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Request: drag to extend selection / fill


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Selecting or filling a region of non-uniform color is a common need. Adjusting tolerance is one approach, but I find that it is often problematic. Sometimes you have to play with the tolerance to get the right value. (New paint bucket features described for 4.0 should help a lot with this.) Other times there is no single tolerance value that will give the desired results.

I wish that the paint bucket would simply behave like a real paint bucket in the sense that I could drag it through adjacent regions to fill them all with the same color value. This would give the same result as clicking in each of these regions in turn, but it would be faster and easier, especially in cases involving small or narrow bands of color that are difficult to distinguish visually. I come across such situations frequently. The same thinking would apply to the magic wand.

I imagine accomplishing this by perhaps holding down Ctrl or some other modifier key as I do my dragging. This would not interfere with expected behavior by people who have trouble clicking without moving the mouse.

Edited by ljensen
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Interesting suggestion...

I actually expected this feature when I first started paint.net back in the day, but I've never really needed it, and I doubt my computer could have handled such a function now that I think about it.

To make this sort of tool work, the paint bucket algorithm would have to be run once for every pixel you drag through. For small images, this may be ok, but as the image size increases, it might become a bit of a problem processing-wise...

Keep in mind that I am no programmer, so perhaps there is an efficient solution to this problem that I don't know, but based on how slowly the paint bucket runs on large images and my (often faulty) logic skills, that is the hindrance I see for an otherwise fairly reasonable suggestion.

Edited by pdnnoob

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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Add multiple selections together by making multiple smaller selections with the Magic Wand tool and simultaneously holding down the Ctrl key (toggles the selection mode to Additive).

This is the easiest way to build up a composite selection. When the selection is complete, then fill it in.

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I know that I can click repeatedly to accumulate selection or fill. This request is to eliminate the multiple clicks required in cases as described in my post.

Regarding efficiency/performance, the region and/or fill calculation would not necessarily have to happen for each mouse movement. Presumably it needs to be happen only when a new region is entered. This would be no slower than the current process of clicking each such region manually.

Edited by ljensen
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I see what you mean. Here's what I was thinking:

When you use the paint bucket at a setting other than 0%, it accepts, or tolerates, pixels that have values near the source pixel. One pixel has a different set of acceptable values than another, though, so a pixel right by the source would fill a different set of pixels. That means you would have to calculate the new set of pixels for that one too.

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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