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I create a kerned text name (single line or double line) in Affinity Designer (AD), either via Art Text or Frame Text, and then use AD's very handy "New From Clipboard" in order to export an SVG. These problems, however, occur. (I do take a snap of the placement of the original text so that I can duplicate the SVG placement.)

1. The kerning in the original name appears to be ignored, i.e., the letters have none of the original kerning. How can I preserve the original kerning in the SVG.

2. Although I keep careful track of the x/y and w/h numbers in the Transform box of the original (non-SVG) text, when I apply these exact same numbers in placing the SVG text after importing it back into the document. However, the text appears just below the original text in my doc (x is correct but not y). My top-right choice in the Transform box (of the nine possible choices) has not changed. I have tried both "Place" and dragging the SVG, but the wrong placement remains.Is this normal? How can I be assured that the numbers of the original text, if applied to the SVG, will bring the SVG i precisely to the correct y position?

Any thorough discussion of the above would be much appreciated. 

Edited by Jim Monson
Some previous problems I had mentioned came from Illustrator SVGs.

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Hi Jim do you have an example file?

A few questions...

What is the goal here, Print, Web, Other?

What type of SVG are you exporting to i.e. SVG for Export, SVG for Web, Custom SVG Export?

I think the problem starts at New From Clipboard because on large amounts of kerning what gets pasted is split text.

  1. I just tried by typing "Swat" in a new document
  2. I then kerned between the S and the W to +250%
  3. I Copied the kerned text "S Wat"
  4. File > New From Clipboard
  5. In the Layers Panel I noticed there were now 2 text layers

When creating a New from Clipboard the text is seen as separate words because of the large kerning, if I reduce the kerning to about +30% the text is copied as a single text layer and the kerning is respected but after export to an SVG the text; even with a +30% kern is now 2 separate words, an S and wat so the kerning is being seen as a space by the SVG export.

Also tried with a -50% kern and the SVG still see's the kerning as a space and creates 2 text layers


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I don't know much about the intricacies of what text attributes SVG supports but according to this it does support a kerning attribute. What is less clear to me is if this attribute can be applied separately to individual text characters in a single text string or not. Anybody know about that?


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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Why SVGS?

The SVGs are used to create our teaching app that has SVG names (sites, regions, etc.) on a relief map. Since SVGs are only numbers, they refresh much faster and also can be accurately placed on our raster relief map (large but “tiled” for quick refresh). In the past we exported SVGs from Illustrator. Now we use AD to create each name (placed by its dot if a city) and export it via File > New From Clipboard. BTW, our printed maps are quite straightforward (see bibback.com). No need for SVGs there.

Kerning or Tracking

My understanding of “kerning” is that it adds or subtracts spacing between letters (also called “letter spacing”). However, when I write a text in AD, I find no way to change kerning under Character > Positioning and Transform > V/A, either by typing in the V/A space or the using the pull down menu. This is the case in both Frame Text and in Art Text, and seems very strange. Why is V/A even there if it cannot be used in a text?

Thus, I have used “Tracking,” at Character > Positioning and Transform > VA. My understanding of tracking used to be that both space between letters and the width of each would be changed (not what I want). However, tracking appears to be what I thought Kerning was. In AD, tracking adjusts the space between letters and not the letters themselves. It works in both Frame Text and in Art Text.

Tracking does not carry over to the SVG

Tracking does allow me to adjust the text (letter-spacing) created in AD. However, when use File > New From Clipboard and export the same AD text, my tracking does not appear in the SVG created by Frame Test. It only appears in the SVG if I use Art Text, placing the text on a line. Thus if I have a two or three line text I must draw a separate two-node line for each line of text, keeping both nodes at the same y coordinate (holding shift) to keep the text level. Am I missing something, or is this what I have to do?

Thanks so much for any clarification you can offer!

PS: I do not have the problem of the SVG displaying multiple layers. I could offer examples but the above explains the problem.

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You can kern by clicking in-between two letters, the kerning then becomes active. 
819473424_ScreenShot2018-07-11at22_20_10.png.aec71ec65613429a574ac1a76777bfea.png

You can also input more than +-50
970256010_ScreenShot2018-07-11at22_21_37.png.96ae2673662e107944634a86268cdffd.png


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Quote

My understanding of tracking used to be that both space between letters and the width of each would be changed (not what I want).

That's good because tracking doesn't affect the letter/number forms themselves.

Tracking is an indiscriminate means of reducing the space between all of the selected characters and/or a selected piece of text. Kerning reduces the space between only two adjacent characters, tracking can/does affect more than two adjacent characters.


