Snapping objects on canvas

  • 56
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Implemented
(This idea is something we’ve heard from customers over time from several of our sources of feedback. We’re posting it here to gauge how well this fits our users’ needs. So please let us know what you think.)


I really want to be able to be able to align objects on the canvas more easily.

Right now as a workaround until I have a better way, I use the Line tool to make a line, line things up with that, and then delete it afterward. Or I just eyeball it and tweak it with the arrow keys.

I would REALLY love to have guides to snap the thing I'm dragging to other objects on the canvas.
Photo of Chris Larson

Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

  • 592 Posts
  • 320 Reply Likes

Posted 2 years ago

  • 56
Photo of Rick Grunwald

Rick Grunwald

  • 1418 Posts
  • 981 Reply Likes
not one I use a lot but a snap-to option would be awesome.
Thanks for listening to us!
Photo of Rick Stone

Rick Stone

  • 5636 Posts
  • 2672 Reply Likes
Personally, I love the ability to have snapping. Then again, there are times where it can become a real PITA when you need to nudge something. So there also exists a need to override it if needed.

Cheers... Rick :)
Photo of Rick Grunwald

Rick Grunwald

  • 1418 Posts
  • 981 Reply Likes
Yes - a simple checkbox on the main editor interface would do it and would be fast to change in mid stream (they HAVE to get away from all the keystrokes needed for essential items
Photo of Nicow

Nicow

  • 16 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
Well, instead of another button imposing you to move away from the action you already started to do (like dragging your object somewhere in your picture) what is commonly seen in other image editing software is by simply pressing the [Shift] key, you temporarily stops the snapping behavior of the drag&drop action.

For sure, one additional toggle option in the preferences would still be great for people who don't like snapping behaviors (as always, as easy as a checkbox in settings).
Photo of david.zepf

david.zepf

  • 2 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
New snap-to-canvas "feature" is driving me crazy. Please add the ability to disable it (the method doesn't matter - either of previous posters' suggestions is acceptable).
(Edited)
Photo of Rick Stone

Rick Stone

  • 5636 Posts
  • 2672 Reply Likes
Easy to turn off. Cilck Image > Canvas Snapping or just right-click the image itself and there is an option for Canvas Snapping.



(Edited)
Photo of david.zepf

david.zepf

  • 2 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Well, there it is! Thanks for pointing it out.
Photo of Paul

Paul

  • 1637 Posts
  • 1223 Reply Likes
So, rather than Snap To, are we talking about alignment guides so we can see, instantly, how one object aligns to another, and know when we should drop the object onto the canvas?
Photo of Nicow

Nicow

  • 16 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
Just like how Microsoft has introduced that in PowerPoint, yes! That's indeed SOOOOOO convenient!

Especially when you number lots of areas on your capture (using the numbering tool), or when you place lots of comment boxes!

TechSmith, please help us produce clean, straight and polished edited captures ! :)
Photo of Rick Grunwald

Rick Grunwald

  • 1418 Posts
  • 981 Reply Likes
Snap-to would make it a lot easier. Guides are great too. If you need to line up some letters or numbers from the Snagit stamps, a snap to line would be great
Photo of Chris Larson

Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

  • 592 Posts
  • 320 Reply Likes
After chatting with folks during tests and whatnot, I was thinking of having it work a lot like Google Slides. Where it would be snapping to object (with visible lines to help you understand what it's snapping to). And then you can hold Alt to turn it off while dragging. AND alternatively turn it off through the Edit menu and hold Alt to toggle it on temporarily.

Like this:


Would that fit what you're thinking or are you all thinking more of rulers and movable guidelines?
Photo of Rick Grunwald

Rick Grunwald

  • 1418 Posts
  • 981 Reply Likes
I wonder if both would be out of line. I have programs that do exactly what you are demonstrating and that is great stuff. Rulers are great for those need to make stairs by indenting each object an odd amount such as (say) 1/4"
Photo of Rick Stone

Rick Stone

  • 5636 Posts
  • 2672 Reply Likes
Personally, I like the ruler idea. Especially if it involves the behavior of clicking and dragging out to create guides. (note the plural - LOL) 
Photo of Paul

Paul

  • 1637 Posts
  • 1223 Reply Likes
That works for me although I think the options are overly complicated.  I work for a process mapping company and have worked with various drawing interfaces over a period of 15 years so I can claim a lot of experience in this field.

Alignment guides do not need complex on/off switches.  Once you acclimatise to their presence your brain and eye learns to ignore them when you don't need them, and recognise them when you do.  The brain switches them on/off at the speed of thought  So in my experience, an ALT key option to turn the guides off is a nice to have option that the vast majority of users will never use, or will use once and say  "Meh."  

To provide an option to switch the standard mode of operation around so they are off by default and need an ALT key to reveal them is just way over the top.

But you DO need to make sure the guidelines are a good contrasting colour to the rest of the objects otherwise the eye become s confused between object and guideline, which slows you down while you assimilate and separate them.  In your GIF the box is blue and the guideline purple - insufficient contrast.  Make the lines orange in this case.  This means you need an algorithm to select a contrasting colour depending on the objects on the page.  If all the colours of the rainbow have been used, then default to mid grey.

