New user friendly controls.


One of the first problems I had when starting with Synfig was the controls on the canvas. For some reason it was quite hard to get used to. I believe that changing the unique Synfig handles to something more familiar. For example, change the different colored circles, to a square for the vector point and a circle outline for the curve. (See image attached.)

What is your opinion? What other controls could become more familiar?

Don’t agree with that one, but that is maybe because I mostly use synfig to make all my drawings, so I am used to those trusty colored circular handles. But as I said, I hardly use Inkscape so for me that is not a reference.

I agree with Slulego!

it’s very difficult for newcomers to illustrate in Synfig, which is partly due to the lack of fine control compared to something like inkscape, but also just because it’s confusing- for example, I found the yellow handles were getting in the way when trying to move the orange points. I since learned (by chance) that I could turn off visibility of the handles using the buttons at the top but it wasn’t obvious.
I also still haven’t worked out how to convert a point on a curve with symmetrical handles into a sharp corner - in other vector programs like inkscape, illustrator etc you can change this by holding down Shift/Ctrl or similar when moving the handle.
Is there a more elegant solution in other programs to display points which are very close to one another? I often click and move the wrong point in Synfig, but never seem to have this problem in Inkscape, I don’t know why.

Obviously these issues can be resolved by digging into documentation and tutorials, but there are so many new things to learn when starting synfig for the first time, that the basic functions like drawing vector shapes should function as similarly as possible to what people are already familiar with.
(personally I decided to avoid drawing in Synfig altogether and do all my asset creation in Inkscape, then export to .sif)


Right click on the orange vertex handle and select split tangents. (It only took two clicks of “digging” in the wiki :wink: )

See also:


thanks, I didn’t know which terms I should have been searching for!

In earlier versions you could also shift+drag a handle to split the tangent. Not sure in which version this broke but am hoping that it will be fixed in some coming release.


I am using a windows dev version (build of 17/6/14) and shift dragging the tangent handle to split it works fine. Thanks by the way for the tip. Makes drawing a lot smoother.


Thanks for the tip, as well!

I just wish there was some way to make it all a bit more straight forward. I think there would be a lot more users if it was somehow easier to get started.

i have added a little sentence about handle’s colors …
“They have different color on depending on what they control : a position, a vertex point, a tangent, a width point…”

another part of the documentation who need to be updated (note about displaying/hidding handles , screenshots …)

I’m also a veteran Inkscape user, and while I would also like to see the shift shortcut make a comeback, what bugs me the most is the lack of the usual zoom shortcut keys ( - and + in Inkscape and Gimp). If those could be included to zoom on the canvas, that would be great :slight_smile:

Also, is there a way to see what is off of the canvas when constructing an animation?


Use ctrl+mousewheel to zoom in and out on the canvas. Works like a charm.


Agreed with ubik on adding a normal behaviour of +/- keys. It should zoom in/out a canvas without any modificator keys. Many other programs (e.g. GIMP, MyPaint) behave this way so when you draw in those programs and then animate in Synfig that difference in zoom functionality annoys a little bit.

CTRL+mousewheel is not a choice for people who don’t use or have a mouse (like me). Instead of it, they may use a graphics tablet.