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Affinity Publisher Customer Beta

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Status: Beta
Purpose: Stability and General Testing
Requirements: Purchased Affinity Publisher
Mac App Store: Not submitted
Download: Download
Auto-update: Not Available



We are pleased to announce that a new Customer Beta of Affinity Publisher ( is now available as a download from the link above.

As this is a 'Stability and General Testing' beta it is considered to be not suitable for production use. This means that you should not attempt to use it for commercial purposes or for any other activity where you may be adversely affected by the application failing, including the total loss of any documents. 

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

Many thanks for your continued feedback.



This build of Affinity Publisher, 1.8.0 Beta, requires 1.8.0 Beta builds of Photo and Designer for StudioLink to function. We hope to make these available soon.


New Features and Major Improvements

IDML Import

This build includes an importer for the IDML ((Adobe) InDesign Markup Language) file format. Many entities, attributes and properties are not currently imported. In general if a feature currently has no native support it is unlikely to be imported entirely successfully. In addition to this, please find below a list highlighting features we know are not currently supported fully.

- Document User details

Spread / Page Items
- Promoted master page items
- Overprint properties
- Arrowheads
- Text on path

Transparency / FX
- Directional Feather
- Gradient Feather

Text Frames
- Content transparency / FX for text vs text + frame
- First baseline offset

Story Items
- Text layout can differ due to differences in composition and metric vs optical kerning
- Index 
- Page number fields
- Hyperlinks

XLSX Import

This build includes an importer for the XLSX (Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet) file format. Excel files are placed as tables. The following are not currently supported.

- Formulae are imported as their calculated result value, which Excel stores in the file alongside the formula
- Local formatting is imported, but global Table Styles currently are not
- Overflowing cell content is handled differently in that Excel allows content of an overflowing cell to draw on top of adjacent cell if the cells are empty

Column Rules

The facility to add (vertical) rules / lines between columns in a multi-column text frame. The rules can be configured via the Text Frame Panel

Fixes and Smaller Updates

(Mac) Unified Toolbar tweaks
'Edit Document' for Linked Documents now works correctly rather than editing the embedded copy
Layers Panel should now maintain the expand / collapsed status of objects when switching spreads
Fixed issue for specific document where placed Designer file prevented Save
Fixed issue where export was causing application hang for specific document
(Win) Fixed crash dragging fill layer to bottom of layers stack
(Win) Fixed freeze editing colour from Swatches Panel

Master Pages
Changing size of Master Spread now offers option to update size of spreads it is applied to
Fixed issue whereby duplicating a Master Page Instance could unlink it
Blendmode / Opacity not working correctly with Master Page Instances
Adjustments were not working correctly when used with Master Page Instances

Picture Frames
Empty Picture Frames weren't showing in Assets Panel thumbnail previews
Replacing Master Pages containing Picture Frames with promoted context could distort content
(Mac) