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[ADe] Select same color / fill / stroke / appearance

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24 minutes ago, AndyQ said:

I'm just getting acquainted with my new Affinity software, I'm still using Illustrator/Corel for production, but I'm coming up against a lot of "where is such-and-such"  issues and searching this forum for answers. Selecting by colour is pretty important, as are all sorts of other selection criteria. I wanted to add a colour to a palette and make it "global" so I can adjust colour schemes, but adding a colour swatch from an existing document means it's only linked to the source object. Hence, to make it truly "global" it needs to be linked to all objects with the same RGB/CMYK/Whatever values so that changes to the swatch are relected in the design. Without being able to select objects by their fill/stroke colour as colour values this means having to individually select all the critters....which can get out of hand. I do understand this is a great app for the price, but maybe I need to keep paying more?

Unfortunately that seems to be the case. Dragging with modifiers is also non-Apple-HIG-compliant (if Macs are or ever become your thing, and many interface elements, like the undockable floating elements in Separate Mode, which can't push windows from below them, aren't HIG-compliant either, with disastrous and useless results) and you can't snap objects, mid-drag, to their own nodes in the starting position unless you duplicate them (a long-standing gripe of mine).

And there are no universal layers or coordinates because the entire layer and coordinate model is strictly artboard-centric, instead of document-centric like in most other apps, and you don't get any choice on the matter. Like good ol' Ford's Model T, you can have it in any colour you like, as long as it's black. :P

Oh, and artboards are layers/containers/groups of sorts that sit on the top-most level, instead of on the bottom level like, you know, paper does in the real world, because the guys at Serif don't really believe in sensible and long-standing WYSIWYG conventions and, instead, think and develop their apps like engineers.

[For some context, I, too, started out, at only 15, in CorelDRAW and Photo Paint and stayed there for three years right before entering the Uni; I then switched to Photoshop (still on my old PC, in the first semester) and, with my switch to the Mac, also to FreeHand (though I did do some projects in CorelDRAW for Mac v. 11 during that first semester), while also learning how to do DTP in Quark; then, mid-course, I switched to Ai and to InDesign almost at the same time, while also learning Final Cut Pro 5 and that horrid, horrid abomination that was Flash (yeah, for animation it was cool, but the whole ActionScript thing, ugh) and especially Flash Builder (same, as Flash and AS3, but even worse).]

So, yeah, from my experience, which seems to overlap a bit with your own, those are the three quirks/omissions which will likely bother you the most. I'm sure we'd find more if we kept at it, but as some of these are complete non-starters for many projects, I don't even see the point of insisting. I just use Designer and Photo for the occasional, odd, pro-bono/lightweight project, but that's about it.

Affinity was genuinely the first time I was ever excited over a new piece of software since my BA days. A second chance at making the most of my hardware. And especially a way out of the abusive relationship we all have with Adobe. Meh. Five years in, and here we are, still discussing the viability of Affinity as a Corel/Adobe/FreeHand/Quark replacement.

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2 hours ago, dla_001 said:

Responding to JGD above, did you even get a response from Serif?

I just don't see how they expect AD to be a successful product, unless they are willing to address some (most) of these shortcomings. Unless it's a Ponzi-like scheme, where they continuously try to impress and attract new users, naive to the app's lack of full functionality (I'm looking at me...) and just never get around to the things that are important in a production environment.

Now, that would be a big disappointment.

Thanks, JGD, for being so articulate and persistent. 

Not yet, because this is still all too fresh. But I'm not getting nearly the level of response I expected, considering the relationship I have with Serif (and which I'm not allowed to discuss with anyone but themselves but, suffice to say, if I'm ignored in this fashion, I can only imagine how other users' requests are considered).

