Object snapping improvements since version 7

There have been a variety of snapping improvements introduced in version 7.

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snapping modes

Change the behavior of snap to objects whilst dragging by tapping a key to turn different modes on and off.
The following mode changes are effective only for the duration of the current drag.

  • S - Toggle ‘snap to objects’ on and off. This temporarily overrides the Windows->Snap to objects setting.
  • G - Group snapping. By default, to minimise the complexity and numbers of snapping lines shown, objects inside groups are ignored and only the bounds and centre of the whole group are considered for snapping. Pressing G turns on group snapping so that objects inside groups also contribute to snapping just as if they were not grouped.
  • A - Toggle Angled snapping on and off.

Snap indications

Snap indicators are shown whenever a snap occurs.

  • A red dot indicates that a specific point has snapped to something
  • | A blue line indicates a snap to some feature of another object (e.g. to the edge of a rectangle).
  • | A orange line indicates a snap to a page feature (corners, edges, centre)

Note:The snap indicator lines pulse to show that they are temporary “live” indicators and to ensure that they can be seen over different background colours.


Angled snapping

With Angled snapping enabled, the snapping system can snap parallel lines, whatever their alignment and find the intersections between crossing line constraints. Angled snapping is not on by default. To activate it while dragging, simply press the ‘A’ (for Angle) key. Press again to turn off.


Additional Information

  • Only the objects that are fully or partly visible in the current view are considered for snapping. You cannot snap to objects outside the view (except the page).
  • snapping distances are measured in screen pixels so if you have several snapping positions close together it’s best to zoom in to make sure you snap to the one you want.
  • When snapping text to text, the baseline of the text is favoured over any other snaps that are within snapping distance. This makes it easy to vertically align one text object to another with matching baselines, which is normally more useful than snapping the centres or bounding boxes of text for example.
  • Quickshapes project line constraints only when they have 6 or fewer points. Rotation and Shearing do not use the new snapping system.
  • In V6 and previous versions, dragging a shape by a significant point would cause that point to be snapped to other points and edges in the drawing. Since the new snapping system now scans all the points in the dragged shapes to see which can be snapped the significant dragged point is no longer used. Paths project line constraints for every straightline segment within them.

Other Snap Changes

  • snapping to original position
    When ‘snap to objects’ is on and you drag an object to move it, the bounding box of the original position of the object is indicated by a red dashed rectangle. This also contributes to snapping making it easy for you to (for example) move an object in one dimension only. However note that you can also constrain the angle of any drag by holding down Ctrl while you drag.
  • Selector Tool scale snapping
    In addition to snapping while an object is being moved, Designer Pro 7 & Photo & Graphics Designer also snaps on Selector Tool scale operations.
  • Snap to Guides, Grid and Objects
    Earlier versions of the program handled the snapping of Grids, Guidelines and Objects separately. The upshot of this was that when something snapped to a Guideline it could not also be snapped to the grid or snapped to an object. The snapping system introduced in Designer Pro 7 and Photo & Graphics Designer 7 deals with Grids, Guidelines and Objects all together as different forms of “constraints”. This means that it can now, for instance, snap to the position where a line crosses a guideline, or snap to a guideline in one axis and to the grid in the other.
  • Angled Constraint snapping
    The angle constraint that you force by holding down Ctrl while dragging is also handled by the new snapping system. So you can drag an object to an angle constrained position and snap it against some other constraint.


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