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GreenGirl

Drawing Automation based on formulae and range of input values?

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I've only recently (last few days) purchased Affinity Designer as a way to move from the Adobe shackles, and due to another question / feature request I found that there is a formula composition tool within Designer that (whilst missing log base10) does allow quite complex algebraic compositions. 

 

My question is this:

As part of my work, I have to create all of the 'tick' marks around a circular path to create a circular slide rule. I have to do 5 different 'rules' within 1 disc, and I have two different discs to do. 

Kind of (but not quite) like this: 

A20100222000CP03.jpg?itok=36SwZ1Q-

 

Some of these tick marks need to be short ( like 0.5, 1.5 etc) and some longer (1, 2, 3 etc). 

All of these 'ticks' can be thought of as drawing a line (of different widths depending on 1/2 or whole numbers) with a centre that is on the origin ( centre of the image ) and extending at the calculated angle from 0 - 360, out to the specified 'length'.. like spokes on a bicycle wheel with the centre at the images centre, but the spokes extend at slightly different lengths depending on whole or half numbers.  Then the unwanted circular centre can be cut out, leaving just the 'ticks' around the circular path...

Does Affinity Designer have a feature that with a specified formula, and a specified range of numbers, of doing this drawing automatically? Otherwise, I'm going to be forced to draw thousands of lines INDIVIDUALLY out from the centre to each target's length. 

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Hi, GreenGirl,

Adding all the numbers & fractions will be the hard part. Making the ticks, not so much. You can use a formula in the rotation transform. In my small example, I drew a vertical line, extending from the center of the page. Made it 2 pt tall, and placed its center of rotation at the center. Did a command Duplicate, and entered 360/600 into the rotation dialogue. Helf down command-J till I had 90 degrees of ticks. Returned to the 1st line, duplicated it, made it 2x as long, and repeated, but w. 360/20 (18 degrees fwiw). This sort of routine will work for any number of divisions and radii.

TikMarks.jpg.d6bf1d7a04e0b1197b7c3364d49076a0.jpg

 

 


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3 minutes ago, gdenby said:

Making the ticks, not so much.

Actually it will be hard, they are not evenly spaced. Slide rules are hard to make, straight or circular. Look at the bottom of the image, the outermost set of numbers. At about 4 o'clock there is a 10, follow along and see how 11, 12, 13,14 etc have smaller distances between them.


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38 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

Actually it will be hard, they are not evenly spaced. Slide rules are hard to make, straight or circular. Look at the bottom of the image, the outermost set of numbers. At about 4 o'clock there is a 10, follow along and see how 11, 12, 13,14 etc have smaller distances between them.

Exactly.

Which is why, with all the algebraic functions and power built into Designer, I wondered if it was married to some 'auto draw' system, where you created the formula, and a range of 'input' numbers, draw your first line, and then it would use all there as inputs, and draw the remaining lines (based on the output of the 'input' numbers and the formula') and create the rest of the lines for you. 

 

I already have a spreadsheet of the maths with the input and output numbers for all 5 rules, but the logistics of doing each of these lines, by hand, is monumental. One 'rule' alone has over 800 'ticks' on it. That's 800 manual duplications of the vertical line, with the rotation angle set to the output of the formula. 

 

So my question more was on the automation side, not duplication of lines with even spacing... sorry if that was unclear to the first responder. 

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It might be better to let such ruler or clock scalings be generated programmatically, as far as you have some scripting or pragramming capabilities on your side. - For example ...

... you can also find other samples on the net with more complex tick scallings etc. If you want to reuse such things look for solutions which generate plain SVG as output, so you can import and use that further in Designer etc.

 


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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1 hour ago, Old Bruce said:

Actually it will be hard, they are not evenly spaced. Slide rules are hard to make, straight or circular. Look at the bottom of the image, the outermost set of numbers. At about 4 o'clock there is a 10, follow along and see how 11, 12, 13,14 etc have smaller distances between them.

I was uncertain if the dial GreenGirl was doing required logarithmic markings. if I remember my old slide rule, at least one of the log scales packed ticks in by powers of ten, so the rule would be 10 ticks, subdivided in length x. The next set, dame length, ten tick, less subdivided, but for amounts 10 -100, next set, 100 - 1000. All they same procedure, just more of the same. Hard, but in the sense of lots of repetition.


