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jaromeB

Illustrator user | One week with Affinity Designer

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So after one week with Affinity designer, I'm not ready to jump in full time.

Please add these features.

1: Selection

Selecting parts of my project is horrible. Sometimes I can select an object by clicking on it, other times I have to drag around the whole object to get it, not very nice to use at all.

2: Symbols

I use symbols a lot but there does not seem a way to change the symbol order. Sometimes I edit a symbol and I would like it at the top of my list but in order to do this, I need to delete the current symbols, add the one I want at the top and then re-add the deleted symbols again. I would also like the ability to load symbols and display them in a list so I can use the full names.

3: Layers

is it just me but this seems very hectic compared to illustrator. I would also like the ability to lock a layer and stop a certain layer from printing if required.

4: Workspace

No ability to save your personal workspace, this is a must!

5: Shapes

I could be wrong here but If I want to create a 100mm x 100mm box, it seems like I have to drag a box to any size then resize it to what I want. Let us just click the artboard and select the size of shape we want. (Apologies if you can already do this)

6: Bleed

Let us see the bleed box, why is this not already in place!

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Hello,

I'm trying to evolve and switch from CS6 as I got new Mac. I agree to most of the list above (some already exists now,  like 6:).
Such features would be great.

One more feature request for me would be:

7. UI
All palettes should be able to display elements with an option "show as a list"  in addition to thumbnails (e.g. layer palette)
Same for all Serif Apps would be great (e.g. Pages in Publisher). Even small Thumbnails takes too much space for me...

Best,
 

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Jarome B,

Number 5 can be done by typing in the dimensions that you want using the Transform palette. Create the shape you want first, for example a square and then enter the width and Height that you'd like and it's done. I hope that helps.

best regards,

Hokusai

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Hi jaromeB,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

1. Selection depends a lot on the object position in the layer stack - is it inside a group? clipped by another shape? Without seeing the file is difficult to tell you what's causing your issues. Usually double-clicking over the object lets you dig down in the layer stack until it gets selected. So for example if the object is inside a group, double-click it to enter the group and select the object. To select another object in that some group just click it once since you already entered inside the group earlier to select the first one. To force-select an object no matter its position in the layer's hierarchy press cmd (ctrl on Windows) and click the object on canvas.

2. Currently it's not possible to re-order symbols as you discovered.

3. To lock a layer, select it and click the padlock icon in the top right of the Layers panel. Note this only prevents the locked layer from being selected on canvas. If selected directly in the Layers panel you can still change its attributes (fill colours, stroke width etc) but not transform it on canvas (move, scale etc). This is by design. To prevent a layer from being printed just hide it (untick the checkbox on the right of the layer in the Layers panel).

4. Affinity should keep the workspace as you left it the last time you worked in the app however there's no way to save workspaces.

5. See Hokusai reply above this post. There's no way to insert the values in a dialog prior to creating the object on canvas as in Illustrator.

6. To see the bleed box go to menu View > Show Bleed assuming there's a bleed value set in document setup (File > Document Setup...).

Thanks for your feedback.

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On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 11:37 AM, jaromeB said:

it seems like I have to drag a box to any size then resize it to what I want. Let us just click the artboard and select the size of shape we want.

In such comparisons, count the clicks.

In Illustrator:

  1. Select the Rectangle tool.
  2. Click (don't drag) the artboard.
  3. Key dimensions into the resulting modal dialog.
  4. Tap Enter to close the dialog.

In Affinity:

  1. Select a Shape tool.
  2. Mousedown and drag the artboard.
  3. Key the dimensions into the non-modal Transform Panel.
  4. Tap Enter to commit the values.

One is actually as efficient as the other. It's just a matter of being too habituated to Illustrators archaic plethora of modal dialogs. Affinity's treatment is arguably a more elegant process with which to become habituated, because the Transform Panel provides more settings (including ability to specify dimensions by trig functions) while you're there.

The only advantage I really miss inherent to Illustrator's ubiquitous modal dialogs is that they "remember" the last-used settings. So you can, for example, doubleClick the Move Tool to invoke its dialog, which will still have the same last-used settings, and then just tap Enter. This behavior is also advantageous in axonometric drawing, in which, for example, it's common to need to perform the same vertical scale, like 57.74%, on multiple objects. But again, that advantage is far outweighed by Affinity's Transform Panel's ability to understand math expressions beyond single operator simple arithmetic.

In comparison to Affinity, Illustrator's tool box modal dialog behavior is most advantageous with the Line Tool, but that's just because of two associated problems, one in Illustrator and one in Affinity: Illustrator's useless Measure Tool and Affinity's infernal bounding-box centricity. So I'm usually using that "memory" behavior of the Line Tool's modal dialog as a workaround for otherwise poor interface design.

The interface of Affinity is never going to replicate the exact same click-for-click sequence for every function in Illustrator or any other competing program. One has to adapt one's "muscle memory" to any different program.

