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Here's the thing. Affinity changed the way I work. I'm not shy of using raster based effects anymore as they're handled well across the apps. It creates a problem with PDF output though. Text outlines inevitably blur when they are anti-aliased against their background. To a point that can be addressed by exporting with different resampling algorithms. But some text just has to stay vector based. Right now, both apps just crash when I export my layouts to PDF. Stacked LUTs, live filters, item blurs, mixed media items parented to text objects… it's a problem factory. Ideally we could have a way of tagging a shape or text layer and say: I need this to stay intact. The app then "does stuff" to rasterise unpremult, duplicate the shape and whatnot to make sure the tagged objects come out as vector shapes in the PDF. It can all be flattened with the text outline slightly eroded inwards behind a vector shape even. It's similar to what I'm doing right now. Export my document to several layers and put them back together in a simplified way, re-nesting flattened elements. Another option would be "output layers" for lack of a better term. Like groups you'd put items into them in the way you want the output to be organised. Everything in these would then get flattened, retaining the original appearance by baking in blend more results into the objects so they all just have an alpha and nothing more. In return this makes it easier to retain vector shapes. Either via dilate, bake and nest or by pixel tracing how the vectors would be affected by raster effects. In some cases it could even be sufficient to render these effects as a mesh gradient fill or a set of vector shapes blended together.
I'm excited to hear about potential feature set for Affinity Publisher as a long time Adobe Indesign and Acrobat user (still using CS6 and refuse to jump on the CC bandwagon). First, I wondered if there were plans to have Affinity Publisher act also as a complete or partial Acrobat replacement. For example, often I will need to rotate scanned pages from a photocopier, extract or delete pages, crop, make annotations (grading academic work, for example), creation of fillable forms and drawing markups etc. all in the native PDF format. Being able to open a full (or partial) multi-page PDF using the document's existing page size would be excellent for quick editing. Second, an annoyance and possible solution to a over-complicated workflow in Indesign. I often create artwork for music CDs and use pre-existing templates from replication factories. They tend to use one layer to show guidelines for text safety regions etc. Once the artwork builds up and I'm trying place various graphics and text within the guides, it would be great to be able to quickly make all layers more transparent with one key toggle so that I can easily see the underlying guides and line things up. Right now, I have to click on objects, click on transparency then use the slider to make more transparent. Then the same again to return to print look. Make sense? It's frustrating right now...maybe I'm just missing a key Indesign feature. Finally, I assume Publisher will include Pantone, spot colors and varied PDF output options including booklet creation? Would be great to have advanced imposition options including number of sheets per signature etc. to cater for simple small booklets (a la OS X create booklet service) to big thick manuals requiring 1 sheet per signature ( a la Cheap Imposter). Thanks!