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group size distortion

Hi everyone - first post, some please go gentle!

I am currently trialing Canvas X 2020 with a view to buying in a few days.

One thing I am noticing though, is that if i create a group of shapes then move them from one side of the page to the other using the arrows on the keyboard, the size of the objects distorts wildly.

This issue is magnified if i create a text label as part of that group.

Is anyone else finding the same issue, or is there a setting somewhere that I have missed?

...if I can't address it, this is a showstopper for me, as it makes an otherwise decent product unusable.

Thanks for any replies or thoughts you may have.

I think there is something unusual in your Canvas environment. I set up a page with a rectangle, an ellipse, a star, a text snippet and a Text Label. I grouped them all and moved them all to several locations on the page using only the keyboard arrow keys. I was unable to confirm your result.

I use Canvas on a daily basis as the primary software in my design business and have for several years. I cannot think of a setting that would create your reported result.

Before you abandon Canvas completely, you might want to try resetting Canvas to factory conditions. There is a file called CVAppData.set which contains all of the current settings for the Canvas Environment. Close the program, locate the file, delete it, and restart Canvas. The program will rebuild the file to factory conditions. You will lose any environment changes you have made, good or bad, and will start over with a clean slate.

In Windows 10, the typical location for this file is: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Canvas GFX\Canvas X 2020\CVAppData.set

username will be peculiar to your specific installation and will probably be some variant of your name. By default, File Explorer doesn't show hidden system files or file name extensions. In File Explorer, click on the View tab and place a check mark in File name extensions and Hidden items to be able to view these files.

@vegas89134 thanks so much for taking the time to reply.

I am keen to get Canvas working, as it seems like it will do everything i want.

I am ten days in to a trial, having never installed or used it before, so this is a pretty fresh install.

However, i will clear out the settings file, and try again.

I have attached a vid showing some of the behaviors I am seeing.

The more I move the copied objects, the more their sizing seems to go out from the originals.'s certainly a weird one!


Just defaulted the application, and am seeing the same.

Attached is a test.

The shapes, symbols and text in the top right corner are the originals - all sized at nice round numbers.

I have grouped them into three groups.

Selected all, then copied and pasted to a new set.

I moved the new set across to the bottom left of the screen using only the left and down arrows on the keyboard.

You can see that some of the shapes (the symbols in particular have changed in size as i have moved them.

I want to use Canvas to recreate some wiring diagrams for vintage motorcycles, and it is important that I can maintain accuracy in shape sizing, and uniformity.

There are a lot of repeated elements on each drawing i will make (for example light bulbs) so it is important I keep the sizing the same.

It would be great if you can open my drawing in your environment, and see if the issue persists.

Thanks so much!

(1010 KB)

I didn't get the distortion illustrated in your TEST.cvx file, but I have a couple of suggestions.
  1. Your work space is set up in Pixel mode (16,000 pixels wide × 9,000 pixels high). I doubt that your end usage for the schematic requires that much granularity. When you're moving a group across the page with the arrow keys, the software has to calculate the position change for every pixel step. In my setup I ran out of patience before I got halfway across the page. Choose a unit of measurement more in line with your task - Inches or centimeters at an precision adequate for placing and aligning your symbols, e.g. 0.001 inch should be more than adequate.
  2. Using the arrow keys for gross movement across the page is time consuming. I'd put a master copy of each of your symbols out in the pasteboard. When you're ready to place a symbol, copy that symbol from the pasteboard and use the Paste and Place command to put the symbol where you want it. You can then use the arrow keys for precise alignment. If you zoom into your drawing where you're placing the symbol. the size of the steps the arrow keys produce get smaller. (There are other ways to store symbols in Canvas, but the pasteboard requires the least amount of explanation until you have more experience with the software.)
  3. I assume the groups you actually need are a resistor, a rectifier bridge, a switch, and not several components grouped together as your test file.

@vegas89134 thanks for your reply - i really appreciate it.

Yes - my 16000 x 9000 test example was perhaps a little extreme in size.

The actual size I am working in is 10326 x 7300 - i have four pencil drawn diagrams which were scanned, and am overlaying them (and correcting the factory errors made back in the 70s as I go)

I have an engineering background, and have spent the last ten years or so designing and prototyping (software design, but still a lot of pictorial stuff)

I use the arrow keys to move blocks of selected objects, as that is what i have done with Adobe and Autodesk products for the last twenty years or so - using the CTRL key speeds up the traverse.

That's the way i've always done it, and it is an accurate way to work (using the X Y numbers at the top left corner of the screen to ensure accurate placement)

I guess if i am going to continue with Canvas, i will need to change the way I work.

Yes - my colored blocks were just a test to see clearly what was happening.

I have attached an example, to size using the actual components in an actual scenario.

I have created a lamp and a switch, replicated this three times on the right side to show four circuits.

Then i have copied the four lamps, and moved them using CTRL LEFT arrow to the left side of the canvas.

on my screen, I see that the circular junction points where the color code wires will eventually connect are no longer circular, plus they are no longer the same size or spacing.

With the switches, i see a huge change in spacing on one that i copied and flipped by 180 degrees.

In my example of the rectifier i find that the triangles move out of line as i move the group across the screen.

Also, if you move the rectifier and alternator as a set (the white dots should stay in line, as they will be joined with color coded wires) I see they go out of spacing.

All of these issues are further magnified if i copy the symbols from one canvas to another.

It's not just the arrow keys - i also see some distortion if i drag them around with the mouse.

Although less obvious, my cable connection points which are all circular at 50 x 50 pixels may grow to 50 x 52.

A way around this would be to build a set of components, and save them out individually as PNG files, but i saw this as a workaround, and was trying to do this properly.

I am growing to like Canvas X 2020, but this is not behavior i expect to see.

Thanks again for your help and input - i really appreciate it!


Saving to the Symbols library is the best way to keep a library of symbols, in fact, Canvas provides a great variety of symbols, including electrical. Also, I've never seen Canvas resize items using the arrow keys to move long distances, but that's not something I ever do, I group the objects, grab the group and move them as close as I can then use the arrows keys to get them to exact position, or cut and right click to paste and place, then use the arrow keys if necessary. Check you Grids and Guides preferences and minimize them and see if that makes a difference. Also check your scale settings, cutting from one document to another with different scales would change the size of the object.

To use the ARROW keys effectively, adjust the settings in the CONFIGURATION CENTER.


For example, 

Set "Offset for moving objects"     Ctrl:  50      Alt: 10     

This way, when you use the arrow key plus Ctrl key you'll move objects 50 pixels. Arrow key plus Alt would move 10.

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