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shobbs

Remove De/Select objects from Undo History

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When I am adjusting the layout, there are often times I need to see the layout without the selection boxes... this is fine until I need to make a few comparisons. I use the Undo/Redo actions for a before and after comparison but I can't because for some reason it was thought to be a good idea to include De/Selections into the Undo History. This makes it so if I Undo, and then select something, I've lost all my history I may have wanted to keep.

Can you remove this "feature" from the product. It's not great and makes me want to go back to Adobe pretty quickly out of frustration.

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I completely agree. The undo/redo stack should be reserved for destructive actions only. This has been raised in the past and ignored by the developers. When it was raised as a bug here, they closed it as 'by design' without (it would seem) taking the time to understand why the behaviour is completely unnecessary and a frustration for many. It was also discussed here and requested again here. So I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for this to be fixed.

In Affinity Designer and Photo, you have a Snapshots panel, which enables you to save various states and switch between them, but it's a pretty clunky process in practice—after saving each snapshot you have to select one with the mouse, then click a tiny icon, then repeat if you want to switch back and forth to compare them—you can't just click (or even double-click) on a snapshot to view it. (I know, it boggles the mind.) In any case, the feature didn't find its way to Publisher.

What you can do, rather than deselect objects, is hold down the space bar to temporarily hide the selection boxes. However, this will not work if you have text selected, or the keyboard focus happens to be in some UI text field.

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Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums, @shobbs.

Affinity provides a form of branching, or alternative histories, that may help you, When you have used Undo, and then done something destructive, you'll see a branching icon in the history, as shown here:
image.png.0d0122f910287192ce5d16849b98d54b.png

If you click on that icon, the other path of the history will be shown, which will contain the actions prior to that highlighted destructive action. It's explained further (for Publisher) in the Help for Using Undo, Redo, and History.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1909 (183623.476),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.514 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.514 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.523 Beta

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16 hours ago, Kal said:

The undo/redo stack should be reserved for destructive actions only.

I 100% disagree with this.  Moving a layer is not "destructive" but sometimes what gets "destroyed" is my memory - wait, where did I just move that from?

Much more reasonable (and desirable) would be the ability to filter the list of undo/redo actions displayed in the panel so that the items that I want to see are not lost in the mix of less relevant smaller actions.

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11 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

Affinity provides a form of branching, or alternative histories …

Well I learnt something new. Thanks Walt!

6 hours ago, fde101 said:

I 100% disagree with this.  Moving a layer is not "destructive" but sometimes what gets "destroyed" is my memory - wait, where did I just move that from?

If you'd asked for clarification on how I defined 'destructive', you might have found a percentage of agreement. I meant any action that alters the artwork, and that would certainly include moving or reordering layers/objects. Selecting or deselecting an object alters nothing. Moving an object alters it. Choose a different word if you like, but now, hopefully, we're at least talking about the same thing.

6 hours ago, fde101 said:

Much more reasonable (and desirable) would be the ability to filter the list of undo/redo actions displayed in the panel so that the items that I want to see are not lost in the mix of less relevant smaller actions.

That's the way Affinity seems to think… Let's add another panel feature or 'Manager' window to fix a problem that never existed before.

Look, these kinds of apps weren't invented yesterday. There's no need to reinvent the wheel. I've used design, layout and drawing apps for 20+ years, and I've never once in that time wished to 'undo' a selection or deselection. This 'feature' adds nothing, but removes something very useful. Adobe tried it with the release of CS3—including non-destructive actions (switching to preview mode, showing and hiding guides, etc) in the undo/redo stack, and it was a nightmare. People hated it, Adobe recognised their mistake and restored the previous behaviour.

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21 minutes ago, Kal said:

Selecting or deselecting an object alters nothing.

Interesting...

I could see modifications to the pixel selection (in Photo for example) being logged in undo history, but selecting and deselecting layers is as well - that definitely shouldn't be, I agree.

At least it does consolidate down to just one if you change it several times in a row.

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9 minutes ago, fde101 said:

Interesting...

I could see modifications to the pixel selection (in Photo for example) being logged in undo history, but selecting and deselecting layers is as well - that definitely shouldn't be, I agree.

Yeah, good point about pixel selection. I guess pixel selections are, in reality, a kind of artwork in themselves, and it's common to perform various (and in my vocabulary, destructive) actions on them (adding, expanding, feathering, etc). I just checked, and Photoshop does indeed include pixel selections in the undo/redo stack. I think I intuitively knew this, but didn't think about it in the context of this discussion.

15 minutes ago, fde101 said:

At least it does consolidate down to just one if you change it several times in a row.

Yes, indeed. I hadn't really considered that either. The CS3 behaviour I mentioned before, if I remember correctly, just included every little thing in there, which really was the stuff of nightmares. Affinity's approach seems more considered at least.

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