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  1. First, let me say that it is great, at last, to see the Publisher beta. From a first glance, it looks very promising, so my congratulations to all at Serif. There are of course, bound to be some bugs and issues, but this looks like an application I could eventually come to use as a staple of my daily work. Automatic text frame For me, as a long time user of both InDesign and QuarkXpress for the design and production of books, magazines, reports and other long, multi-page documents, the most immediately conspicuous omission (at least as far as I can see) is any way of defining an automatic text frame in the initial 'New document' set up, so that not only is a default text frame with required dimensions and margins included from the start on the initial master page, but also so that, with the help of a key stroke, a long text pasted into a text frame can acquire a predetermined paragraph style and will generate automatically the additional pages required to accommodate that text - and with the text frames already linked in a single flow. With a relatively small document, it is, admittedly, no great problem to define a text frame on a new master page, and then manually to link the pages. With a long document, however, the availability of a customisable automatic frame within page margins defined in the New Document setup, can save a lot of trouble. I don't mind too much having to set up a Master page with a text frame on it (though it is of course simpler if this can be created simply in the Document setup); the bigger UX issue is whether ongoing text flow can be established at that point, without the need constantly to link frames manually from spread to spread. Styles palette One thing I don't much like the look of is the congested 'Styles' palette - which appears to be already populated with a huge and confusing stack of options that I haven't asked for and don't want. This is worryingly reminiscent of is the dreadful nightmare of trying to handle styles in Microsoft Word - a recipe for certifiable insanity, and something that in my experience as both a designer and an editor, very few Word users ever attempt. Word has its merits for editing, but it is terrible for design, so Word-like features in software intended for design are a cause for caution and concern. Here, the merit of the InDesign and Quark approach is that there are no styles at all until I define styles that I actually want. That means I don't have to plough down through thousands of fathoms of options that are to me meaningless in order to locate the few that I need and have created or customised. I can have only the styles that I need, defined as I need them, in the sequence I want them, with keyboard short cuts, exactly as it suits me, in a lightweight, uncluttered palette. I hope very much that Publisher's developers will give more thought to this. The use of well-formulated stylesheets is abslolutely the key to efficient page layout in long and complex documents, and how long it takes to find the one I want in a palette (or even to confirm a keyboard shortcut I have assigned) can have a bigg effect on the speed of working. The present mess of styles is a serious minus for me, and it also seems contradictory when there is no predefined default master page. If that starts with a clean slate left to the user to define as the user needs, why not take the same approach with styles? louismac
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