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JGD

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Everything posted by JGD

  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. 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
  4. 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…
  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).
  16. Yes. you're absolutely right. I have nothing but good experiences with and a good impression of Serif. Case in point: I know their decision of eschewing the PPP converter was a very hard one to make, but even that one was made as gracefully as possible considering the circumstances. Regarding the roadmap, my bad. It slipped my mind. Now that you mention it, I believe I've read something to that effect before, yes. That was to be expected anyway; the competition is utterly fierce (have you noticed how Ai CC has ripped off a lot of features from AD? Yeah…), and they've always been as tight-lipped as they can. It's a delicate balance, but I feel they've reached it, and releasing the Publisher beta at all was also a great step. Even if the lack of two or three critical features may have disappointed me and other users, at least it's no longer that elusive software unicorn, that black box of sorts. And let's be fair to the team: hard as those features may be to implement, at least there's only a couple of them missing. Provided they prioritise them and properly reconcile their roadmap and its dependencies with said readjustment, I'm confident it'll take them a few months and not an entire year to get to a palatable (if a bit “road-to-Abilene-ish”) piece of release-quality software. And then I can go back at pestering them about other features which I also desperately want for a lot of my work but which ID also sorely lacked for years (like, say, multiple page spreads, which I'm hoping they'll implement in a more elegant fashion than on InDesign, especially when it comes variable page sizes – an extremely common use case on folded leaflets, which always must have a narrower leaf on the inside, and on book cover spines and flaps) and to which I've always managed to find acceptable workarounds back in the day.
  17. So do I. But it begs the question: depending on how long it will take between v.1.something (.9? .10? Will Affinity point updates be anything like macOS versions and reach double digits?), as in, the final Affinity 1.x version, and Affinity v.2.0, wouldn't it be preferable to just skip Publisher v.1.7 altogether (while still activating the entire Persona situation for further testing, perhaps even between the APub beta and the GM Designer and Photo versions) and deliver a more universally acceptable v.1.8 or v.1.9 instead? It's not like the users interested in it would skip it and just wait for v.2.0 (especially considering that it would pay for itself after just a few months of skipping a CC subscription, with the added bonus that they'd get to keep it forever afterwards ). There is a lot of pent-up demand, and unless Serif is extremely cash-strapped (and it doesn't seem to be the case; finally having the Windows versions out must be going great, and the insanely performant iPad Pro must also be a huge boon to their business), it would make much more sense to keep most of the users as happy as possible. Also, they could un-Osborne themselves by giving us an ETA for v.2.0. Anyway, even without it, and judging by how long Publisher has taken to even reach beta-quality (and while I have no use for it right now, it's certainly more stable and polished than the internal beta, I'll give them that) and by how we've not even seen the branding or mission statement for the much-rumoured and probably business-critical DAM component, I'm guessing it will be a fairly long time (1-2 years at least). Even if v.2.0 came out soon after a near-final and fully functional v.1.x Publisher version, I'd still feel less mad about that than if I paid for an incomplete piece of software, because as at least I'd have something to show for it right away and forever. Also, if I were to pay for a manifestly incomplete version of an app, only to realise that in order to get it to a functional state I'd have to pay again shortly after for a v.2.0 version because further feature updates would cease for v.1, I'd feel doubly duped. As such, if Serif can't dial back their marketing (and I guess they can't do so without devaluing their brand, unless they launched a “Publisher Lite” or something), they'd be better off either delaying v.2 of the entire suite or skipping v.1.x altogether and going straight to Publisher v.2.0. They should really do the math carefully, as any damage to the perception of one component of the suite may affect the entire thing. Anyway, this would predictably always be an issue with Publisher v.1.7/x (and, to a certain extent, with Photo), unless Serif is also planning to release v.2.x of each app in a staggered fashion. I don't know how Personas and file cross-compatibility would factor into that, though, so maybe they will keep Photo and Designer in a bit of a stasis (they already feel a bit like that when it comes to hard features; we've been getting mostly bug fixes and silent enhancements lately, and Designer betas are ever-so-elusive when compared with either Publisher and Photo betas, which is a definite sign of maturity) while they “complete” Publisher. I'm betting more on that scenario, because it would further put them on par with CS/CC (and I'm still referring to CS because Adobe royally duped people, too; they keep releasing major, yearly CS versions in disguise and point updates just as they did before; in fact, Serif's update philosophy is more Adobe-y than even Adobe practices it – if they do so at all, that is); maybe their updates would not be as predictable or regular, but at least their versioning would certainly be as straightforward.
