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Affinity Publisher Customer Beta 1.8.0.499

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On that same note, Affinity apps should, now that they have unified toolbars, adhere to Apple's latest standard for full-screen apps.

This is the Finder, and the behaviour I'm hinting at:

And this is iTunes, an old and, indeed, soon to be retired app:

And this is Affinity Publisher, which, as you can see, is not using the latest UI/UX standards, even though the very first version was presented when sliding unified toolbars in fullscreen mode were already a thing (also, if you notice, there's a visual bug in the titlebar gradient):

The advantage of using a model akin to that of the Finder should be obvious and self-explanatory, but I'll point it out anyway; even in fullscreen mode, users can make use of Fitt's Law and throw their mouse pointer at the screen edge and still be able to click any of the toolbar's buttons. Conversely, with iTunes' outdated model, Fitt's Law can only be used deliberately for accessing menu items and will, in fact, become a hindrance when trying to hit those small button targets, which are now closer to a trigger point that will obscure them.

This is a big usability no-no and while we could give it a pass in iTunes, whose button controls are basically huge and duplicated in our very keyboards, in Affinity apps, not so much. Those are tiny and even closer to the edge than they were before.

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2 hours ago, JGD said:

Said asterisk could and should be displayed in document tabs, just like in Adobe apps, but on that “status” thingy (which, mind you, as a weird name for that non-complaint UI element, with the weird background and without the clickable proxy icon and disclosure triangle for renaming), it makes zero sense as the dot on the close button is even more visible.

I guess I personally just don't have a major issue with it. I just noticed the "M" in brackets which is inconstant from everything else I think.

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4 hours ago, KipV said:

I guess I personally just don't have a major issue with it. I just noticed the "M" in brackets which is inconstant from everything else I think.

You may not, but for a sizeable group of people like myself – in my case, I've been personally working with Macs for 16 years –, I can assure you it does.

May I ask, if that's not too personal, if you ever worked with Windows PCs and, if so, when did you do the switch?

I did mine back in 2003, when I was still using an old Pentium III box running Windows 98 SE. Back then, even Windows was fairly consistent, but then Mac OS X was even more so. Then, Microsoft got completely out of control and started experimenting with their UI.

It's true that Apple did, too, and these latest Marzipan apps and unified toolbars are yet another step in a tricky direction. And, yet, I'd still argue that macOS is still more internally consistent, and third-party Mac-only, Mac-first or “Mac user-loved” are waaaay more consisten with Apple's first-party apps, than Windows and its third- and first-party apps.

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13 hours ago, JGD said:

... unless, that is, if you use either Separated Mode (and I don't see why anyone would, cumbersome as it is; and yes, I've just checked it out in this latest beta and it still doesn't work properly) ...

Separated Mode has several uses, one of which is to have two (or more) different views of the same document visible at the same time, either on one screen or distributed among several of them if you have a multi-monitor setup. It also supports a mix of tabbed & separate document views, & the layout of its panels is independent of the layout in unseparated mode.

So for example, in Affinity Publisher you could have two or more different views of an open document visible simultaneously & zoom each window independently of the others so one window shows several pages or spreads while another shows a zoomed in view of all or part of one page or spread. Among other things, this makes it easier to see how page to page text flows are affected by changes in one page & streamlines copying & pasting items between pages.

As for not working properly, if you mean that document windows can be covered by Studio & Tools panels, that is true but the same thing is true for unseparated mode if you use floating (undocked) panels. In Separated Mode you also can move the main & context toolbar pair anywhere on a display with a simple drag. On large screens, this can be used to reduce how far you have to move the mouse pointer between a document item & the toolbar, in much the same way you can do this with floating panels in unseparated mode for the same reason.

Because the panel layouts are independent, this means that if you also own Photo & Designer, you can have a total of six layouts, each with the studio panels & panel groups & tabs configured differently to suit different workflows.

Admittedly, it can be a chore to get everything configured, but for some of us it is worth it. Also, for Publisher in particular, there are some improvements that would make Separated Mode more useful, like being able to show Master pages in one window & document pages in others, & maybe some automatic window tiling options, but hopefully they will be added at some point.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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19 hours ago, JGD said:

if you use either Separated Mode (and I don't see why anyone would, cumbersome as it is;

of course, there are plenty of ways to improve Separated Mode...(*)

...but may I ask: how would you use any desktop-publishing-app on a 2-monitor-setup WITHOUT such a Separated Mode? I call the other mode "Laptop Mode". ;-)

 

(*) one of which is: where to put the toolbar – it's always in the way. Hell, it is even covering the open and save sheets so you have to drag it to another place...

