Rotate Artwork through GFUI

I saw this post that was referenced as an answer to a similar question, but it appeared to be more related to optical alignment onto material. Optical Alignment - possible for multiples?

What I’d love to do is be able to rotate the artwork to provide more efficient placement before printing. There were two designs I was looking at last night that I would have been able to print out of a partially used piece of stock… IF I had been able to rotate 90 degrees. There was another print I did that could have been more efficient if I had been able to rotate approximately 45 degrees. Is this something I can do now that I’m missing? Is this already on the roadmap for the future?

You can rotate vector artwork using the handle on top of the selection. Hold down the shift key to constrain angles to multiples of 45 degrees. Rotating rasters (jpg, png) is not yet possible, but in the hopper.


thanks! :smiley: I totally missed the handle!! Looking forward to the raster capability


Rasters, you just have to use a real photo editing software to rotate and save the rotated image. Just a few extra steps.

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You can also use the arrow keys to nudge your designs to exactly where you want them too. :grinning:


I would like to interject for perspective that the the topic quoted in the OP is a year old and was before pre-releases got into the wild. That it is used as a reference concerns me and is worth reflecting on. Glowforge Company + Glowforge Hardware + Glowforge Software and UX + the community forum = a good technology experience that allows one to quickly and without too many distractions bring ideas to object.

Finding accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive and easily understandable descriptions of Glowforge features as they exist in the wild without a color commentary, criticism or wishful thinking is fairly difficult. The instructions that are linked to in the GFUI support tab with examples and good, basic how tos can’t be substituted for a manual indexed and cross-referenced. If there is a manual that is in this shape or any shape, can someone point out to me where it is linked on the browser app Home tab or the Support tab? [links that come in emails to a PDF version of a manual with safety, setup and use procedures and examples and have to be downloaded for later reference are next to useless to me who jump from device to device and would have to keep looking it up on my cloud storage platform. I use devices that don’t have access to certain emails that may reference the manual so I’d lose the link to download, and anyone who hasn’t had a shipping information request email is SOL without some serious search engine fu.)

That people are asking such a basic question about a feature that is well-defined and works within certain parameters, aside from discussion of if and when improvements are to be made , should be a cause for concern. Why is it not evident in the UX? Why are keyboard shortcuts not evident and where are they documented?

So I have to ask, @zacmac1, you are also aware that objects can be copied and pasted and moved around and resized? I have to ask, because if you have missed something like rotatation, what else are you not seeing? This is not an evaluation of your technological literacy by me, but a sincere question. There are questions like this asked in the forum all the time, even about something as simple as the above feature of copy and paste.

That people are asking questions like this leave room for FUD about the state of the software. People don’t know what the Glowforge is capable of, how can they have an honest evaluation of its utility for themselves? It really is something to carefully consider when we read through all the forum topics and try to glean data for decision making. Folks are wondering whether or not they should cancel. There are a lot of reasons to continue to wait and lots of reasons to cancel. These decisions are complex for people who have no access to the UX or to a Glowforge, or a comprehensive manual that is indexed and cross referenced. F1 on the Home tab of the browser app does not have a link for help (a fascinating conundrum for folks who use F1 instinctively for help about the application they are using, complicated by this being a browser app) or a manual (but boy is Chrome ready to help with its own issues). There is a Support tab. That tab gives several options for defining certain types of support. I can’t see any link that says RTFM anywhere that links to TFM.

End of rant. Thank you. And I :heartbeat: my :glowforge:


Wait, we can copy and paste??


Yeah, I was freaked out to see a reference to that too. I can’t figure out how to do it with only the mouse (because mouse click de-selects) but select something and hit twiddle-C and then twiddle-V and you have a copy of it to move around. I forget if cut works too.

Just used it the other day, and I think for a lot of things I won’t have to make files with multiples anymore.


It’s one of the cooler things introduced post-release. I got so used to not using it that I still forget to use it today! But I did test it when it first came out and it’s really quite a nice time-saver!


