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Allow objects to snap to their “ghost”, initial position during drag operations

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1 hour ago, robinp said:

Casual sexism? Or do you know @Mithferion personally?

It’s in my Profile Information:

EC03AC9C-5036-43DF-B57D-E897B82E4B86.jpeg.fb82d9cf4bdf4ed22631e8dd3eb5e7cf.jpeg

Best regards!


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2 minutes ago, Mithferion said:

It’s in my Profile Information:

EC03AC9C-5036-43DF-B57D-E897B82E4B86.jpeg.fb82d9cf4bdf4ed22631e8dd3eb5e7cf.jpeg

Best regards!

OK, fair enough so it is accurate. Still, I would argue it is probably still casual sexism. Do you ever see or hear anyone saying 'well done that woman'.

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I read it as a casual, well intentioned comment. In Spanish, we have male/female forms for most nouns, so we use them depending on the subject.

We don’t say as an equivalent: “bien hecho, hombre”, but we use “friend” instead of “man”: “bien hecho, amigo”. In case we are talking about a female, we’d simply change to “amiga”.

Best regards!


You'll never know what you can do until you get it up as high as you can go!   

AMD FX 8350 :: Radeon HD 7870 :: Windows 10 ::  http://mithferion.deviantart.com/

Oxygen Icons :: Free Quality Fonts :: Public Domain Pictures :: iOS 11 Design Resources :: iOS App Icon Template :: Hot to do High Quality Art :: Mesh Warp / Distort Tool Considerations

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@robinp It's not sexism to refer to someone in terms of their actual gender... more polite I would have thought!?

 

I don't think we need a Political Correctness analysis in this thread, and I don't think we need to find discrimination where there is none.


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6 minutes ago, Ben said:

@robinp It's not sexism to refer to someone in terms of their actual gender... more polite I would have thought!?

 

I don't think we need a Political Correctness analysis in this thread, and I don't think we need to find discrimination where there is none.

I guess everyone has different levels of awareness and sensitivities. Can you honestly say that you knew @Mithferion is a man before making that post or was it an assumption?

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2 minutes ago, robinp said:

I guess everyone has different levels of awareness and sensitivities. Can you honestly say that you knew @Mithferion was a man before making that post or was it an assumption?

Yes - I did know.  He's been on the forum for some time now.


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
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2 minutes ago, Ben said:

Yes.

It wasn't a yes / no kind of question so I'm none the wiser but maybe that was your intention.

edit: you've edited your post after I replied....

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@robinpSee above

 

Seriously - can we move on from this - the thread is big enough without going totally off topic on a debate about incorrectly perceived gender insensitivities.

 


SerifLabs team - Affinity Developer
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Please feel free to reply to my post that was on topic.

Ps,

Discussions about equality aren't something to be siloed off into a discrete corner to avoid upsetting anyone. Causal sexism is rife and I will point it out wherever I see or suspect it.

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6 hours ago, JGD said:

Most of the time, I cut objects in half (or in quarters) by resizing them towards their centre point.

My "grid from object" suggestion could account for this if it were expanded to bisect the generated grid.

If you were creating a grid from a square with 10mm per side, you would create a grid with 5mm spacing, offset to align to the sides of the square, and simply snap to the grid line.  


An option could be provided to determine how many grid lines should be spaced within the object (1 for 5mm grid, 2 for 10/3mm grid, etc...) with one command to specify the spacing and another to reuse the previous specification.

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16 minutes ago, fde101 said:

My "grid from object" suggestion could account for this if it were expanded to bisect the generated grid.

I really like your grid from object idea. I genuinely do. But I don't think it is a direct replacement for the ghosted original idea which is absolutely and completely intuitive. Anyone could sit down and start using Designer and be able to use it. To have an obscure grid setting, albeit incredibly powerful, is unlikely to be immediately discoverable.

Perhaps this comes to a possible crux of many issues I have. I am a regular user of Publisher and Photo. An occasional (want to be) user of Designer. Together I probably don't even get close to using the trio 20% of my time, probably more like 10%. That would have applied to Adobe too.

