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[AD] Reason behind Shift transform inconsistency?

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Hello Serif team,

I am wondering what is the reasoning behind the inconstant behavior of the Shift key when transforming different kinds of objects in Affinity Designer.


  • Transforming a single shape with shift key pressed - scales proportionally
  • Transforming a single image with shift key pressed - scales freely (out of proportion)
  • Transforming a group (either a group of images, a group of shapes or mixed) with shift key pressed - scales freely
  • Transforming a text frame with shift key pressed - scales freely
  • Transforming a selection of many shapes (ungrouped) with shift key pressed - scales proportionally

In all the cases above the shift key is being pressed while dragging the handles, why don't they all behave the same? Shouldn't a modifier key always apply the same modification to the same tool (transform, in this case)?

It is such a headache to change the behaviour you're used to depending on what's selected, or what's grouped or not. This doesn't make sense to me from an usability perspective.
i"m running latest public AD in Windows 10 (also latest).

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Hi fernandolins86,
This is by design. You can change this behaviour going to Affinity Preferences, Tools section, Move Tool Aspect Constrain dropdown. The Automatic (based on selection) option (the default) keeps the proportions of objects that possess an intrinsic aspect ratio - like text and images - without the need to press shift, while for other objects you have to press it. The other two options are self-explanatory: Constrain by default will keep the proportions by default without the need to press ⇧ (shift) unless you want to distort the objects/break ratio; Do not constrain by default will force you to press ⇧ (shift) every time you want to keep the ratio/proportions of the object no matter their type.

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Thanks for explaining, MEB. I wonder why is this not the default behaviour as in many other design tools.

Also, the description of that setting in Portuguese doesn't really say what it does. It's completely nonsense, so if you could please ask the developers to review it... Translates back into english as "Move the restriction to the tool aspect". What?! I would have never figured it out.

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