JET

 

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@JET_Affinity Yes this muscle memory has became lazy and need much more pratice for me… the trick is Affinity softwares seems so similar and familiar from the one we used and continue to work with but indeed are different... All the best!

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4 hours ago, MEB said:

Hi jaromeB,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

Hi MEB, Have you noticed the date of posting from OP? :-)


Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.7.3.481.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1909, Build 18363.476.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.

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13 hours ago, MEB said:

To see the bleed box go to menu View > Show Bleed assuming there's a bleed value set in document setup (File > Document Setup...).

Is bleed per document only, or can it be specified per artboard?

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2 hours ago, MEB said:

Per document - all artboards share the same bleed value.

Your answer implies that all artboards should have a bleed, albeit the same value. However, when I “show bleed”, I see an outline around the entire document - not around each art board.

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Hi Shotster,
Can you post a screenshot of the canvas with the Layers panel visible or even better upload the afdesign file here (you can delete artboards contents) please? Thanks.
Have you grouped the artboards by any chance? If so seems there's a few issues/bugs here which i'm logging now.

The value you set in File > Document Setup, Bleed section will be applied to all artboards individually in the document.

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1 hour ago, MEB said:

Can you post a screenshot of the canvas with the Layers panel visible?

Ok, so I had apparently clicked on a layer that was outside all art boards, so the bleed outline appeared around the entire document. Perhaps that's the intended behavior?

It does work as expected when individual art boards are selected - i.e. the outline appears around only that art board.

ad-screenshot.thumb.png.4780e1bca90fc654fa505bfb7aecf5d0.png

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On 10/18/2018 at 2:37 AM, jaromeB said:

So after one week with Affinity designer, I'm not ready to jump in full time.

Agree with workspace layouts, don't know about symbols, but selection in Affinity is much superior to illustrator, which has always given me the shirts with it's single approach and difficulty. I also don't see what the problem with layers is - they seem pretty similar to me in many respects - create a layer, fill it with objects, move 'em to different layers if you want to get organised etc. I'm new to Affinity too - only testing the waters and probably waiting for a few updates before I'd use it for work, but have been working with computer graphics and vector apps since the mid 80's so I've been through a few (including command-line graphics programs!...pre "un-do"). I've settled down to Corel/Illustrator and would ideally like some combination of features from Affinity/Corel/AI. Despite a couple of decades working in AI every day I still hate it with a vengeance. With a few UI improvements and some key features copied from the other apps I think I'd be happy with Designer as my daily workhorse (although at the moment it crashes more often an inexplicably than any other app I use, and that's a lot of programs to compare to)


Windows 7 & 10 64-bit, Dual Xeon workstation(s) 64gb RAM, and single i7 laptop 32gb RAM

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On 12/3/2019 at 8:25 AM, JET_Affinity said:

In Illustrator:

  1. Select the Rectangle tool.
  2. Click (don't drag) the artboard.
  3. Key dimensions into the resulting modal dialog.
  4. Tap Enter to close the dialog.

In Affinity:

  1. Select a Shape tool.
  2. Mousedown and drag the artboard.
  3. Key the dimensions into the non-modal Transform Panel.
  4. Tap Enter to commit the values.

One is actually as efficient as the other.

No, it’s not.  In Illustrator, at step number 2, you click, the dialog box pops up directly on the screen, the cursor is already in the text box and you just have to type the sizes.  With Affinity Designer, you click/drag, then you move over to the transform box, click in the dialog box and drag to hi light the existing numbers, then type to replace them.  The Illustrator way is considerably faster as it uses the mouse much less. And as you mentioned, Illustrator remembers the last setting so you just click then press enter because the same information is already there.  All of Illustrator’s tools work that way, including envelopes, Transform Each (No equivalent for either of those in AD....yet?), offset paths, etc.  They all remember the last setting used so the difference in speed is compounding the more you use it.  It’s not a matter of being accustomed to Illustrator.  Illustrator is just a whole lot faster in this specific area.

On 12/3/2019 at 8:25 AM, JET_Affinity said:

Affinity's treatment is arguably a more elegant process with which to become habituated, because the Transform Panel provides more settings (including ability to specify dimensions by trig functions) while you're there.

Illustrator does that as well.  You can do things like 12” +2 right in the transform box, etc.

On 12/3/2019 at 8:25 AM, JET_Affinity said:

Illustrator's useless Measure Tool

Useless?  It does exactly what I expect it to do when I use it.  Usually, that’s measuring things that are on angles.  I don’t use it all that often but it does work.

 

On 12/3/2019 at 8:25 AM, JET_Affinity said:

The interface of Affinity is never going to replicate the exact same click-for-click sequence for every function in Illustrator or any other competing program. One has to adapt one's "muscle memory" to any different program.

