Herbert123 wrote:The formulas for guides are a great addition. But the essential workflow issue remains: if we wanted to create an 18 or 24 column grid quickly, with multiple row divisions AND gutters between columns and rows, it may take hours to set it up properly. (One merely has to imagine 48 vertical guides - now imagine having to enter 48 guides by hand, AND entering all the formulas manually as well - a recipe for errors, and mind-numbingly dull work!
How common is it for the general user base to need 24 (!) columns? With multiple row divisions? And row gutters?!? Even if needed, it would take nowhere near "hours" to set up -- once you know your columns will be
your formulas for the individual guides are just a repetition of that; times the column number, plus the gutters.
I found it helped to use a simple text editor to enter the formulas, one formula per line. That made it easy to ensure accuracy and catch inconsistencies. Then it was a simple copy & paste of each formula into the PL Guides panel.
Having those formulas in the text editor also helped when changing the gutter width -- you can see where the gutter width is specified and it's a quick edit to enter the new values.
You are missing the point entirely: it would be merely inconvenient if we would only need to set up a grid once or twice. Unfortunately, every design I do may very well vary a grid's number of columns, rows, and gutter distances.
And while 24 columns may not be used that often by average users, they are not rare in good design at all. I have used grid systems with many more columns (just think about an A3 or A2 or bigger sized design) Besides, the point is moot: even a simple 12 column grid with 5 rows with gutters for each row and column takes about 34 guides to setup. And a LOT of copying and pasting actions when we go with your method: First, write 34 formulas (you may have to do some trial and error to get them right) Secondly: 1)select a formula; 2) create a new guide; 3) paste formula; 4) hit enter 5) go back to step one and repeat 33 times.
And what when you decide, after setting up such a grid, you realize you must adjust the gutter size a bit? Or change the number of rows? Or you want to try a "quick" alternate grid for a different look?
Well, tough luck - go redo them all. Or most of them. Yes, literally hours wasted with a couple of projects. I don't even bother with column and row grids in Photoline at this point, knowing every other layout application out there provides the means to quickly and efficiently create grid systems (and if not, a plugin or two comes to the rescue like in Photoshop) - and those do not even offer formulaic guides, because it is by far quicker to just create a complete new grid with the built-in tools in a matter of seconds rather than painstakingly create one guide at a time. That is why I stated formulaic guides are definitely a step in the right direction, but present us only with part of a complete solution.
Secondly, the fact remains that building column/row grids is something that should not be done manually by inputting values and/or formulas on a computer - this is repetitive task ideally suited for automation. Anything that forces a user to repeat the same steps many times with varying parameters that can be predictably calculated SHOULD be automated. Humans are particularly bad at this type of process. Which is why you came up with an in-between task of first adding all the formulas in a text editor - to prevent mistakes. But don't you agree it is a bit extreme to be forced to open a text editor to list all the guide parameters first, and then inputting them one by one in Photoline?
Knowing such a process can be automated easily, quickly, and infinitely more efficiently with some simple programming statements?
I could probably write a grid generator in a scripting language in less time than it takes me to create two or three 24 column grids with gutters in Photoline. And I would have done this a long time ago if Photoline offered us a scripting API - then we would not have to rely on the brothers to do all this work for us. Indeed, I am sure many of us would have come up with some great functionality by now. A scripting API (preferably Python based) would lighten the load of the devs considerably in the long run. But I do realize implementing this would take a lot of effort on their part - although it is the foremost Achilles' heel of Photoline.