Hello and HELP, please?


I just discovered Synfig a few days ago. I was hoping to use it in place of Adobe Flash for a class I will be teaching. Unfortunately, I can’t get past the very first tutorial and here is why: I am unable to make multiple selections and move several object together. In fact, I can’t move anything except one circle at a time. I can’t move a rectangle either. I can’t seem to rotate a circle or a rectangle. I tried to follow through on the suggested “note” in regards to the problem with the circle tool – I went to “file / Input Devices” to disable devices, but there were none there to disable anyway. This is a windows 7, 32 bit machine. What could be the problem? I am already ready to give up and find another alternative to Adobe Flash.


welcome in it !

first hours in synfig are often rude…
maybe give a try with some video tutorials can help you understand the way synfig work.
Animate a circle : youtube.com/watch?v=_5ScV3XP80c
Animate a square : youtube.com/watch?v=15aVx7k3xqg

a little question what are the color of the dot/duck (handle in new terminology v0.64.0) you see in the canvas ?


The inner dots are green and the edge dots are blue. I managed to get the objects to rotate individually but I can’t move more than one object at a time no matter what I try.

It can be confusing.
Rotating a circle would give you a circle - perhaps why you’re not seeing change.
Rotating the ducks for a rectangle also gives a rectangle as synfig just creates a rectangle using the two ducks as corners.

It sounds like what you’re looking for is the rotate layer? Put one of these over all your shapes and they will all rotate about the same axis.

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No, I had an easier time figuring out “rotate.” I can’t seem to get objects to simply move.

To move one shape layer (Polygon, Region, Circle, Outline, Star…) except the Rectangle layer, you have two options:

a) Move the origin of the layer. This will move the whole layer as a solid. The origin parameter is at the center of the screen for Polygons, Regions and Outlines and at the center of the shape for Circles & Stars
b) Moving the definition of the geometry of the shape. To move several handles at once you must select them all first, by dragging a selection box around or by clicking them one by one by the left mouse button with the CTRL key pressed. Once all they are selected (handled are highlighted) you can left click and drag one of then and all the others will follow.

Circle and Start only can be translated by case a) and Rectangle layer can only be translated by case b)

Regarding to translations of multiple shapes from multiple layers you first need to select all the layers first (left click each layer with CTRL pressed) Once all the layers shows all its handles visible, you can work with the handles in the same way than with only one single layer, cases a) and b) above.

I hope it helps


One way to simply rotate a shape. Although taking a circle as an example was probably not such a good idea from my part.


One simple way of moving a shape.


Hello there! I’m glad someone’s teaching Synfig in classes! :mrgreen:

There are many ways to move multiple objects at once.

If you’re animating, the most convenient method is to group the objects and add a Translate layer at the very top, within the group. Then, move the translate layer in animation mode, and the rest of the objects will follow!

If you intend to select multiple objects, just select multiple layers. Then the vertex points of every object is visible in the viewport, allowing you to select what you need.

Hope that helps!

Thank you to everyone who has written to help me. I had given up on Synfig for several days. I felt so frustrated and I don’t know if I can use this program to teach a class. It would be an online class and I don’t know if this will be the right program. I’ll keep trying Synfig and also looking at any other possible software that would take the place of Flash. I don’t think there are many options. I’ll probably be posting more questions later.

Thanks again. I really appreciate the support.


Hi stealingfeathers.
If you mean flash for the web i think html5 already replaced it. Even adobe is killing it!
If you are planning to expand on html5 my work may help you. [url]HTML5 canvas player.]

Synfig is a very good tool for education. Let me expand on this:

  1. It forces you to organize your layers.
  2. You can apply mathematical functions on exported values. ( So the user can have better understanding of what is vector graphics)

Well I thought it was going to be bigger… Anyway.