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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by MB365 View Post
    Solution: Go to Control Bars... and click Reset.
    AHA! Now I can play with the big boy toys.

    I'll be back with more useless insights in a day or two.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    I went back for a further play after Matt gave instructions on how to make the Flex Layout Bar appear.
    The site is here >>> Auzlink Home <<< Click the Xara Blocks button, and there's a download for the project file on the home page.

    Earlier, I bemoaned the inability to 'Repeat On All Pages'. Solved that. All you have to do is set the repeat before adding to the block...or remove from the block and add it back.
    I also said I preferred the Freehand blocks to the Flexible ones. However, pressing Shift when releasing an object stops it going into the block, and pressing Alt when releasing allows it to be part of the block, but can move around like a Freehand block. In a nutshell, you really only need a single Flexible block to achieve everything.

    I did have fun trying to use the Push Photo Inside Frame function. I moved the image slightly and the whole page sprang off like opposing magnetic fields. To be fair, it was the image that scuttled off in my first report, and I prodded, poked and generally abused the block it's in. This was before I had the Flex Layout Bar.

    Major moans:
    Moving multiple objects can (often, but not always) make the objects disappear, or multiply. It's virtually impossible to see what you're doing.
    Not being able to marquee select inside a block. The amount of times I instinctively drew a box around items only to be rejected like Oliver Twist.
    Not being able to input the height of a block by typing in the toolbar.

    Once you realise that doing any editing is best done outside a block, the process is very neat and tidy. Learning the Shift and Alt was a huge eye-opener, and I found I was working with the software as opposed to battling with it for the most part.

    Will I be using blocks in earnest? Yes, yes I will.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    4,512

    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris M View Post

    Will I be using blocks in earnest? Yes, yes I will.
    You've been converted!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    SW England
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    18,079

    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    @Chris, when you reset your Control Bars did your Arrange menu lose these options too: Create Web Block, Ungroup Web Block, Create FlexGroup?
    No amount of hocus-pocus lets me use them any longer so I'm guessing they are now vanquished.

    I far preferred Open Web Block to be able to edit the objects directly. As you say the actions on them have be obscured, dramatically.
    What you can do it drag the FlexGroup out of its Web block whereupon you can double-click and Edit Inside.

    This means we now have two Xara objects that we cannot unpack or create.
    We can actually drag out a FlexGroup and free it. It can also be used in a non-Block set-up for excellent utility.
    You can even nest FlexGroups.

    A Web Block copied into a no-block page just becomes a Group, pushed in at the bottom of the page?

    I have yet to work out what determines a template to be WB-enabled.

    I find the only sensible way to work with WBs is to set up the Main & Variant in Windows > Arrange Views.
    Only then to discover, very belatedly, that you cannot drag from one window to another.

    There are too many balls in the air for this to be a professional designer's toolset.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+ and most others back through time (to CC's Artworks). Contact for technical remediation/consultancy for your web designs.
    When we provide assistance, your responses are valuable as they benefit the community. TG Nuggets you might like. Report faults: Xara Cloud+/Pro+/Magix Legacy; Xara KB & Chat

  5. #15
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    Dec 2018
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    Yes, Create and Ungroup are now greyed out in the Arrange menu.

    I find editing the object within a group, Flexible or Freehand, easy enough to do in situ. Resize, colours, moving around. Having said that, sometimes, and often enough to become really annoying, moving the objects around does that disappear/multiply thing. Right dragging to copy is 50/50 whether it works as expected, or looks like you're simply dragging until you release, then it copies. It doesn't appear to be consistent.

    Using the menu buttons as an example, I can make glitch at will. There are 5 buttons. I can move them individually, I can move ALL of them, I can move 1 to 4, or 2 to 5. But, if I move any combination that includes 1 and 5, the non-selected items disappear until I release the mouse. This makes quickly moving objects becomes extremely hard to do as I'm guessing when to release.

    Yes, dropping a Block onto a standard page is just a...thing. It isn't really a group, as you can't DO anything with it. Ungroup it and you can't even move it. Standard sites are from Venus, Web Blocks are from Mars.

    I haven't even tried to determine what makes a WB template. I just opened the default Xara template, deleted the nav bar, header bar and logo, changed the default fonts to the ones I want and saved the template.

    Why do you say the only sensible way to work with Blocks is the Arrange View option? I admit I don't like the forced variant, but presume I'll just become accustomed to working with it. At the moment, I'm paranoid that the variant will do something stupid, and I won't know, as it did on my first real foray into Blockland. Having played more, it would appear that it was likely something I inadvertently did, as no blocks have run off and sulked in a corner since.

    It's too early for me to say which method I'll naturally gravitate to, but there are a lot of faults with the standard site system that Xara turn a blind eye to, so we should be used to juggling.

    I'm now going to run the home page hero image (blue Xara logo) through Graphic Tracer. The fuzzy edges are making my teeth itch.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris M View Post
    Why do you say the only sensible way to work with Blocks is the Arrange View option?
    Chris, I find toggling between Main & Variant has me guessing to what, if anything has changed.
    With both views open, I can see a change in one and it effect on the other.

    As to what a Blocks Template may be.

