First off, I love AR2.5x in general, and I really love the stencils and guides, or at least the potential they represent. Thank you so much for continuing to come up with new and innovative ways to recreate the true artist's experience, in a focused, streamlined package.
I'm really still just discovering all the great things you can do with rulers once you get comfortable with them, but I can't help but feel they've got a some accessibility problems for really quick operations. And yet I do feel they're the best solution for AR in keeping it's identity, as I don't want AR drawing any lines *for*me, and taking me out of the equation.
Here's the ideal way they function in my head for quick , intuitive operations, in my little imaginary world. Bear in mind, I can't set my digital alarm clock, let alone program an innovative application like Artrage...and also, in my imaginary perfect world, people age backwards and I can fly...so take this all for what it's worth.
With any drawing/paint tool selected (no separate menus, no separate tools)...
Press and hold down a single key. We'll call it "SHIFT" for the purpose of this example. It brings up the ruler function.
It starts a new ruler, with the pivot point (stickpin) placed at the point of contact when you first pressed shift. This way, the edge of the ruler is draw precisely between where you start and where you end up. While holding Shift down, drag out the ruler...
...to any desired length and rotation.
While holding shift, right mouse(pen)click to flip the ruler on its axis to allow for a different approach angle for the stroke.
When you reach your desired target, release SHIFT. The ruler instance then "drops", and operates as the rulers do now, and can be further altered or repositioned manually if desired.
If you press SHIFT again, that ruler disappears and you start drawing out a new one from the point of contact. If you press SHIFT and a modifier, say SHIFT+CTRL, a new ruler instance in *addition* to the existing one is drawn out , as many times as you'd like. If you Shift-Click the existing ruler itself, it disappears.
Rulers can be "one touch" deleted by pressing Backspace, or some such key while the cursor is over them. They can also be "locked" as well as hidden.
Rulers can have their opacity adjusted via slider to make seeing the image underneath much easier.
IMPORTANT: When a stroke is made along the edge of the ruler, the cursor intuitively hugs the side of the ruler like the stroke does, so accurate visual feedback on the progress of the stroke is provided to the user. They currently involve too much guesswork for comfort, as the cursor can separate from the point of the stroke.
One motion to draw and position the ruler exactly where you need it, from any start point, with any pen tool...and one motion to stroke along the edge. In this way, casual straight edge operations can be quickly and painlessly executed, without actually removing the "human filter" from the operation.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go cruising around in my shiny flying car with a bunch of supermodels. Thanks for the great program!