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joshuaiz

Option-Drag from center to scale/transform

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First of all, amazing piece of software - I've been using it for 3 days and already ready to give up Illustrator which I have been using since v1.

 

Maybe this was covered in another thread but I couldn't find one:

 

- ability to use Option-Drag to scale or transform object out from center. This is a key feature in most mac drawing programs so not sure why this wasn't included. If there is another way to do this with AD, let me know.

 

Thanks!

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It's not a poor decision when you consider that we have carefully normalised the use of the modifier keys across all our tools. The most used tools determined our choices for these keys.

 

So, for example, Shift is always used to constrain (proportions or direction), Alt is always used to temporarily cancel snapping.

 

When you look at the bigger picture our decisions should make better sense.  We also make more heavy use of the modifier keys for tools like our Pen and Node tools.  As a result of this we chose to define our own key usage, mostly determined by how the left hand falls on the modifier keys on the standard Mac keyboard, and how it feels more natural to operate combinations of the keys when using the Tools.  We tried following standardized keys usage, but it only works for single keys (which is fine for apps that offer less powerful control compared to our tools) - in combination with other keys it felt cumbersome and with heavy use even uncomfortable.


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While recognizing that I may simply be experiencing learning pains here, I tend to agree with the original poster. I have no doubt that Affinity have put all kinds of thought into how these things *should* work, but the fact is that every other piece of software I'm familiar with does things in the "standard" way, ie. [alt] scales from center, [shift] constrains proportions, etc. Every time I scale a layer in APhoto, I have to play around with the keys until I get the behavior I'm after. Is this really necessary? Could we not have a preference option to use the "standard" scaling keys? True, it may be less powerful than the Affinity team's solution, but it would give newbies an easier way in, and just seems like a win–win solution for everyone.

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I've just discovered that the key combinations change depending on whether you're scaling a bitmap or vector object. For example, holding down [shift] constrains proportions when scaling a vector object, but has no immediately apparent effect when scaling a bitmap layer. No wonder I find this frustrating!

 

This has got to be a bug, right?

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Hi greyscale :)

Welcome to Affinity Forums.

It's not a bug. In Affinity Designer/Photo you don't have to press any modifier key to scale objects that possess an intrinsic natural aspect ratio, like images or text. You only need to press shift to scale proportionately objects without a defined aspect ratio, like shapes.

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Thanks for the welcome, MEB. And thanks for producing such a great piece of software!

 

I hadn't even considered it as a possibility, but I have to say that, when you stop and think about it, scaling bitmaps and text proportionally by default just makes perfect sense, and I think that's a great call on Affinity's part.

 

I'm on the fence, though, about how natural the rest will be. Will my muscle memory learn to intuitively distinguish between objects that have and don't have natural aspect ratios? I imagine you've tested it out, and your answer is yes. In which case, I guess I'll just give it some more time and see if it all becomes intuitive. Still, I think an option to use the "traditional" constraining keys would be a plus.

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Hi greyscale,

 

Thanks for that - I do appreciate that it's always awkward when you're used to doing something fairly fundamental a certain way and then when something acts differently it immediately 'feels' wrong... I think we've mentioned in another post some time ago that it might be best if we add a Preferences option for this behaviour so it can be forced to act in a consistent manner, rather than applying our default logic which is sometimes not what people are going to feel comfortable with.

 

Thanks,

Matt

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Hello joshuaiz,

Welcome to Affinity Forums.

The key modifier to scale/transform from center is cmd+drag in Affinity Designer.

(Note that my background is in UX, and as a very long-time Mac user.)

 

I have to agree with others that holding Option to drag from the center has been the convention on the Mac since time immemorial. One of the biggest strengths of the Mac platform is consistency between apps, not just within them, and I really think it would behoove Affinity to follow this convention. Don't bother making it a setting -- just change it to Option so Affinity is consistent with the platform convention at all times. 

 

That said, I just took a look at Affinity Photo and I am highly impressed. I really hope that this product is able to grow into a worthy replacement for That Professional Photo Editing Tool Everyone Uses But Hates The Vendor Of. Best of luck!!

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While recognizing that I may simply be experiencing learning pains here, I tend to agree with the original poster. I have no doubt that Affinity have put all kinds of thought into how these things *should* work, but the fact is that every other piece of software I'm familiar with does things in the "standard" way, ie. [alt] scales from center, [shift] constrains proportions, etc. Every time I scale a layer in APhoto, I have to play around with the keys until I get the behavior I'm after. Is this really necessary? Could we not have a preference option to use the "standard" scaling keys? True, it may be less powerful than the Affinity team's solution, but it would give newbies an easier way in, and just seems like a win–win solution for everyone.

Just curious which other pieces of software you are familiar with?

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I was searching the forums to see if there's a setting I'm missing for this. Even if it makes perfect sense given how the modifier keys are used throughout the app, I would prefer it to be the same as my other apps (sketch, keynote, adobe...). It just slows down learning a new software so much...

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Would love to add my +1 to this. The convention for option-drag and cmd-drag is resize-from-center and resize-without-snapping (respectively) across all other Mac apps I use. Here are some:

- Keynote (where I do 90% of my work while also using Affinity Designer)

- Finder (e.g., try resizing a Finder window with option-drag)

- Preview (e.g., drawing over PDF files)

- Markup (within Mail, etc)

- Graphic (sadly, I sometimes leave Designer to use Graphic to get arrowheads for dimensioning technical drawings)

- Pages

I would be so much happier with Designer if there was a preference to switch to the usual Mac convention for these modifiers. I do not go back and forth between Affinity apps, but I am *constantly* going back and forth between Designer and Keynote and Finder and Mail and Preview and etc...

 

Thanks for considering. Designer is such a great app!

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On 10/13/2018 at 12:58 AM, nblck said:

Would love to add my +1 to this. The convention for option-drag and cmd-drag is resize-from-center and resize-without-snapping (respectively) across all other Mac apps I use. Here are some:

I think this perfectly illustrates why the option to reverse Command and Option modifiers for this purpose would be beneficial. It's practically muscle memory, and having to constantly fight it in those few applications that are doing things differently – for a benefit that is not yet apparent to me as a new Affinity Designer user – results in increased cognitive load and frustration when using such an application.

I see the explanation about ergonomics and how the "left hand falls on the standard Mac keyboard", but as a left-handed person (always using the pointing device with the left hand) I'm having a hard time buying this argument. How come the "industry standard" modifier assignment supposedly only works for single keys? In my experience, it works fine with at least three keys at once: holding Shift for constraining proportions, holding Option to scale from the centre, and holding Command to prevent snapping. I just tried this in Keynote, and had no problems performing the desired action, and also didn't find it more uncomfortable. At least in my use I need to resize from centre way more often than to resize without snapping, and I find it much nicer that the standard key to do that is closer to the Shift key.

If anything, this is to illustrate that what works for some people in terms of ergonomics and workflow, may not work for others – particularly when we're talking about a tool that has many different user groups, each with more or less different kinds of needs. I, like nblck vote for consistency within the platform and putting that powerful muscle memory to use – add a preference to swap Option and Command for resize/drawing actions. It would make Designer feel that much more at home on the Mac.

 

Thanks, likewise, for considering :)

 

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