  18. Yep. That's exactly my point of view as well. I use whatever software is good for the task at hand; I've been using Affinity Designer for CMYK and RGB gradients, as they look[ed?] much better than Adobe's shoddy implementation, and have this nifty little test file set up with spot colour gradients and transparencies to periodically check how far along the Serif team is on their support thereof (I am happy to say they are progressing well, though they're not quite just there, yet). Absolutely true. I know Serif developers, like any other, are only human. Maybe it was too soon, or maybe it wasn't. Gmail was in beta for years on end, and nobody complained; many Rev.A Apple products, like the Apple Watch or the original iPhone, revolutionary as they may be, are a bit like “paid hardware betas”, as they miss some critical functionality found elsewhere because the developer decided to focus on, you know, revolutionising things and didn't have enough time to add those features (like, say, copy and paste and, rather more dramatically in the grand scheme of things, third-party apps [!!!]). Affinity Publisher, to me, seems like a proof-of-concept of sorts. It may work for a subset of prosumer users, and make them extremely happy. My only fear is with what kind of PR Serif will get once ruthless reviewers get their teeth into the GM release, because let's not beat around the bush here: Publisher is way behind the competition than Photo or Designer ever were, even in their respective beta stages, for the very simple and unavoidable fact that DTP apps are much more complex than bitmap and vector editors (or much harder to get to a level of functionality that makes most people happy), because they are extremely dependent on workflows and automation, as you've just mentioned. incidentally, a cursory look at the forums reveals that besides master pages, the other two most requested features are GREP-like search (and styles) and anchored objects, and I'd say the absence of any of those features in isolation (especially master pages and anchored objects; GREP is arguably a power-user feature which even those who do have a need for it only do so occasionally) would be damning enough, and their combined absence would be utterly catastrophic from a PR, conventional and word-of-mouth marketing standpoint. I am adamant in my view that Serif is being lulled into a false sense of security by their past experience with Photo and Designer users… Yes, people can make those decisions, and they may also revisit those decisions. But we shouldn't forget that Serif isn't putting out these apps to the world at large in complete isolation, and that first impressions matter, especially when it comes to impulse purchases and to the distinct possibility that there may be current Photo and Designer users who might not be paying attention to the forums or review sites, only to the Mac and iOS App Stores, and might end up sorely disappointed. It's already bad enough that many (if not most) Page Plus users are a bit mad at the fact that they will likely never get a first-party conversion tool for their old files; making CC switchers feel defrauded as well would basically alienate or otherwise irk the rest (and, by all accounts, the majority) of their potential future user base. If the guys at Serif can cut their losses, they should absolutely wait to get these two/three features right. And while I can appreciate that dependencies may be an issue… maybe they'll just have to live with it and rethink their roadmap accordingly. And yes, if they have to drop other less crucial features from the v.1.x roadmap, so be it. Interesting angle. It's certainly one way to work around the issue. As for me, seeing how I work mostly in graphic and editorial design, that's really not an option. I frequently have to reopen old stuff and repurpose it… I am, however, very adept at redoing layouts. It's a bit of a PITA but, as long as the rest of the work is fairly automated, I'm good. Which is decidedly not Publisher's case. Otherwise, I'd already have repurposed some of my old layouts, “just in case” [my next commission(s) arrived in time of v.1.7.0 GM]. I guess maybe next year…? Two years from now? Who knows, really, because their roadmap is still not entirely clear. What I do know is that if I were to include the extra hours to get the same job done in Publisher, they would come out as more expensive as the CC subscription, and I'd probably have to redo them anyway once the final, proper functionality was in place; seeing how I can just use ID CS5 instead of either option, why would I even bother with any of that? What also personally irks me is the fact that from the moment Serif releases Publisher in a grossly incomplete form (if that does indeed come to pass, and I'm seriously hoping it doesn't), I'll be, for the first time in years, “out of the loop” so to speak. I feel like I am a valuable member of this