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taharvey

It there a way to fix Affinity crazy key bindings?

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I've been trying not to judge, but a year into using Affinity, the key bindings often make no sense. I don't know where your key bindings derive from, but many common ones are opposite every program I've every used... Adobe, Every MacOS app, the old Freehand & Macromedia stuff.

Why be crazy? Why not use standard key bindings? It's a huge productivity suck.

Duplicate: Option-drag, not Cmd-Drag. (This is universal: every program I can think of on the Mac is option-drag).

  • The command is already is reserved territory fo, well... Commands! Because you overload it, drag duplication is crazy making. Every time I press command to execute a key binding while dragging... it copies the object! 

Resize around centers: Option-drag, not Cmd-Drag. Again this almost universal. Please... do not overload the Command key bindings.

Constrain aspect ratio:  Affinity has non-locked aspect-ratio when dragging a corner... but opposite behavior with images! Consistent UX expectations is more important than which behavior you chose. Pick one way: Adobe defaults to unconstrained, with shift adds constraints. Omnigraffle, Pages/Keynote, are default constrained, with an unlock constraint button, but you could use shift in reverse.

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You are not right. As one example: Have a look at the latest Photoshop version. It defaults to constrained – and so do most of modern applications.

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1 hour ago, taharvey said:

Constrain aspect ratio:  Affinity has non-locked aspect-ratio when dragging a corner... but opposite behavior with images! Consistent UX expectations is more important than which behavior you chose. Pick one way: Adobe defaults to unconstrained, with shift adds constraints.

You can pick one way yourself by choosing a different ‘Move Tool aspect constrain’ option under Preferences.


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5 hours ago, taharvey said:

Duplicate: Option-drag, not Cmd-Drag.

The two do not do the same thing: option drag ignores snapping (as does using the option key for many operations) while dragging out a duplicate; CMD-drag does not.


Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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14 hours ago, taharvey said:

Constrain aspect ratio:  Affinity has non-locked aspect-ratio when dragging a corner... but opposite behavior with images! Consistent UX expectations is more important than which behavior you chose.

I do see this inconsistency as an advantage when scaling images, different to for instance shapes for an illustration or text frames.
As such an UI inconsistency is welcome in many situations where the UI reacts context related and makes itself more convenient just by itself.

Besides Alfred's hint to the constraint preference menu, you also can set as constraint defaults the chain-/link-icons to bind values, for instance height & width in Transform Panel, insets in Text Frame Panel or arrow heads in Stroke Panel. These settings will not change context related and remain set as long you want.

506119708_constraintdefault-transformpanelKopie.jpg.762bd543134bf3595a2892c9f9b6dfe3.jpg   1666399947_constraintdefault-textframepanel.jpg.e92b5f07f73c75da3eb7c30eb63cb471.jpg   1404067162_constraintdefault-strokepanel.jpg.77ecdc9507c27ee626d2c378b74f45cf.jpg

Whereas I do admit I would prefer the chain-icon in Transform Panel would not only affect a numerical change in that panel but a drag-scaling action on page, too.

 

12 hours ago, Alfred said:

You can pick one way yourself by choosing a different ‘Move Tool aspect constrain’ option under Preferences.

2011831331_constraintdefault-apppreference.jpg.6cdd07d21c1759639f898ab4543817e4.jpg

I see images (not Picture Frames) and groups are affected by the "Auto..." setting in this preference menu. – Are there any other object/selection types affected by Auto...?  (The Help does not mention any)

 

10 hours ago, R C-R said:

The two do not do the same thing: option drag ignores snapping (as does using the option key for many operations) while dragging out a duplicate; CMD-drag does not. 

Unfortunately there is a confusing difference in using opt versus cmd when moving an object:

While cmd – as usual on mac – works independent of the exact moment one is pressing the key, the option key must be pressed BEFORE the mouse move action – else it simply is ignored as if not pressed. Because I can't imagine a reason for this difference I assume a bug, agree?

 


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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2 minutes ago, thomaso said:

While cmd – as usual on mac – works independent of the exact moment one is pressing the key, the option key must be pressed BEFORE the mouse move action – else it simply is ignored as if not pressed. Because I can't imagine a reason for this difference I assume a bug, agree?

The CMD key has to be pressed only when releasing the mouse button at the end of the drag to copy the dragged object, which I find a bit weird. I would prefer that it worked like the option key does now, but maybe that is just me.


Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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4 minutes ago, thomaso said:

I see images (not Picture Frames) and groups are affected by the "Auto..." setting in this preference menu. – Are there any other object/selection types affected by Auto...?  (The Help does not mention any)

There probably are others, Thomas, but I can’t think of them right now!

Quote

While cmd – as usual on mac – works independent of the exact moment one is pressing the key, the option key must be pressed BEFORE the mouse move action – else it simply is ignored as if not pressed. Because I can't imagine a reason for this difference I assume a bug, agree?

