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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Sunshine Coast BC, Canada. In a beautiful part of BC's temperate rainforest
    Posts
    9,864

    Default Re: Any interest in Xara adding "connectors" ?

    I quite like Acorn's idea, these connectors or connectible lines could have an artistic value as well if you could apply a brush to them. Especially if as someone mentioned they could connect to each other as well.

    I'm thinking for example a tree branch where you could edit the main branch and all the sub branches connected to it would move with it. Perhaps by having nodes at each end that would connect to other nodes whether on a shape or lines or even other connector lines like Acorn's idea but it would give you the ability to place a node where ever you want the connector line to join. But the connector would still need to be an editable bezier curve. Add in the ability to convert a regular line to a connector line might also be a useful feature.

    If the moveable lines could be animated as well as flow charts and adjustable illustrations you could also create a rigged character. I know Xara's animation features have been largely ignored but now you might have a feature that would interest a wider group of users and be something that Xara might actually look into.

    My current Xara software: Designer Pro 365 12.6

    Good Morning Sunshine.ca | Good Morning Sunshine Online(a weekly humorous publication created with XDP and exported as a web document) | Angelize Online resource shop | My Video Tutorials | My DropBox |
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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Any interest in Xara adding "connectors" ?

    Yes please, even basic connectors would be extremely useful (and would seem quite simple to implement, given that Xara can already create segmented lines, has object handles etc). Even Microsoft Word has workable connectors (lines and arrows which snap to end-point positions, then stay connected as you move an object) in its drawing tools!!

    I don't accept the comment that 'It is not the focus of the product' - Xara is used in such a variety of ways for so many different purposes, that its basic drawing tools should be capable of the same things that low end products can already do. It seems to me that the developers have overlooked this one.

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  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Greenville, SC, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Any interest in Xara adding "connectors" ?

    I would also find this feature useful. I have used Microsoft word and PowerPoint, libre office presentation, photoshop and illustrator, and my professional tool for this is MagicDraw, depending on who I'm working for, whether I use their tools or mine, and what I'm doing.

    Despite the troubling threads about xara being a stagnating program that I am now reading, I am enjoying using it, being somewhat new to the program. Using it requires a shift in thinking, but as I am making that shift, I find xara incredibly powerful and also enjoyable to use. I am shifting more and more work to it. Though given several of these thread, I'm not sure how wise that is. For now, I'm trusting that it will regain momentum.

    Someone in a thread indicated that 10 years it was far ahead of the field. I can appreciate that statement now.

    Anyway, I think these connector tools would be a welcome, useful, and appropriate addition to the toolset.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    670

    Default Re: Any interest in Xara adding "connectors" ?

    With regard to using Xara programmes to create flow-chart diagrams I think the following two modifications would, in the absence of elastic connectors, also be useful improvements.

    1.Make line end arrows snap to their arrowhead points rather than to the end of the line (see graphic example attached)*
    2.Make it possible to snap to the handles of text panels (Smartshapes) not just the lines and corners (also see example).

    * As mentioned by many others over numerous years. Smart Arrows were/are almost the answer as it is possible to snap the tip of the arrowhead, but unfortunately you can not specify a numerical value, for example for the width of the arrowhead. The arrowhead width is linked (in some way?) to the line width, making it tricky to adjust one without the other. Additionally the size attributes of Smartshapes can not be copy and pasted (as far as I know) to help keep consistency.

    To illustrate this conundrum try changing the lower Smartshape in the attached xar file so the lower arrowhead is the same as the top one, but still keep the 8pt line width. To be fair this is not a priority to me personally, but if anyone does have a quick way around this, it would be interesting to know. It's small things like this that get me a bit frustrated. Thanks.

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    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Jonopen; 31 July 2017 at 09:13 AM. Reason: additional text added for clarity
    Jono (Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 16.1.1.56358, Renewal due: 04 June 2019)

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    11,622

    Default Re: Any interest in Xara adding "connectors" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonopen View Post
    With regard to using Xara programmes to create flow-chart diagrams I think the following two modifications would, in the absence of elastic connectors, also be useful improvements.