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1 minute ago, gdenby said:

I was uncertain if the dial GreenGirl was doing required logarithmic markings. if I remember my old slide rule, at least one of the log scales packed ticks in by powers of ten, so the rule would be 10 ticks, subdivided in length x. The next set, dame length, ten tick, less subdivided, but for amounts 10 -100, next set, 100 - 1000. All they same procedure, just more of the same. Hard, but in the sense of lots of repetition.

 

6 of the 10 I need to do require a different logarithmic formula for each one. e.g., one the the rules has a formula of [Log.base10 ( Sin ( input number ) ) * 10 ] * 360 ... with 'input number' being from 0.1 to 90 inclusive.

So regular duplication isn't ever going to work... :(

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I think that generating the SVG is going to be your only realistic solution. I have no experience in SVG, but the following might work:

  1. Generate your first two tick marks in Designer.
  2. Export the design as SVG.
  3. Examine the file to see what the markup looks like.
  4. Use your spreadsheet to generate appropriate markup for the other ticks.
  5. Load your generated SVG back into Designer.

I know that this is easier said than done. I would see it as a challenge! If you are not in any hurry, I would be willing to have a go at it.

John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7, (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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4 minutes ago, GreenGirl said:

Ha! It's either manually draw thousands of 'ticks', or learn python! lol...Sophie's choice or what!

Not at all. If you have a spreadsheet, you can do the sums in that.

PS, Python is not all that hard to learn. I have not done much Python programming, but I have written one application in it.

John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7, (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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I have been looking at using svg to solve your problem. As a proof of concept, in Designer, I first created a simple background circle, with a single tick mark, then exported this to svg. I then grouped the tick mark and applied a couple of svg rotations and then opened this svg back into Designer.

This is the original with one tick:

Start.thumb.png.440e6a0fa53ff76505a7d2159494f90a.png

and with two extra ticks added by editing the svg file.

ThreeTicks.thumb.png.912bb182d7426aa9f62cfb06eabb2213.png

The original svg had the following line for the tick:

<path d="M1181.1,590.551L1181.88,834.13" style="fill:none;stroke:black;stroke-width:2.22px;"/>

I grouped this, gave it an id of "line1" and then added a couple of transformed versions:

    <g id="line1">
    <path d="M1181.1,590.551L1181.88,834.13" style="fill:none;stroke:black;stroke-width:2.22px;"/>
    </g>
<use xlink:href="#line1" transform="rotate(10, 1173.02, 1173.02)" />
<use xlink:href="#line1" transform="rotate(45, 1173.02, 1173.02)" />


Note that the svg export converted my original units of mm to px. The 1173.02, 1173.02 is the centre of rotation in px.

I then looked at your formula for positioning the tick marks:

Quote

e.g., one the the rules has a formula of [Log.base10 ( Sin ( input number ) ) * 10 ] * 360 ... with 'input number' being from 0.1 to 90 inclusive.

I then tried using the following  formula in  Excel:

=(LOG(SIN(E5*PI()/180)*10)*360)

the PI()/180 is because I assumed that the 0.1 ... 90 was in degrees. Applying this to the value 0.1 gives -632.924. Is this degrees? Subsequent values give -1.06718 for 5.7 and 87.82099 for 10. I would guess that the desired output from this should be degrees around a circle in the range: 0...360. Given a formula that created this range, it would be straightforward to use a combination of Excel and svg to create a svg file that created the desired tick marks.

Here is the svg file exported from my original Designer page and edited as above:

Ticks.svg

If you could check the formulas that you need to use, I could have another go and see if I can produce the goods.

My guess is that if you are trying to produce a circular slide rule, then it is just a matter of converting the degrees to a log scale, then scaling to fit around the circle.

John

 


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7, (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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John, that's truly amazing, and I can't thank you enough for the time, energy and hard work you've put into researching this. 

 

I've never done anything with SVG's or python before, but this creating an SVG, then hacking it to add in a formula is genius! All the stars on the Internet today for you!!!

 

Thank you. 