This is where the much more affordable pricing of the Affinity apps are utterly and overwhelmingly compelling and I think there are many more like me than hardcore users. Lets face it, if you previously used the Adobe suite 90% of the time, it is unlikely that you'll have ditched Adobe at this stage. You are probably still paying the subscription even if you are trying to use Affinity apps as much as possible. Those like us have ditched Adobe so have no alternative currently (I'll check out Inkscape though)

So, back to those of us who only use these apps some of the time. We are never going to learn all the tools and the more obscure or hard to discover they are, the less user friendly the app. There is something really wonderful about WYSIWYG because it is very intuitive. To extend that intuitive effortlessness to these snapping scenarios would be far better for occasional users because you would just start working and the app deals with the difficult stuff automatically. Very happy for it to be a snap option that can be toggled in the snap settings so that the downsides identified by @Ben can be avoided if needed.

Having experimented with the hexagon example that @JGD did, the node / handle behaviour is, I would say, somewhat confusing and unnecessarily complex. I kept feeling that I was having to do 3 or 4 clicks when I was expecting 1 should do it. To not have the nodes of a polygon as snap-able unless you convert to curves is really strange. Maybe I've missed something in all the discussions around modifier keys, but really these are yet further obfuscation from an intuitive interface because the discoverability is very poor.

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11 minutes ago, robinp said:

But I don't think it is a direct replacement for the ghosted original idea which is absolutely and completely intuitive. Anyone could sit down and start using Designer and be able to use it. To have an obscure grid setting, albeit incredibly powerful, is unlikely to be immediately discoverable.

From a pure usability standpoint, I agree with this completely.

 

The issue at hand is the hesitation on the part of @Ben and thus likely the other Serif developers to devote the time into developing the "ghost" functionality that would be required for the more "discoverable" solution to become a possibility.

 

The main reason I proposed the grid solution is that it exists now.  The visibility of the grid, the ability to configure the spacing of the grid, the snapping to the grid, is all existing functionality.  What would be added is basically a shortcut to very quickly configure the existing functionality, and I would expect that could be developed with minimal effort, with no changes to the core feature set of the software.  With a sufficiently complete scripting interface we could probably script this solution with minimal effort.

 

The question is if you want the "ghost" feature to go onto a waiting list with a zillion other great ideas that are competing with each other for development time, or have something that can be rapidly developed with little risk to the other features and we might be able to get it much sooner?

 

There is no rule that they could not provide the grid feature quickly then decide to go back and implement the "ghost" feature as well at some point in the future when time permits, but if this can cover a significant portion of the use cases and we can have it that much sooner...

 

(And apologies that I'm sure I went over 100 words with this one myself :ph34r:)

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36 minutes ago, robinp said:

I really like your grid from object idea. I genuinely do. But I don't think it is a direct replacement for the ghosted original idea which is absolutely and completely intuitive. Anyone could sit down and start using Designer and be able to use it. To have an obscure grid setting, albeit incredibly powerful, is unlikely to be immediately discoverable.

Perhaps this comes to a possible crux of many issues I have. I am a regular user of Publisher and Photo. An occasional (want to be) user of Designer. Together I probably don't even get close to using the trio 20% of my time, probably more like 10%. That would have applied to Adobe too.

This is where the much more affordable pricing of the Affinity apps are utterly and overwhelmingly compelling and I think there are many more like me than hardcore users. Lets face it, if you previously used the Adobe suite 90% of the time, it is unlikely that you'll have ditched Adobe at this stage. You are probably still paying the subscription even if you are trying to use Affinity apps as much as possible. Those like us have ditched Adobe so have no alternative currently (I'll check out Inkscape though)

So, back to those of us who only use these apps some of the time. We are never going to learn all the tools and the more obscure or hard to discover they are, the less user friendly the app. There is something really wonderful about WYSIWYG because it is very intuitive. To extend that intuitive effortlessness to these snapping scenarios would be far better for occasional users because you would just start working and the app deals with the difficult stuff automatically. Very happy for it to be a snap option that can be toggled in the snap settings so that the downsides identified by @Ben can be avoided if needed.

source.gif.a3d79099cb1c12288737d6397e8c801f.gif

(sorry for the angry looks on Steve Carell's face aha… I didn't have enough reacts anymore and this was the GIF that felt more appropriate :P )

That's precisely what I feel. I know keeping things both simple and discoverable are sometimes competing goals, and it's hard to achieve that fine balance; I do, however, feel that Designer is indeed imbalanced towards simplicity.

