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svicalifornia

Resize modifier keys are wrong for macOS

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First, thank you for making such a promising design program. As someone who has always found Adobe products to be clunky and cumbersome, I've been waiting for over a decade for a viable alternative to emerge.

 

Unfortunately, when I started my trial of Affinity Designer, I was quickly disappointed to find that its modifier keys for proportional and centric resize are different than the macOS standard keys for those operations. Given how much I use proportional resize, this issue alone is nearly a dealbreaker for me and definitely dampened my enthusiasm to try the other features of Designer.

 

The standard keys for resize in macOS are Shift for proportional and Option for centric. These keys are used in all of Apple's own apps (Keynote, Pages, Preview, etc.) as well as the operating system itself. Try resizing any Mac window from its corner while holding Shift and/or Option, and it will resize proportionally and/or centrically. This clearly shows how fundamental this convention is in the Mac UX. All of the Adobe apps on the Mac also follow this convention, as does Microsoft Excel when resizing charts on a worksheet. In fact, I don't know of any Mac apps that don't follow this convention… except for Affinity Designer.

 

Since UI consistency is a key hallmark of the Mac's ease of use, I hope you will see fit to change the modifiers keys to match the standard, or at least give users the ability to set the modifier keys in Preferences. And since resizing objects is such a fundamental feature of any design program, I hope that this fix will be coming very soon.

 

Note that my feedback is based on Affinity Designer trial version 1.4.3, so I don't know if this was already fixed in 1.5. (When will a trial version of 1.5 become available?)

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Hi svicalifornia

 

Thanks for the feedback. We do use shift for proportional constraining, but cmd instead of alt for centric resizing as I;m sure you've discovered. For us alt is used to ignore the snapping. By default the shift behaviour is slightly different depending on the object as some such as text is contrained by default so the modifier is used to unconstrain it. This can be changed in preferences to always contrain or unconstrain instead if you wish.

 

This is good user feedback though so it will be passed along for consideration for future releases


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I placed an AI file in my document, and it does not resize proportionally whether I hold Shift or not. It only resizes proportionally when holding Option, which is definitely the wrong key for resize, even going by what you posted.

 

This is in Designer Trial 1.4.3. Was this fixed in 1.5?

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We spent a lot of time deciding on which modifier keys to use.

 

Take in isolation it may appear to contradict the 'norms' of other apps, but Affinity makes use of a lot of modifiers across all our tools, and we have decided upon certain modifiers for certain common functions in light of how they play with other tools.  We also apply combinations of modifiers, which some tools offering editing options that can make use of all four keys simaltaneously.

 

Any 'standards' defined by other apps will not have the larger set of requirements that we have.  They more likely use only one, maybe two, keys at a time.

 

So -

 

Shift - always affects constraining (which is applied in different ways depending upon the tool)

Alt - always overrides snapping (of any sort)

 

The main driver for these choices is the way they work across the Pen and Node tools, which we consider the cornerstone tools for a drawing app.  Certain modifier combinations are required when editing curves that are harder to physically achieve due to how your fingers fall on the keys.

 

We have tried other keys, but they did not work as well in context of all the tools.  We do not want to use different keys in different tools to achieve the same logic.  That would only lead to confusion.

 

At this stage a lot of our users will have developed muscle memory based on our modifier standard.


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Hi svicalifornia,

There was a bug where placed documents were not honouring the setting defined in the Preferences, Tools section,  Move Tool Aspect Constrain dropdown which was already fixed in v1.5.

However shift was always used to affect constraining. If you have Move Tool Aspect Constrain set to Automatic you shouldn't need to press anything to resize the document proportionately (in version 1.4.3 this may not work correctly and you still may have to press Shift for it to work).

Are you running any menu app or third party utility that may be interfering with the shortcut keys?

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