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24 minutes ago, John Rostron said:

I have been looking at using svg to solve your problem. As a proof of concept, in Designer, I first created a simple background circle, with a single tick mark, then exported this to svg. I then grouped the tick mark and applied a couple of svg rotations and then opened this svg back into Designer.

This is the original with one tick:

Start.thumb.png.440e6a0fa53ff76505a7d2159494f90a.png

and with two extra ticks added by editing the svg file.

ThreeTicks.thumb.png.912bb182d7426aa9f62cfb06eabb2213.png

The original svg had the following line for the tick:

<path d="M1181.1,590.551L1181.88,834.13" style="fill:none;stroke:black;stroke-width:2.22px;"/>

I grouped this, gave it an id of "line1" and then added a couple of transformed versions:

    <g id="line1">
    <path d="M1181.1,590.551L1181.88,834.13" style="fill:none;stroke:black;stroke-width:2.22px;"/>
    </g>
<use xlink:href="#line1" transform="rotate(10, 1173.02, 1173.02)" />
<use xlink:href="#line1" transform="rotate(45, 1173.02, 1173.02)" />


Note that the svg export converted my original units of mm to px. The 1173.02, 1173.02 is the centre of rotation in px.

I then looked at your formula for positioning the tick marks:

I then tried using the following  formula in  Excel:

=(LOG(SIN(E5*PI()/180)*10)*360)

the PI()/180 is because I assumed that the 0.1 ... 90 was in degrees. Applying this to the value 0.1 gives -632.924. Is this degrees? Subsequent values give -1.06718 for 5.7 and 87.82099 for 10. I would guess that the desired output from this should be degrees around a circle in the range: 0...360. Given a formula that created this range, it would be straightforward to use a combination of Excel and svg to create a svg file that created the desired tick marks.

Here is the svg file exported from my original Designer page and edited as above:

Ticks.svg

If you could check the formulas that you need to use, I could have another go and see if I can produce the goods.

My guess is that if you are trying to produce a circular slide rule, then it is just a matter of converting the degrees to a log scale, then scaling to fit around the circle.

John

 

John, you're my hero. You've done it!!!

518849683_Screenshot2019-07-28at10_13_45.thumb.png.ab553a9941738df144f212fad73eeb84.png

 

I used your brilliant template and created the ring I need!

And as I have the formulas for the other ones, I can just rinse and repeat and then combine, rescale and edit in Designer. 

This is truly amazing work, and it should be pinned.

Thank you SO MUCH!!!!

 

 

 

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Glad to be of service. That is what these forums are for. It actually took me longer to compose the message above than it did for me to produce the three ticks design.

Having brushed up my svg over a morning cuppa, i think that I could have done it more simply using the svg  line expression, such as:

<line x1="1000px" y1="500px" x2="1000px" y2="250px" style="fill:none;stroke:black;stroke-width:0.5pt;"/>

John

 


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7, (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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Actually, that wouldn't have helped me at all.

The previous version has the 'translation' command in it and the degrees to translate the 0 degree line by.

My formulae spit out about 174 numbers from 0 to 360 representing the angles at which these 'tick' marks need to be drawn. Thus, with just a bit of text manipulation in Numbers, I'm able to construct 174 of those translate line commands and it draws all the marks I need.

I believe that your 2nd approach would have required me to do the trig for each of those angles to get the Adjacent and Opposite lengths to enter into it - much more complicated, error prone and unintuitive. 

Your first solution is perfection! Doesn't need messing with! :)

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38 minutes ago, GreenGirl said:

I believe that your 2nd approach would have required me to do the trig for each of those angles to get the Adjacent and Opposite lengths to enter into it - much more complicated, error prone and unintuitive. 

Not at all. You just include the <line ... /> instead of the <path .../> within the named group <g id="line1" ...>, then use that "line1" in the <use ... />  command, as before.

But, as you imply: if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7, (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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I noticed a novelty optical illusion, if you wiggle the webpage up and down the image produced by green girl looks like it expands and contracts like an accordion  O.o


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Hi John... it might indeed be broken.

 

I'm struggling with a 'bug' or, more likely, user error...