((and no, in real life, I'm not using dark mode in a page-layout program))

Bildschirmfoto-2019-11-11-um-17_19.thumb.png.147b255fb608b6d06ec9a9c242827f6f.png?


  • Production-System: iMac (21,5-inch, Late 2013), 16GB RAM, 2TB nvme-SSD, running on 10.14.6 Mojave;
  • Display Setup: 27" Thunderbolt Display primary + 21,5" iMac-Display secondary for palettes;
  • Keyboard-Layout: German apple extended keyboard (aluminium);

 

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4 hours ago, R C-R said:

maybe some automatic window tiling options

...like it was (is) in InDesign CS5: (that would be awesome!) 

 

359140550_Bildschirmfoto2019-11-11um17_41_45.png.a67218a5a7d4a044f5fd331993b1f872.png


  • Production-System: iMac (21,5-inch, Late 2013), 16GB RAM, 2TB nvme-SSD, running on 10.14.6 Mojave;
  • Display Setup: 27" Thunderbolt Display primary + 21,5" iMac-Display secondary for palettes;
  • Keyboard-Layout: German apple extended keyboard (aluminium);

 

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3 minutes ago, woefi said:

(*) one of which is: where to put the toolbar – it's always in the way. Hell, it is even covering the open and save sheets so you have to drag it to another place...

Can you explain a bit more about what you mean by it covering the open and save sheets? If you mean the File menu drop-downs, that does not happen on my Mac. Because I sometimes use either full screen mode or the old style 'maximize' mode (via option clicking on the green dot) and separated mode together on one screen, in Separated Mode I have moved the toolbar a bit to the right so all three 'traffic light' window icons are always visible.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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19 hours ago, JGD said:

And speaking of which, as it warrants a separate post: Separated mode is still broken, as new windows still go behind the toolbars when maximised.

Yes, I know this is a longstanding request which I've been hammering Serif about, but I decided that for each new Beta and GM release, I will point out any and all unnecessary inconsistencies with the HIG or otherwise expected and useful behaviour. That is, until they are either fixed or Serif explains us why they are not doing so.

You see, these aren't “bugs” that might reasonably slip through; these are wrong decisions that shouldn't have been made in the first place.

This is indeed still an issue, if a bug isn't in the changelist it likely hasn't been fixed, apologies for the inconvenience.

On 11/2/2019 at 10:48 PM, JGD said:

On a different note, there's some general blurriness going on in my non-Retina display (this time it's the StudioLink and the context toolbar buttons), as is sometimes common in Affinity apps. Please fix.

This is logged with us, thanks for ensuring it got reported.

Quote

Oh, and the Index panel is still broken in the Beta, just like it is in the current stable version.

Can I clarify you are referring to this thread?


Serif Europe Ltd. - www.serif.com

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30 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Can you explain a bit more about what you mean by it covering the open and save sheets?

I tried to explain it in this thread: (screenshot says it all)

 


  • Production-System: iMac (21,5-inch, Late 2013), 16GB RAM, 2TB nvme-SSD, running on 10.14.6 Mojave;
  • Display Setup: 27" Thunderbolt Display primary + 21,5" iMac-Display secondary for palettes;
  • Keyboard-Layout: German apple extended keyboard (aluminium);

 

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19 minutes ago, woefi said:

I tried to explain it in this thread: (screenshot says it all)

It is a bit hard for me to tell from that screenshot exactly how you have configured the document window & toolbar but on my Mac the Save or Save As window drops down from document windows, so I just either keep document windows slightly below the toolbar or move them there before doing a Save or Save As. Granted, that could be an inconvenience, but at least for me it is a very minor one because it takes just a second or two to do when needed.

As for obscuring Open dialogs that never happens to me because long ago I set that window to open in the middle of the screen, & that is 'sticky' in the Affinity apps.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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11 minutes ago, R C-R said:

It is a bit hard for me to tell from that screenshot exactly how you have configured the document window & toolbar but on my Mac the Save or Save As window drops down from document windows, so I just either keep document windows slightly below the toolbar or move them there before doing a Save or Save As. Granted, that could be an inconvenience, but at least for me it is a very minor one because it takes just a second or two to do when needed.

As for obscuring Open dialogs that never happens to me because long ago I set that window to open in the middle of the screen, & that is 'sticky' in the Affinity apps.

Yeah you're right. As I like to have my _documents_ quasi-full-screen (not the _apps_) I did't notice, I can simulate the behaviour of cs5 if I reduce the height of the doc-window.

Thank you very much!