Adapting one’s muscle memory happens without trying, but it won’t necessarily mean that one will attain the same speed as in the other program.  It shouldn’t stop people from reminding Serif what other software is like.  Serif might see fit to add some of these ideas.   Who knows.

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9 hours ago, Kuttyjoe said:

Illustrator does that [math expressions] as well.  You can do things like 12” +2 right in the transform box, etc. 

As of CS6 it doesn't. (I can't speak to later version, because I don't rent software.) Simply try using more than one math operator (i.e., not just addition / subtraction or multiplication / division, but both) and parenthesis in an expression. That was always one of FreeHand's advantages over Illustrator. But Affinity goes even beyond that by supporting trig functions.

Quote

[Measure Tool] Useless?...I don’t use it all that often but it does work.

Yes, useless. What good is a measuring tool that doesn't reliably abide by snaps? I don't use it either, because it's useless. Illustrator's Line Tool makes a better "measure tool," and that's what I use whenever I need a "measure tool".

Quote

 In Illustrator, at step number 2, you click, the dialog box pops up directly on the screen, the cursor is already in the text box and you just have to type the sizes.

If one has the non-modal Transform Panel visible, as I always do, it's already open, always there in the same place, providing more info and transform options without switching tools, and always providing numeric feedback.

JET

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3 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

As of CS6 it doesn't. (I can't speak to later version,

Well.  I suppose you should say that up front.  CS6 is about 8 years ago.

4 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

Yes, useless. What good is a measuring tool that doesn't reliably abide by snaps? I don't use it either, because it's useless. Illustrator's Line Tool makes a better "measure tool," and that's what I use whenever I need a "measure tool".

The measure tool absolutely does snap to point and line, and measures perfectly accurately when used properly.  Maybe it's correct use is not obvious and maybe that's an area where Adobe could do better. I don't use it much, because I don't have much use for it.  It does work though.  Accurately.

 

4 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

If one has the non-modal Transform Panel visible, as I always do, it's already open, always there in the same place, providing more info and transform options without switching tools, and always providing numeric feedback.

If one has the non-modal Transform Panel visible in both applications at all times then things would be equal if one needed to actually take the trip over to that panel.  In the example being discussed above, Illustrator is allowing you to actually avoid the trip to that panel. You don't need to go to the panel, you don't need to click and drag a selection in the text box of the panel.  You're avoiding several steps.  And if you do the same more than once, then you become more and more efficient with each use.  Kind of like step and repeat

I'm not criticizing Affinity Designer.  It is what it is and for $50.00, I'd only demand that it can do all of what it claims to do, and do them all well.  But people trying to make the switch from Illustrator to Designer should not do it based on faulty information.  And there seems to be a whole lot of people trying to make that switch.

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18 hours ago, Kuttyjoe said:

Well.  I suppose you should say that up front.  CS6 is about 8 years ago.

So you're saying you can enter "(1.5*3.25)+3" into a dimension field in Illustrator's Rectangle Tool's modal dialog box, or enter "3.5*sin(35.26)" into the vertical field of the Scale Tool's modal dialog, and have it evaluate correctly?

JET

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3 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

So you're saying you can enter "(1.5*3.25)+3" into a dimension field in Illustrator's Rectangle Tool's modal dialog box, or enter "3.5*sin(35.26)" into the vertical field of the Scale Tool's modal dialog, and have it evaluate correctly?

JET

No. I said it can do 12" +2 and yield a correct result.  It still can not do the trig examples you are giving.

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20 hours ago, Kuttyjoe said:

It still can not do the trig examples you are giving.

And, I dare say, it still cannot even understand multiple math operators in an expression, e.g., "2*3+1" or "(2*3)+1". For even that kind of grade-school arithmetic, you still have to dink around in the modal dialog, making individual single-operator expressions, one at a time, committing each by clicking outside the field, then entering the next single-operator expression.

JET

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4 hours ago, JET_Affinity said:

And, I dare say, it still cannot even understand multiple math operators in an expression, e.g., "2*3+1" or "(2*3)+1". For even that kind of grade-school arithmetic, you still have to dink around in the modal dialog, making individual single-operator expressions, one at a time, committing each by clicking outside the field, then entering the next single-operator expression.

JET

That is true. It can not.  But you say this with an attitude that suggests that there exists a thread where thousands of people have been angrily begging for this level of functionality and have been denied.  If that is the case, I'd like to see it just to satisfy my curiosity.  But what I really believe is that such a thread does not exist and that you are saying this because it pleases you to criticize Adobe, for whatever reasons you may have.  It's cool.  The facts came out and I'm personally satisfied with that.

On a positive note, I just found out last night that Affinity Designer has a function identical to Illustrator's Transform Each.  I was really impressed with that.  I would even say that it is implemented better than Illustrator, at least for the first use.  I'm not sure if it is subject to step and repeat like functionality like Illustrator.  I should have tested it in AD before posting but I wasn't planning to post about it.

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