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Replace all selected object with choosen Symbol

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In my workflow I use vector graphic software to edit maps after generating them in GIS software. GIS software is very limited in term of creating maps for print, so external editing is very often necesarry. At the beginnig I used Adobe Illustrator but with big maps it's just useless (veeery slow and can't save all objects). So I started to use Affinity Designer and compare to Adobe Illustrator it's just awsome. Even 1,2 GB vector only files are not a problem for Designer. However recetly I found lack of certain functionality, which would make my work much easier. I would like to resize and basicly edit all selected object at once. I could use Symbols for it but there is one problem. There is no option to replace all selected with choosen Symbol. 

This one with announced option to find/select object by appearance would be ultimate turbo boost for my workflow. 

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  • 3 years later...
  • 3 months later...

Those of us familiar with FreeHand's as-yet still unmatched Graphics Find And Replace palette are writhing in our seats. ;-) o

This is one of countless similar things that, in my opinion, are better accomplished with a Javascript implementation than with a 'same for everyone' command. You would want to control multiple variables for such a feature. For example, should all instances of the object-replacing Symbol be the same size, or should each be scaled to the size of the corresponding object it's replacing? Should each instance be rotated to the same orientation as the replaced object? Should each instance take on the color of the replaced object?

What about nested objects? Would the replace-with-symbol command 'dig into' groups, or replace the whole group?

There are use-cases in which I would answer 'yes' or 'no' to each of those--and other--questions.

I say this from experience, having written my own 'features' in Illustrator for years, the details of which can be customized (or optioned) to work exactly the way I want it to. For example, with my own Illustrator Replace With Symbol Javascript, I can simply replace selected objects as you describe for things like icons in maps. But I can also:

Create entirely vector-based faux halftones in which each halftone dot becomes a Symbol sized according to the greyscale value of the dot.


Draw lines of random lengths radiating from a single point at random angles. Then position a Symbol at the endpoint of each line, each scaled and rotated according to the direction and length of the individual lines, thereby creating 'explosions' or 'swarms' radiating from a center.

One-size-fits-all behaviors tend to leave as many users dissatisfied as satisfied, resulting in the "close, but if only..." frustration.


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Your accomplishments are impressive, JET_Affinity. 

My maps contain many icons that may have been copied to produce 50 to 100 instances of each of a icon that are identical in all attributes but placement. I should have used symbols, but had this insight too late. Now the tedium of finding and replacing them all with instances of a symbol is a reality.

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