Before I start my "rant" and people will disagree/agree I'd like to admit first - I bought all 3 apps, as well as 2 Ipad versions so I fully support and appreciate what Affinity is doing but the truth is I barely use them, unfortunately.
I hope devs read this forum and hear me out. As someone who used InDesign/Quark for the last 20 years I understand we're at version 1 and there a lot of things we didn't get yet but if the app (all 3 of them) wish to be considered as adobe killers they should at least offer similar capabilities the current version have.
I work in a busy print house but I managed to try Publisher on couple of jobs I do regularly. First one was a health magazine, A4 16 pages. It's a mixture of articles, ads, recipes etc.
I've finalised the mag but here's the list of stuff that made the job hard or sometimes impossible to finish:
No PDF pass-through. The mag includes PDF ads sent by producers so importing them, even as external links caused the ads to be "opened" and fully editable. This is very dangerous as there were fonts missing, images loosing their transparencies etc. Had to convert most of them to tiff's
Images with no frames by default. Some people may call in just an old habit but this is how I think layout app should deal with images. When I drop an image on a page I want to control the size of the frame and image inside independently. When one is laying out a page of a magazine you have only a space that text allows so I constantly resize, crop move image inside the frame to get that spot-on position. Publisher allows to do it but it's really clunky, and not on by default. On top of that when I switch this option and resize the outer frame the image inside scales and re-centers itself which drives me maaad!
No hand tool when inside the text frame. I hit the ALT key constantly to move around the page, while my cursor is inside the text frame (cant use space obviously). I know I can move around if I have 3-button mouse but it's not the same as standard hand tool.
Changing selected text frame option makes it the default. Not sure why this is the default behaviour. It's very confusing and un-intuitive.
No scope for S&R. This is really huge omission, especially when we can use GREP. I use it all the time to clean up imported text (double spaces, returns, extra tabs, leading numbers). Without an option to limit to current frame or a selection this can really mess up your existing layout.
The second job was a technical manual, lots of tables, footers, end-notes. Here's my list of missing features:
No footnotes/endnotes. I'm guessing it's coming in future versions, I mean it has to.
No way to split/flow tables between pages.
Tables are separate from text-frames. I know you can anchor the table inside the text frame but then we go into issue 2 - tables won't split themselves between pages.
No book feature. My manual is approx. 200 pages. It's a mixture of portrait and landscape pages so my original ID project is a book, which includes all sections. This way I can have portrait and landscape as separate indd files and join them together as one PDF, with page numbers, TOC's all synchronised. This feature is a must for any longer publication I believe. I hope it's on the feature list as well.
No separation/overprint preview. This is very crucial feature for pro designers. I check the breakdown of colours on the layout all the time.
Preflight/Packaging. I think that's self explanatory
To make this post not just a list of complaint here's what i like about the app.
Speed. This is ways ahead than current Adobe apps. Even on an older machine all 3 apps work as fast as I can work myself.
Studio link. I like this feature, ability to edit images or vector files without leaving the app is great. I'm still not sure what happens to original files - do they get embedded or originals get edited. I guess I need to use it more often to figure out.
The amount of pro features in v.1. Even though I've listed a lot above I'm still impressed how many features we got in the first release. I did manage to finish these complicated jobs with the current version so I'm really impressed and looking forward to future releases. I just wish the list of new features are more aligned to pro user than "Publisher on iPad" - nobody needs that.
I would love to use Publisher on as many jobs as I can, now that we have indesign import coming but when I think about the features I miss I just skip and go back to indesign, which is really a bummer.
I hope this post won't start a flame war but a good discussion how we'd like this app to go forward. I think everybody here is tired of Adobe slow apps, lack of real progress, extortionist prices for subscription and would love to drop them for Affinity apps.