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Michael, you can follow this workflow to get what you need for form underlines:
* Create your text as normal with an underscore character where you want the spaces to be (just so you know where to put the lines as you’ll be overwriting the underscores);
* De-select everything;
* Draw a horizontal line elsewhere on the page and make it longer than you will need (make it 1pt thickness if necessary);
* Right-click the line and choose “Rasterise” (very important or the line will not be visible in the text)
* Menu “Edit → Copy”;
* Double-click the text frame;
* Select an underscore character;
* Menu “Edit → Paste”;
* Repeat as necessary.

See Pinning in the Help for more information.

To get bits of the text to stay together use a Non-Breaking Space.

To change the length of a line (see attached GIF):
* Select the line;
* Choose the Crop tool;
* Crop the line as necessary.
Don’t use the handles to resize the line as that will also make it thinner/thicker.

Does this get you what you want?

form-underscores.gif

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You don't have to rasterise the vector line. Just assign a text wrap to it.

pinning-lines.jpg


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Windows 10 | i5-8500 CPU | Intel UHD 630 Graphics | 8 GB RAM | Latest Retail and Beta versions of complete Affinity range installed

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Another approach does not use pinned objects but text style options only.

For instance horizontal font width:

907920870_underline1.jpg.4ebbf1b4fcbd2cfe3f66a1bf273af22c.jpg

328865237_underline2.jpg.50ada90eea025a3c47d0ec18d909bfa5.jpg

935392317_underline3.thumb.jpg.d14675dda52e2e9199d4d69bd4e4cf27.jpg

With this way it is useful to start with a few underscore characters since a higher value for width influences its space characters before and after.
(probably a bug)

 

Another method uses 1 tab for each line and its feature of leading characters which auto-generates dots or line to fill the distance:

499253226_underline4tabs.jpg.6225be7d96e113ca4189589486c9bcab.jpg

 


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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Create a line, cut it and paste it into the text. For the rest have a look at the panels. Sorry, no video right now, maybe later.


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Windows 10 | i5-8500 CPU | Intel UHD 630 Graphics | 8 GB RAM | Latest Retail and Beta versions of complete Affinity range installed

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Joachim, I guess Michael did not realize that yours and GarryP's suggestion use the same method: Pinned objects. Whereas GarryP used the crop tool only to size the line and you used the text wrap which in my opinion is not necessary for pinned objects if you don't use the "float" but the "inline" button instead.


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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6 minutes ago, thomaso said:

you used the text wrap which in my opinion is not necessary for pinned objects

You are right. I wonder, why it did not work in the first place when I tried.


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Windows 10 | i5-8500 CPU | Intel UHD 630 Graphics | 8 GB RAM | Latest Retail and Beta versions of complete Affinity range installed

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@Michael Cunningham, I am not sure why but in your video the line is being pasted with a 0 pt stoke width, which I assume is why it is invisible.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.0.1

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@Michael, we don't see the line in your text frame because it is still at its position outside, below the frame.

There is no need – and it does not work well – to copy/paste an object to use it as inline object. Instead move the object to its wanted position on your text frame and press the button for "inline..." in either the Toolbar or in the Pinning Panel.

Unfortunately it seems to be buggy:
– when pinning a line object I can not change its position and size after pinning.
– when I pin a shape or line object and unpin it again then it becomes moved and upscaled. I can repeat this step again and again and see the pinned/unpinned object drifting away and getting bigger.


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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R C-R: I think the stroke of 0pt refers to the text frame that is selected (into which the line is pinned) rather than the line (the line being 1pt before cut/paste).

In general though, why does pinning a line into a text frame make the line invisible? That doesn’t sound right to me (which is why I advised rasterising it earlier).

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29 minutes ago, GarryP said:

why does pinning a line into a text frame make the line invisible? That doesn’t sound right to me

A line object does not become invisible when it gets pinned inline, it just does not move to a text position by itself – like a shape does for instance.

If you move the text frame you will see the pinned line. In case the line was below the frame before pinning you also can scale the frame height to make it visible.

However, even if I can workaround this by positioning the line on the text before pinning the major issue is that its position can't be set with the options in the Pinning panel. That at least appears to be a bug. And its moving + scaling when unpinned is another bug, which affects not only line objects but shapes. too.


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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Ah, I see, that makes sense now.
Well, it makes a bit of sense of what I am seeing but it doesn’t make sense in what it does.
It is making space for the line in the text but it is not moving the line to the space in the text and you can’t – while the line is pinned Inline – change the position of the line relative to the text. (In one case I can actually move the text, which seems weird, but the line won’t move.)
Yeah, I’d say that there’s something wrong with that. Pinning a line probably just got missed out – pinning came quite late to Publisher.

P.S. You can pin a single-cell table with only the bottom border stroked, instead of a line, into the text Inline and it seems to work okay (under very quick experimentation).

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42 minutes ago, GarryP said:

P.S. You can pin a single-cell table with only the bottom border stroked, instead of a line, into the text Inline and it seems to work okay (under very quick experimentation). 

Oh, I would not start to recommend the use of a table as a workaround for the bugs of Pinning. Tables still are buggy, too.

Can you confirm the weird move + scale occurrence when using the unpin + pin button? (It might become more obvious if you use it several times).


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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41 minutes ago, GarryP said:

It is making space for the line in the text but it is not moving the line to the space in the text and you can’t – while the line is pinned Inline – change the position of the line relative to the text.

Actually, there are two ways I discovered to change the inline pinned line's position, but neither is obvious, intuitive, or does it make much sense to me that there is not a better way to do this:

  1. Select the text frame & then the line with the Move Tool. Move the line using the X & Y fields in the Transform panel.
  2. Select the text frame & then the line. Switch to the Node tool, select both of its nodes, & drag on either node to move the line.

With the line selected with the Move or Node tools, all the line's stroke properties can be changed in the usual way, including adding a pressure curve, changing to dashes, etc. Using the Node Tool, the line can be bent, nodes added, a fill color assigned, & so on.

With the line selected, the Pinning panel's borders settings work (mostly) as expected but the scale, baseline, & offset don't.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.0.1

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34 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Actually, there are two ways I discovered to change the inline pinned line's position, but neither is obvious, intuitive, or does it make much sense to me that there is not a better way to do this:

  1. Select the text frame & then the line with the Move Tool. Move the line using the X & Y fields in the Transform panel.
  2. Select the text frame & then the line. Switch to the Node tool, select both of its nodes, & drag on either node to move the line.

With the line selected with the Move or Node tools, all the line's stroke properties can be changed in the usual way, including adding a pressure curve, changing to dashes, etc. Using the Node Tool, the line can be bent, nodes added, a fill color assigned, & so on.

With the line selected, the Pinning panel's borders settings work (mostly) as expected but the scale, baseline, & offset don't.

This seems to be feasible but honestly the first suggestion that GarryP made is what seems to be working best. I'm gonna go with that for now until they rectify the bugs. Thanks all

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If you don't want anything fancy with dots, etc. the simplest way would be to use the underscores _______________ to get your lines, perhaps lowering the baseline, and if you don't want it to be multiple characters, you can give it a really large width in the character panel.

When in six month you'll want to modify this text, you'll have fun remembering what you need to do or avoid... But why make it simple when we can do otherwise :)

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Pinning a table into a text frame can produce some nice-looking stuff – see attached – but there’s a weird bug that makes the table shrink when you wouldn’t expect it to. This may be related to the behaviour thomaso reported. This has been reported: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/96163-strange-behaviour-of-pinned-table/

table-pinning.png

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