Here's the file I'm currently working on:

From the file, you should see that there is a 'tick' at 12 o'clock, and this is the 'master' of which it needs to be duplicated by 173 'line' commands that you worked out.

In the file too, is one of your line commands, rotating said 'master' tick by 10 degrees..

The problem is, that after rotation, it's stretched the line... which I can't accept because even if I  'reset' it in Designer to the original 42pt length it's not even in the right position anymore i.e. the 'bottom' of the line if now protruding over the next 'disc' 

Why is it stretching it? 

The translate command I've had to manually enter the original drawings cx and cy = 1024.0.

Can you please help? I'm blocked again but I don't understand why... :(

 

outerTicks.svg

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11 hours ago, GreenGirl said:

Can you please help? I'm blocked again but I don't understand why..

@GreenGirl, The svg file you uploaded will draw just the one tick. Could you give me the precise formula that you use to transform the numbers 0 to 174 into your target degree values. I can then build a spreadsheet which can be used to generate the necessary svg. I will try and include some screenshots so you can see how I am building it.

BTW, you do not meed to PM me to attract my attention.  You can do either of two things:

  1. You can quote  all or part of my message in your reply. Either click on the Quote link, or you can select part of a message and you should see the link for you to click on.
  2. In your message, use my username prefixed by the @ symbol. Type the @ then start typing my user name (no space). You should see a list of names appear below. When my name appears, click on it. and it will insert it into your message.

    Either of these will ensure that I am notified of any message.

    John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7, (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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10 hours ago, GreenGirl said:

Why is it stretching it?

It streches due to the transform matrix ...

Quote

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/1.1/DTD/svg11.dtd">
<svg width="100%" height="100%" viewBox="0 0 2048 2048" version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xml:space="preserve" xmlns:serif="http://www.serif.com/" style="fill-rule:evenodd;clip-rule:evenodd;stroke-linejoin:round;stroke-miterlimit:1.5;">
    <g transform="matrix(1,0,0,0.352941,-1.13687e-13,63.0588)">
        <g id="Originals">
            <g id="Marks">
                <g id="Outer">
                    <path d="M1024,218L1024,99" style="fill:none;stroke:rgb(255,0,245);stroke-width:6.67px;"/>
                </g>
            </g>
        </g>
    </g>

<use xlink:href="#Outer" transform="rotate(10, 1024.0, 1024.0)" />
</svg>

If you leave that matrix transformation out it shouldn't stretch ...

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/1.1/DTD/svg11.dtd">
<svg viewBox="0 0 2048 2048" version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xml:space="preserve" xmlns:serif="http://www.serif.com/" style="fill-rule:evenodd;clip-rule:evenodd;stroke-linejoin:round;stroke-miterlimit:1.5;">
   
  <g id="Outer">
    <path d="M1024,218L1024,99" style="fill:none;stroke:rgb(255,0,245);stroke-width:6.67px;"/>
 </g>
    
<use xlink:href="#Outer" transform="rotate(10, 1024.0, 1024.0)" />
</svg>

You can see, check and test such SVG code related things in a good manner via JSFiddle or CodePen etc.

Here is your sample modified to not stretch ...

fiddle_stuff.thumb.jpg.02311ae9351e3cb652ae05d30a613fcd.jpg


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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@v_kyr Thank you. Yes, removing that spurious 'transform' does allow me to produce the lines at the correct size. :)

 

2 hours ago, John Rostron said:

@GreenGirl, The svg file you uploaded will draw just the one tick. Could you give me the precise formula that you use to transform the numbers 0 to 174 into your target degree values. I can then build a spreadsheet which can be used to generate the necessary svg. I will try and include some screenshots so you can see how I am building it.

BTW, you do not meed to PM me to attract my attention.  You can do either of two things:

  1. You can quote  all or part of my message in your reply. Either click on the Quote link, or you can select part of a message and you should see the link for you to click on.
  2. In your message, use my username prefixed by the @ symbol. Type the @ then start typing my user name (no space). You should see a list of names appear below. When my name appears, click on it. and it will insert it into your message.

    Either of these will ensure that I am notified of any message.

    John

@John Rostron  Should I upload the spreadsheet I'm using here, and in what format? 