Then again, I'm aware that expecting special treatment because of that is probably extremely pompous of me. I'll give them and you guys that. Also, I tend to write long rants, in which both Serif devs and fellow users alike get lost. @Patrick Connor may have unintentionally taken my words out of context because of that (though, as head of QA, he really should know and do better than that), so… yeah, that may explain something (not excuse, in certain cases, but definitely explain).

As for Affinity being a Ponzi-like scheme, I do understand your concern but, if it ends up being anything like that from a marketshare and financial standpoint, it won't certainly be intentional. I may, indeed, feel a bit betrayed, and their own publicity to be a bit grandiose, but I certainly don't feel scammed, as I did manage to produce valuable work out of these apps and they do sit atop a very solid core. Besides, this is a team of veterans who were perfectly content coding for Windows and catering to a small but fiercely loyal user base – a sizeable section of which is currently very miffed over the lack of cross-compatibility with Affinity apps, mind you –, and who then decided to bet the entire farm first on the Mac and now on an ambitious, three-pronged cross-platform initiative. They were rightly rewarded for their bet and reached the higher echelons of software development, having earned Apple Design Awards, Staff Pick and Featured statuses on the Mac and then iOS App Store, also being demoed or otherwise mentioned in high-profile spots at multiple editions of Apple's own WWDC. They are even having their own keynote now! I mean, you don't reach that kind of public profile and sustain it for that many years if you don't have the goods to show. And you don't have such a web presence, including their own store, this keynote, etc., social media work, publications, etc., without some decent moolah.

For all their failings at being the company which would finally dish out some well-deserved Karmic retribution at Adobe, I don't doubt for a second their sustainability as a company. But I do feel they are being as cavalier with many of their current customers as Apple was with their pro users with that “trashcan” Mac Pro fiasco (which, funnily enough, wasn't a great idea to begin with and, as an actual concern for being outdated and inadequate, also lasted for around four-five years past its prime…). That much I'll stand behind. Yes, they are outstandingly successful for their size and considering what they're up against, but there are indeed some cracks showing. Extending that analogy, there's a reason why Apple spent so much money in developing a crazily expensive computer and display which will only satisfy like 5% or less of their Mac user base, and probably less than 1% than their entire hardware market: to grab hold of the influencers. Of which I (and many others who looked right past Affinity, and I personally know a few of them) am part not necessarily when it comes to hardware, but, as a teacher, definitely when it comes to design software packages. And I'm sure some of you guys are, too, in your own ways.

And Serif is failing to do the same exercise here, expensive as it may be. If that means hiking the prices a little bit to finance those features, so be it. Maybe turning it into more of an aspirational but still affordable set of apps will make it more popular across a larger set of markets in the long run. Adobe apps certainly are, and yet their business model is downright extortionate at this point. Yes, there's the [quasi-]monopoly effect, but surely it can't be just that. I, for one, enjoy using Adobe apps way more than I ever did using Corel or Quark ones, and I've used them for long periods of time. That is no accident, my dear friends. You can't compete with Adobe on price alone, or with just some flashy features; you really have to aim at the gut.

As for FreeHand, for those who may never have worked with it, it deserves some attention of its own. It was so good that even though it was one of the shortest-lived of the bunch, it's still the one which had the greatest impact on me. In fact, the other day I opened it in a VM and it nearly brought tears to my eyes, as I was reminded of just how awesome and advanced it was for its time and it made me think that Adobe's purchase of Macromedia, and its subsequent killing off of FreeHand, did to design software what a parallel universe scenario, triggered if Microsoft bought NeXT to make use of WebObjects in some stupid web store and threw away NeXTSTEP because it didn't fit its Windows Everywhere strategy/Not Invented Here syndrome or some other crap – thus also killing Apple in the process because BeOS, Solaris or whatever alternative they would've picked instead wouldn't have brought Steve Jobs and his team back into the fold –, would have made to the overall operating system landscape. That, or if Microsoft had bought Apple or Google instead, whatever. As Apple would've crapped out or otherwise languished meanwhile, they couldn't have bought Final Cut from Macromedia in 1998, so there would likely be a cross-platform Macromedia Final Cut competing head-on with Adobe Premiere… So maybe that might've allowed Macromedia to better weather Adobe's advances… And the same goes for Emagic's Logic, which would still be cross-platform, and still offering decent competition to Adobe in that arena as well, so maybe CS/CC wouldn't have become the all-encompassing juggernaut it eventually did.

