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Stephen_H

Scaling during copy 'n pasting between documents

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I have 2 Designer documents open. I copy a vector object in one document, go to the other document and paste it in. When I paste it, the object shrinks by about 20%.

 

What's causing it, is that the two documents have different PPI settings so my object is maintaining its dimensions in pixels.

 

Is there any way to keep the paste scaling based on physical dimensions (millimeters) rather than pixel dimensions (PPI)?

 

I understand that this is best practice when copy 'n pasting between AP documents because it's primarily a pixel editor and we don't want objects resampling without our knowledge, but AD is a vector editor and vectors, by their very nature, are pixel independent.

 

Please tell me there's a setting somewhere in the preferences I can change to get this corrected. It's really quite frustrating and it's a problem when trying to keep elements consistent across multiple documents.

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Is there any way to keep the paste scaling based on physical dimensions (millimeters) rather than pixel dimensions (PPI)?

Since vectors are not defined based on absolute physical dimensions I do not think there is. Because they are resolution independent there is no "resampling" being done; they are just scaled according to the DPI setting of the AD (or AP) document they are pasted into.

 

If you need to keep element size consistent across multiple documents, the easiest way to do that is to use the same DPI setting for all of them.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.0.1

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Because they are resolution independent

 

 

That's the heart of my confusion – if they are independent of resolution, why is resolution being used to define it's size in my document? I'd question wether vectors don't dave physical dimensions. In maths, you're correct because it's purely an expression of direction and velocity that gets usually expressed in the form of a chart or a wave.

 

In the world of graphics, dimensions play a huge role in vectors. The position of a vector node is defined by distance (in your choice of unit of measure) from the edge of the document and in relation to other vector nodes. Vectors can be expressed by pixels (rasterized to an image or displayed on a screen), but it's definitely defined by dimensions.

 

But this all very complex and mostly irrelevant. I've just tried a test that bugs me because it defies logic. This is what I did.

 

  1. I created an A4 document with a raster dpi of 72 using millimeters as the unit of measure.(note that the document is defined by dimensions)
  2. I then created an identical document that's also been defined by page size and uses millimeters as the unit of measure, but gave it a higher raster resolution of 300ppi.
  3. I drew a vector object in one.
  4. Copied it
  5. Pasted it into the second document.

The two objects (not pixel layers) have different dimensions. I find this amazing since I've even defined the unit of measure in both documents as millimeters, not pixels. The transform panel displays dimensions – no reference to pixels anywhere. I've also made sure to work in the Draw persona and not accidentally copy and paste in Pixel Persona (I'd expect this result from working this way)

 

The more I try this and find a work process that keeps consistency, the more frustrated I'm becoming (sorry if it's showing in my posts). This tells me that AD, the "vector application" is at its heart completely pixel-based.

 

Alternatively, it means the clipboard being generated is pixel-based which is equally bad since Apple's clipboard supports everything (I think it's PDF-based, but I don't know where I got that impression from). I have found an option in the presences to use SVG for the clipboard, but that didn't make any difference.

 

 

 

 

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Oh, and working in documents with the same resolution wasn't an option because I was opening existing PDF documents. I actually tried changing the raster setting of the problem document down from 400ppi to 300ppi to match my other documents, but all the objects scaled up and fell off the edges of the document.

 

This meant I had to scale everything down to get the files to match – something I had to do manually with careful attention to detail so that document is factionally different to all the rest. (NI doubt anyone will notice, but I know that document isn't perfect)

 

This means everything is defined by pixel-related info and this bothers me because I don't see a simple fix like a checkbox in the preferences.

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Changing "Objects will Scale" to "Objects will Anchor to page" in document presences also made no difference.

(I thought this might be a relative vs absolute setting. Not so it seems, though it has piqued my curiosity as to what it's for...)

 

Oh, I also tried all this processes above in regular documents and in documents with art boards. I thought an art board might define size and positions differently. (Also, no difference in my experience)

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It shouldn't happen, it does happen and it's quite frustrating, I agree.

