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Christoph Daniel

More Alignment and Distribution Options

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I'd like to suggest a number of improvements to the alignment and distribution options. I'm currently thinking about migrating from Inkscape (which doesn't work well on Mac) to Designer. These are the alignment and distribution options I've grown accustomed to:

721780849_ScreenShot2018-08-16at12_34_45.png.f63587ccb05a00bf92afec27158e0865.png

Note the following features which I haven't been able to find in Designer:

  • Aligning elements below, upwards, rightwards or leftwards of a given element (the options with the yellow box the blue boxes are aligned to). This is sort of an "outward alignment", if that makes sense.
  • Distribute the left boundary, centre, or right boundary of objects instead of being limited to equal distances between objects.
  • More extensive font alignment options. This includes aligning to font baselines, distributing text based on baselines, and the likes. An excellent feature which I haven't found in any vector tool so far (I may not have been looking hard enough, though...) would be alignment and distribution of text objects based on the box starting at the base line and ending at the cap height. If I want to centre text in a rectangle vertically, this imaginary box is what I would want to have centred.
  • Alignment and distribution of nodes on a path.

Perhaps some of those features are already there and I simply haven't found them yet, but the remaining ones I think would be helpful tools.

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I found your request interesting because I had the same thought today for font/text alignment. I was so used to having the ability to align the text to baseline or bottom if I wanted within the sized text boundary box. Nodes on a path makes sense too. I can't speak to the distribute as I haven't used it much. 

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Always glad to hear there's other people with similar ideas. :)

I'm currently evaluating Illustrator as well (at least wanted to see what that is all about before deciding against shoving my money down Adobe's throat) and found that it pretty much treats nodes on a path just like regular objects as far as alignment and distribution are concerned, which is quite sensible.

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I do understand the desire for more precision in a design tool, but having been a long-time user of Adobe products for both my business and client business, I am happy to be rid of them. Honestly, I think Adobe's market is corporate due to price point, but also due to the complexity of their products. I can't tell you how many PC's i went through early in my career because of Adobe products crashing the heck out of them. They are quite bloated and I personally have experienced that it takes much bigger computer power than a computer used for average home-based business. I use the term average because the majority of people needing quick design tools likely only use a smaller percentage of the software's power so their PCs may be a lot less powerful and not suited to bloated software. I found the more I used a lot of Adobe products, the harder it was on my PC. My husband loves to joke about how many PC's I burn through, but this last one has been fantastic since not using Adobe. Still, I do use Lightroom (hobby photographer), but it will be a cold day in heck before I go back to illustrator. I plan on exploring Affinity photo a little later to see if it will rival Photoshop, which I think it will be in similar vein to Designer, missing some less important features. I also think Serif was correct to make it more lightweight for the first few rounds anyway for this niche market of home based designers. Plus, it really does look like Adobe is become more geared to interactive, multi-media, gaming and video anyway. I have to wonder how long they can keep serving so many  markets. Then again, they've been around since the dawn of design by computer. Whatever you decide, best to you! 

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Yeah, I read that a lot about Adobe products. Being a programmer and a gamer, my computer should be running the software okay, but the bloat and particularly the price is what will most likely keep me from going in that direction.

Problem with more focussed applications, such as the Affinity products, is that everyone needs a slightly different feature set. Personally, I need to draw lots of node-link diagrams (boxes connected by edges), so I need arrow head line styles. While they are already on the roadmap, it does mean that I'll have to wait for the next version until I can really switch from Inkscape to Designer.

The whole decision of which products to go with is really frustrating. Affinity products are a joy to use, but still lack a few features that are important to me. Adobe products seem to be up to pretty much any task you might want to throw at them, but are bloated and ridiculously expensive. Anyway, I'll stop rambling. Thanks for weighing in with your thoughts on the subject, I appreciate it. :)

By the way, if you want to get rid of Lightroom as well, there do seem to be interesting and affordable alternatives out there.

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I know exactly your frustration. I was there a few months ago. I didn't "need" all those other features like you do, so it's a bit easier for me to make the leap. But I was really panicking to find a solution myself after coming back to work and realizing that Fireworks is gone and I had no visual design tool for web or multimedia. I tried one other visual tool before Affinity and thankfully I didn't buy it. It was a decent tool, but very old, a little hard to use, not intuitive at all, the UI was hidious and very outdated and designing in it was clunky at best. So yah, I was in a heap of pain for a while and I know your frustration.  Oy. yup, I noticed Lightroom slowing my PC too. I don't run it when other programs are open, other than browser or mail. Good luck with your tough decision! 

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2 minutes ago, MEB said:

Hi mackleys,
Select the nodes you want to align with the Node Tool and use the alignment command as you do for regular shapes.

Thank you. That works well!  Did not even know about that one. 

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Colourful Expression!

I too was unaware of this. Great.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.6

Affinity Designer 1.8.4 | Affinity Photo 1.8.4 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.4 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.8.x | Affinity Photo Beta 1.8.x | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.8.x

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On 8/16/2018 at 6:43 AM, Christoph Daniel said:

Note the following features which I haven't been able to find in Designer:

  • Aligning elements below, upwards, rightwards or leftwards of a given element (the options with the yellow box the blue boxes are aligned to). This is sort of an "outward alignment", if that makes sense.
  • Distribute the left boundary, centre, or right boundary of objects instead of being limited to equal distances between objects.
 
 

Hi!

I would be very happy to see these features too. I also miss these features from Inkscape.

Also: make the alignment tools a panel (as in inkscape), so it can be docked on the screen as immediately available, instead of always reaching to the tool bar and click on the alignment tool.

Thank you and best regards.

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