But all this is strictly academic and very likely too optimistic regarding the Mac, as all that stuff would most likely be Windows-only by 2019; or maybe Linux would've gotten bigger, to fill in the void left by Classic Mac OS? Or maybe, on the even more optimistic flip-side, Jean-Louis Gassée, Jonathan Schartz or some other mogul might've also turned Apple around in miraculous fashion, but still sans Jony Ive rising to such prominence, and now we'd be living in a bizarro, post/über '00s world where SONY and Nokia would still be the arbiters in all things stylish in the consumer electronics arena? You know, now we'd be using something in between, like translucent or jet black plastic Performas and PowerBooks running some other brand of a UNIX-based, Rhapsody-like retro monstrosity? Could the Newton, of all things, have pulled through? Who knows, really. In the event that Adobe would still buy Macromedia anyway, there would also have been no Adobe/Apple feud over Flash on mobile, so maybe we would instead be using Flash everywhere (I doubt it, but… ugh, just the thought of it). In the end, there would be one less potentially giant player in the OS field, and the entire balance would've been entirely thrown off in favour of the monopolist. And maybe our own current monopolist, without a Steve Jobs to butt heads against, would've been even more unfettered. What good would that have done for anybody?

And conversely, to this day, I still think of just how awesome it would've been running some Macromedia MX 2019 thing and FreeHand v. 25 in an otherwise equal turn of events right up until its acquisition by Adobe, i.e. natively on x86 NeXTSTEP-based macOS and on a Retina resolution (and that scenario was very much guaranteed, including the entire iPhone revolution; just remember that the acquisition took place in December 2005, a few months away from the announcement of the transition of the Mac platform to Intel processors, and less than two years before the famous iPhone Stevenote, so all relevant products that triggered or “timeline” at large were already in Apple's pipeline in various stages of development). Yeah, that would just be golden. With all due respect to Serif devs, I'd take that over Affinity Designer any time of the day. In fact, and sadly for Serif, which would likely still exist in its pre-Affinity form, there wouldn't be an opening in the market for another cross-platform suite, and maybe the iPad users would be the ones kind of left out now. Oh well, it's selfish to think of it this way, but I'd still prefer that. Maybe Macromedia wouldn't have been as stupid and pig-headed about Flash as Adobe was; maybe it could have instead embraced HTML5 right away in Dreamweaver, and repurposed Flash just for animation, and even have it running on iPadOS but as a tool to make stupid little cartoons – to upload them into YouTube… maybe even as native .SWFs? – like in the olden days, or something.  And the fact that Adobe still wouldn't be a complete monopolist wouldn't have allowed them to go all-in with their CC subscription plan, much like Microsoft still sells perpetual, standalone Office licenses to this day. That's why we all get so sensitive whenever the subject of FreeHand is brought about. Things could have turned out so much different (and most likely better!) in our daily professional lives, but not so different so as to completely creep us out…

It's fun to make this kind of speculative exercise but, at the end of the day, we have to live with what we've got. Affinity it is, then, but Designer better get good enough to take FreeHand's place, let alone Ai's (which is still a dog in many ways when compared with FreeHand, but, indeed, has since surpassed it in functionality), because it's still a ways off. Until then, we'll have to speculate even about Affinity and Serif themselves.

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I was 3 minutes into testing the current trial version of Affinity Designer when I ran into the question of "Where is select by stroke and fill colours"?