If you hold down Cmd after you begin the move, it must be because you want to duplicate the object(s). If Option worked the same way, you wouldn’t be able to override snapping without also creating a duplicate.


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Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.1.143 • Designer for iPad 1.7.1.1 • iOS 12.4 (iPad Air 2)

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13 minutes ago, R C-R said:

The CMD key has to be pressed only when releasing the mouse button at the end of the drag to copy the dragged object, which I find a bit weird. I would prefer that it worked like the option key does now, but maybe that is just me.

In my mac experience in other apps, the Finder included, the Option key works even if used after beginning a drag action. This kind of mac convention makes me (and others) being confused and assuming a UI bug.

14 minutes ago, Alfred said:

If you hold down Cmd after you begin the move, it must be because you want to duplicate the object(s). If Option worked the same way, you wouldn’t be able to override snapping without also creating a duplicate. 

Really? Why "not be able"?

Compare: you can start to scale an object and alter its ratio – and you may press Shift at any time while dragging to activate ratio constraint. I'd expect the same for the Option key – and can not image a reason, why snapping should not be able to become active by pressing, and ignored by releasing, at any time during this mouse action.

 


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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8 minutes ago, thomaso said:

Really? Why "not be able"?

Because the Option key does two things: it duplicates objects if you hold it down before dragging, and it overrides snapping if you hold it down at any time. If you could hold it down at any time and still get a duplicate, how would you avoid getting a duplicate when all you wanted was to override snapping?


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7 minutes ago, thomaso said:

In my mac experience in other apps, the Finder included, the Option key works even if used after beginning a drag action.

In Affinity, it works at any time to disable snapping while dragging, except when drag-coping an object. As Alfred said, if all you wanted to do was move an object without duplicating it or snapping it to something else, how could you do that if it worked like the CMD key does now, so as soon as you pressed the option key it created a duplicate? O.o


Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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Ah, I see, thank you both @Alfred and @R C-R. – I havent' experienced before this non-snapping priority of the option key.

However, I can understand mac users being confused (up to frustrated at first) because OPT key is traditionally used to copy-drag on mac. So the complaints as in this thread, and in others before, will keep on coming again and again. One possible solution could be to swap this behavior of CMD and OPT (possibly for mac versions only; I am not aware about the traditionally behavior of CMD and OPT in Windows).

p.s.: even on copy-drag with CMD key the snapping can be disabled – at any time during dragging – by pressing the OPT key additionally. Nice.


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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40 minutes ago, thomaso said:

One possible solution could be to swap this behavior of CMD and OPT (possibly for mac versions only; I am not aware about the traditionally behavior of CMD and OPT in Windows).

Option/Alt on a Mac is Alt on Windows, and Cmd on a Mac is Ctrl on Windows. Mac keyboards have four modifier keys available, but Windows keyboards only have three.


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2 hours ago, thomaso said:

However, I can understand mac users being confused (up to frustrated at first) because OPT key is traditionally used to copy-drag on mac.

FWIW, there are a lot of keyboard shortcut 'traditions' on Macs that many users are not aware of, for example using the Alt/Option key to change menu items (try it on the Apple menu with Finder frontmost, or in Safari on several menus), & for that tradition sometimes it is necessary to hold down the key before opening the menu ... & sometimes not -- it depends on the app & how old it is. The option key also is one of the traditional modifiers for keyboard text entry & how that works varies depending on the keyboard layout for different languages.

Once upon a time, CTRL-clicking was always the same as right-clicking, no matter what the context; now a number of apps break that tradition because it is useful to have two different functions available now that almost nobody uses a 1 button mouse on a Mac anymore. There are also a lot of third-party mouse & mouse equivalent devices to choose from for use with Macs, & many of them come with driver software that allows remapping modifier-key-clicks of their several buttons in very non-traditional ways.

tl;dr version: much of the traditional stuff has been made obsolete by more versatile capabilities of modern OS's & devices.


Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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On 8/11/2019 at 12:37 PM, mac_heibu said:

You are not right. As one example: Have a look at the latest Photoshop version. It defaults to constrained – and so do most of modern applications.

Thats fine too. Just pick one way. Not both ways. It is inconsistent behavior.

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Just now, taharvey said:

That fine. Just pick one way. Not both ways. It is inconsistent behavior.

If you mean aspect ratio constraint behavior, you can just pick one yourself, as @Alfred mentioned earlier.


Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.153 & Affinity Designer 1.7.2.6 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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On 8/12/2019 at 6:30 AM, Alfred said:

Option/Alt on a Mac is Alt on Windows, and Cmd on a Mac is Ctrl on Windows. Mac keyboards have four modifier keys available, but Windows keyboards only have three.

Indeed. Its is more important to maintain in-system consistency, then cross-platform consistency.

I use 50 different applications on  a regular basis, its not worth anyone of those apps dancing the jig, while other are doing the waltz. Its at best annoying, but mostly unproductive.

It's not worth debating which is your favorite way. On the Mac, there is effectively only 1 way to drag copy. Just do it.

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