Split tool idiosyncracies and unwanted splined lines

Perhaps someone can enlighten me: When I cut an outline with the split tool (the X-Acto blade icon thing), to add points, say, more often than not, the cut ends are now splines (they have curve adjusting handles, the thin blue lines with the dot at the end). At first, I thought this was because I dallied holding down the mouse button (a feature that causes a drawn line to become splined, also a pain when undesired). But a super brief click does it too … sometimes.

Is there some way to prevent this, or is this yet another kludge in LayOut to get used to?

Also, if two enclosed areas abut or cross one another, the split tool cuts everything. I’ve learned to (ahem) move the shape I wish to cut away from the others before cutting and then move it back, but this is super tedious, especially with complex outlines.

Could you upload an example LO file that shows the outline before an after you’ve split it?

@DaveR Sure.
So I’ll admit, I had a tough time making it happen. Like training a dog to do a trick that it won’t perform for a guest. In this example, the rectangle is too simple. In other words, you never pause to make corners when snapping to grid on a blank page.

BUT, when drawing a complex shape, say to put a stone pattern on a building elevation, and the snap is NOT to grid, but to OBJECT (which is wonky at best) I’m frequently pausing at a corner, to ensure the shape snaps to the right place. When this happens, for some reason, the line is now a spline, but without handles. When that line is then cut…BAM, the handles appear.

It would be really nice to have the option to make splines or not, just as it would to make single lines that don’t inadvertently join with another into a polyline. Sometimes, that’s fine–other times, not so much.


Hmmm… I can’t dupliate what youshowed in the lower right. Are you holding a modifier key when you are trying to move the line over?

Nope. Just the left mouse button. I grab the node with the cursor, and one of the ends moves. As you expect. Sometimes, the ends are straight, other times, splined. As I said, I had trouble duplicating the problem on demand. Of course, that made me believe I was doing something wrong when it did occur, but it does.

Try this. In any empty space of a layout page, turn off grid snap and try very carefully, by zooming in as necessary, to draw a rectangle precisely on the grid. Go ahead and pause when necessary, but not so long as to purposefully create a spline as you draw. In the example lower right in my sample, I paused when closing the rectangle. To be sure it WAS closed. (The reason for all this after all is to make containers for poché patterns.) By “pause” I mean stop moving the mouse while still holding down the left button. I moved around the corners of the rectangle to be sure no spline handles showed up. Then I cut at point A. When I spread apart the split, what you see is what I got.

Of course, I can fix these things: I gotta hunt around for the spline handle get the cursor on it just so, so I don’t deselect the line and move the … you get the idea … move the handle over the node until it disappears. Sometimes, when the curve isn’t as obvious as what my sample shows, the join has a tail, especially when using square ended lines. Then I know there’s a spline lurking, I hold down control key and drag it out, then drag it back over the node. It works, but it’s a royal PIA.

I can’t help but wonder if what I’m experiencing is somehow unique to me, as there are no other comments on this phenomenon in the community.

Thanks, Dave.

P.S. If an edge already is somehow splined, the cut produces two splined ends.

I suspect you’re running into an issue in the Path tool. There is a bug in the Path tool in LayOut 2017 that makes it extremely easy to accidentally create a spline when trying to create a straight line. By “extremely easy” I mean “creates a spline even if you don’t move the mouse a single pixel between pressing and releasing the mouse button”. These splines are functionally straight lines unless you then make some edits (such as using the Split tool).

Stay tuned for a fix for this bug.

@Marc I didn’t even know there WAS a “Path” tool. Will wonders never cease?

And whatever would I need a "Path: tool for, I wonder.


(running out right now to research “Path” tool.)

I’m sure you know about it… perhaps you know it as the Line tool?

I just re-read your post, and you’re referring to creating rectangles, which won’t be affected by this bug. Do you see this behavior when splitting a rectangle? That would be very odd, and I have no explanation for that.


@Marc I meant “draw a rectangle” using the line (path) tool. I rarely use the rectangle tool, because I most frequently need to make more complex shapes. But you’re right: I can’t make the behavior happen when splitting a rectangle.

I now understand two things: (1) the reason I call 'em lines is because the pencil icon has a help bubble with the word “Lines” if you hover your cursor over it; the keystroke “L” (an out-of-the-box shortcut for Tools/Lines/Line), and there is no mention of path anywhere I’ve found…And (2) that you call them paths is because the tool/function really makes entities that other software calls “polylines” which, I guess, are sort of paths . . .

Perhaps if the developers working on this were to leave the so-called “Path” tool alone (other than renaming it for what it really is) and add a new tool that makes single 2-point vector lines, lots of users would appreciate it. Wave flags, jump up and down and cheer, and other demonstrations of glee.

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