It was available to me right from the start of my pre-release. Unless you are talking about the copy and paste, drag and drop from a file manager to the UX. I’m talking about basic copy and paste of an object in the GFUI operations space. Some folks don’t even know that it is possible to select an object and copy it and paste it multiple times, rotate it, resize it or delete it. I run into people who don’t even know of this feature in Word. I assume folks come into the Glowforge experience with the same level of technical literacy. That is an issue that can only be addressed with pro-active education and demonstrations.

A good example of the lack of clarity in the discussion about software and features.

That’s what I was trying to point out. There are excellent features that are present and usable and reliable in the Glowforge UX and people don’t know about them and start asking about them. People say, well then the software is half baked. Actually, they might be referring to the documentation as being half baked.




Ah, yes… I was talking about copy/paste from design app to GFUI. :slight_smile:


I hadn’t had any cause to try copy paste yet, but I did just try it, and might have struggled a bit more if I hadn’t know that it was a definite capability. Even having a menu drop down with keyboard short cuts referenced would be very useful.

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It’s also a reflection of your age and primary machines. Function keys are a throwback to the 80s (or earlier). I first remember seeing them on IBM 3270 terminals. They’ve survived ever since and are on most (but not all anymore) PC keyboards.

But it’s a foreign concept to folks whose primary device is a tablet or phone. They have no F-keys. They look for a ? or a button.

We’re just finishing a rewrite of our applications from the PC oriented ones (whose roots are in the mainframes of old) to a mobile approach. No more F-keys, no tabs, no window controls, etc. We are using hamburger menus, icons and touch - on all supported devices whether they’re phones, tablets or PCs. Our next generation won’t know why F1 is “help” but they will (at least until screens & keyboards become passe) know that ? means help no matter what device they use. We did our rewrite from the ground up using a tablet as the design model and then just modify the features available based on the device being used. But the user experience is the exact same no matter what device they have. We support touch natively and use mice/clicks as an alternative. We didn’t just try to squish our full-screen PC applications down into a mobile device. That approach let us change an enormous number of things to make the systems far more usable without training (instead of a week of “how to use the system” it’s now 20 minutes and after 5 a casual user could find their way around).

End of sermon :slight_smile: And I love my GF too :wink:


Yes. Very important to acknowledge platform context in this discussion.I can click away with the best of them on a desktop platform but recognize that if someone is driving the app with a drawing tablet connected to a desktop/laptop platform, there might be more efficient work flows. I don’t envy folks who have to refactor all their technology for so many platforms.

Regardless of how input, command and control gets to whatever platform, I believe we are reaching a point where access to information on features, workflow, and UX might require a different response from Glowforge. Why am I thinking of this? Concern over FUD from those awaiting shipping information emails and forum engagement. I understand that there are regular updates and explanations available on the forum and on occasions even pushed out. That information is in a fairly limited format and requires interpretation, but it is a good change in culture.

I’ve been thinking of starting a new topic, Documentation as Armaments: information as the sword for and the shield against disruption The half millennium anniversary of the Reformation should be an occasion for everyone to reflect on history and learn a bit about what drives disruption and transformation. Martin Luther posted his theses on All Hallows’ Eve for a reason and this time of the year and especially this milestone, is a great opportunity.

The Reformation was about the control of information as much as anything. New information technology took control from the priests and gave it to anyone who could afford to learn how to read and have books. As the priest of the institution that tried in vain to keep exclusive rights to the information, ostensibly for the good of the institution, I can attest that while it survived, it hasn’t quite yet recovered and indeed is still fighting the same battle…

Glowforge has the information. Many who have paid to have access to that information, do not have what they have paid for. That seems like a rational move by the institution for several reasons: 1. scarce resources are competing. Giving the customer information does not benefit the short term goals of the company, which is building out the laser. It isn’t that there is a complete silo here. Glowforge has sponsored and supported this forum and have their community engagement at Maker Faires and the pre-release and to some degree the beta programs. 2. This makes sense too from a company preservation standpoint: the more information Glowforge gives out, the easier it makes for competitors to take that information and beat them to the market. It is entirely rational for the company to not publish an indexed and cross-reference manual up till now if only from this point of view. Sure, competition will figure out a way to have access to that information, but it is extremely important for a corporation to control its information and not appear negligent. I can endorse this position and even cooperate (collude, as some would say) since in the long run, I have calculated that what’s good for Glowforge in the long run will be good for me. One other indication that Glowforge is willing to share information, but still want to keep a tight control on it, is the Problems and Support category. Hey, the dirty laundry is there to see. But it remains in the basket and gets dumped in the washer before we can double check just where the dirt is and what kind of detergent gets it cleaned.

