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"Proportional Scale" Indicator

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One of my long-standing pet-peeves with graphics apps on the Mac was Apple's early decision to make it necessary to hold the shift key down to scale an object proportionally. To me, that is default behavior, and should be doable without a modifier key. Thankfully, Apple is moving in that direction (which I particularly notice in apps like Pages), but the picture on the Mac as a whole is very spotty.  It's my impression that there are plenty of apps out there that adhere to the old-school way of things.


As things currently stand with Affinity Designer, when I want to resize an object proportionally (which is most, but not all of the time), I don't know when I'll have to hold the Shift key down to do so and when I won't. I think by sheer chance the first few times I scaled objects in AD, I did so without having to press the shift key, and I thought to myself, "Yay, Affinity-Serif, you got it right." But that turned out not to be true, and over time I've come to realize there's a 50% chance each time I want to scale an object that I'll have to hit command-z because the operation won't go as intended. 


I suppose there are a couple ways this problem can be solved.


The ideal solution, to my mind, is to make scaling behavior the same across all classes of objects, be they text, curves, simple objects, compound objects, or groups (made up of any combination of the aforementioned object types): proportional scaling should be the default when the object is selected and manipulated, with no modifier key necessary.


If, for some obscure programming reason, it's impossible to implement the above goal, can we have a scaling indicator that reliably tells us whether the selected object we're about to scale will do so proportionately or not, depending on the currently pressed keys?


Thanks very much.




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Hi Andy

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

You can choose the type of behaviour you want in Affinity Designer.

Go to Affinity Designer ▹ Preferences, User Interface tab (or Tools tab if you are using the latest Beta) and select the behavior you want from the Move Tool Aspect Constrain drop down:

  • The Automatic option will constrain the resize depending on the type of object selected. For objects with an intrinsic aspect ratio (like images or text frames) the proportion will be kept when you resize them. For the others, it will not (you must press ⇧ (shift) to keep their proportions. This option is selected by default.
  • Constrain by default will resize objects proportionally no matter what's their type.  You will have to press ⇧ (shift) to override the constrain.
  • Do no constrain by default will not constrain be default and will force you to press ⇧ (shift) to resize objects proportionally independently of their type.
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I'm grateful (& a little chagrined) for your advice – thank you very much! Problem solved. I guess the only thing I would say at this point is that the preference drop down could be named more descriptively. Just relabel "Move Tool Aspect Constrain" to "Scale Tool Aspect Constrain" and I probably would've solved this one on my own. I'm no stranger to preference dialogs – I'm sure when I first started using AD I passed over this menu while trying to solve this problem because of that one word. In any case, thanks again for your help,


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