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About JGD

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  • Birthday 05/30/1985

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    Lisbon, Portugal

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  1. Another UI consistency nit I must pick, just to be sure: I see you've increased the button/icon size and total height, and reduced the left padding on the main toolbar, starting on Photo and now also on the latest build of Designer; we can expect the same change in the next build of Publisher, am I right?
  2. Uhh, a default Ctrl+W shortcut for Preview mode, I like it. Is this new on this build, or did I just miss it? I've always found it supremely stupid how in InDesign such an essential shortcut was modifier-less and thus could never be toggled while editing a text box and, even though having to press a modifier key on every other instance takes a little bit more effort, seeing how your hands are both on the keyboard in that scenario and how it's a shortcut which you can perform with only your left hand anyway, not having to occasionally perform that extra mouse click and leave your editing task is a usability win by my book. You may find my excitement over such a small detail to be a bit silly but, in all fairness, that's actually the shortcut I use the most in InDesign. Being the perfectionist that I am, I'm very conscious of my grids but also of my final output, so that WYSIWYG toggle is of paramount importance to me. I know you can always customise those, but having sensible defaults is also great for everyone, especially for fostering best practices when it comes to teaching students how to work with certain apps; the less preparatory work on classes and workshops, the better.
  3. Thanks! I'll try that as soon as I have a bit more free time on my hands. Well, I guess it was either auto-added or I was doing simples experiments with that layout before, and just forgot do delete it…
  4. Hi guys, Once again, thank you and congratulations for the master page functionality. It needs some polishing, but at least it's finally here. Anyway, on to the issue at hand: I was curious to see how Publisher would handle two sets of columns with staggered linking (as in A-B, A-B, across the spread) for bilingual layouts, and I see it's not really managing it well at all. If I don't touch the links the left-hand page will be empty, and if I relink them properly across the spread as they are in the master page, when adding new pages they won't relink across different spreads. I enclosed my super basic test file for you to play with. staggered bilingual linking test.afpub
  5. Well, colour me impressed. There's this thing with the pages not auto-linking when empty that doesn't fully convince me, but when there's content in the equation, it does seem to be behaving nicely. I found some other issues, but I'll post them in the appropriate thread instead. I'll give it a proper spin ASAP, even without the anchored object functionality; either feature would've gotten me to try the beta in earnest, and it's great to see you tackled the most important one first. Even in setting your priorities right, you prioritized right as well (how meta). Anyway, kudos! You're getting there…
  6. Well, well… A big step in the right direction, for sure. We can finally use Master Pages for content! They don't link automatically across pages – in fact, they don't even link across the spread, as they won't retain the links added in the master, either –, which would make setting some projects much more cumbersome than on InDesign, requiring a lot of clicking, but at least I can finally envision it being viable and allowing for after the fact editing of their shape and placement. We're finally moving into proper professional DTP territory. Edit: Oh, wait. I'll have to eat my words. Auto-linking across each spread and across different spreads does work, as long as you have content on the first text box. I only tried it with filler text, so I can't be 100% sure, but it certainly looks to be the case. That discrepancy seems a bit counterintuitive, but maybe there's some reason to it; either way, that's something I can live with, for sure. Guys, give us that anchored object functionality which we know you're working on, and you'll be all set. Kudos for the great update, this is a huge relief and has got to be the best graduation gift in advance I could've gotten. As for the rest of the functionality, I'm sadly not even looking into them until February (because submission deadlines). Oh well… See you later!
