Sunday, May 11, 2008

Next eraser toggle

I'd forgotten to point out that the mode toggle for the eraser tool showed up in SVN, along with the main eraser mode that it enables: When that mode is enabled (which should be the default) the eraser tool acts more like a vector eraser than a raster eraser:
As you can see, it allows someone to zig-zag around and delete objects very selectively. The functional details need to be tuned up a bit, as it doesn't behave well with clicks as opposed to drags. However, it should be enough to see what the feel is and how it's different from the other mode. Now all I have to do is get my tablet happy with Hardy and I can get those details like width, etc., nailed down.

5 comments:

TLC said...

ooooh, perty colors, sexy guy.

ryan said...

doesn't touch selection then pressing delete basically do what this mode does?

i love all these eraser addtions tho mate!!!

Jon A. Cruz said...

Yes, it is very similar to that. However the main difference is that the manual method takes one hand on the pointing device and *another* hand on the keyboard. Even worse, on my keyboard the two keys needing to be pressed are on diagonally opposite corners of the keyboard, thus are more difficult to manipulate.

That keyboard press requirement also interrupts a tablet-based workflow where someone has their hands only on the tablet.

Secondly, it is much more discoverable. The manual method requires someone who gets frustrated to not give up. Instead they need to post a plea for help to a mailing list or irc room, then be told of the magic modifier key and the second step needed to delete. New users often get frustrated and walk away from using the program before the point of knowing the solution.

And thirdly, it will function very differently when it comes to selections. With the manual method the selection gets dropped and replaced. With the eraser tool mode the deletion will be limited to a subset of what is already selected. So someone can shift-select two groups, then use the eraser to get only things in those groups and nothing else.

Troy James Sobotka said...

It is a wonderfully powerful tool.

I hope that the boolean functions will be added to the calligraphy tool as well, as it would greatly speed up workflow if this were available as a single key press modifier, instead of the usual 'stroke-select-select-ctrl+-or-ctrl-'.

Regarding keystrokes -- they _are_ hidden. The upside of keystrokes however, is that you can map them to the tablet keys using xmodmap or the graphical xkeycaps.

Ideally we have both features. Unlike the super-secret text adjustment tools, locating them via an interface element such as a menu or toggle button would allow someone to discover the key combination via a tooltip.

Wonderful work Jon. I can't wait for the feature to mature further!

Demian said...

I suggested that tool many years ago to Adobe, to be included with Illustrator...
They never implemented it.
I'm glad it's included in Inkscape. It demostrates that Inkscape is a great app :-)
(Hi Troy!)