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1 hour ago, firstdefence said:

You can kern by clicking in-between two letters, the kerning then becomes active. 

Thanks for mentioning that. I had never really thought about why kerning is limited to either Auto or 0 ‰ when the text cursor is not visible. It is slightly weird that kerning is available when the cursor is to the left of the first character or the right of the last character, but other than that it makes perfect sense.

That said, it seems that Affinity's SVG export does not fully support kerning as such, instead breaking the text into separate items as you mentioned in your first reply.


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After many tedious hours I believe that I now know what I wish AD's creators had made explicit (not that they don't have other things to do). Am I correct in my explanation below?

1. In AD, "kerning" (V/A) is only for adding space between two adjoining letters. Thus the cursor must be placed between the letters where space is needed. AD's kerning is not for adding space between more than two letters at a time. The diagonal line in "V/A" is literally between two letters *only.*

2. In AD, "tracking" (VA) is for adding space between a group of more that two adjoining letters (word, sentences, paragraphs, etc.). AD's designers attempted to show this by VA but did not have room for a third letter which would have made it clearer.

I agree with firstdefence and R C-R. There are still problems with AD's ability not to split the text into various parts. This may be an SVG format problem and not AD's fault, but I hope it can be corrected in the future. AD also does not consistenly maintain letter-spacing in an exported SVG. For now the only way I have found to do this is to use Art Text (rather than Frame Text), place the text on a line and then export that single line as an SVG. For my "more than one line" terms, I must go through the process for each line (one at a time), constantly checking by bringing the text back into AD line by line. If I try more than one line, or a group of single lines, the position of the lines (carefully using the coordinates I mentioned earlier above) falls below my original position. 

Thus for me there are three AD SVG processing problems.

1. Maintaining word-spacing

2. Maintaining the text as a unit and not broken up parts (probably related to #1)

3. Maintaining the original text placement, using x/y coordinates of the original AD text

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Just a slight correction. It isn't that kerning and tracking works the way it does because Serif just designed it that way different from other applications. That is how it works in any application.

And to clarify, they both can add to, or subtract from, the spacing between characters.


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3 hours ago, MikeW said:

That is how it works in any application.

And to clarify, they both can add to, or subtract from, the spacing between characters.

From what understand, AD differs  from many of the applications that I have used over the years in that AD kerning only applies to the space between two (and only two) adjoining letters. In other applications that I know, kerning can be applied to any number of adjoining letters, up to an entire textual document.

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1 minute ago, Jim Monson said:

From what understand, AD differs  from many of the applications that I have used over the years in that AD kerning only applies to the space between two (and only two) adjoining letters. In other applications that I know, kerning can be applied to any number of adjoining letters, up to an entire textual document.

Would be interesting to know what those applications are that differ from AD, AI, PS, ID, QXP, VP, PP, DP, VD, XDP, et al.

Really. Look up what those terms mean as regards setting type. They all, those I listed and more, adhere to what these two terms have meant since movable type was invented and that carried into desktop applications since the 1980s (at least).

Those other applications may use the term, Kerning, but they are actually using tracking. Now, they may be doing a "smart" adjustment in that if a cursor is between two characters, then they are applying kerning and if more characters or entire frames of text are selected then they are applying tracking. Dunno. Never used an application (that I can recall) that has operated that way.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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This is Illustrator 2018 and it behaves as Affinity Designer does. Selecting the text sets kerning to auto with no + or - options

468972143_ScreenShot2018-07-12at22_37_24.png.2f89a258c9095b501817354b2c599ddd.png

 

1068555765_ScreenShot2018-07-12at22_40_07.thumb.png.c15d76e3c37b6f7ad74401473d017651.png


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1 hour ago, MikeW said:

Those other applications may use the term, Kerning, but they are actually using tracking. Now, they may be doing a "smart" adjustment in that if a cursor is between two characters, then they are applying kerning and if more characters or entire frames of text are selected then they are applying tracking. Dunno. Never used an application (that I can recall) that has operated that way.

I am fairly sure this is how the word processor Nisus Writer Pro for Macs works. The help files for that app say kerning will be applied to text selections or 'individually if no selection is made.' There are even separate references in the glossary to tracking & kerning, but since there are no separate tracking adjustments available in the app, just the kerning ones, it seems very likely they have just combined tracking & kerning into a single functional item for simplicity's sake.


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16 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I am fairly sure this is how the word processor Nisus Writer Pro for Macs works...it seems very likely they have just combined tracking & kerning into a single functional item for simplicity's sake.

