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I'm used to old Serif ways of thinking, so can anybody straighten me out on this Affinity Designer problem? I imported a wide jpg as a tracing template. SUbsequently, I changed the layout to a rough square, but I'm stuck with the wider format. I want to trim this to fit the actual graphic which only takes up half the "canvass".

I can't for the life of me see how Designer allows you to do this, although it seems such a basic task. Help!

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Hi tuanbusku,
Welcome to the forums!

With no objects selected, you can choose 'Document Setup' in the context toolbar and resize the document here. Another way of doing this is to use the Artboard tool, which you can click and drag to define your document size, and later edit this using the move tool. Hope this helps :)

8b9458873195a3d693a60148cef099de.gif

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17 hours ago, tuanbusku said:

I'm used to old Serif ways of thinking, so can anybody straighten me out on this Affinity Designer problem? I imported a wide jpg as a tracing template. SUbsequently, I changed the layout to a rough square, but I'm stuck with the wider format. I want to trim this to fit the actual graphic which only takes up half the "canvass".

I can't for the life of me see how Designer allows you to do this, although it seems such a basic task. Help!

Hi. @tuanbusku

Remember that Designer is a " page" based program, like MS Word or InDesign. There is no "canvas". So, by inserting an image and " trimming" to that, what you are trying to do is change the page size to fit an image inside the page. That is the same as placing an image in Word, and then changing the page size to the image. So actually, this is not "such a basic task" as it seems.

Affinity Photo is "canvas" based and therefore, what you want to do is a simple and basic task in Photo.


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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1 hour ago, Dan C said:

Another way of doing this is to use the Artboard tool, which you can click and drag to define your document size, and later edit this using the move tool.

I keep forgetting about the Artboard tool method but I think it is usually the simplest, fastest, & most flexible choice. One very quick way to use it is to use the Select > Select All menu choice or the keyboard shortcut for that, & then with the Artboard tool selected, change Size on the Context toolbar to "Selection" & then click the "Insert Artboard" button.

That automatically 'crops' the document to exactly the size needed to include everything visible & unlocked, with no extra borders around the edges. (Note that hidden and/or locked layers will not be included in the Select All step, so unlock/unhide anything you want included.)

If you want, you can then select the artboard with the Move Tool & easily increase or decrease its size. Enabling Lock Children on the Context toolbar freezes all the layers' sizes; disabling it allows scaling their sizes if you resize the artboard. (Note that if the document includes Frame text layers, for them to rescale along with everything else, you have to use the extra handle below & to the right of the artboard -- using the 8 bounding box handles won't scale those layers.)


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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4 hours ago, toltec said:

Hi. @tuanbusku

Remember that Designer is a " page" based program, like MS Word or InDesign. There is no "canvas". So, by inserting an image and " trimming" to that, what you are trying to do is change the page size to fit an image inside the page. That is the same as placing an image in Word, and then changing the page size to the image. So actually, this is not "such a basic task" as it seems.

Affinity Photo is "canvas" based and therefore, what you want to do is a simple and basic task in Photo.

Canvas is the term used in Designer and its help for the printable/exportable drawing area when the document is not Artboards-based.

When I'm drawing a logo or diagram for inclusion in other documents, I do not think of the canvas as a page.

If using margins and/or bleeds, then, yes, I'd consider the canvas as a page.

The forthcoming Publisher will be the Affinity app which is analogous to InDesign.

 

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11 minutes ago, owenr said:

Canvas is the term used in Designer and its help for the printable/exportable drawing area when the document is not Artboards-based. The forthcoming Publisher will be the Affinity app which is analogous to InDesign.

 

Yes, but Designer is "page" based. So any reference to Canvas is rather confusing. Canvas normally refers to image area.

There is no canvas setting in Designer, only page or document.

Whereas Photo constantly refers to "Canvas" to describe the size of the document.

This is rather confusing to newbies, don't you think?


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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25 minutes ago, toltec said:

This is rather confusing to newbies, don't you think?

I haven't noticed confusion arising from the limited use of the term canvas in Designer. I think almost everybody would assume that the canvas is the drawing surface which is otherwise referred to as the page.

 

 

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1 minute ago, owenr said:

I haven't noticed confusion arising from the limited use of the term canvas in Designer. I think almost everybody would assume that the canvas is the drawing surface which is otherwise referred to as the page.

 

 

I have to respectfully disagree. You are obviously well versed in both concepts and both apps.

However, the OP was confused, thinking that "cropping to canvas" seems such a "basic task".

In fact, it is not a basic task in Designer because in Designer, an image is placed on a page. You actually need to size the page to fit the resized image. Very different to cropping an image to the canvas in Photo.

