feature request: mimic "Duplicate Again" feature of PowerPoint

Bug #813019 reported by stevenj on 2011-07-19
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

A very useful feature of PowerPoint (and several other drawing programs I have used) is that executing "duplicate" multiple times remembers if you shifted the last duplicate. That is, if you do:

   1) Duplicate an object 1 (ctrl-d) to obtain object 2
   2) shift object 2
   3) Duplicate object 2 (ctrl-d) to obtain object 3

then object 3 is shifted relative to object 2 by the same amount that object 2 was shifted relative to object 1. (See e.g. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188370 ... in some versions of PowerPoint, the menu changes from "Duplicate" to "Duplicate Again" to reflect this). If you duplicate any other object (e.g. duplicate object 1 again) then the duplicate command "forgets" the shift and behaves in the ordinary way.

This gives a quick an easy way to lay out an equally spaced grid of objects, and I found myself missing this feature a lot in Inkscape. Yes, I know that laying out grids is possible with the powerful "Clone" command in Inkscape, but that command is vastly more complicated than "ctrl-d, shift object, ctrl-d, ctrl-d, ctrl-d, ..." for such simple layout tasks.

stevenj (stevenj) wrote :

Actually, PowerPoint "forgets" the shift as soon as you *select* another object, not just when you duplicate another object. So, if you click on object 1, then click on object 3 again and do ctrl-D, it duplicates object 3 in the ordinary unshifted way. This always seemed like reasonable behavior to me, and is hopefully easy to implement.

ScislaC (scislac) wrote :

This does indeed sound useful.

Changed in inkscape:
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Kris (kris-degussem) wrote :

This behaviour can already be obtained through Tiled clones (Edit > Clone > Create tiled clones).
Draw for example a rectangle open tiled clones, In the first tab select "P1 simple translation" in the second tab, edit the values in the second column to e.g. 25% for shift X and 50 % for shift Y, and at the bottom change enter rows, 1 and columns 3. This will created 3 rectangles with equal inter-rectangle-distance.

On the other hand, this could all be made more user friendly ...

stevenj (stevenj) wrote :

As I wrote in my initial message, I know that it is possible to layout on a grid with tiled clones. The point is that the "Duplicate Again" feature is far easier for the simple case of simple translations:

1) It does not require you to enter numerical values for the shifts. You simply drag the duplicate by the amount you wish, and hit ctrl-D as many times as you wish.

2) You don't need to wade through zillions of options on space groups etcetera for the simple case of translated duplicates.

3) If you hit 'ctrl-D' more than once for the same object, then remembering the shift is arguably closer to what most users want anyway.

4) Users from PowerPoint and other drawing programs may already be used to this behavior, and it is fairly discoverable anyway -- see (2).

5) It doesn't require any new user interface, and probably very little code: just remember the translations after duplication, and clear the memory when the selection is changed.

stevenj (stevenj) wrote :

"see (2)." -- should have been "see (3)".

jazzynico (jazzynico) on 2011-07-25
tags: added: clipboard ui
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