  7. When working inside of a company, even a small one (like the 8-person company I worked for before I went freelance again), with separation of labour, these are the kinds of workflows we're dealing with. Heck, even in most professional work I've done individually as a freelancer, I wasn't even asked to do colour correction or retouching because the materials arrived at my digital doorstep in ready or near-ready form. I'd say more than half of the use cases in the DTP market – save perhaps for a zine/self-publishing thing, and herein lies the issue if that's the market Serif is aiming for –, benefit more from layout automation than from cross-app file manipulation. May I remind you that I've worked on events, both of the artsy and the medical (really boring) kind, publications (both just the book covers and the whole enchilada, with hundreds of images and hundreds of text pages)…? Never once have I missed this functionality. I keep all my files tidy, and I can get at them quickly and relink them in a heartbeat (well, I only wish right-clicking them in the Links panel wouldn't grind InDesign to a halt, but that's a whole 'nother matter). Not being able to quickly set thousands of words and resize my layout so I can check, on the fly, how they behave, on the other hand, is an absolute non-starter. I'm not questioning your assertion; of course it would be the reverse for other projects. A minority of them. Which would still be doable without said cross-app editing feature, whereas the projects I am speaking of just can't be done in a serious and professional fashion without basic DTP features. I know this sounds very “road-to-Abilene-ish” (and am I repeating myself here? It certainly feels like it), but it's better to have a decent app which appeals to everyone, professionals and prosumers alike (i.e. current users of Adobe CC, Serif's actual competition and the package it will be compared to by default by reviewers, whether any of us likes it or not), than a superb prosumer app which will be completely panned by professionals (i.e. which will only appeal to users who are content with apps like Corel in the early days, Serif's own defunct Plus suite, MS Publisher, etc. etc.). The latter scenario would make Publisher effectively DOA, whereas the former would buy it some time to limp along with the rest of the Affinity suite while it played catch up with InDesign. While not an ideal situation, that was precisely how Adobe killed Quark in the long run, so I wouldn't be betting against Serif just then if that was the case. I stand by what I've said: if Serif is investing on that functionality over the missing stuff some people have been clamouring for here in the forums, that's utterly misguided. There's no point in differentiating from your competitors if the basics just aren't there, sorry. If that's what you're all fixated on, the brand new reinvented wheel Serif is selling you, and believe that's the end-all, be-all of DTP, I have a nice, red suspension bridge just like the Golden Gate to sell you as well.
  8. Aha touché! Naming is just what it is; it should be as descriptive, short and unambiguous as possible. Even though in a literal sense that's what they are, “Global” seems to me to be too vague a word; hence my proposal of “Document Layers”, as in “layers belonging to a specific Publisher/Designer file”. And “User” doesn't make any sense, as it has been said here already, so, again, if each app already has established naming conventions, why not use them? In fact, you could have “Document Layers”, “Master Page Layers” and “Page Layers” in Publisher, “Document Layers” and “Artboard Layers” in Designer, and just “Layers”, period, in Photo. Different apps call for somewhat different conventions and UX, and there's nothing wrong in that. As long as they are somewhat consistent across the suite and predictable in their behaviour, users will be fine. Now this is a bit confusing for me, right now, but as soon as the 29th of this month I'll be sure to check it out… It's good to know; maybe it's a new feature and I missed it, maybe it's not that easily discoverable, or maybe it's just me who am an idiot. Anyway, I'll still ask it again: even if you can toggle it, can you still maintain said hierarchy? AFAIK, seeing how there aren't global layers and pages are always layers themselves, an object can never belong to two artboards at the same time, or not belong to any artboard from the moment it touches one. Maybe there has to be a mode akin to Illustrator where Artboards are just… I dunno, removed from the Layers panel and get a panel of their own, or something. Or just kicked up to a separate level inside of the current Layers panel. Or maybe those newfangled Document Layers could get their own level above the pages and, as long as you were working on those, you could get an experience similar to that in Illustrator. Or maybe you could intermingle global layers and artboard layers, in a more fluid conception (that would probably be the best UX scenario, as you could have global background elements, global foreground elements, and everything in between). Whatever works for big projects (like, say, website or app mockups) where organising stuff by Artboards isn't the end-all, be-all, which would mean you could instead just use them as glorified export slices.
  9. That's all fine and dandy, but that should not be their #1 priority, sorry. The extra few seconds it takes to open that one file externally are negligible in comparison with the extra seconds, multiplied by whatever number of objects you have (at which point they would become minutes, if not hours), it would take to reposition them all in case you made some change just because there wasn't an inline/anchored object functionality in Publisher yet. The same goes for having to redo an entire project because you can't fill master page text frames with content, resize or reposition them after the fact and have the corresponding pages and content reflect those changes. That's how professional DTP apps work, and the whole point of using a DTP app instead of WordPad or TextEdit.app (i'm not even comparing DTP apps with Word or Pages, because those two can do that, too, and produce very decent results if you take your time to learn how to get them to do it). Nobody with more complex workflows and projects will even give Publisher a serious go if those features aren't there, and if they inadvertently jump right in and buy it outright because Photo and Designer are indeed awesome, some may even get pissed, ask for a refund and even drop a bad review. With all due respect for Serif devs, I know I would, and I'm hopeful I will instead buy it on day one and be happy that it works for at least some of my more complex projects, and not just for four-page inserts… Just my €0,02, which by now must be adding up to a €10 bill or two as I've been hammering this point here for quite a while now. Objectively speaking, the time savings brought by said novel feature, which they put front and centre on their website and InDesign kind of lacks, are vastly outweighed by the time savings (or lack thereof) brought by those super, super basic and essential features I've mentioned, hence my comment about which features Serif devs are probably working on right now. We all assumed that said marketing choice meant that the other basic features would be there, you know? As in, “look at how our app is actually superior to InDesign”… Except it isn't, because that feature doesn't make enough of a material difference in the grand scheme of things. It's kind of like selling you a boat with tire chains and expect you to use it as a snow vehicle; yes, it has a feature indeed useful for the use case it's meant for, but the core package is completely inadequate (even if you could, in theory, throw it off a snowy hill and have it slide halfway through ).