This confusion between the two programs comes up time and time again on this forum, with many newbies struggling with the concept of an image in Designer being on a page.

Keep it simple and keep it constant is my philosophy!


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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38 minutes ago, toltec said:

Keep it simple and keep it constant is my philosophy!

How about a simple "Trim page" command? 

 

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1 hour ago, toltec said:

Yes, but Designer is "page" based.

Affinity Designer is document based. It doesn't matter if the document has zero, one, or a dozen artboards; the top level container object is always the document. Contained objects may be on or off the canvas (& fully visible if View > View Mode > Clip to Canvas is disabled -- even if they are partially or completely off the canvas). If an object is contained by an artboard, the part inside the artboard's bounds is visible. If it is not contained by any artboard, it is fully visible.

Conceptually, the 'page' based model works well for some document uses (like printing or maybe web page mockups) but not for others. For example, some people use the area outside of any artboard (or the canvas) as an uncluttered scratch area for creating objects that may or may not eventually be moved into an artboard or onto the canvas.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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I see so many people asking to trim the document here every time and I am one of them that uses trim documents a lot. Everytime I want to do this I use the arboard tool to crop and after that I move the contents of the arboard outside the artboard and remove the empty artboard.

Although that's working fine, everytime we have all the extra steps just to crop the document to a region, which is basic functionality I'd say.

I'd say if so many people want this feature and it's practically already inside the artboard tool, why shouldn't there just be a document-crop-tool next to the artboard tool doing just this without the extra steps to have the artboard and remove the artboard everytime afterwards? It seems like such an easy thing to add to the software which stops all confusion for newer users and adds something really useful a lot of people use on a daily basis. Just saying...


 

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13 minutes ago, Friksel said:

I'd say if so many people want this feature and it's practically already inside the artboard tool, why shouldn't there just be a document-crop-tool next to the artboard tool doing just this without the extra steps to have the artboard and remove the artboard everytime afterwards?

Why do you want to remove the artboard?


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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14 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Why do you want to remove the artboard?

Great question.

Because I don't like to change the layer-hierarchy and add an artboard eventhough I only have one canvas (document if you like) I'd like to work on, just to crop the document. But more importantly: because it gets exported to the SVG, adding an extra redundant layer on the output as well...
which BTW is not even acting like a layer in the SVG, but as a rectangle without any use... so the artboard shouldn't even be in the svg-export. But that's another thing.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/1.1/DTD/svg11.dtd">
<svg width="100%" height="100%" viewBox="0 0 810 570" version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xml:space="preserve" xmlns:serif="http://www.serif.com/" style="fill-rule:evenodd;clip-rule:evenodd;stroke-linejoin:round;stroke-miterlimit:1.41421;">
    <rect id="Artboard1" x="0" y="0" width="810" height="570" style="fill:none;"/>
    <rect x="30" y="30" width="670" height="480" style="fill:#ebebeb;"/>
</svg>

 


 

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1 minute ago, Friksel said:

Because I don't like to change the layer-hierarchy and add an artboard eventhough I only have one canvas (document if you like) I'd like to work on, just to crop the document, but more importantly: because it gets exported to the SVG, adding an extra redundant layer on the output as well:

Is there any particular problem with having that redundant layer in the SVG export, or is it just something you don't like (not that there is anything wrong with that)? I don't work with exported SVG files very often, but it looks like it adds just a tiny number of bytes to the file.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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20 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Is there any particular problem with having that redundant layer in the SVG export, or is it just something you don't like (not that there is anything wrong with that)? I don't work with exported SVG files very often, but it looks like it adds just a tiny number of bytes to the file.

Yes, it's making files larger and therefore slower on internet. Especially for mobile browsers we want then to be as tiny as possible to minimize load-times. But next to that, it's the wrong question. The question should be: why is it in the output in the first place. It just shouldn't be there. And ontopic again: a lot of people, like me, just don't want to use an artboard if we only have one canvas, but we want to be able to crop the canvas/document.


 

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2 minutes ago, Friksel said:

Yes, it's making files larger and therefore slower on internet.

But by how much, in real world practical terms, is that one extra line of code actually going to slow anything down?

4 minutes ago, Friksel said:

But next to that, it's the wrong question. The question should be: why is it in the output in the first place.

I suspect it is there so an SVG file reopened in Affinity will retain the artboard, but for a definitive answer you will have to ask the developers about that.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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1 hour ago, Friksel said:

I see so many people asking to trim the document here every time and I am one of them that uses trim documents a lot. Everytime I want to do this I use the arboard tool to crop and after that I move the contents of the arboard outside the artboard and remove the empty artboard.

