Improve the nodes editing

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Quote from: a.l.e on February 19, 2024, 06:23:06 PMstill, it would be wonderful, if somebody who knows more than average about vector drawing could help improve the node editing in scribus!
just the interaction, not the features.
as it is now, it's painful.
Sure! It's pretty simple and current nodes panel has just more stuff than needed and missing the essential ones. These are:
1) There should not be separate pickers (move) for Nodes and Node Controls. Single one should be able to pick both a node or a control point.
2) Only blue ones are OK and the rest are not required.

3) Symmetric and others are not the same thing. So, it additionally needs a Smooth and Auto-Smooth button.
Therefore they are:
a) Corner Node
b) Smooth Node
c) Symmetric Node
d) Auto-Smooth Node
Well, the Inkscape's Pen tool options look quite perfect as a reference.


Today I noticed, Vectorpea has a very modern/clever Pen tool not requiring any of these buttons/modes to switch between options. Double-clicking a node cycles its behavior and so double-clicking a control point cycles its own. Handsome!


- Conversion of nodes from corner to others should auto-relocate the control points immediately.
- Moving multiple nodes should be possible.


Thanks for your description. I checked Vectorpea, Figma, Penpot and Inkscape and compared them.
Vectorpea, Figma and Penpot are very similar, so I will focus on them here only.

If I combined the behavior of Vectorpea, Figma and Penpot it would be like this:
  • Click on a single node, show all controls of neighbor nodes only
  • Click & Drag on a control (2 modes):
    • If controls are symmetric: changes angle of both controls; length of selected one
    • If controls are asymmetric: changes angle and length of selected only
  • Click & Drag + ALT on a control unlink this control (asymmetric)
  • Click & Drag + SHIFT on a control snap angle in 45° steps (or 15° like in Inkscape)
  • Click + CTRL on node (3 modes):
    • If asymmetric controls: link both controls with same length and same angle (symmetric)
    • If symmetric controls: control length of both is 0 (corner node)
    • If corner node: controls get new calculate length and are symmetric

Needed Inputs:
  • Mouse (click + drag)
  • ALT key
  • SHIFT key
  • CTRL key

  • ALT = unlink
  • SHIFT = grid
  • CTRL = mode toggle

Figma and Penpot have additional settings to change the node and controls behavior via separate settings. In case you don't like the keyboard shortcuts or don't know them.


i went through a few of the buttons you suggest to remove:

the four shear buttons

they can be of some use when one "shears" a frame...

for rectangles -- probably the most frequent use case -- it seems easy to do the same by moving each of the two relevant pairs of corners.

for circles, the buttons give a nice "oval" effect that cannot (easily) be done without a tool that also moves the nodes handles.

i'm not sure how this can be useful for irregular shapes and beziers.

for my taste, the four buttons take too much space but i'm not sure they should be removed

mirroring horizontally / vertically

one can achieve the same with the same buttons in the properties palette.
not sure they are needed.

editing the contour line

the feature must stay. but there should be a better way to switch between the two modes (much faster back and forth and both lines should be visible at the same time).
not sure if both should be editable at the same time (most of all, because, at the start, both values are at the same place)

resetting the contour line is also a necessary feature.

absolute coordinates

Not sure what the "absolute to canvas" means, but i can think of cases where it's useful to know or set the absolute value on the page.

resetting the control points

well, every program has this and it's probably needed : - )

my summary

some of the commands in the palette are not really needed (or are in the way) but many of them provide access to useful features. sadly, rather often, in a sub optimal way.

there is much room for improvement : - )

but, on the bright side, martin has already redone the icons for the palette and in 1.7svn it looks already much better!