community, and would've liked to have given more useful feedback much, much sooner (in fact, I was given a rare, privileged chance to do so and wasn't up to the challenge for personal reasons), but I just can't bring myself up to be a paying guinea pig. Not even my slow-as-molasses Apple Watch Series 0 is as frustrating a piece of tech than… having to take 10x longer to do basic work tasks, even just in a strictly QA scenario as a beta-tester. Do you now see where I'm coming from? I feel a bit duped by Serif, honestly, because Photo and Designer raised my expectations through the roof (as I've said here on the forums before, ironically enough, Serif's past success is also their biggest enemy, and the reasons are two-fold; it may induce hubris on their part and, as it just so happened with me, raise their users' expectations unrealistically), and the whole extended wait certainly didn't help. Now that we know the bigger picture, well… I'm no longer nervously and eagerly anticipating it; just sorely disappointed. I'm just asking the Serif team not to compound that with the added insult to injury of making me choose between paying for useless tech or being left even further out of the loop. I'd basically have to constantly peruse the forums, or run trial after trial on a guest account/virtual machine or some other stupid shenanigans just to check if the bare essentials were there and if it was finally worth the money, instead of just outright buying a useful app on day one, make use of it and update it in frequently to check if any more “nice-to-have” bells and whistles were added.
  19. +1 for colour separation preview here too. And since there's a lot of code shared across Affinity apps, please make it available in Affinity Designer as well (maybe also even in Photo? Can you do duotone/indexed colour documents in Photo already? If so, separation preview might make some sense there as well)… While it's not as critical an omission, it can still be very useful in some projects and shouldn't add too much bloat. Also, it might allow us to no longer depend on Acrobat Pro; in fact, if we could just reimport printing press .PDF rips in Publisher without doing any colour conversion shenanigans and just check them in there, that would be golden.
  20. Well, I'm not saying that you can't do decent-looking booklets in your own laser or inkjet printer without having read 10 different typography manuals and/or completed a BFA in design. What I am saying, and you can't exactly counter that, is that Serif is indeed marketing Affinity squarely towards professionals. Not towards prosumers, and most certainly not towards amateurs. As per Affinity's “About” page: ( https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/about/ ) So, I am not just dreaming this up, now, am I? And, last time I checked, 16 bit CMYK, along with PANTONE spot colour support, etc., are precisely the kind of features which set their apps apart from “amateurish”/utopian packages with sometimes extremely dubious UX design like the F/OSS Gimp, Inkscape, Scribus, etc., and supposedly put them squarely on par with Adobe CC (yes, with some features missing, but mostly the bloat and cruft added over the years and not the bare essentials). If they want that claim to be mostly an inspirational thing, fill their software front and centre with user-friendly tools (not necessarily wizards) which cater mostly to prosumers and reap massive financial rewards in the process, more power to them. But that shouldn't – nay, cannot, lest they just end up doing false advertisement, which is a big no-no in the UK – preclude them from staying true to their claim, by either adding those advanced tools in a more covert fashion (those multi-level partially expandable/collapsible palettes in Adobe CS/CC are a good example, and it seems those collapsible sub-sections, like the ones found in the Character and Paragraph Studio panels, are serving a similar purpose to a certain extent), or by outright splitting their apps between a Pro and an “Elements/Express” variant. I certainly wouldn't mind paying between 50% and 100% more for Publisher if that meant that I got something along the “barely usable” to “near feature-parity with InDesign/QXP” spectrum; as it stands, right now, I can't even envision buying v.1.7.0 at all, because I will have no good use for it, and that was decidedly not the case when it came to even the earliest (and buggiest!) Designer and Photo betas. Yes, they were missing some very useful functionality, but I could still quickly whip up a logo or retouch a photo with them instead of having to launch my crusty ol' Ai or PS if I really wanted (and, in fact, I even used either the betas or some very early versions – as in pre-v.1.4.x, which, IIRC, was a pretty big overhaul – for production work, namely to make .PDF and .JPG assets to place into InDesign documents). And, as I've said many times here before, I'm not some exotic editorial designer; I do mostly rather mundane stuff like event programmes, really (do check my LinkedIn page to get a sense of it; simple as it may look, it would still be a pain to do in Publisher, as it has loads of narrow text columns, text decoration, floating linked elements, etc.). Just my €0,02…
