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Formatting during text import
MikeA posted a topic in Feedback for Affinity Publisher V1 on DesktopNew here — not much luck yet with forum search. If there's a discussion about this, apologies for not having found it. Back in the Neolithic I used QuarkXPress, which supported a tagging method for text import: Simple codes embedded in plain text were transformed into complex formatting during import. The competition didn't have such a feature at the time. It was among several reasons for QXP's becoming the program of record for book pagination (until InDesign came along). Even years before microcomputers took over the world, the typesetting systems I used had tagging and translation-table features. Same purpose: Prepare text containing simple codes, then get complex formatting during text import. The machines' CPUs ran at glacial speeds compared with what we have now. But the text-import systems were fast and efficient. It's orders of magnitude faster than importing plain text into a design/pagination program and then hand-formatting it. Search/replace is not efficient unless a program supports complex search/replace enabling it to find starting and ending tags and formatting text located between those tags. Even at that, having to do it repetitively is tedious and time-consuming. (If search/replace can be controlled via scripting, that certainly helps.) Manipulating text outside the pagination program is inherently more efficient. It can be done with powerful and fast tools ideal for that purpose (Python, Perl, Ruby, and so forth). Affinity Publisher looks like an excellent contender. It too needs this kind of feature. If the company has no such plans for the near future, I hope the program has a plug-in architecture enabling a third party to add this functionality. To anyone importing a lot of text, that kind of automation is worth paying for.