But the bug still stays, that the "z-index" of the tool bar should be underneath every dialog. Also: I hate sheets, as they resize the parent window if there is not enough room inside. See the video attached (this behaviour exists since 2000/osx):


  • Production-System: iMac (21,5-inch, Late 2013), 16GB RAM, 2TB nvme-SSD, running on 10.14.6 Mojave;
  • Display Setup: 27" Thunderbolt Display primary + 21,5" iMac-Display secondary for palettes;
  • Keyboard-Layout: German apple extended keyboard (aluminium);

 

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15 hours ago, JGD said:

Back then, even Windows was fairly consistent, but then Mac OS X was even more so. Then, Microsoft got completely out of control and started experimenting with their UI.

The initial versions of Mac OS X were quite inconsistent. They had about 2 or 3 interfaces going on at the same time; aqua and brushed metal. I remember it taking the better part of a decade to let it evolve.

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13 minutes ago, woefi said:

But the bug still stays, that the "z-index" of the tool bar should be underneath every dialog. Also: I hate sheets, as they resize the parent window if there is not enough room inside. See the video attached (this behaviour exists since 2000/osx):

I am not a fan of drop-down sheets attached to document windows either, but as you say, that has been a standard Apple thing for nearly twenty years. So, as long as the OS controls those drop-downs, I doubt there is anything Affinity can do to place the toolbar behind them.

In that respect I consider the bug to be Apple's, not Serif/Affinity's.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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8 hours ago, R C-R said:

In that respect I consider the bug to be Apple's, not Serif/Affinity's.

...I wonder how this works on windows, tho. 


  • Production-System: iMac (21,5-inch, Late 2013), 16GB RAM, 2TB nvme-SSD, running on 10.14.6 Mojave;
  • Display Setup: 27" Thunderbolt Display primary + 21,5" iMac-Display secondary for palettes;
  • Keyboard-Layout: German apple extended keyboard (aluminium);

 

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On 11/10/2019 at 10:22 PM, JGD said:

if you use either Separated Mode (and I don't see why anyone would, cumbersome as it is; and yes, I've just checked it out in this latest beta and it still doesn't work properly)

I prefer Separated Mode because of the two monitors – while in my setup the smaller laptop screen is placed below the external larger monitor used for document windows.

2090327840_2monitors1.jpg.30ed23656315050f696cfea61dc707ea.jpg

In this setting, it is more convenient to have the toolbar not at the top of the top screen, but between the two screens and closer to the app menubar:

112359977_2monitors23.thumb.jpg.734ce04092175011fcd68e9cac0be52f.jpg

Unfortunately this setup is available only with Separated mode.

A disturbing disadvantage of Separated Mode is that documents get opened in the lower screen, behind the panels (probably because of the menubar on that screen).

1723677953_2monitors4opennewdoc.thumb.jpg.cf6a1c265714d0572f7455c92ade4750.jpg

Unfortunately even an already existing document window does not make any further document to get opened in that window as a further tab. Instead I need to 1st click in the main window and 2nd click "Merge all windows". If I do "Merge all windows" without selecting the 1st existing window then both windows get merged on the lower screen and behind the panels.

Affinity could at least enable the user to get all further opened documents appear in an existing document window as new tab – instead of insisting in its position on the other screen.


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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To the participants of this thread 

I really cannot stress enough that Announcement threads are really only for discussing installation and execution issues. As AdamW said at the top of this thread

Quote

We hope you enjoy the beta, and as always, if you've got any problems installing or running up, please don't hesitate to post in this thread. 

Any problems actually using this version please make a new topic in this forum and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Please feel free to leave general suggestions and comments in the Discussion Forum

The point of my intervention is a reminder to you that AdamW locks these beta announcement threads whenever a new beta build (or release build) is released. So this discussion is about to be stopped short with no opportunity to reply/comment further. I understand how this chat evolved from the unified toolbar questions at the thread start so it's hard to split off.


Patrick Connor
Serif (Europe) Ltd.

Latest releases on each platform 

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Patrick, sorry for my recent misplaced post! – It was just your positive reaction (woefi, 20 hrs ago) to a hint about window management which let me post a related reply. I now copied my post as feature request, so feel free to hide/delete it here, this post included.


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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thank you, @Patrick Connor for pointing out this off-topic use of this thread. I was being dragged away by the announcement of changes in the UI... sorry for this.


  • Production-System: iMac (21,5-inch, Late 2013), 16GB RAM, 2TB nvme-SSD, running on 10.14.6 Mojave;
  • Display Setup: 27" Thunderbolt Display primary + 21,5" iMac-Display secondary for palettes;
  • Keyboard-Layout: German apple extended keyboard (aluminium);

 

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