I'm loving the new software from affinity! specially because I downloaded the latest build of indesign before starting this project and I was really bummed out and overwhelmed by the bloated UI of recent Adobe products. All I can say is that working with publisher has been a breeze. Full disclosure: I'm a Affinity Designer and Photo evangelist, so my view of things might be a little tilted towards the folks at Serif.
What I can say about this beta version is that is VERY stable. I could produce a production ready brochure and really fast. I've never used publisher, but the workflow and look-and-feel was familiar to me since I use designer almost every day. Being able to copy and paste from designer was the best thing ever (If Only I had this functionality in apple motion...I would be sooo happy). I've worked for 2 days straight and never got a single hang up. I did have a session reboot (an issue specific to my video display driver that sometimes drives me crazy) and this wonderful piece of software even managed to save and restore a copy. I was delighted. The response of the app overall is great. VERY fast compared to In Design (latest version). But since I'm working on a beta version I found some things that could be improved and I hope someone from the team takes notice. It's nothing to worry about actually...just a couple of quirks that (to the best of my knowledge) can be fixed relatively easy.
Here's my list.
Workspace configuration (sets?). It would be nice to save my panel configuration.
Sometimes the cursor just does not pick up columns very well
Baseline grids over-imposed. If you have baseline grids for the document and the activate the same option for the textbox (in case you need a different baseline grid for a specific text box, the result is a weird and indecipherable canopy of lines. Maybe there's a way to hide one or the other momentarily
Some bugs while dragging image placeholders. The placeholder boxes would sometimes jump from one place to the other...
Double click to drag inner photo is erratic. This behavior is not always consistent.
There should be some option to configure the hypenation document wide. Doing it for every column is tyring.
Sometimes I had to reset the hypenation language to get the words to cut correctly.
Hypenation options should be grouped in a separate window...all of them together. Going back and forth between character and paragraph is messy.
There should be some way yo move images inside placeholders faster and without double click. Maybe just clicking on a placeholder you could get a control to move stuff inside faster.
Can’t Group select image placeholders sometimes. It was hard to replicate this...but finally I could.
Would be nice to have placeholders show in preview mode as well to have some idea where items will be placed. Empty placeholder boxes dissapear in preview mode...sometimes when you have many grids and baseline guides...it becomes harder to spot them. If not..maybe a grey background color...that could help.
On image placeholder image edit mode (double click action) if I accidentally rotate the image a little bit and then return to normal position, when trying to move the image the contour (blue lines) will appear rotated on the same angle I accidentally rotated before.
Can we have CMD + Y to go to line mode activated please? thanks.
Couldn't find a "links" window to check all my external images and files (maybe that's the asset window I didn't pay attention to).
Is there like a text-only compose window? that would be very useful.
Sometimes selecting text inside columns was erratic (with a wacom pen in my case) I would always end up selecting the text below or above what I wanted to choose.
Keyboard shortcuts for column breaks would be appreciated
I haven't seen this since the first release but I would love to have the option to create column layouts in master pages. I did it manually, but if I want to change the gutter I had to erase the reference boxes (red ones with a low opacity) and move all the guides one by one. This one for me is a deal breaker. I don't mind doing them by hand (I've done it before in designer, but it's nice to have that automated).
No option to use a low resolution version of the images while working...that would make the app go 400% faster IMO.
After all of this I still would choose this ß over Indesign over and over again. Great work by the guys in Serif. You've sold this to me. As soon as it's released...I'm buying. Keep up the good work.
I'm sure I´ll post more stuff as I use it more and more. I've enclosed a sample of the brochure (it's in spanish...sorry non-spanish speakers)
Thanks for taking the time to read this.