Every institution is faced with a continued dilemma: how to control information (and the identity signals that it creates) for the long term fitness of the group and attend to the necessary disruption that takes place when information is appropriated by each member of the group. Read some discussions on the role information plays in the epidemiology of self-harm. What is institutional preservation, what is paternalism, and what is ultimately the self-interest of the institution’s leaders?

Should an institution ever grant absolute freedom to its members in terms of the information that it holds? It’s mighty risky. But there are amazing examples of community well-being and health that have found ways to control information in ways that avoid hierarchical structures. It’s hard though to avoid the freeloader problem and even harder to stop members from abandoning the group and taking the best toys with them.

My question is this: at what point does the uncertainty about the state of feature development become more of a detriment to the cause than a protection against bad actors and safeguarding resources?

I don’t know what Glowforge really owes those who await delivery of their machines. That’s an ethical question and might best be debated in another forum, but is a fair enough question at the moment. I don’t know to what extent Glowforge needs to pull resources from other areas and attend to those ready to jump ship. That the the scales are tipped toward Glowforge’s benefit by keeping the cards close, and will continue to be so, seems evident from the delivery of the information about no go zones for international shipping.

Not that Glowforge has not been going above and beyond lip service to customer relations. There have been perks. There have been changes in the style of information management.

Ultimately, Glowforge has made their lasers accessible to a great number of people who have ordered them. Sharing the GFUI with sub accounts is not just a way to manage schools and maker spaces. It is a demonstration of risk taking when sharing information. They allowed the platform to roll out for this. In the end it is up to the users to make it an asset for others. Glowforge appears to be acting altruistically here. One person pays for access with purchase, and the others can free-load on the service. This is a significant thing here that should be celebrated. I had to pay $50 just to load my own files to the UX running my Silhouette cutter. I can only load on three machines. I can’t run my Silhouette from my iPad unless its some remote desktop app. With my Glowforge, I don’t pay to add extra users, I don’t pay to add extra platforms (regardless of how well-developed mobile platforms are). I don’t pay to add extra features when they roll out (at the moment). In many ways I think the nature of their UX and the cloud computing basis of the enterprise acknowledges that they are willing to integrate the customer’s needs and adapt as time goes on. Yes, in some cases, cloud computing is a signal that the company wants greater control of the information, but in this case, I think Glowforge is really signaling that they get this information control thing and they should integrate customer focus throughout the enterprise. It’s not done yet, and it is an ambivalent signal, but that’s how I read it.

So where does that lead us? I could just ignore the rest of the folks who have ordered a Glowforge and go on my merry way. I don’t believe that is in my best interest. I need this community to enhance my experience. I am willing to share information because the folks who participate most in this forum are by and large value-adding contributors and have demonstrated over and over that reciprocity in information sharing is a very powerful and disruptive thing. Disruptive in that it over and over incrementally betters the state of my experience.

So I guess for everyone then, what is the most efficient, productive and self-sustaining method of information procurement on this forum? All’s I can say is that in the end, procurement of information requires the one who seeks it to work harder than the one who has it. Perhaps the best way to get information on this forum is to signal first that you have done the hard work necessary to earn the information that has been gathered by the community. What Glowforge owes anyone, well that’s what I was trying to ponder. What do I owe anyone? Absolutely nothing, unless by engagement I find some type of payoff for me. I’ll play the game gladly if someone gives me honest signals that they know the rules of efficient and effective communication and are willing to play by them.


I’m sorry you had trouble finding that. Thanks @cynd11 and @jason.fuller0 for the answer.