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Paul Martin

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Posts posted by Paul Martin

  1. 15 hours ago, iconoclast said:

    Hi Paul!

    You have selected the background. And if I try to blur it in your document, it works correctly. Don't know what you are doing wrong.

    One additional hint: you should use the Live Filter "Gaußian Blur", because with it you can adjust the Blur later again, if you find that it is to strong or to weak (non-destructive filtering).

    Thanks, Ike, but in my case the whole image blurs rather than just the selected part.


  2. So we have a tool called "colour replacement brush" yet the Help system (such as it is) draws a complete blank. Always a warning sign, that.

    Time and again the questioner asks, "sure, but how do I select the colour to be replaced" and gets nothing useful back.

    Is this one of Affinity's famous black holes which is either due to there being no such working feature or because the question is "too simple to bother answering".

    My least favourite response is "you don't want to do that, you should do something completely different".

  3. I am trying to insert a report written in Word and containing a table into an AF Publisher document. As far as I can see, AF Publisher cannot easily handle this as a single task.

    My work-around is to treat ordinary text and the table contents separately. So, text cut and paste into a Publisher text frame as usual.

    Copy the Word table(s) into Excel, arranging as close to final appearance as possible. Using AFP's Place command, insert the Excel spreadsheet as required directly on to the page.

    If there is more free text, create more AF Publisher frames as needed and paste in any additional text.

    Or is there a much simpler solution?

    PS for those of us who have not regularly used Adobe's over-priced products, the Place command takes getting used to as a sort of back-to-front cut+paste command.


  4. I produce a regular magazine for a group interested in housing which is normally 8 x A4 pages long. I'm planning to convert to using Publisher and am identifying options not possible or easy in my current software.

    One such feature might be a "double-page spread" or centrefold. I think this would be particularly helpful for composite articles with, say, "for and against" content with a headline across both pages and no gutter.

    I think this logically means that it can only be printed on A3 paper or produced commercially, although most readers wil just receive a PDF of the whole issue.

    I would welcome any advice on the practicalities - or even feasiblity - of this project. I'm not really confident about how spreads relate to pages but I imagine that it's important to get the initial set-up correct.

  5. I've used the tracing feature built into DrawPlus for many years. It is often sufficient to work on , say, a logo.

    I have now found Vector Magic which you can test online, subscribe to monthly or buy outright for $250. It's astonishing! There will be sources it can't handle, but it does an incredible job with most subjects, including photos. But do use the web version to see if it meets your needs.

    My guess is that few Designer users will want to buy the full desktop product at that sort of price, but it might suit a group of users who only need it occasionally.

  6. 16 hours ago, sfriedberg said:

    Text editors are a highly personal choice.  There have been red-vs-blue partisan arguments over vi-vs-emacs for at least 35 years, and the same arguments continue today with a 3rd or 4th generation of participants.

    For a pure keystroke editor, no styling at all, no rich text support, no built-in tagging support, I like vim, which is the modern extension of vi.  It's free and there are probably ports to all major OS environments.  I have had the command set embedded in my muscle memory since the early 1980's.  But see the 1st sentence of this posting.

    I agree about text editors being a personal choice, but I would guess that the largest market is for coders. I'm from the rather smaller one of editors. I commission, edit, provide DTP layout including artwork for two voluntary organisations' journals.

    My irritation about not having a built-in text editor is because I frequently receive content that a) needs more editing b) arrives late c) is altered futher by the "editorial board" d) has errors subsequently revised by the original contributor! As for most editors, there is a deadline set by others. (This was the market that Serif PagePlus had come to dominate over decades.)

    Being able to dive into the layout you've set previously to change two words or rewrite several paragraphs is an everyday occurrence.

    Rough Draft is aimed at writers including journalists, novelists, playwrights etc with some neat features. It seems to have been last updated in 2005, which either make it "old-fashioned", like me, or "classic" (ditto, naturally).

  7. Thanks, Walt. I might use LibreOffice, though loading a complex Office suite for this purpose seems a bit over the top. Rough Draft also has some good features like making it easy to have a subset of files e.g. "current issue stories" in a window of their own. It does all the usual text characteristics, which you wouldn't get in more basic text editors. It is fundamentally a writers' tool, which is what I need. Still not as handy as a built-in text editor and that's why I was checking to see how you could get text back out of Publisher to re-edit in RD.

  8. I've moaned before about Publisher lacking a built-in text editor, but as I am going to try to use this programme for real in 2021, I'm looking for solutions.

    I Googled to find simple, preferably free or cheap, text editors and have come up with Rough Draft. What has impressed me so far about it is that, although it looks a bit old-fashioned, it does seem to have the features an Editor might want and not be just a poor-man's Word. It also works natively in RTF file format, which is a match.

    Does anyone else have experience of this programme or alternatives? Also, if there are any tips on exporting OUT of Publisher back to RTF, I would be obliged.

    Hope you are all getting by OK or better in 2020.

  9. Looks like moving Designer files to Publisher and using that as a container for multiple pages is a good option. I haven't delved into what the differences may be between "Deisgner inside Publisher" in terms of control.

    I have put quite a bit of lockdown-time into using Designer which has been generally very positive. As a paid-up DrawPlus fan, I still find it a pain discovering what is "missing" in Affinity Designer, notably no scaling (hopeless for producing plans of real-world layouts) and autotrace (never all that good but sometimes handy). What I do get a buzz from is the sheer speed, smoothness and enormous magnification Designer provides. Publisher remains enigmatic for me because I am an Editor as well as layout artist, so I am still struggling with a "workflow" that has no in-programme text editor.


    I recently asked if there was a guide to using graphics tablets (a new XP-PEN Star G640S in my case). I got kind replies about installing drivers, but I meant in very broad terms "how do you use this pencil/paintbrush/chalk. What's it good for? When would try a different approach? Why would you bother?"  I realise this is something modern teenagers absorb with their mother's milk, but we sexagenarians have make a conscious effort.

  10. I recently bought an XP-PEN Star G640S graphics tablet to use primarily with Affinity Designer. I'm almost certainly the age of many users' grandparents, but I have found it difficult to find any guides to using this equipment. There are plenty of promotional videos but not a lot for someone who isn't surrounded by young budding artists.

    Can anyone suggest what used to be called a "primer" which doesn't assume a) you don't already know the answer b) you are using a Mac or Android tablet?

  11. I have created a map of a large city with districts forming about 70 individual object outlines. Above this I have created a layer onto which I have added numbers to match an index. However, while I can click on individual objects (i.e.district outlines) in the layers panel and then manipulate them, clicking on directly on a district of the main map simply highlights the whole map.

    I have never encountered this behaviour before and I can't tell whether it is, say, Affinity Designer unable to handle the demand on memory and causing a "bug" ot that there is some setting that I have accidentally set wrongly.

    It may be worth adding that the map is imported from another source rather than created fresh by me.

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