There are other cases where system options are needed.  Best to use the development resource on those rather than over engineer this piece of functionality.

Regards

Paul
Photo of Gunnar Bartels

Gunnar Bartels

  • 76 Posts
  • 14 Reply Likes
Please add the feature to restrict moving items on only the X or(!) Y-axis when pressing the SHIFT-key.

Bonus points for options to align multiple items.
Photo of CyrusMD

CyrusMD

  • 80 Posts
  • 91 Reply Likes

I would love the ruler, alignment guides and the snap to function. when one needs to use one of these functions, they can check it and turn it on. Somtimes you might only want to align it in a straight line without any object that is near, so you use alignment guides, Hopefully there will be vertical and an horizontal one. one drags the line out of the ruler. Lots of drawing software has this functionality.

Example of what MS Powerpoint has:

Photo of wendy.hamilton

wendy.hamilton, TechSmith CEO

  • 69 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
This thread, now closed, might be helpful too. 

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/please_add_rulers

Photo of alison.west

alison.west

  • 28 Posts
  • 27 Reply Likes
Snapping is useful sometime; other times it causes problems.  Please make it a feature you can turn off and on as needed.
Photo of Chris Larson

Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

  • 592 Posts
  • 320 Reply Likes
There are a couple of different thoughts here.
  • Having a ruler with draggable guidelines
  • Snapping to other objects on the canvas
If anyone is worrying about the complexity of implementing either of these, don't worry about that too much at this point. I'd like to understand why you want each of these solutions to see if they are solving different problems or if some just prefer one way over the other.

Does anyone have examples of where you'd use one over the other?

I'll split it out into two different ideas for voting if they are different enough.
Photo of Paul

Paul

  • 1637 Posts
  • 1223 Reply Likes
I can't think of any situation in which I'd want rulers,  Snapping would be useful but I must be able to toggle it on/off. To do that I'd suggest adding the toggle to the existing right click context menu on the Snagit desktop/canvas/image

Is it either / or, or is it, in fact, both?

Regards

Paul.
Photo of Rick Grunwald

Rick Grunwald

  • 1418 Posts
  • 981 Reply Likes
There are times that snappin to an object already on the page is a god send. Other times one may be building something in a "stairs" type format with either oddball or varying but precise  indentations often in the same  capture
Photo of mary.coffee

mary.coffee

  • 10 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Snapping and guidelines would be a fantastic addition. I'm very familiar with PowerPoint's implementation and it works great.
Photo of CyrusMD

CyrusMD

  • 80 Posts
  • 91 Reply Likes

Chris, to each his/her own. People will always prefer the way they do things. Chris you have already explained in your post (3 days ago) with the "snap" example. One does not always do drawings in a straight line.

The Ruler, Alignment guides and the snap function are basic drawing functions in Programs such, Powerpoint, Visio, CAD or any other drawing program.

For the next version of SnagIt to be robust, you should include all three of them functions with on/off switches for Snap and ruler functionality. The alignment guides are usually dragged from the horizontal or vertical rulers (when on). If the ruler is off, then right click and turn the alignment guides on.

I design menus as a layout before the html controls are inserted on the menus. It could be menu like a DVD menu so I understand how the three functional tools i.e The Ruler, Alignment guides and the snap function can be useful when used in the appropriate ways. I do not think it will be tough for your programmers.

I have attached some samples to explain.

Thank you

Photo of Nicow

Nicow

  • 16 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
Yes, agree with the above. 
  1. Why rulers? To be able to place guides precisely at the right pixel from the borders of our capture
  2. Why guides? to be able to place a drawing element and drag it and snap it to the previously placed guide
  3. Why snapping to other objects... well simply because sometimes, guides is not the solution as we just want to align objects to each other without having the need to place dozens of guides over the picture!
thanks a lot if you manage to bring this to SnagIt ! :)
Photo of JL1

JL1

  • 291 Posts
  • 131 Reply Likes
Yes, yes and yes. One wonders why this discussion is necessary.
Photo of Glenn Hoeppner

Glenn Hoeppner, Employee

  • 1841 Posts
  • 338 Reply Likes
From an Engineering standpoint, it's useful to know the why. Because quite often you will find that what people request and what they need are two different things. The context around the problem is important to us for that reason. Not everything falls into this category, but it still helps us make decisions.

Here's a contrived example.

A person requests a Dodge Challenger Hellcat (muscle car). This person user wants to go fast, and be maneuverable: speed, speed, speed.

When you ask why anyone needs all that speed, the person says, "Hey, I'm late for work all the time, and this would help me get there faster." A Hellcat costs upwards of $60,000 and is difficult to procure because they're limited production numbers, insurance is expensive. It'd be a lot of other compromises to actually get one.