36 minutes ago, robinp said:

Having experimented with the hexagon example that @JGD did, the node / handle behaviour is, I would say, somewhat confusing and unnecessarily complex. I kept feeling that I was having to do 3 or 4 clicks when I was expecting 1 should do it. To not have the nodes of a polygon as snap-able unless you convert to curves is really strange. Maybe I've missed something in all the discussions around modifier keys, but really these are yet further obfuscation from an intuitive interface because the discoverability is very poor.

@robinp I should point out that I “cheated”; I kept alternating between the Selection Tool and the Direct Selection Tool.

However, that “cheat” would never work in Designer… Either you switch from the Move Tool (V) to the Node Tool (A), and then proceed to select all nodes from the previously selected objects by pressing Command+A, or your switch from the Mode Tool (V) to the Point Transformation Tool (F) and then proceed to press Control before selecting the desired node.

Designer always makes things more complicated than they are in Illustrator, and even if ghosts and self-snapping are added, it will remain so until this modifier+click+drag situation is solved. Serif does have some deep-seated issues when it comes to modifier keys, with a lot of functionality duplication and [conscious?] trampling on Apple's HIG going on.

I should also add that the current Control behaviour when using the Move Tool on handles is redundant; it just emulates the Point Transformation Tool, except in crippled – and reversed form (I'll post a demo later in a separate thread). If it duplicated Ai's behaviour, and selected nodes instead, it would actually be consistent with the Point Transformation Tool's behaviour when Control is pressed, which would be a win-win situation in my book.

But then the default Control+click functionality to access the contextual menu on macOS would have to be thrown out of the window, so clearly there has to be another way. Then again, Designer's behaviour when pressing Control and clicking is vastly inconsistent, and warrants a demo of its own. It's unpredictable at best, if not outright buggy.

Maybe taking Duplication out from Command, where it should've never been put in the first place because it's in complete contravention to the HIG, and leaving it under Option (or, as I've seen @Ben calling it, “Alt”; maybe he was indeed referring to Windows, but I'm always thinking and speaking from a Mac-centric perspective… It was never the official name of that key, and indeed the “Alt” label has recently been removed from the keycaps on recent Mac models), where it should've been since the beginning, and using Command to alternate between the Move and the Node Tools, while allowing to select any node, just like in Ai…?

Does Adobe have a patent that prevents Serif from doing that? Is there anything wrong with adhering to a standard that works? I'm guessing no to the first, and a big, fat NO (not quite Steve Carell's “NOOOOO”, but close) to the second, too.

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19 minutes ago, fde101 said:

There is no rule that they could not provide the grid feature quickly then decide to go back and implement the "ghost" feature as well at some point in the future when time permits, but if this can cover a significant portion of the use cases and we can have it that much sooner...

Totally agree. And this approach should be taken in all possible scenarios where such a choice exists. Go for simple and quick solutions and fill out with the better one long term. Much like the select by stroke / colour / style request. Do the simple and easy to implement and do it ASAP.

In some scenarios the more complex solution may completely supersede the quick and simple one, other times, like with this grid idea, keeping both would have merit.

(re the above, I'm referring to complex vs simple in terms of how difficult they are to implement rather than the user experience)

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21 minutes ago, robinp said:

Totally agree. And this approach should be taken in all possible scenarios where such a choice exists. Go for simple and quick solutions and fill out with the better one long term. Much like the select by stroke / colour / style request. Do the simple and easy to implement and do it ASAP.

In some scenarios the more complex solution may completely supersede the quick and simple one, other times, like with this grid idea, keeping both would have merit. [emphasis mine]

(re the above, I'm referring to complex vs simple in terms of how difficult they are to implement rather than the user experience)

Exactly.

