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DerekAsirvadem, you come across as pretty tyrannical and narrow-minded. Now, I'm sure you're not, but when you start nit-picking, arguing over whether CMD + can be achieved without a shift key, you're belaboring the point, and missing it too.

Human factors decisions (usability) drove the decision to make (as reported) CMD + the shortcut for increasing size and CMD - the shortcut for decreasing size. This is because it's quite intuitive to understand that + means plus, or increase, and - means minus, or decrease.

Next, it would totally destroy the usability aims of the shortcut to require people to throw a shift into the mix. Shortcuts with a shift thrown in are either advanced shortcuts or those which came along at a later time and there was already another shortcut with the same key and shift was needed to distinguish the two (and there was some strong imperative to use the same key).

But where you're really totally off base in your attitude, keyboard shortcuts that require the use of the shift key ALWAYS report the shift key as part of the formula. CMD-SHIFT-3 to take a screen capture for instance. By your logic, they should call it CMD #.

Finally, the stodgy insistence that Adobe Illustrator uses non-standard shortcuts and therefore should be tossed by the wayside and all designers should wake up and see the light of the way REAL MAC APPS do it is to be willfully blind to the purpose of usability design.

I agree all apps should share the same standard shortcuts and the industry as a whole needs to settle on them.

But before Adobe came along and defined a set of keyboard shortcuts that aim to accelerate workflow of a 2D visual layout, including text, colors, shapes, lines, and spaces... no one else had defined these shortcuts.

So as much as I hate what Adobe has become, and much as I love Omni, you can't deny that Adobe DID define the standards:
  • spacebar to move the canvas around
  • CMD-Spacebar for zoom in OPT-CMD-Spacebar for zoom out (Apple really fouled things up with appropriating this old standard shortcut for Spotlight -- luckily it still works within Adobe apps in spite of it)
  • Shift-drag to constrain motion along vertical, horizontal, and 45 degree angles
  • Option-drag to copy
  • Option-shift-drag to copy an object constrained to the same line as the original
  • i for eyedropper to instantly apply any color to any selected object
  • t to start typing text
  • s to scale an object, hold shift to constrain aspect ratio, hold option-shift to constrain aspect ratio AND copy the object
  • r to rotate an object, hold shift to rotate in 30 / 45 degree steps, hold option shift to rotate in steps AND copy the original object
  • v to bring your select tool back
These shortcuts are CRUCIAL to rapid design and layout. They have been around for almost two decades now.

I don't even care if the shortcuts to invoke scale and rotate aren't the same in Omni, but I do sorely miss the ability to reliably use option and shift in combination with whatever shortcut to copy and constrain on any and every operation.

To me, it's critical. And these standards exist in many other apps too, not just Adobe. In fact, Apple's own Pro Apps make use of many of these same standards.

OmniGraffle seems to half-heartedly support some of these shortcuts. Option-dragging doesn't quite work as well as you would want. And if you throw shift into the equation, it doesn't constrain the motion.

In closing, human factors is about giving the users what works for them. If one user out of 2 complains that X doesn't work the way they want, then you should definitely pay attention. If 1 out of 1000 complains, then maybe it's not a big deal. A company has to just listen and use its best judgement.

Maybe the 1 out of 1000 is complaining because they really care and are particularly vocal, as professional power users, and they represent an important base. While most of the other 999 don't really care one way or the other.

Ultimately, one also has to accept that unless there's an extremely compelling reason to do so, it is better to adapt one's product to existing standards and customs than it is to reinvent those. Professionals since the late 80s have been relying on certain keyboard shortcuts initiated by Adobe to aid spatial arrangement and development.

I'd say asking people in that industry to change is like asking people who use QWERTY to switch to Dvorak, or asking people who speak English to switch to Esperanto.


Me personally: I'm good with apps. I'm a power user. Just give me the shortcuts and I will use them even if it means learning different shortcuts from app to app. But for any app that markets itself as a PRO app, it MUST offer a complete set of shortcuts to enable the user to do just about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING without having to dig into some menu or palette. I still haven't figured out how to achieve that nirvana with Graffle alas. And as far as I can tell, there's no option-shift-drag equivalent.

Last edited by calzone; 2010-08-17 at 08:49 PM..
It would be nice if there was also a redo function similar to the one in Illustrator and some other apps, where if I, for example, option-shift-drag a box to duplicate it below the original, so they are perfectly aligned, I could then hit the shortcut (CMD-D in Illustrator) and have the operation repeated as many times as I hit the shortcut.

Then I could, in the space of about 3 seconds create 15 exact copies of one shape, all evenly spaced vertically and perfectly aligned .
Well, I figured out how to do option-shift-drag.

Turns out that OmniGraffle forces you to press the key combination BEFORE you click on the object you want to modify.

That will take some getting used to considering in every single other application where this concept works, you can engage or disengage the keys in any order before or after initiating the drag.

In all the other apps, what matters is only what state the keys are in when you release the drag, allowing you to change your mind or preview certain choices as you are dragging.

Is there a reason why OmniGraffle doesn't do it that same way?

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