Support multi-touch dragging while performing other operations

I sent this to the support email address to get it in officially, but posting here, too, in case others want to chime in about it.

When working with larger diagrams, it’d be extremely helpful if I could use multi-touch gestures on a trackpad to scroll around the document as I’m engaged in another operation such as drag-selecting, adding connectors, or drawing shapes. I realize that dragging beyond the edge of the viewport (drag-scrolling) scrolls the doc in that direction, and that’s definitely helpful in some cases, but it has a few downsides:

  1. It requires moving the pointer to a part of the screen that may be far removed from where one is actually working, especially on a large screen and especially if one prefers to work away from the margins of the window.

  2. The scrolling speed changes pretty quickly as one takes the pointer farther beyond the viewport, which makes it a little tricky to control the speed. At the very least, it requires a high degree of care, particularly if one has just quickly moved the pointer from far away (see point 1). If you get this wrong, you end up scrolling way past where you wanted to, so you try to go back quickly, which inevitably results in you going way back the other direction — you end up rubber-banding back-and-forth until you finally calm your frustration and take a less careless approach like using a scrollbar to reset or exercising patience to go more slowly.

  3. If the viewport edge happens to be at the edge of the screen — a common scenario on the left and right sides if there’s no sidebar on that side of the window — it’s not even possible to drag-scroll without first moving the window at least a little.

  4. Particularly when resizing an object or drawing a new one, the object you’re working with may obscure or be obscured by other objects, depending on how they’re positioned, their relative layering, etc. This further complicates the operation because you may not be able to see what you need to see.

All-in-all, drag-scrolling works but just doesn’t provide a very fine degree of control. With multi-touch gestures, however, one can do both operations at the same time and have a high degree of control and precision in both. For example, you might use your right index finger to click and drag-select, and while you’re doing that, use your left index and middle fingers to scroll the doc around and have fine control over the selection.

This sounds a little complicated but is pretty easy on a modern laptop with a giant central trackpad. It’s also something Apple has taught the world to do by making it a common UX on the iPad and iPhone (think of batch-selecting/moving apps around on the home screen). In fact, OG might already have this feature on the iPad, but I’ve not used that version. And finally, a number of other Mac apps already have this behavior, though it’s not universal. In a quick little test, I see it in Apple Notes and Pages but not in PowerPoint or Vectornator. I can also do it in web-based drawing apps like LucidChart, probably because it’s something the browsers natively provide.

Thank you!