Because for quick and dirty edits, or for people who, as you've so eloquently said, only use the app occasionally, or even pros like me who could very well use this stuff all the time but sometimes prefer to think visually and incrementally without too much fuss in setting up stuff, both are valid.

Yes, I'm an analytical guy and will do a lot of math to get things just perfect, but I already have too much on my plate when working with InDesign/any other DTP app… Ai, OTOH, is my sandbox/playground and sometimes I have one of those fleeting “shower time epiphanies” (you all had at least one of those in your life, I hope?) and just want get right to work and plop a quick modular alphabet without even bothering with setting up grids.

If it's any good, I may redo the whole thing from scratch with a proper setup, but more often than not I'll just do that in Glyphs.app instead… Though having at least a first draft in a vector editing application is good practice, as I can use it later for presentation posters and showing off the grid and modules. Something a bit like this:

410003779_Capturadeecr2019-07-30s13_59_54.thumb.png.80d8fa67ae66c180f1f54543467e1579.png

Just because a feature is absolutely perfect for a user, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll want to use it all the time. Humans are complicated and counterintuitive, like that.

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2 minutes ago, JGD said:

Exactly. Because for quick and dirty edits, or for people who, as you've so eloquently said, only use the app occasionally

Probably the point I missed in my post previously was that with people using these apps 90% of the time still having Adobe is that they have access to the tools to do things the way they are familiar with or that are simply impossible with Affinity currently. In contrast, those of us that have ditched Adobe are 'all in' with Affinity. It adds to the pressure and urgency of delivering some essential features because we simply don't have the luxury of Adobe ready to fire up to do things that the Affinity apps cannot do currently.

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14 minutes ago, robinp said:

Probably the point I missed in my post previously was that with people using these apps 90% of the time still having Adobe is that they have access to the tools to do things the way they are familiar with or that are simply impossible with Affinity currently. In contrast, those of us that have ditched Adobe are 'all in' with Affinity. It adds to the pressure and urgency of delivering some essential features because we simply don't have the luxury of Adobe ready to fire up to do things that the Affinity apps cannot do currently.

I'm a bit of a weird case, as in, the opposite of that. I'd gladly do the 90-10 split in favor of Affinity, but currently I'm doing the reverse, because these limitations do impede my workflows. I use Adobe CC by default, and will try to do simpler stuff on Affinity on occasion, when I know it's better as a tool but especially to keep tabs on the development progress.

However, when it comes to the urgency of the matter, I'm behaving as if I had to depend on Affinity 150%, or 200%, because students. I'm a teacher and an influencer, that's why, and I do feel sad that I can't recommend it unreservedly. Every semester is a wasted opportunity to push this thing to 30-40 more young minds in each round and to fellow teachers (and, if things go according to plan, those number should grow; but I digress and covered that topic to death already, so… moving along).

I know that when @Ben and others point out that there are ways of doing task x-y-z, they are mostly thinking of the crowd that went all-in. And if people depend on it, it's understandable they'd be willing to look past those limitations and, if need be, take 5x longer to do some obscure, infrequent task (considering Serif's current user base, that is); however, someone from “the outside” must do the work I'm doing, otherwise you people will just be stuck inside an echo chamber of praise and workarounds.

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Another thought on the grid idea is that there is almost no downside to building it up incrementally.

 

Consider:

  • PHASE 1 (initial implementation of feature)
    • Always uses the bounding box of the selected object/layer
    • Two new menu items
      • Create Grid from Selected Object...
        • This item pops up a box asking how many grid lines should be added in between the ones that connect to the bounding box.  Upon accepting the entry, the box closes and the grid is set to match, made visible, with snapping to the grid enabled.
      • Create Grid from Selected Object using Previous Settings
        • This item does the same thing, but does not pop up the box asking how many lines to use, instead using the value from the last time the first item was selected.
    • Shortcut keys can be assigned to the menu items.  Whether or not there should be default shortcut keys for this is an open question.