    1.Make line end arrows snap to their arrowhead points rather than to the end of the line (see graphic example attached)*
    2.Make it possible to snap to the handles of text panels (Smartshapes) not just the lines and corners (also see example).

    * As mentioned by many others over numerous years. Smart Arrows were/are almost the answer as it is possible to snap the tip of the arrowhead, but unfortunately you can not specify a numerical value, for example for the width of the arrowhead. The arrowhead width is linked (in some way?) to the line width, making it tricky to adjust one without the other. Additionally the size attributes of Smartshapes can not be copy and pasted (as far as I know) to help keep consistency.

    To illustrate this conundrum try changing the lower Smartshape in the attached xar file so the lower arrowhead is the same as the top one, but still keep the 8pt line width. To be fair this is not a priority to me personally, but if anyone does have a quick way around this, it would be interesting to know. It's small things like this that get me a bit frustrated. Thanks.

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    Jono, for your conundrum.

    The top line has a Line Width of 8px and an Arrow size of 33.5px.
    Select the bottom line using the QuickShape Tool.
    There is a topmost blue control point, which, when you hover over it, indicates it is the Arrow size control.
    Adjust the height to 33.5px using eye and toggling (Alt+S) to see the Arrow size is on 33.5px.
    I also used a box of height 33.5px to get there.
    Next, move down to the Line width control and adjust to 8px, releasing and checking in the Set line width box.
    You can set the width to the 8px directly but this affects the Arrow size so I use another box, 8px high.

    Xara should add a meta key (Shift) to lock the Line width when adjusting the Arrow head and the converse on the Line width to lock the Arrow size.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed and active Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+, XDPX, XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7, Xara Xtreme 5, back through time (to CC's Artworks).
    Raise software faults with MagiXara: http://support.magix.net/; if Cloud+/Pro+: https://xara.com/contact-us/

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    670

    Default Re: Any interest in Xara adding "connectors" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acorn View Post
    Jono, for your conundrum.

    The top line has a Line Width of 8px and an Arrow size of 33.5px.
    Select the bottom line using the QuickShape Tool.
    There is a topmost blue control point, which, when you hover over it, indicates it is the Arrow size control.
    Adjust the height to 33.5px using eye and toggling (Alt+S) to see the Arrow size is on 33.5px.
    I also used a box of height 33.5px to get there.
    Next, move down to the Line width control and adjust to 8px, releasing and checking in the Set line width box.
    You can set the width to the 8px directly but this affects the Arrow size so I use another box, 8px high.

    Xara should add a meta key (Shift) to lock the Line width when adjusting the Arrow head and the converse on the Line width to lock the Arrow size.

    Acorn
    Thanks Acorn. Your shift lock idea would certainly be helpful. Maybe when Xara release the SmartShape API you could modify this
    Jono (Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 16.1.1.56358, Renewal due: 04 June 2019)

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    11,622

    Default Re: Any interest in Xara adding "connectors" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonopen View Post
    Thanks Acorn. Your shift lock idea would certainly be helpful. Maybe when Xara release the SmartShape API you could modify this
    Indeed, I can't remember how long back the API was suggested but it is probably going to be a long wait. I think Xara needs to look back at its unique selling point and deliver production that fits my desire of 'pixel perfect placement'.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed and active Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+, XDPX, XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7, Xara Xtreme 5, back through time (to CC's Artworks).
    Raise software faults with MagiXara: http://support.magix.net/; if Cloud+/Pro+: https://xara.com/contact-us/

  8. #28

    Default Re: Any interest in Xara adding "connectors" ?

    As a person that spends quite a lot of time in CAD and doing Gantt Charts, I'd love to see Xara get into something like! Hard to develop and to market so don't hold your breath.

    Steve...

    Quote Originally Posted by ad1066 View Post
    As someone who would like to see an alternative to Visio, yes, absolutely I would be interested in this.

    -- Ben

 

 

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