I just needed to create basic colour variants of a logo. The way it was drawn makes Affinity software unusable for this tiny, routine task. I'm sorry to say this is so basic to any designer's needs it knocks you completely out of consideration for purchase at this point, or for recommendation.

I started this tiny test full of your glowing reviews, recent awards and reasonable pricing, expecting I'd likely end up buying the full suite on both Mac and iOS this summer. After reading this thread, that's not going to happen in this generation of your tools. Count me as one more voice saying that until you fix this you're not even in the game.

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@benwolfe, welcome to the forums!

 

On 6/29/2019 at 8:12 PM, benwolfe said:

so basic to any designer's needs

Different designers have different needs.  There are many people using Affinity Designer quite happily in spite of this feature being missing.

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8 minutes ago, fde101 said:

@benwolfe, welcome to the forums!

 

Different designers have different needs.  There are many people using Affinity Designer quite happily in spite of this feature being missing.

Being able to effectively select elements of your artwork is utterly basic and fundamental.

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16 hours ago, robinp said:

Being able to effectively select elements of your artwork is utterly basic and fundamental.

And even more needed when you are working with someone other's artwork. Which may origin from some CAD package and have 9887643583 separate objects.

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8 minutes ago, Fixx said:

And even more needed when you are working with someone other's artwork. Which may origin from some CAD package and have 9887643583 separate objects.

To be honest, in our case, the CAD file may have been created by ourselves and we would still want to be able to select some of the 9887643583 objects. It’s the very nature of creating a drawing from a CAD programme, exporting as PDF and then opening in Designer / Ai results in absolutely loads of objects. It is inescapable unless you draw the most basic of drawings. 

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9 hours ago, Fixx said:

Which may origin from some CAD package and have 9887643583 separate objects.

With all of those "AI" features that so many companies are coming out with, what may be a more legitimate application of such technology would be a feature to automatically group and merge objects in documents produced from CAD software output.

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19 minutes ago, fde101 said:

With all of those "AI" features that so many companies are coming out with, what may be a more legitimate application of such technology would be a feature to automatically group and merge objects in documents produced from CAD software output.

Is this a joke?

Assuming it isn’t, you might as well just say the answer to the problem is to make sure everyone gets everything right the first time therefore no need for editing. 

Practically, you’re saying instead of providing the basic tools to effectively edit PDFs, everyone must train all those who are sending PDFs to first make sure they export them in a specific manner to enable efficient editing. It’s simply a barmy concept. 

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7 minutes ago, robinp said:

Is this a joke?

partially

 

8 minutes ago, robinp said:

might as well just say the answer to the problem is to make sure everyone gets everything right the first time

while it would certainly be nice if they did, that is not realistic

 

8 minutes ago, robinp said:

you’re saying instead of providing

not instead...  in addition

 

8 minutes ago, robinp said:

tools to effectively edit PDFs

Editing PDFs is an "icing" feature; any workflow that depends on something like this is suboptimal.  PDFs were always intended to be "digital paper" and not something that should be edited.  As a result, I would consider any workflow that relies on editing the content of a PDF at a finer level of detail than an entire page to be questionable and unreliable.

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7 minutes ago, fde101 said:

As a result, I would consider any workflow that relies on editing the content of a PDF at a finer level of detail than an entire page to be questionable and unreliable.

For many of us there is no other choice. Indeed, you could argue one of the main purposes of Ai in recent times was as a PDF editor. It treats PDFs much in the same way it treats .ai files. 

Just because someone has a philosophical belief that one workflow is not the proper way of doing things, doesn’t mean the needs of those that have no choice but to do it should be ignored. 

I’d hazard a guess that you’ve never (or rarely) had to work with output from CAD programmes?

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2 minutes ago, robinp said:

For many of us there is no other choice.

Granted, there are a few corner cases for which the ability to do this is enabling - this is largely a limitation of the other software not being able to produce a more proper file format.

 

3 minutes ago, robinp said:

doesn’t mean the needs of those that have no choice but to do it should be ignored. 

