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t0rst

Rectangle fill is permanent after convert to text frame

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In Affinity Publisher v1.7.1, cannot remove or change rectangle fill after converting to text frame — there is no UI to do this, and the fill is permanent. Have to delete and recreate the work.

Steps: 1) Select rectangle tool and draw a rectangle, 2) In the colour palette, set a noticeable fill colour, 3) Choose Layer > Convert to Text Frame, 4) adjust the same controls that were used in step 2 to  choose a fill colour.

Result: the fill colour of the box no longer changes (the newly selected colour is applied to text added). 30mins search and experimentation did not yield any place in the UI that would allow the rectangle fill to be changed (if its present but well hidden, then this is also a UI bug).

Expected: either a) rectangle fill is removed when converted to text frame, or b) all colour selection palettes allow target for change within text frame to be selected, out of text (selection) or frame itself.

(Presumed same for all types of shape, and for stroke as well.)

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Look into your Text Frame Panel there is a little present waiting for you lot over 30mins ...

(just curious: how did you get into this forum? by a link in the app UI or by internet search?)


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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Ok, hadn't seen the Text Frame panel yet. It's not shown by default. What worked before "Convert to Text Frame" does not work after, which is confusing. It would be more considerate to allow nomination of which attribute will be changed by the Colours panel when a text frame is selected - apply to text or frame; InDesign and AI have just such controls. (And likewise for Swatches, etc.)

(This forum is easy to find: Affinity Publisher > Help > Support… and the forum link is in the bug reporting section on that page.)

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1 hour ago, t0rst said:

What worked before "Convert to Text Frame" does not work after, which is confusing. 

Actually to generate a text frame one would not use the rectangle shape tool and convert that afterwards but rather start with a text tool.

1 hour ago, t0rst said:

 It would be more considerate to allow nomination of which attribute will be changed by the Colours panel when a text frame is selected

The UI enables you to choose what property of an object you want to change, just at a different location then you might used to.

The advantage to have it NOT as an additional option in the color or swatches panel is that you don't need to switch between icons there before assigning a color. In these panels already is the differentiation between fill and stroke, so I meanwhile prefer this Affinity behavior. I needed to undo quite often in ID assigning a color, when I had not been aware of the active icon for text or object.

1 hour ago, t0rst said:

(This forum is easy to find: Affinity Publisher > Help > Support… and the forum link is in the bug reporting section on that page.) 

Ah, ok, thanks. So it was your decision in purpose to write your thoughts as a bug report instead placing it in the Questions section (f.i. as "How to color a text frame?) or as a feature request ("I want the UI as I am used to it").


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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2 hours ago, t0rst said:

What worked before "Convert to Text Frame" does not work after,

That's because once you have a Text Frame you have multiple possibilities for what the color or stroke would apply to: the contents (the text), or the frame.

Before the conversion they could only apply to the frame. After the conversion they by default appy to the text, because that is what most users would usually want it to apply to in most cases. To deal with the frame you need to use the other Studio panel.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.356), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481 and 1.7.3.475 Beta

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2 hours ago, t0rst said:

It would be more considerate to allow nomination of which attribute will be changed by the Colours panel when a text frame is selected

You can do this when the Fill tool is selected, using the options in the context toolbar.

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Posted (edited)

Actually to generate a text frame one would not use the rectangle shape tool and convert that afterwards but rather start with a text tool.

@thomaso It's dangerous to make assumptions about the way people work - you risk a narrow inflexible implementation. Best to expect the unexpected. In my case, I'm replicating a layout from an 1876 newspaper, and I blocked out the areas using filled rectangles to get the proportions right first, then proceeded to derive text frames from them.

> The UI enables you to choose what property of an object you want to change, just at a different location then you might used to.

There was a discontinuity in UX behaviour: the Colours changed one attribute on the selected object, and then after "Convert to Text Frame", they changed a different attribute on the same object. I just asked the that you expose the choice instead of hard binding.

----

When I first encountered the problem I spent 30 minutes looking through the UI for a way to make the Colours palette change the text frame fill. I didn't spot the Text Frame panel, and I didn't search the manual (though I did search the forum). It's common to want to get to grips with an app without reading the manual, which is serial and slow. Please try to see this from the POV of a newly arriving user. This was a friction point and a confusing experience, which I would consider a UX bug. Ideally you would want to make the UX as frictionless as possible. (I'm assuming some of you are developers/ux.)

@fde101Tnx, useful. Good that they expose the choice in the context bar, plus I see they remove it from the Colours palette while fill tool is selected. So… shame that they only expose half the choice permutations in the Colours palette when the fill tool is not selected.

Edited by t0rst

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2 hours ago, t0rst said:

Best to expect the unexpected.

Agree. In case of unknown complexity (= flexibility & abilities) of a new application "it's dangerous" just to start work without getting familiar first with the basics of the UI, especially if it is – obviously from the first moment – fundamentally different to the UI of another app you are used to. At least it helps to walk through all the menus and panels to understand their approach + the relations between them. You can get quite far this way, totally without reading help text or watching tutorials.

In particular the "View" menu sounds appealing to become aware what the UI has to offer. Inside "View" a very rich menu is "Studio" or, below, a bunch of Guide and Grid managers, which allow to create a layout grid – instead of creating objects first with a later need to convert, to adjusted or to delete them.

2 hours ago, t0rst said:

There was a discontinuity in UX behaviour: the Colours changed one attribute on the selected object, and then after "Convert to Text Frame", they changed a different attribute on the same object.

This discontinuity at the same time becomes an advantage, because it allows faster workflow (as mentioned above by Walt for text frame colors). Another discontinuity is for instance in context menus with their changing content related to selected objects. The most convenient discontinuity is in the context tool bar which supports the user by offering varying tools depending of the users actions, including a pulldown menu to choose from where a color change will be applied to when a text frame is selected (as mentioned above by fde101)

2 hours ago, t0rst said:

I just asked the that you expose the choice

Really? You started this topic neither in the Questions nor in the Feedback/Request forum but as Bug Report. This choice would result in different readers – with different experiences and approach – and therefore in different thoughts and answers.


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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1 hour ago, t0rst said:

@thomaso Are you connected in any capacity to Serif (if so which?), or are you just pitching your own POV?

All of the Serif staff are identified when they post in the forums, in one of two ways:

  1. If your browser window is wide enough, the information about the poster on the left side of the screen will show that they are a Moderator (in red) and they will also have a badge reading Staff.
  2. If your browser window is not wide enough, their user name at the top of the post will be displayed in red.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.356), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481 and 1.7.3.475 Beta

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