  10. Or, you know, you could just call them Document Layers and Artboard/Page layers (Artboard for Designer, Page for Publisher). Boom, done. And now that you mention it, in the current layer implementation in Designer, layers are in fact just glorified groups whose contents you don't have to double-click to select/edit/move separately and which are dependent upon a specific artboard. Serif basically made something that isn't quite as functional as Layers, and not as rigid as groups, thus leaving that functionality in this sort of weird uncanny valley. And speaking of groups and global stuff, the same goes for groups and objects, as there should be global groups/objects. You *must* be able to have objects outside of artboards, or even spanning multiple artboards (and yes, that should/could also apply for spreads in Publisher, as it's very common to have objects, namely images, spanning both sides of a spread or multiple pages on a multiple-page leaflet, something which isn't possible in Publisher yet but which Serif devs definitely must take into account for future proofing). I know this will force Serif to rethink the whole document interaction/structure model, or add further complexity in the form of yet another user preference, but it must be done in order to take certain workflows into account. Not being able to have objects temporarily outside of artboards and in the pasteboard while maintaining their relation to the overall layer hierarchy drives me nuts, as does having them auto-crop when they are halfway inside and outside of an artboard. Maybe some illustrators and even graphic and UX designers like working that way, but to me (and many other people, I'm guessing), that's completely bass-ackwards. Yes, many designers and illustrators are messy, and like (nay, have a need for) being so. As for Publisher, do not even think of making auto-crop the default behaviour; that's what Preview view mode should be there for, and you could add it to Designer retroactively as well (as the current default behaviour, and it could still be the default, except it would be toggleable). Your working documents do not have to be pretty, and DTP apps are not strictly WYSIWYG until you trigger some sort of preview mode. The same goes for spreadsheet apps, word processors, presentation apps, etc.… Most people (especially prosumers and professionals) are way more capable of handling those abstractions (like global layers) and the concept of hidden/non-printing elements than you seem to give them credit for… as long as you give those features intuitive names and decent discoverability. And yes, for artists, there absolutely must be a totally WYSIWYG working mode (make it a Persona, if you will), but a DTP app is as technical and un-artist-y as it gets. It's a workhorse, and while its documents don't have to be ugly and cluttered, they don't have to be totally pretty in their default view either. In fact, I think the default view on an app aimed at long form typesetting should even include hidden characters, to avoid common mistakes. Yep, there, I said it.
  11. Yep, I fully concur. I never had to do long form bilingual stuff (only programmes with inline bilingual stuff set in different styles), but I'm sure it will come in handy. By the way, if you want to see some examples of my work (and work by my colleagues, both those who came before and after me), you can check this page: http://www.admedic.pt/portfolio.html (there's an english version, but it only goes as far back as last year and obviously doesn't include any project done by me). My tenure includes the last four congresses in Nov. 2014, and most of the congresses in the entire year of 2015, and you can spot mine from a mile away because I tend to use a lot of repeating patterns ( http://www.admedic.pt/uploads/2congressourosexopatianeurog-nia.pdf , http://www.admedic.pt/uploads/Programa-Preliminar-Curso-APNUG-de-Urodin-mica-23-03-2015.pdf , http://www.admedic.pt/uploads/Programa-XIII-CPG-2015-06-04.pdf , http://www.admedic.pt/uploads/Programa-A5-X-Congresso-APNUG-2015.pdf , http://www.admedic.pt/uploads/Programa-Cient-fico-182-Reuni-o-SPG_2015-11-04.pdf), textured backgrounds (http://www.admedic.pt/uploads/PROGRAMA-Wksp-LMP-HFAR-2015-web.pdf , http://www.admedic.pt/uploads/Monofolha-Wksp-LRC-HFAR-2015-09-03.pdf ) and just more abstract and simpler vector+bitmap stuff ( http://www.admedic.pt/uploads/Programa-CBColposcopia-2014-PORTF-LIO.pdf , http://www.admedic.pt/uploads/ProgramaCientificoCursoB-sicodeColposcopia-2015-11-03.pdf , http://www.admedic.pt/uploads/Programa-Congresso-APU-2015-09-15.pdf ). Interestingly, this last project is a great example of one of the first practical uses I made of Affinity Designer instead of Illustrator for gradients (too bad they got so mangled with compression), and of the absolute need for anchored objects. Just imagine having to manually reposition all of those stupid little pharma logos or those pixel/vector-based separators each and every time I had to edit something on that programme… Do you guys finally understand the kind of apparently basic projects I did in InDesign, which I could never do in Publisher in a reasonable timeframe or without hating it to the guts in the process (even more than I already hate Adobe)?