  21. I'm happy to know about it (and to believe I may have had a bit of a hand in that, too). Let's wait and see… I know many here will hate me for saying this, but I'd rather experience another little or even not-so-little delay and see them get it right at v.1.7.0 GM and avoid a fallout with pedants like myself. I know that from my posts I may come across as a perverse, Schadenfreude-filled Nostradamus-like figure, but I really, really want these guys to succeed no matter what. It's not that I hate CC or love Affinity per se, but I've been royally pissed at Adobe ever since they've bought Macromedia and killed off Freehand, it's only gotten worse throughout the years, I also like the idea of owning my work, and I know for a fact that there are a lot of people who share that sentiment (and while some of them don't, that's just because they weren't exposed to the alternatives yet, because true Adobe fanboys are rare; once they find out about it, they'll love the idea). Doing it in modern, multi-dimensionally cross-platform apps (let's not forget about the iPad! Maybe we'll get Publisher for iOS too, one day?) is just the icing on the cake. Interesting. I never worked with QXP to the point that I had to import text from clients and deal with different text standards. I stopped working with it before finishing my BFA, as InDesign became all the rage meanwhile, and now I have to deal with MS Word files because my tech-illiterate clients just can't be arsed to use something better; their formatting is as good as useless and I basically have to reformat everything myself, thus wasting time and risking further typos. From a cursory look at Quark's documentation, it kind of looks like John Gruber's Markdown language… By the way, while we're talking about that, what can you say about TeX and LaTeX editors and formats? From what little I know, those are supposedly used as an end-to-end alternative to WYSIWYG DTP apps and the scourge of MS Word, but surely there must be advantages to combining those with our DTP packages, especially for more graphically complex layouts which also involve science-y stuff, no?
  22. Yep. I am a very hardcore shortcut user, and when I'm a few months without picking up InDesign I'll also forget some basic stuff. Line-, frame- and page-breaking hidden characters being another family of shortcuts I consistently forget about. Maybe I'm just getting old. Still, that doesn't excuse those idiots at Adobe from not showing the corresponding keyboard shortcuts on the Type > Insert Break Character menu; it's almost as if they were purposefully trying to make their software harder to use, thus forcing me to google something that should be two mouse clicks away as per Apple's HIG. It boggles the mind!
  23. The important thing to get right is where does text/content come from and where does it go to. QuarkXPress has (had? I stopped using it at v.6) these “to” and “from” source and destination linking boxes in the corners of master pages, which are the epitome of doing things “by hand”, so to speak. Back when I started using it, InDesign surprised me in the way it handles it automagically. You only have to link frames across your spread, and the text otherwise automatically flows from the last column in the spread to the first column in the next page, regardless of it being a different master, a manually set up page, or whatever; the same goes for spreads with mixed masters, IIRC. And when you apply a different master to a page already populated with content, the content is also preserved but reflows into that master, if I'm not mistaken. Conceptually, it messes a bit with my way of doing things, but much like Smart Guides (before which I'd just create a crapload of guidelines and make my vector work in Freehand and Illustrator extremely hard to navigate), in practice it works extremely well. I honestly never did any layout with two different tracks of text (as in, say, a fully bilingual layout), so I'm not entirely sure how you'd do one in either InDesign or Quark. But I'm sure they already solved that issue, and it's one of those things where Serif devs must have the humility of taking a page from their book (ha! ) if they got it right and did it elegantly enough. No matter how you slice it, if Publisher is to be taken seriously by professionals, it must be usable in those scenarios, and by “usable” I mean quick and functional. Of course I could redo most, if not all, of my past work in Publisher and have it print beautifully. It's just that I'd want to gouge my own eyeballs out and bite my own hands off in the end of the process.
  24. Yes, they are, indeed. But if you can't use them for content holders (i.e. frames), they are next to useless when it comes to [controlled] automation (which Publisher seems to want to do it in its own alternative and limited way by automatically creating text frames outside of the masters). That's the entire point of my rant(s). The fact that you can have your guidelines in your master pages only automates half of the process. If you still have to create your text frames by hand, because you can't flow stuff into the frames you created inside of your master pages, naïvely thinking you could use them, and do it more than 600 times because your layout is too complex for automatic frame creation, suddenly you're better off paying for a CC subscription. Being able to place content into master page objects is so, so, so extremely basic that not having it is a non-starter. Maybe it's hard to get the entire ancillary stuff (like how and where to allow users to manually override objects, like I've mentioned) right and in an elegant fashion, but that should be Serif's #1 priority right now. Period. It's better to have an app that works 100% in manual mode, than an app that tries to do the work for you but doesn't allow you to do things manually at all. Especially an app marketed to CC switchers. Prosumers, i.e. aspirational users, should be an extra, even if they make up the biggest swath of the market; if actual professionals, the influencers in the equation, eschew it, Affinity will just devolve into Corel Graphics Suite v2 or Serif Plus v2 all over again (as in, that versatile but niche thing – mostly at the low end of the market – Adobe users frown upon), instead of becoming Macromedia MX v2 (what we all want it to be, I'm guessing; a serious and beloved contender that will fill the void left by Adobe's monopolistic practices). Affinity is just doing a balancing act right now, and it can go both ways. A grossly incomplete Publisher and the scathing reviews that will ensue may just tip it over to the wrong side.
  25. Yep. Regarding master page object overrides, I've always thought that InDesign was extremely convenient, yes, but completely unintuitive at the same time… That entire voodoo of pressing a weird key combination to override a specific object (there seriously should be the option to just right-click the damn things and unlock them, just like in Apple Keynote), then not really knowing from which point will they become completely unlinked – if ever –, and finally having duplicate objects when reapplying master pages has always left me a bit confused. Even to this day, I sometimes get confused at the results, yes, and I have 10+ years of experience with it. Surely there must be a more elegant way of doing things. However, that still doesn't change the fact that the “master page” convention exists and that Serif tried to implement it. From the moment they did so, they should at least keep it fairly consistent with and as useful as in competing programs. Master pages aren't just used for adding a background veneer of decoration, which seems to be the only thing they're good for in Publisher as of now; they actually serve an extremely important purpose when it comes to layout design and content management, which Publisher is trying to fulfil elsewhere, altogether sidelining master pages. I completely understand where they are trying to get, and which users they are targeting (people who really don't get how master pages work but may not even need them to the full extent of their functionality). And that is completely fine; you can allow for many different workflows with no ill effects on UX design. But a professional app, right now, Publisher is not because it is lacking a core feature (I cannot stress this enough, so I'll say it again: proper master page support in a DTP editor is as essential as layer support in a pixel editor). And I'm not saying that Serif's implementation has to mimic Adobe's to a tee, absolutely not. But the equivalent functionality must be there, because comparisons will be made, whether we like it or not. As for the whole layer vs. artboard conundrum in Affinity Designer, which Serif brought upon themselves, that itself warranted (and still warrants) an entire thread. There should be at least the option to have document-level layers and not have them be always artboard-dependent, and also allow for certain (or all?) objects to transcend artboards and be fully visible outside them. The fact that you can't choose which model to use, or have them both, boxes you into Serif's philosophy. Maybe their way of thinking is best for illustrators, but I can assure you that for UX design (a very big market for them right now), it's absolutely terrible. I used Designer to do a website mock-up, and that entire layer situation frustrated me to no end…
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