 

  • PHASE 2 (enhancing the functionality from phase 1)
    • One new menu item, which is a toggled setting:
      • Automatically Update Grid when Selection Changes
        • When this is turned on, any time a selection is made, the grid is automatically updated to match the bounding box of the selection.
        • No shortcut key by default, but one can be added by the user if desired.
        • Disabled by default (for obvious reasons).
    • Add a checkbox to the box that pops up when selecting the "Create Grid from Selected Object..." menu item, which reflects the state of the new menu item, for convenience.  Checking this box enables the menu item, unchecking it disables it.

 

  • PHASE 3
    • If a shape is selected which has parallel sides that are at an angle, match the slope of the grid to those sides.
    • Adjust the produced grid to account for isometric settings.
    • Add a "Base grid on bounding box, ignoring shape" checkbox to the "Create Grid from Selected Object..." box, turned off by default.  This too should be carried over to the other (by now existing) menu items.

 

  • PHASE 4
    • Examine the shapes to find the long part of the edge.  If there is a straight (could be diagonal) side to the shape but with a part that sticks out (or in), line up the grid with the part of the shape that is longest (ignoring the small circular part that sticks out from a puzzle piece for example).
    • This too would be disabled by the "Base grid on bounding box, ignoring shape" checkbox from phase 3.

 

etc.

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@JGD

Sorry, I was referring to people who use Adobe or Affinity or whatever apps 90% of the time. I spend a lot of my time emailing, doing CAD, 3D modelling etc. What I mean is that someone whose primary job is using creative apps such as Adobe or Affinity are likely to still have a Creative Cloud subscription.

Those like me, who use these types of apps only say 10% of the time always struggled to justify the Creative Cloud rip off. We've embraced Affinity with enthusiasm. It always felt like Adobe were profiteering from large sectors who didn't need their apps for core business functions but they were essential for some tasks. Affinity is the big hope and is WAY WAY better than any other attempt at competing with Adobe in recent years.

BUT, those of us that have ditched Adobe have no fall back. Ie, now fully reliant on Serif and their Affinity apps.

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21 minutes ago, robinp said:

@JGD

Sorry, I was referring to people who use Adobe or Affinity or whatever apps 90% of the time. I spend a lot of my time emailing, doing CAD, 3D modelling etc. What I mean is that someone that's primary job is using creative apps such as Adobe or Affinity are likely to still have a Creative Cloud subscription.

Those like me, who use these types of apps only say 10% of the time always struggled to justify the Creative Cloud rip off. We've embraced Affinity with enthusiasm. It always felt like Adobe were profiteering from large sectors who didn't need their apps for core business functions but they were essential for some tasks. Affinity is the big hope and is WAY WAY better than any other attempt at competing with Adobe in recent years.

BUT, those of us that have ditched Adobe have no fall back. Ie, now fully reliant on Serif and their Affinity apps.

Ahhhh, now I get it. Makes sense, and yes, Adobe's management are a bunch of profiteers, I'll give you that.

Interesting analysis. To which I'll add: Serif marketed their software as if it might replace Creative Cloud for those who do need it for constant work and who were fed up with Adobe; however, they struck gold and ended up absorbing that huge crowd you've mentioned, which is indeed mostly content with Affinity in its current state.

That's why many of “us” (i.e. those who use e-mail, CAD, video editing and whatever else only 10% of the time) feel left out. However, many of those – me included – do want Affinity to succeed not just for financial reasons (or if so, also because of hardware longevity), but out of principle. We want to own our tools and not be forced to upgrade just because. Also, we don't want to lose access to old artwork if we ever need to go into hiatus. It's just good business and digital archivism practice.

We may be a minority, but we're a pretty vocal one. This isn't just about money; it's also about politics and ideology. And the reason many of us haven't jumped ship to Inkscape+Gimp+Scribus is because they're a bit too far out, and a tad inelegant…

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15 minutes ago, JGD said:

Interesting analysis. To which I'll add: Serif marketed their software as if it might replace Creative Cloud for those who do need it for constant work and who were fed up with Adobe; however, they struck gold and ended up absorbing that huge crowd you've mentioned, which is indeed mostly content with Affinity in its current state.

I suppose what I'm actually arguing is almost the opposite. That those who are creating content in Adobe or Affinity apps 90% of the time will have access to both and can pick and choose based on the task and time pressures.

