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metastasisd

Straight lines with pencil tool

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I am new to the forums, and fairly new to Paint.NET. I switched from MSPaint over to Paint.NET at the behest of members of my main forum, alternatehistory.com, as they find it much easier to use when editing maps.

One feature that MSPaint has that Paint.NET doesn't that would make it extremely convenient is the ability to use the pencil tool to draw short straight lines in any of the 8 main directions by holding SHIFT when drawing. While it is fairly easy to assign hotkeys on MSPaint and while Paint.NET already has them for pencil/line tools, it is often more convenient to be able to do seamlessly, especially when I'm editing many lines at once (like coasts and whanot).

Is this a feature that is ever asked about? I checked through the first 20 pages or so in this board and didn't find anything similar.

Thank you.

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Usually, we use the line tool to draw straight lines (hold shift to constrain to angles). I don't know if that might be inconvenient for your purposes, but it certainly works well for me. If the line tool makes things too smooth (maybe you are working with pixel art), there is the option on the right side of the brush size adjustment to turn off anti-alias.

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The problem comes not from the aliasing, but from the inconvenience, I guess. When editing a map of the world 1200x600 pixels or 5000x2500 pixels large, and trying to make layers with some single pixel segments and some straight line pixels (e.g. borders) it is very inconvenient to keep switching tools. It sometimes takes anywhere from a few minutes to several hours to make a world map just perfect, and in those cases every second per item translates to a lot of lost time. I know it's a minor issue, but I just thought I would suggest it, as MSPaint and GIMP do have this feature. (Sort of on GIMP)

Edited by metastasisd

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Keyboard Shortcuts ;)

The P key activates the Pencil tool. To activate the Line/Curve tool press the O key.

I'm fairly certain my first post indicates that I know that.

It is inconvenient, and I am simply suggesting a feature for a future version. It is one of 2 drawbacks I've found in using Paint.NET over MSPaint, and I didn't find any other topics already opened to suggest this feature.

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I am not exactly sure what kind of drawing you are trying to achieve, but I guess Polygon Tool would help in somehow, why don't you giving it a try?

It works well with 1, 2 and 3 pixels of line width.

Not quite what I was going for.

I'll edit maps like this one, where I may need to go through and change the borders or coasts of a country piece by piece. While the hotkeys 'o' and 'p' don't really take very long to switch back and forth from, it is still a few seconds longer than what is achievable in MSPaint by simply using the pencil tool and using shift to draw a short straight line.

Additionally, when you use the line tool in Paint.NET it is difficult to draw a second line in near proximity to the first, as the line remains selected, and trying to click that close often simply manipulates the length of the line, unless I clock outside the proximity of the first line. This often creates a small segment somewhere else, requiring me to undo that move. Again, it seems like a tiny problem, but when I have to edit every coast's or every border's pixel it can save me an hour.

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ctrl+d or esc to deselect the previous line so you can make a new one right next to it.

EDIT: It seems to me that, when you are trying to draw a map, you would want more than 8 directions of movement.

Edited by pdnnoob

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Control+D to deselect kind of makes it easier, but having the quick move from dot-pencil to straight line (itself drawn with the pencil tool, like shift+click in MSPaint) would still be very helpful.

If you zoom in close enough to the maps I edit (the one above and more primarily this one) you'll see that oftentimes when editing their borders straight lines in just the 4 directions will be used quite often, as will very small segments only requiring 1-3 pixels.

Anyway, my suggestion stands. Being able to draw straight lines with the pencil tools via holding 'shift' or 'control' or something would be highly useful.

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A list of keyboard shortcuts somewhere in the forum might be useful also(hint,hint),lol.

Not sure if you're joking there skullbonz, but it has taken me nearly 2 years to find it! :lol:

(I prefer to use the mouse ;))

http://www.getpaint.net/doc/latest/KeyboardMouseCommands.html

Or press F1 when PDN is open and it's in the menu on the left.

May be worth condensing it down to fit on one A4 sheet you can print it out and stick it on the wall.

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Mix old tech with new. Put a ruler down and run your mouse along the ruler?

EDIT:

If your hand isn't stable enough, take a thick piece of cardboard, trace out your mouse, cut out the trace, insert your mouse and use the cardboard edge to follow the ruler.

Edited by jim100361

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Not sure if you're joking there skullbonz, but it has taken me nearly 2 years to find it! :lol:

(I prefer to use the mouse ;))

http://www.getpaint....seCommands.html

Or press F1 when PDN is open and it's in the menu on the left.

May be worth condensing it down to fit on one A4 sheet you can print it out and stick it on the wall.

The entire list is probably a lot larger than you imagine. I know, I compiled such a list for one of the Appendices in my book. An A4 page is not going to cut it unless you're printing REALLY small or culling some lesser used keyboard commands.

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Enter(return), Delete, Ctrl, Shift and the arrow keys are about all that I habitually use.

Personally I prefer using the mouse to click on icons. (But I wish the 'crop' and 'de-select' icons were further apart. I often click on the 'merge-down layer' when aiming for 'move layer down' too). A right click context menu for copy, paste when over the selected area and layer properties over the layer window would also be on my wish list - but I'm happy the way it is. :)

As for printing out the keyboard shortcuts - I would only put the ones on there that I intended to memorize. If I found a great advantage I would then memorize the lot (in A4 chunks!). I'm currently improving my guitar jazz chord shape repertoire, so learning advanced (multi-key) left hand keyboard shortcuts simultaneously would be positively dangerous! :lol:

And I'd have to put my whisky glass down!

- Best of luck with the Ebook too. ;)

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You're missing most of the fun! I'd be lost without these two:

Flatten: Ctrl+ Shift + F

Paste into a new image: Ctrl + Alt + V

Try the Alt key when chaining selections = changes the selection mode to Subtract - so you can remove bits of an original selection!

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Mix old tech with new. Put a ruler down and run your mouse along the ruler?

EDIT:

If your hand isn't stable enough, take a thick piece of cardboard, trace out your mouse, cut out the trace, insert your mouse and use the cardboard edge to follow the ruler.

And this is supposed to be easier than a shift command constraining the pencil tool to a straight line in one of the 8 directions? :roll:

A list of keyboard shortcuts somewhere in the forum might be useful also(hint,hint),lol. ;)

Not sure if you're joking there skullbonz, but it has taken me nearly 2 years to find it! :lol:

(I prefer to use the mouse ;))

http://www.getpaint....seCommands.html

Or press F1 when PDN is open and it's in the menu on the left.

May be worth condensing it down to fit on one A4 sheet you can print it out and stick it on the wall.

None of those commands do the thing I'm asking about.

Am I mistaken in thinking that the Discussion & Questions forum is where suggestions for features in a future update go? The locked thread "Popular Feature Requests" doesn't list this feature I'm describing, so it seems appropriate.

Edited by metastasisd

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sorry metastasisd - the discussion went a bit off topic.

You can use the pencil for straight lines in 4 directions by holding down left click and using the keyboard arrows, if that helps at all.

No idea if 45 degree is possible or not.

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sorry metastasisd - the discussion went a bit off topic.

You can use the pencil for straight lines in 4 directions by holding down left click and using the keyboard arrows, if that helps at all.

No idea if 45 degree is possible or not.

Doesn't really help.

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On 10/3/2012 at 10:59 PM, Red ochre said:

sorry metastasisd - the discussion went a bit off topic.

You can use the pencil for straight lines in 4 directions by holding down left click and using the keyboard arrows, if that helps at all.

No idea if 45 degree is possible or not.

Thank you metastasisd for that information. I find it difficult using the line tool to get the length I want using the mouse. This makes it easy.

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