    Drag any Web Block ontp the toolbar part of the XDA.
    Delete any Web Blocks and File >Save As to any name you like.
    Even better, save it as a Template.
    On re-use, it seems to remember what it was and will accept WB drops.

    Whether is it just checking for Main 1280px and Variant 480px, I don't know.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+ and most others back through time (to CC's Artworks). Contact for technical remediation/consultancy for your web designs.
    When we provide assistance, your responses are valuable as they benefit the community. TG Nuggets you might like. Report faults: Xara Cloud+/Pro+/Magix Legacy; Xara KB & Chat

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Australia
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    Ahh, yep, I understand the twin view thing now. I don't mind the flicking from mobile to main much. I Prüfer that to cutting the screen in half. Having the ability to break off a window and pop it on another screen would be ideal though (which has been requested before).

    That's exactly what I did with the template. Made the Xara one how I wanted and saved as a template. I went as far as editing the XML file, so I can use my own on the right click menu.

    Your mistrust in what's happening on the mobile variant has perfect timing. I converted the hero image to SVG and swapped it for the fuzzy JPEG (pic1). Here's, roughly, how it went:
    Dropped the SVG into the project.
    Dragged it into the block and moved it behind the JPEG.
    Deleted the JPEG.
    Went to the mobile and moved the SVG into place.

    When I went to preview, the word 'Xara' had disappeared. I had a blank, blue rectangle. The conversion had made the white circle transparent. So, I simply made a white circle, dropped it into the block, moved it behind the SVG, like a normal person would.

    Now when I preview I have a white circle, no Xara word (insert confused emoji).

    I then did all sorts of of moving, deleting, inserting, swearing, pleading and threatening. Finally, I changed the colour of the backgound and, lo and behold, on preview, the Xara lettering had duplicated and squashed itself into three places.

    The background was always Stretch To Full Width. When I removed that, everything worked. I went to the mobile and, once again, the whole block had taken the hump and ran off to sulk at -5000 on the Y scale. I deleted the whole project, restored from an earlier backup and tried to determine where it all went pear shaped.

    Repeating the above steps, I determined that when I replaced the JPEG with the SVG, the background on the mobile variant decided it didn't want to be full width anymore, and reduced its height to about a third of what it was before. Now, as soon as I did anything on the main variant, the block on the mobile variant ran away to play hide and seek.

    The problem was rectified by doing the steps, but as soon as I deleted the JPEG, I went to the mobile, resized the background to its original size and made it full width again.

    I was going to post a project file to show everyone, but what do you know, I couldn't make it repeat the problem. I suppose I could use one from a backup, but I've Xara'd enough for today, and I'm going to do something less stressful, like lion taming.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #18
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    I also noticed that the Stretch To Full Width image on the comic page had also suffered an identity crisis. There are 2 images in that particular block, Whaam and Speedlines. Speedlines was set to the back and was stretch full width. In the main variant, all was as should be, in the mobile, the images had swapped places. Whaam was now at the back and stretch full width, with speedlines having no stretch and at the forefront.

    Fixing it was easy, but it looked fine in the project. The problem was only evident when previewed or published. Like a messy stain under black light, undetected unless you go to the trouble of scrutinising.

    I've added a screenshot as I've now fixed the (this) error.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I had written the above, well, something similar, and clicked the 'Insert Image' icon when the page went unresponsive. 'Change your password' was screamed across the screen. 'We don't care that you think you've been insightful. We don't care how long you took to write your words. Let them wither and die like grapes on the vine, putting a '1' at the end of your existing password is THE single most important thing in the Universe right now. Do it, peasant, or be banished. Now get out of my sight.'

    So I changed my password and re-wrote it.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    I created a new, single page with one Flexible block.
    It's populated with 15 photos, one line of text and one button (no button on the mobile variant).

    I'm more confident now, dumped all 15 photos, resized them and dragged them kicking and screaming into the block.
    I set the block's Padding to 0 for both horizontal and vertical. Selected all 15 photos (one by one because I can't marquee select, moan, moan), and set the Object Margin to 5 for both H and V.
    The text 'AWESOME' was created with a colour gradient (3 nodes). This was added using the ALT when releasing to keep it in the block, but not in the Flexi Box.
    Background was dragged into the project, but not the block, and made into the Pasteboard Background.

    I then went to check the mobile variant.
    The first photo (Mongolian Dancer) has disappeared, and the text gradient has decided to set itself to random.

    What I've found in the first part of this exercise, is that, for no reason I can fathom, they sometimes mark themselves as invisible in the Page & Layer Gallery. However, in this case, the photo is set to visible, and I can select it, but it's just an empty frame. I have done nothing to try to rectify or edit anything on the mobile variant in case someone wants to have a look without any meddling. I'm sure the Xara team will be sorting things out the second I upload this post.

    The button was created from a shape and text, soft grouped, made sticky and positioned outside the block. The button downloads the project file, which would be pointless on a mobile, so I didn't put it on that variant.

    >>> Click 'Xara Blocks 2' <<<

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Melfort, Saskatchewan Canada
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    1,032

    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    Following with great interest Chris. Thank You. Creatively if I try to fight the block I lose. Working on a simple 4 pager at the moment.
    Bill Wood
    Charity Web Design
    XARA Pro+. WD17, Designer 17. Premium packages.

 

 

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