Maybe using a key modifier while moving objects in the Layers panel would make it easier to differentiate between actions. Also, maybe using different color rectangles instead of blue for both actions would help.

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Xara, CorelDRAW and even Inkscape have a much better solution: both commands are toggle icons for every object, and the padlock never disappears: it just changes state.

 

Now I see you already have the same approach in the Layers panel in the Export persona! You should do the same in the Draw persona for consistence (not to mention half of the clicking 50% less clicking when locking objects.).

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