I do agree here.  Just realize that this will always be a less than optimal situation and that some things may never quite work right as this is trying to make a stone tablet act like a pencil sketch.

 

5 minutes ago, robinp said:

I’d hazard a guess that you’ve never (or rarely) had to work with output from CAD programmes?

On a rare occasion I've used a CAD program myself to produce a design for a project, but I've never tried to edit its output with a design program, no.  I do know enough from having used one to recognize the implications of what was pointed out above; they do tend to make four lines out of every rectangle.

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9 minutes ago, fde101 said:

Granted, there are a few corner cases for which the ability to do this is enabling - this is largely a limitation of the other software not being able to produce a more proper file format.

This is not a 'corner case'. Basically anyone that uses CAD could do with sometimes editing a PDF.

 

10 minutes ago, fde101 said:

On a rare occasion I've used a CAD program myself to produce a design for a project, but I've never tried to edit its output with a design program, no.  I do know enough from having used one to recognize the implications of what was pointed out above; they do tend to make four lines out of every rectangle.

Every letter in a body of text. Every line, curve and point in a hatch pattern. It gets really out of hand very quickly indeed.

The issue is that CAD programmes are not WYSIWYG. In fact, many are purposely not so, for example in Autocad often line colours represent line weight (bizarre I know). It means that getting an output that prints perfectly is almost impossible. Not an issue on most drawings, but if you're doing something for presentation it can be vital. Similarly, most CAD programmes require being connected to the office network to know where referenced files are. If you're on the go and need to make a last minute change in preparation for a presentation, editing the PDF is often the only choice. That might mean rasterising it :53_cold_sweat: or editing in a vector editing app.

These may not be uses where people are going to be using Designer 100% of the time, but all the more reason that having a solution in a ~£40 app vs a ~£40/month app is all the more attractive.

Anyway, I do not think this is a feature that is only needed by those editing CAD produced PDFs. I think anyone producing anything other than very basic artwork would need powerful selection filters.

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The example of a CAD-sourced file needing further editing is only that, an example, albeit a good example due to the many complexities CAD files bring to the table. A useable vector-drawing program needs to include the tools necessary to select and manipulate various objects in >any< file is is asked to operate on; otherwise, there is no need to use that program.

And PDF has become a de facto file exchange format, (often the only format common to two drawing applications,) regardless of whether the PDF format was originally intended to be "digital paper."  In today's world, PDF is what we get, and we need to be able to manipulate objects contained in that file type.

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Everyone needs to start adding

'Translating PDF:  $/£/€X.00 per hour'

'Translating .jpeg:  FREE per hour'

'Translating .txt:  FREE per hour'

'Translating .csv:  FREE per hour'

'Translating "whatever other "But it is an industry standard" format":  $/£/€X.00 per hour'

to their bids and bills.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.7.3 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.7.x.x | Affinity Photo Beta 1.7.x.x | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.x.x

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On 7/2/2019 at 6:49 PM, Old Bruce said:

Everyone needs to start adding

'Translating PDF:  $/£/€X.00 per hour'

'Translating .jpeg:  FREE per hour'

'Translating .txt:  FREE per hour'

'Translating .csv:  FREE per hour'

'Translating "whatever other "But it is an industry standard" format":  $/£/€X.00 per hour'

to their bids and bills.

Maybe that's an option for some, but not for us or, I imagine, many others. It would be crazy when quoting a fee for designing a building to pull out specific caveats about working with certain file formats. The client generally doesn't care what files we work with as long as we get the job done. Anything that slows us down costs time (and therefore money).

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What robinp said.

We ask our clients to provide files in a format that will reduce the amount of time spent in make-ready, but, in the end, we get what we get, and have to make it work.

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4 minutes ago, dla_001 said:

What robinp said.

We ask our clients to provide files in a format that will reduce the amount of time spent in make-ready, but, in the end, we get what we get, and have to make it work.