Those of us that have ditched Adobe (yay), now have no choice and are all in. When an Affinity app doesn't have a feature (select by...) or is clunky (this ghosted / snapping issue) we just lose out because we have no alternative.

I'd argue that many of those who have gone all in with Affinity apps are probably using them as part of a wide range of diverse tools (ie not just Adobe). My hunch is that very few use them 90% of their time and don't also have Adobe CC also as a fall back.

As such, I'd suggest that Serif should be focussing on the markets where people use their tools as part of a wider and more complex workflow. After all, a licence sold is a license sold. They don't make more money from someone using the products all the time vs someone dipping in and out. The market for those dipping in and out must be massive compared to full time graphic and designers / artists.

I don't know what the numbers are for graphic designers in the UK, but I know there are over 30,000 registered architects. Plus many many thousands of people doing the job of an architect who are not registered. Probably similar with engineers of various sorts. Surely a very large number of product and industrial designers too. All of these are in creative industries that likely spend most of their time doing other things but would happily consider £120 or whatever it is for the suite but would NEVER have considered £50 per month.

My point is that the market of part-time users is potentially massive and that's just in a couple of sectors in one country.

 

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4 minutes ago, robinp said:

[snip]

As such, I'd suggest that Serif should be focussing on the markets where people use their tools as part of a wider and more complex workflow. After all, a licence sold is a license sold. They don't make more money from someone using the products all the time vs someone dipping in and out. The market for those dipping in and out must be massive compared to full time graphic and designers / artists.

[snip]

My point is that the market of part-time users is potentially massive and that's just in a couple of sectors in one country.

Yet more interesting clarification. You, sir, are on to something. That would make a lot of people very happy.

Serif would totally kill Corel if they did that, by the way. The market you're describing seems to be very much dominated by them (here in Portugal, at least).

And once they had those niches nailed, they could then go on to fry the bigger fish. ;)

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1 minute ago, JGD said:

You, sir, are on to something.

Thank you, but just in the interests of balance, I'm sure you don't know whether I am a man or woman. And I'm happy with that ambiguity :P. Let's stick to gender neutrality unless it's absolutely necessary or relevant

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7 minutes ago, JGD said:

Serif would totally kill Corel if they did that, by the way. The market you're describing seems to be very much dominated by them (here in Portugal, at least).

There must be a vaguely pyramidal distribution of people with those who don't ever need apps like this at the bottom (the widest part of the pyramid) to those specialists who use them all the time.

Somewhere in the middle, there is a large chunk of people that need these apps some of the time. Because they dip in and out, they aren't going to remember all the complex menu options or key-combos.

Which brings us back squarely to the topic.

Ghosted originals would be great for those who dip in and out. Complex key combos / modifiers, especially non-standard ones (looking at you CMD for copy) are not.

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1 hour ago, robinp said:

Complex key combos / modifiers, especially non-standard ones (looking at you CMD for copy) are not.

This is somewhat alleviated by the status bar at the bottom of the screen.  Simply remembering to look at it when starting to work on something reduces the impact of this particular problem for those who are not using it often enough to have the specific modifiers memorized.

 

1 hour ago, robinp said:

Ghosted originals would be great for those who dip in and out.

My guess would be that those who "dip in and out" would probably be less likely to have a need for this particular optimization, but if they do, then sure...  it might be more obvious to them, particularly if they learned on the other product and became accustomed to it there.

 

2 hours ago, JGD said:

Serif would totally kill Corel if they did that, by the way.

In a way, Adobe should actually be the easier target to go after, because people using the Adobe products are paying for them constantly while with the Corel products they are not necessarily doing that.  If the larger part of the installed base of Corel users is using non-subscription licenses and not paying to upgrade every time a major version comes out, their product is already paid for so they may not be in as much of a hurry to switch to a new product, unless they see major advantages in the workflow or feature set of the product itself.  In theory they already have workflow solutions that are working for them, so it might take more than a small effort to provide the kind of advantage that would push them over the edge and give them reason to pay for and learn a new program.

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