(Belated) New Years Update

There have been a lot of questions submitted lately from existing users and potential users about the status of TouchDraw since there haven't been blog posts in long while and updates haven't come out as frequently in the past.

First, to answer any questions, TouchDraw is very much still under development.

Second, there updates to all versions of the app will be available soon:

  • A fairly major update to TouchDraw for Mac is in final beta testing and should be released (submitted to Apple for review) within the next 1 to 2 weeks.  There are only 2 remaining issues that need to be resolved, and once they are fixed (and tested) an update will be submitted to Apple.
  • Minor updates to TouchDraw for iPad and Android will follow shortly that will incorporate some improvements to the Visio importer that are being worked on now.

Third, one of the things that has impacted updates over the past year, is that there have been "enterprise" customers that have requested customized/tailored versions of TouchDraw specific to their business needs.  While it may have had some impact on the update cycle, one of the side benefits is that there have been many new features developed (and battle tested) for those "customized" apps that can to be integrated back into TouchDraw.  That effort, along with implementing many of the top requested customer features, is current underway.

2015 should be a good year for TouchDraw!


Bulk exporting each layer as an image

We've been using TouchDraw for quite a while now to design most of the icons within all three versions of our app.  The approach that we ended up with was to have one drawing per version (Mac, iPad, Android, etc...), and each icon that we created would be on a separate layer where the layer was given the name of the resulting image that we wanted to create.

For example, here's a screenshot of TouchDraw for Mac editing the drawing that contains all of the icons used in the iPad version:

You can see in the screenshot above how each layer is named based on the resulting image we want to create, and how we even include the "@2x" designating that that layer contains the retina version of the icon.

For those of you that have used TouchDraw for Mac, you may already know that TouchDraw includes a feature to export the currently selected layer to any of the supported formats (bitmap, visio, pdf, svg, eps).  When you do that, it uses the name of the layer for the suggested name of the resulting exported image.

This worked great for us initially, as we could export each layer to a PNG file as we created them; however once we started make bulk changes to the icons, it would mean a lot of repetitive work to re-export each layer.  Because of this, we implemented a quick hack within our development builds to "bulk export" each visible layer so that we could export all of our changes all at once.

Recently, another customer contacted us with a very similar problem, where they were creating drawings with hundreds of layers and when they were done, they would export each layer individually to an image for further use in another application.  Because of this, we decided to "productionize" our bulk exporter and include it in TouchDraw for Mac.

TouchDraw for Mac version 1.4, which was just released yesterday, is the first release version to include the bulk exporter.  There is now a new option in the Export sheet to export "All Visible Layers Individually":

Once you select "Export", it will ask you to select a target directory and then it will proceed to export every visible layer giving the exported image the name of the layer.  For the drawing shown above, it means the result of the export is this:

Hopefully other users will find this feature useful.

The official documentation for this feature is being written and will be posted soon.  We'll update this post with a link to it when it goes live.