Sure, the thing is for us, clients don't tend to provide us with files. We kind of start from scratch and hopefully, if things go well and to plan, the client ends up with a beautifully designed and constructed building at the end of it.

Client inputs from our point of view are limited to:

  • Briefing (often verbally)
  • An existing building or site
  • Feedback as the design progresses
  • And of course, money

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On 7/3/2019 at 3:49 AM, Old Bruce said:

Everyone needs to start adding

'Translating PDF:  $/£/€X.00 per hour'...

I agree that people should charge for their time but this proposal is flawed in this case. Take the following situation:

Two designers (of equal skill) quote for a job requiring manipulation of a vector file. One uses Affinity Designer, the other Adobe Illustrator. Who do you think quotes for fewer hours?

It's absurd to suggest that you charge the client more money because you choose to use under-cooked software. That's not the client's fault! Any sane client would call you out and go elsewhere, somewhere—that likely uses Illustrator—making trivial work of an existing vector file.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, robinp said:

Sure, the thing is for us, clients don't tend to provide us with files. We kind of start from scratch and hopefully, if things go well and to plan, the client ends up with a beautifully designed and constructed building at the end of it.

As a on/off freelancer who picks up all kinds of odd jobs - this is the ideal, but a rare occasion for me. A lot of the time, I'm the guy they call who'll do the jobs no-one else wants, and I've been supplied all kinds of nightmarish files. Are those legitimate use cases for Affinity Designer? It's tough to say in every case, but all I know is that this feature would be invaluable in making broad attribute changes to existing creative, or reverse engineering complex vector files for lack of more suitable means. So I guess Affinity can aim to be robust enough to deal with those curveballs, or deny them as legitimate/worthwhile use cases and those users will just have to find another way to get the job done.

@robinp I realise we both support this feature being added, I just quoted to add context to my own experience.

On 7/1/2019 at 3:00 PM, fde101 said:

Different designers have different needs.  There are many people using Affinity Designer quite happily in spite of this feature being missing.

I get this - but it doesn't really hold up as a reason not to add a feature for those that would use it. For those that don't use it there's no change, no degradation of experience. For those that do use it, it's a huge time saver.

Edited by simonlayfield
Added comment

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12 hours ago, simonlayfield said:

I get this - but it doesn't really hold up as a reason not to add a feature for those that would use it.

No, but Serif can't do everything at once.  By getting the programs out when they are good enough for a large portion of the user base they start collecting income that helps to fund the continued development of the software to get more of these other features added - but they are added over time as the underlying foundation becomes ready to take on the new abilities and based on priorities they determine internally.

I would expect this to come, but features take time.  There are also various bugs that need to be worked through, and for my part, I would always prioritize fixing any bug over adding any new feature.

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11 hours ago, fde101 said:

No, but Serif can't do everything at once.  By getting the programs out when they are good enough for a large portion of the user base they start collecting income that helps to fund the continued development of the software to get more of these other features added - but they are added over time as the underlying foundation becomes ready to take on the new abilities and based on priorities they determine internally.

I would expect this to come, but features take time.  There are also various bugs that need to be worked through, and for my part, I would always prioritize fixing any bug over adding any new feature.

This has been requested for almost 5 years. Countless 'flashy' features have been added, presumably the focus over the merely essential.

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1 hour ago, robinp said:

This has been requested for almost 5 years. Countless 'flashy' features have been added, presumably the focus over the merely essential.

It's simple features like this that would help make Designer a true alternative to Illustrator. Selection tools are so basic, and universal, no matter how simple or complex the file is, I am baffled why this wasn't in the day 1 release, or at least in one of the many updates over the years considering the interest in this thread. My use cases vary anywhere from simple illustrations to manipulating GIS/CAD data. Limited selection tools make these jobs anywhere between inconvenient and impossible. Still use it, still love it, but Designer could be so much better. 

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