Although that's working fine, everytime we have all the extra steps just to crop the document to a region, which is basic functionality I'd say.

I'd say if so many people want this feature and it's practically already inside the artboard tool, why shouldn't there just be a document-crop-tool next to the artboard tool doing just this without the extra steps to have the artboard and remove the artboard everytime afterwards? It seems like such an easy thing to add to the software which stops all confusion for newer users and adds something really useful a lot of people use on a daily basis. Just saying...

Well, would you expect to place an image inside Microsoft Word crop that and then crop the page to that?

What about other items on the page, or what about bleed. Do you include bleed in the cropped document, crop marks, or not ?

Also, remember, when you set document DPI you are setting page DPI. Not pixel quantity.

I just think it will lead to problems. It would be better to use the right tool for the job, i.e. Photo. Designer is not an image editor. It just edits images (sort of). For that matter, so does MS Word.


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

Affinity Designer is document based. 

Calling a page layout program document based is going to get very confusing in Publisher with a multi page document if there is a spread somewhere. Would the spread be a separate document, or a separate page?

I guess it's years of working in the print trade. I use a page layout program to, er, lay out pages and an image editing program to, er, edit images.

Old fashioned, I guess :(


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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1 minute ago, toltec said:

Calling a page layout program document based is going to get very confusing in Publisher with a multi page document if there is a spread somewhere. Would the spread be a separate document, or a separate page?

Presumably, everything would be part of the same document. Even if Publisher (& eventually Designer & Photo) support linked documents -- which seems like a "must have" feature -- the document based container model still works fine. Conceptually, you just need to think about which container something is in to avoid confusion, pretty much the same way you would do with the layer hierarchy within a document.

17 minutes ago, toltec said:

Old fashioned, I guess :(

Well, yeah, at least to some extent. These days we need to consider that documents might contain all sorts of things like hypertext or non-printable media like audio & video. Affinity probably won't support that, at least in the immediate future, but we might as well get used to the idea now because it is not going away.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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And don't forget that all three apps will have a shared file format, so it'll remain possible to open the same Affinity document with Designer, Photo and Publisher. It would be very confusing if what's a canvas in designer would suddenly be called something else in Publisher, wouldn't it? As for terminology: Adobe InDesign uses the name "pasteboard" for the area outside of the active page area. I like the idea, but it's certainly a matter of taste.

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3 hours ago, kaffeeundsalz said:

As for terminology: Adobe InDesign uses the name "pasteboard" for the area outside of the active page area. I like the idea, but it's certainly a matter of taste.

Serif have always used the same terminology for their ‘Plus’ software: not only PagePlus (their DTP application) but also DrawPlus (vector drawing) and WebPlus (no prizes for guessing what that one was for).


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Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 • Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.12.86 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.4.45 • iOS 12.2 (iPad Air 2)

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3 hours ago, kaffeeundsalz said:

As for terminology: Adobe InDesign uses the name "pasteboard" for the area outside of the active page area.

Apple uses "pasteboard" in its developer documents to refer to the buffer that users think of as the clipboard. I am not sure how old that usage is, but I think it predates both Apple & Adobe, so pretty ancient (just like me).

3 hours ago, kaffeeundsalz said:

I like the idea, but it's certainly a matter of taste.

Also what people are most familiar with. For example, for me "bitmap" has for as long as I can remember meant any rasterized image, regardless of color depth, while for others it might mean a 1-bit black & white image. "Raster" & "rasterize" are both terms borrowed from CRT video technology & do not really apply that well to (what I still prefer to call) bitmapped images. We routinely use metaphors like "folder" or "directory" as if they had a definite physical location in a file system but that is not accurate.

Sometimes this stuff matters, sometimes not. I can't get too worked up about it -- at least for me it is whatever works best for the context.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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16 hours ago, Friksel said:

I see so many people asking to trim the document here every time and I am one of them that uses trim documents a lot. Everytime I want to do this I use the arboard tool to crop and after that I move the contents of the arboard outside the artboard and remove the empty artboard.

Actually, although I would still prefer using Photo for that sort of thing, that's a clever solution.

I suppose there is no reason why Serif could put in a simple Trim to Selection (or Trim page) option, As @owenrsuggested, as using the Artboard to achieve that works already. It does seem to be a regular request to do this.


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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An alternate way to achieve this:

1. Select the objects you want cropped to

2. Copy the objects (ctrl c)

3. File > New From Clipboard

Now you have a document cropped to the size of your objects.

 

Selected Objects.JPG

New from Clipboard.JPG


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