 

I *think* I remember one of the Serif people mention it shouldn't occur and will be looked at. But I could be mis-remembering.

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AWESOME NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

"Objects will scale" makes the objects maintain their dimensions when the raster resolution is changed. This is a huge step for me. At least I can match all my documents to the same resolution without messing up my layout. Then copy and pasting will keep the object's dimension.

 

:D  :D  :D  :D

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Unfortunately, the raster resolution of a document cannot be changed if you are using art boards. Ah well, at least I have my work around – even if it does mean making multiple documents to leapfrog copied objects from one document to the next.

 

<_<

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In reality, the only types of things a document DPI setting should affect in a vector drawing application are bitmap effect scaling, not anything else.

 

Like a few other items I am waiting for somewhat patiently, I'm not holding my breath for it to happen soon. I would rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed...

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Not to start any rumors, but I wonder if this "pixel-based" layout is a necessity to allow for the documents to be opened between the applications so seamlessly. If it is, we may have stumbled on the reason why Publisher's release keeps getting pushed back. A layout application absolutely has to be resolution independent to maintain the resolution of placed/linked images. The promise of opening all documents up into any of their applications might be creating an impossible challenge.

 

Dear Moderator. Feel free to delete this post if it's out of line. I won't be offended. Rumors are rumors and I have no insight to your development process.

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Eh, dunno.

 

I personally think the document resolution simply had an unintended knock-on effect. I suspect they'll get it sorted out. It's the "when" it will happen that's the question.

 

Affinity Publisher simply cannot have a document resolution that affects type and other vector elements. But then again, neither should AD...

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Regarding rescaling artboards, if you select an artboard (not something in it) there is a "Lock Children" checkbox in the Context toolbar when the Move tool is selected. If you uncheck that, scaling the artboard will scale its contents proportionally -- they will not fall off the artboard. (Note that for some reason, the "Lock Children" checkbox does not appear if the artboard is empty. I think it would be useful or at least not as confusing if it did.)

 

As for copied & pasted vectors 'inheriting' the DPI setting of the paste target, consider what would happen if you selected several items at the same time & copied them to the clipboard, some vector layers & others pixel layers, or a group that had both in them. If the vectors did not paste at the DPI setting of the target but the pixels did, it would be a mess.

 

Also consider that the paste target might not be AD or AP.  For example, Apple's Preview app will open Affinity items copied to the clipboard via the "New from Clipboard" File menu item. Since it does not support vectors, if the clipboard contains vector descriptions everything will be converted to a flattened PDF raster image. Again, if vector & pixel layers were not converted at the same DPI, the result would be an unusable mess.

 

Yet another thing to consider: "Actual size" has always been a somewhat ambiguous term. The AD Document Setup & both the AD & AP New Document dialog boxes put single quotes around 'Actual size' zoom, & only give you a limited number of device specific choices for that. Apple's Preview preferences let you define "Actual Size" ("Define 100% scale" as it is termed there) in two different ways, one based on screen pixels & the other based on printout size, & separately for "Images" & "PDF" documents.

 

This is part of why I said vectors are not defined based on "absolute physical dimensions." It apparently isn't just an Affinity thing; it seems to be inherent in how clipboards are designed to work within & across different apps. In OS X, vectors or mixed vector & pixel items are copied as text data (in svg XML format if the "Copy items as SVG" General preference is set in Affinity documents). The target app for a paste has to interpret that data & decide how (or if) it can use it. How best to do that can be ambiguous, & it must consider things like mixed vector & raster image copies, print or screen contexts, & so on.

 

Maybe the Affinity developers can improve this to allow for simpler workflows like the one you want, but it is not as simple as deciding how vector drawing applications should handle copying & pasting separately from how raster apps should -- they are not really independent of each other, either within or across different apps.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.0.1

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Sorry for replying to an old thread, but I ran into this issue too.

To the devs: Could there at least be a "Paste with same physical size" option in the edit menu? Ideally there would also be a preference setting to always do this by default.

 

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