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Media browser for photo book creation

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Hi community!

first a disclaimer: I am no professional designer in any way, I am just trying to do some photobooks of my travels.

After having used dedicated photo book software that is directly offered by various book printing companies, I got more and more frustrated. Not only is most software slow and obviously targeted to the completely not tech saavy audience, all of it lacks basic features like "show me all images used in a book", "replace all images by newer versions". I even ended up writing some Python code that does some of those operations that the software should already provide. In the end I decided that I have better things to do with my time, so I started looking into more "professional" software for book design. Though I probably will never need 90% of the provided features, I hope that at least all my needs are fully covered. Long story short, I started looking into Affinity Publisher for book design.

Using the software was pleasantly easy and I quickly got some nice results, but I was really missing one tool most dedicated photo book software have: a media browser showing you just all the images you have. From there on, I would be selecting a subset of images to be included in the book. Usually I do not know the correct selection before actually desiging the book as things like color composition along the frame landscape/portrait shoots make the image select very much dependent on the layout. And ratio of all images i have to the images i end up using in the book is usually around 50:1. Bonus points for a image browser that already marks images that have been used in the current book (any book).

Using the Windows' file browser feels cumbersome and switching windows back and forth kind of interrupts the workflow and everything just takes longer.

Is there anything like an image browser planned for Publisher? If not, what workflow would you recommend instead for my use case?

Thanks, Thomas

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2 hours ago, thomas001le said:

Is there anything like an image browser planned for Publisher? If not, what workflow would you recommend instead for my use case?

Hello @thomas001le,

welcome to the forum. There seems a digital asset management software in development by Serif but it is completely unclear when this will be available. If you search the forum for the keyword 'DAM' you find several discussions and wishes, e.g. this very popular one:

I find XNView MP (https://www.xnview.com/en/xnviewmp/) a reasonably good tool to prepare pictures for what you want to do. It allows to browse and tag (and then filter) images. You can drag and drop images into APub. And it even shows thumbnails of AD and APh files (not of APub files, yet). It's free so you can very easy give it a try.


Affinity Designer 1.8.5 (beta   |   Affinity Photo 1.8.5 (beta   |   Affinity Publisher 1.8.5 (beta
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.8.4   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

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