When the person's spouse hears this, you end up with a 15 dollar alarm clock and it solves the same problem ;)

-Glenn
Photo of Rick Grunwald

Rick Grunwald

  • 1418 Posts
  • 981 Reply Likes
@Glenn Hoeppner HAHAHA that is a great point. I see a lot of posts where I look a bit askance (even some of my own wishes) as they would bloat the program and not add that much value
Once upon a time Snagit was a fast way to get a screenshot and mark it up. Tweaks and features should have stayed around that concept

A lot of folks want much more graphics control but there comes a line where if you need to have masking, layer merging and clipping, pixel targeting et. al. then you need a graphics program as thi is and should be beyond the scope and purpose of snagit.  Some including myself suggested a layer palette to drag and drop layers around, bur really really the "arrange" feature should be enough for screen grabs 
Photo of Bryn Kaufman

Bryn Kaufman

  • 24 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Want to align items on canvas in Snagit Windows.

I tried pasting images onto the canvas and creating vector drawings using the tools provided.  Every time I select an object and right click the align option is Grayed Out.

Any suggestions?
Photo of Chris Larson

Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

  • 592 Posts
  • 320 Reply Likes
Currently the align function only works with multiple objects selected. But as part of this work (if it's taken on) we could definitely improve that and have single object selection align to the canvas.
Photo of Compsystems

Compsystems

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled [SNAGIT] How to align vertically or horizontally arrows.

Hi, Pardon this is a  electronics translation from Spanish
As I can do to make an arrow is aligned vertically or horizontally, I also want to know if you can specify its inclination in degrees
Photo of RobTX

RobTX

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Snap to Grid/Objects.

We need to be able to snap annotations to a grid or other objects to create neat alignments between annotation objects. I'm surprised after so many people asking that this has yet to be implemented. I hope this is something that is on the roadmap.
Photo of jumaha

jumaha

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Stamps - Snap to the border.

It would be nice if the stamps would snap to the edge, as it was in Snagit 11.
I use now Sagit 13 since two days.

Thank you

 
Photo of Rick Stone

Rick Stone

  • 5636 Posts
  • 2672 Reply Likes
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Snapping Guides.

I think it could be useful if SnagIt Editor offered an ability for "snapping", similar to the way Camtasia does it when dragging things on the canvas.

For example, I'm presently creating something at a specific size and I need to carefully align the left and top edges of an image with the left and top edges of the canvas. It would be cool if guides popped on as I got to the left and top edges.

Cheers... Rick :)
Photo of Robert Neuendorf

Robert Neuendorf

  • 35 Posts
  • 10 Reply Likes
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Snap to guidelines in SnagIt Editor.

One of the main uses I use SnagIt is to show System Architect designs. The problem is there is no way to nicely line up SnagIt stamps. It would be nice to have guidelines that show up when the stamp edge lines up with another object on the page being edited in SnagIt editor. This would be similar to using Visual Studio Form Designer mode (if that helps explain it).



Photo of scott.taylor.20259

scott.taylor.20259

  • 5 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Line and Arrow Alignment.

For lines and arrows (I suppose for other shapes as well) it would be great to have  a snap tool to vertical or horizontal. The shift option works, but a snap tool would be better. Also, as a bit more finesse, use a select and a "compass" style alignment tool.
Photo of Otto Dekkers

Otto Dekkers

  • 1 Post
  • 1 Reply Like
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Magic magnetic guides in Snagit.

It would be very helpfull to have some kind of guides in Snagit. For example in Photoshop, you can use these so called guides. With these guides, you can line up elements on the same position. You can make these guides magnetic or not. That would be very helpful in Snagit too.
Photo of Serge Courrier

Serge Courrier

  • 2 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled "magnetic" align/arrange feature.

It's really strange not to have such a coommon "magnetic" feature to help us align objects in Snagit, like in PowerPoint or Draw.io does.
Photo of Prakash Chandra

Prakash Chandra

  • 1 Post
  • 1 Reply Like
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Group, Align and Order options under Arrange is disabled. I am not able to align ....

Align, group and order options which appear under Arrange is disabled for me, due to this I can't align objects to left right or center. I am using SangIt on windows7. Please advise.
Photo of Jen Elkow

Jen Elkow

  • 2 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
This is quite a robust conversation on this!  Loving it! 

For myself, I could see value in the different ways like @Nicow describes.  I prefer the idea of ruler lines on my objects and I think I'd use that more than the snapping.  For me, I would use this to simplify my images making it easier for others to read an already busy screen capture with a lot of annotation.  I don't see much value when I only have a few call outs.

Looking at my 2017 library, there's a few captures this feature would help.  For those items, it's when I have many items on the page, it is a very busy page and I think having a common alignment of the callout box (possibly all boxes start with the left alignment for example and the arrows are pointing to specific areas of hte page) would make my image easier for others to read.  Some captures with many callouts, arrows, highlights, etc are very busy so alignment could helps simplify that look.  I don't need a snap necessarily - they're not right next to each other.   I'm also not trying to get pixel perfect - I have other apps for that.

Another way I thought I may use this feature in the future is when I've taken a capture and I want to demonstrate a new button or placement of an object and I want to line it up to somethign on the capture (and not an object I've already placed on the image for example).  While this would be cool, it's a very low use case for me and my workaround in the odd time I've needed it was to make a line then place my text.