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One of my favorite features from Illustrator is that it has a library of symbols. I do enjoy designer, but there are some things that i really miss and one of those is a library of premade symbols.

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The Assets panel is Affinity Designer’s ‘symbols library’ (but most of the content in an Assets category will not be ‘symbols’ in the Affinity sense).


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The assets panel isn't really what I meant. In Illustrator the symbols panel has shapes, floral objects, arrows, and so much more. Its very useful when you need something specific but don't want to make it. Then you simply use the symbols panels.

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The Shape tools give you a wide variety of adjustable shapes almost instantly. If that still isn’t what you want, you can import SVG files downloaded for free from sites such as OpenClipart.org.


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One of my favorite features from Illustrator is that it has a library of symbols.

As Alfred mentions, you can get clipart from many sources. One kind of such sources will no doubt be Affinity users who create Symbol libraries and share them with the community.

But I trust you understand that the libraries that ship with Illustrator are just demos of some of the kinds of things you might store as Symbols, and that the real power and purpose of a symbols feature is its functional linking between instances of the same symbol. You should find Affinity's Symbols feature significantly more powerful than Illustrator's (at least as of the last normally-licensed version, CS6) in at least these ways:

  • Alfred also mentioned Affinity's Shape Tools. These are not only a library of pre-defined shapes, but are shapes with live geometric properties (far more than Illustrator's archaically basic set of traditional LBOs (pronounced "elbows" and an old reference to the ubiquitous "lines, boxes, and ovals" tools that date back to the earliest days of desktop publishing). Illustrator's LBOs only just recently gained any kind of truly live adjustability. (Just one of many features long considered standard-fare in other programs, but which Illustrator was decades late in providing.) So each Shape Tool in Affinity effectively represents a whole "library" of shapes. The Cog Tool, for example, constitutes a whole "library" of cogs of any inner radius, any outer radius, and any number of teeth.

    But what does this have to do with Symbols? Well, not only does Affinity provide many more interactively adjustable shapes, but those Shape objects can also be stored as Symbols, and when so used, they retain all their live adjustability.
     
  • Another huge advantage to Affinity's treatment of Symbols is its Sync button which empowers you to toggle on or off the synchronizing of edits to a Symbol instance at the individual attribute level.
  •  

Using those two advantages in concert, you can for example:
 

  1. Use the Cog Tool to create a cog with, say, 12 teeth. Apply the Metal Style to it. Further stylize it as desired with fill, stroke, or effects.
  2. Open the Symbols palette and click the Create Button. The cog is added to the Symbols palette.
  3. Drag another instance of the cog from the Symbols palette onto the page.
  4. Click the Sync button to temporarily deactivate linking between the two instances.
  5. DoubleClick the second cog. Adjust its live shape parameters to change its radius and number of teeth. Reposition it so as to interlock its teeth with the first cog.
  6. Click the Sync button to reactivate syncing.
  7. Adjust its Gradient fill so as to re-orient the angle of the lighting. The change automatically applies to both cogs.

...and so on.

This is an example of the kind of functional integration between features (in this case, Symbols and Shapes) which compounds the power of each feature involved, instead of each feature existing standalone in its own functional vacuum, as is so often the case in old programs like Illustrator.

So Affinity doesn't ship with several "libraries" of static simple graphics stored as Symbols? That's pretty easy to overcome, and is a pretty small price to pay for much larger functionality.

Now, imagine if Affinity were to offer its own API and object model documentation (akin to Illustrator's JavaScript support, or Inkscape's Python extensions) to empower users to create their own native live Shape Objects. How about, for example, a single interactive Shape Object which allows the user to instantly create, say, isometric hex bolts of any diameter, length, thread length, and head size needed, to go along with those cogs?

Will such user scripting ability happen? I don't know. But I at least take things like the Symbols treatment described above as welcomed evidence that the Affinity Team is already setting its sights higher than the functionality of Adobe Illustrator. I can gather (or better, create) my own clip art.

JET

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46 minutes ago, JET_Affinity said:

As Arthur mentions

 

Wrong king! :P

 


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4.186 • Designer for iPad 1.8.4.4 • iPadOS 13.7 (iPad Air 2)

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Nevertheless, it would be very helpful to have a library of common symbols such as the Male/Female/Unisex toilet signs &c. Or at least links in help to approved online libraries rather than just a passive-aggressive  “go to a clip art site”.


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41 minutes ago, StephenBooth_uk said:

rather than just a passive-aggressive  “go to a clip art site”

I do not think that means what you think it means.


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6 hours ago, Alfred said:

I do not think that means what you think it means.

it does, as your response amply demonstrates.

The point is that there is a feature that would be very useful, that a competing product already has.  Serif can choose to implement that feature or to frustrate the customers and potential customers who would use that feature.


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7 hours ago, StephenBooth_uk said:

Nevertheless, it would be very helpful to have a library of common symbols such as the Male/Female/Unisex toilet signs &c.

Note that you have posted into an old topic. Since then, the Stock panel has become available.

Just open the Stock panel, specify Pixabay as the source, and vector as the type, and provide a search term. For example, "Toilet Sign" gives many choices:
image.png.4723cf54059a07cd7014d6d4d65bbae6.png


-- Walt

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Affinity Photo 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.734 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.734 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.742 Beta.

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On 7/27/2020 at 6:25 PM, walt.farrell said:

Note that you have posted into an old topic. Since then, the Stock panel has become available.

Just open the Stock panel, specify Pixabay as the source, and vector as the type, and provide a search term. For example, "Toilet Sign" gives many choices:
 

Thanks, I already use the stock panel.  They still need to be converted to symbols though.

Looking through the forums there do seem to be quite a few people who would like a symbol library.  Even if there was just the ability to create your own library and use it across all documents, especially it you could tag and categorise/search for symbols, that would be good.  Being able to insert into Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher documents, in particular for things like custom watermarks/copyright marks, as well would be great.  Create once and use many times.


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