Combining them based upon context seems more forward thinking, really. Anything that makes for less thinking and more doing is a good thing.


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Pages combines tracking and kerning, if you have the Text Cursor within a word and adjust the Character spacing it will space all characters within that word evenly, if you select 2 or more characters in a word it will space those, effectively selectively tracking them or selectively kerning them, I think you can Kern two letter but Track 3 or more.

Pages calls this feature Character Spacing but for some very odd reason hides this option behind a cog dropdown menu called 'Advanced Options' this is just dumb and IMO poor GUI design, I could understand it on a 13" MacBook to save space but a 27" iMac!

On the example below...

  1. The first line and first word is IMO tracked because all characters within the word are evenly spaced.
  2. The second line first word, letters 'ng' are kerned
    • Second line third word letters 'ing' could be called kerning because they are selectively spaced characters.
  3. Third line all words is definitely Tracking

787520465_ScreenShot2018-07-13at07_36_58.png.bf133d4ca068b083c634e437283bf3ce.png


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1 hour ago, firstdefence said:

Pages calls this feature Character Spacing but for some very odd reason hides this option behind a cog dropdown menu called 'Advanced Options' this is just dumb and IMO poor GUI design, I could understand it on a 13" MacBook to save space but a 27" iMac!

I think they probably did that because they are going for as much as possible a unified UI across all screen sizes, including both the desktop & iOS versions of all three of the 'iWork' apps.


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29 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I think they probably did that because they are going for as much as possible a unified UI across all screen sizes, including both the desktop & iOS versions of all three of the 'iWork' apps.

Probably, but would it be nice, if on an iMac, to have the the advanced options displayed if you wanted them shown. I don't use tracking or kerning much so its not a pain just an unnecessary niggle.


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21 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

Probably, but would it be nice, if on an iMac, to have the the advanced options displayed if you wanted them shown.

Even though it is a tradition with a long history & one that my once beloved Freehand used, I am not a big fan of the adaptive "Inspector" UI approach.


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Thanks for all the comments. My colleague (a hot type press man and copy editor from the 1980s on) and I have been through all the Macromedia, Quark, Adobe, and various IBM and Mac apps from their beginning, and must have gotten used to (and stuck in) the "combined tracking & kerning into a single functional item for simplicity's sake" as you wrote, R C-R. 

I am concerned that no one (from Serif or elsewhere) has yet addressed my outstanding issues regarding how to create SVGs via AD that faithfully can be represented and positioned back into the original AD doc. Perhaps I should create a new thread on this subject since kerning/tracking seems to have been our main issue.

(repeat)

Thus for me there are three AD SVG processing problems.

1. Maintaining word-spacing

2. Maintaining the text as a unit and not broken up parts (probably related to #1)

3. Maintaining the original text placement, using x/y coordinates of the original AD text

 
  •  

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21 hours ago, MikeW said:

Those other applications may use the term, Kerning, but they are actually using tracking. Now, they may be doing a "smart" adjustment in that if a cursor is between two characters, then they are applying kerning and if more characters or entire frames of text are selected then they are applying tracking. Dunno. Never used an application (that I can recall) that has operated that way.

Thanks for this comment, MikeW.  I think you should discard your dunce cap. You are smarter, and no doubt wiser, than you portray yourself. 

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39 minutes ago, Jim Monson said:

Thanks for this comment, MikeW.  I think you should discard your dunce cap. You are smarter, and no doubt wiser, than you portray yourself. 

You're welcome.

I could yet further disagree with how these functions operated in all layout applications from the 1980s forwards, but if I do I may demonstrate that my dunce cap with its title is well earned.

I appropriate that clip-art in response to a similar thread wherein terms were being bantered about and I was attempting to correct the terminology and its application. My corrections were not well received with one of the posters whom took to referring to me as an idiot within several of his responses. So I altered the clip-art a bit, made it my avatar. It became my most oft used avatar on several forums/FB, etc.

Heck, this poster didn't even appreciate the fact that, medically speaking, I couldn't be an idiot as my IQ was too high. He didn't appreciate my sense of humor, either. So I became a moron in his responses. My response to that moron remark also went over his head: I let him know he elevated my IQ above being an imbecile and I was the only person I knew about to jump an IQ range like that.

Ah, forums. Gotta love 'em.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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BTW, I wish I could have been of actual, practical help on this. The only thing I know is that a few of the export filters need work, SVG being one of them.

Mike


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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I think in a few months Affinity will be a bit more polished, obviously not to everyone's satisfaction but enough to make some people happier and it can surely only get better.


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