Ben Barnhart

March 25, 2021
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March 25, 2021
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Here it is, Vectornators: Our last preview before the big release at the end of March!

Rugby by Charis Tsevis

The Final Preview

Our Vectornator 4.0 update is bringing a lot of quality-of-life improvements to the program, and this week we’d like to showcase one of our favorites.

If you’re a designer, you’ve no doubt been frustrated in the past by those workflows where you constantly have to switch between menus. It can be so frustrating when you’re deep into your project but then you need to dig through layers and layers of complex submenus to find the exact tool you need next. This breaks you out of your “flow” and distracts you from the most important part of your work - the actual designing.

So in 4.0, we’re adding something that will help make that process a whole lot easier.

Image Source: Internal

Say hello to Quick Actions!

These smart contextual menus will appear right under your selected objects, and will allow you to easily access core actions like changing opacity, stack order, boolean operations, and much more, without needing to open the inspector.

And the best part is that since they are context-sensitive, the options will dynamically change depending on what type of object you have selected, so the tools that you need the most will always be at your fingertips.

For the design beginners out there, this also means a much faster learning curve! You won’t have to learn to memorize menu navigation alongside learning how to design with vectors. This feature is going to be a game-changer for designers everywhere.

Our user tests have indicated that Quick Action Menus can speed up your workflow by up to 30%; saving you time so that you can focus on the important things.

Here’s a few examples of this feature “in action” (heh).

Magical Forest by Natalia Toneva

Context-Sensitive Options

When you have a shape selected, you’ll have tools in your Quick Actions bar that let you alter that shape, such as controls for the opacity and stroke width.

There are several different kinds of Quick Actions that you’ll find in the bar. Some of them are slider-based, like opacity for shapes or font size for text.

Alternatively, if you have a text box selected, you’ll have access to text-based controls, such as font size and text alignment.

Now, the cool thing is that these Quick Actions will update automatically when an object’s type changes. For example, if you have a section of text selected, but then you outline that text into a vector shape, the Quick Action options will automatically change from text-based options to shape-based options.

We’ve created a new slider control tool here: Stack Order. You can use this slider on the Quick Actions bar to send an object forward or backwards in the stack of layers in your artboard. Moving the slider to the left will send the object towards the back of your document, while sliding to the right will bring the object to the front.

Vulpes by Manu Nayak

Your Quick Action options will also change if you have multiple objects selected. As you can see in the example here, Quick Actions will allow you to group multiple objects easily, or perform Boolean operations with just a tap.

Hell Yeah! by David Milan

Another way that we’re innovating with Quick Actions is Submenus. On some Quick Actions, tapping on it will open a submenu with multiple options. For instance, the Boolean Operations action contains a submenu will all of the different operations, whereas the Alignment action will provide options for aligning or distributing multiple objects.

Tiger by Seamus Lloyd

Finally, we’ve got one more nice “hidden” feature that lets you execute actions with the fewest number of taps. We call it “One Motion” - it basically means that you can tap on a quick action and slide in the same motion, and your choice will be set when you release your tap.

A Workflow that Works for You

Important note here - Quick Actions won’t be replacing the Inspector. You’ll still have access to all the same tools that you’ve had in previous versions of Vectornator, and you can still work that way if you prefer. Anything that you can do with Quick Actions, you can do in the Inspector. And if it’s just not your style, or if you’ve just gotten used to working a certain way, you can easily turn off the Quick Actions bar under the settings menu.

This Quick Actions feature is coming to iPadOS and iOS with Vectornator 4.0 at the end of March.

We are so excited to share Vectornator 4.0 with all of you!

Are you ready?

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