The current 'ticks' I'm making are using this formula:

 

(R/2)*[2 + log(sin(#))]

 

Where R is 360 (as I'm making circular slide rules) and # is the input number range:

0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.7
1.8
1.9
2
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
2.7
2.8
2.9
3
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7
3.8
3.9
4
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
4.8
4.9
5
5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
5.7
5.8
5.9
6
6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5
6.6
6.7
6.8
6.9
7
7.1
7.2
7.3
7.4
7.5
7.6
7.7
7.8
7.9
8
8.1
8.2
8.3
8.4
8.5
8.6
8.7
8.8
8.9
9
9.1
9.2
9.3
9.4
9.5
9.6
9.7
9.8
9.9
10
10.5
11
11.5
12
12.5
13
13.5
14
14.5
15
15.5
16
16.5
17
17.5
18
18.5
19
19.5
20
20.5
21
21.5
22
22.5
23
23.5
24
24.5
25
25.5
26
26.5
27
27.5
28
28.5
29
29.5
30
30.5
31
31.5
32
32.5
33
33.5
34
34.5
35
35.5
36
36.5
37
37.5
38
38.5
39
39.5
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
62
64
66
68
70
72
74
76
78
80
90

 

Now, the problem I've still got - after V_Kyr's solution is that I'm drawing a rect of 6px wide at the centre line guide. i.e. the middle of the rect (vertically) is running through the 1024 guideline that is the middle of the entire image / page.

 

When I put in my computed formulas from these numbers, the last one - 90 is at 360 i.e. 0 so, it should have a rect at 0 with the middle of the rect running through the vertical guideline, right?

 

Also the first number 0.6 gives a result of: 3.60372245860544 degrees, however when the resulting ticks have been generated, the one that should be at 0 is at about 1, and the one for 3.6 is at about 7, however, if I rotate all of the ticks around the centre of the image / page i.e. 1024 x 1024 by exactly 3.60372245860544 degrees, then they all line up perfectly!?!??

So I don't understand why it's not all skewed and by such an exact amount. 

Here's a snipped of the SVG with all the formulas in:

 

<g id="Outer">
    <rect x="1027" y="98" width="5" height="42" style="fill:rgb(16,217,233);"/>
</g>

<use xlink:href="#Outer" transform="rotate(3.60372245860544, 1024.0, 1024.0)" />

<use xlink:href="#Outer" transform="rotate(360, 1024.0, 1024.0)" />

 

image.png.3d9e9d2329adbecc1c36cf1eb2b16fe4.png

 

As I say, if I rotate the whole set of ticks by -3.6xxxxx. then everything perfectly lines up.. 

I've tried drawing the rect so that it's right side is on the centreline guide, but that doesn't change anything after all the rotations. It still ends up like this.

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2 hours ago, GreenGirl said:

Should I upload the spreadsheet I'm using here, and in what format? 

I will have a play with the information that you have given me. If I can get it to work, then I shall not need the spreadsheet.

John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7, (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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On 8/2/2019 at 3:58 PM, GreenGirl said:

So I don't understand why it's not all skewed and by such an exact amount. 

Here's a snipped of the SVG with all the formulas in:

 

<g id="Outer">
    <rect x="1027" y="98" width="5" height="42" style="fill:rgb(16,217,233);"/>
</g>

<use xlink:href="#Outer" transform="rotate(3.60372245860544, 1024.0, 1024.0)" />

<use xlink:href="#Outer" transform="rotate(360, 1024.0, 1024.0)" />

 

image.png.3d9e9d2329adbecc1c36cf1eb2b16fe4.png

 

Well your rect starts at x=1027 ... thus is always offset by a few pixels.

rect1.thumb.jpg.d73c4bfed28188f17188b4330e034d73.jpg

rect2.thumb.jpg.ee4c5404e4d1dd96e9a1808a1e4db61b.jpg


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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You are kidding me... /smh /facepalm...

I'm SO sorry, I should have spotted that.

What's strange is that the original file HAD the rect dead centre to the guideline... But yes, if I edit the .SVG in TextEdit and reload into Designer, I think it's worked. At least it's centred and the first 'tick' is correctly at 3.6xxxxxxxx

 

Thank you @v_kyr

I honestly don't know how that happened...

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