  12. In very complex documents, with page decoration, tables, extra information outside of the main text frames like event dates or times, coloured or even vector page backgrounds (like logo- and/or pattern-based watermarks), non-linked images (and believe me when I tell you that for finer control and really varied, magazine/brochure-like layouts, sometimes linking them is a terrible idea) etc. I can think of quite a few projects (maybe half of all of my work) where I've used layers for that, and it really is great to be able to quickly lock and hide stuff on demand and en masse. And sometimes just out of habit and good practice, just in case I do need to adjust my design and segregate stuff further down the road. My experience tells me that when working in complex design projects with finicky clients (or even just for dealing with creative bursts out of my own volition), foresight and good planning, especially in the beginning stages of every project, when you may be less stressed out and have more time to spare, is absolutely key.
  13. Not to sound like an old fart, but I'd say that that “other more serious problem” you've mentioned is the least of Serif's worries, and not very serious at all if you really think about it. The whole Designer/Photo Persona thing *is* quite overrated in Publisher, especially for professional users who own Macs and PCs powerful enough to have all three apps loaded simultaneously and are already used to have their linked stuff on a separate folder and to open it up manually. In fact, I don't even know how those Personas will behave; kind of like a “lite” version of each of the other apps, and also like how when you double click on an embedded or linked file in later versions of CS and CC the corresponding app loads up? As for the other apps, I personally use Designer and Photo, sometimes in the same project, and I rarely if ever use the Pixel persona in Designer. Yes, it surely can come in handy for illustrators, but it really wouldn't bother me personally if that feature wasn't there… As a regular old graphic designer, I like keeping my vector and pixel editing apps as separate as possible, thank you very much. On the other hand, I can appreciate the fact that said Persona exists probably segregates pixel editing features further than in Illustrator, thus simplifying the main Vector Persona by comparison, which is a great thing in my book, so I know I'm definitely reaping the benefits of a feature I don't even actively use that much. I know I may be in the minority here when it comes to Designer, but I can assure you that when it comes to Publisher, an app squarely aimed at the InDesign and QuarkXPress camp, I'm not. Editing stuff inline or having a nice little shortcut is most definitely *not* a serious omission, and it's not what's holding Publisher's release back, either. I'd gladly trade that feature over the other missing ones I've mentioned time and time again (proper master page support, anchored object support, global layers, etc. – not to mention a multi-line composer clone, but I fully accept that to take multiple years to be available), because being able to do your projects in a less-than-super-elegant but timely way beats not being able to do them at all in a cutthroat environment with crazy deadlines, stupid clients who drag their feet and whatnot, and I'm betting the Serif guys are hard at work on those features as we speak. That doesn't mean that said marquee feature, a seamless and elegant continuum between apps and file formats, won't come to pass sooner rather than later. But yeah, if they quietly dropped it, no one in the DTP community would bat an eye. As long as the files were fully compatible and rendered correctly (and I believe they already are), we would be just happy.
  14. Yep. This is precisely the way I use global layers in InDesign. I have one layer for backgrounds, one layer for text frames, one layer for images (in those rare cases when they aren't linked to anchors, of course), one layer for static graphic elements, etc. I find it really helps a lot in keeping things tidy and protecting objects even when editing master pages.
  15. Just a quick question (and I have a nagging feeling this has been already answered elsewhere, but please bear with me): is this global layer system being made available in Designer as well? It's an absolute must in Publisher, way more than in Designer, but for website interface mockup projects (which are kind of like “interactive/digital DTP files”, if you think about it) on the latter it would be a godsend (in fact, I mentioned as much on an earlier feature request I made for just that feature).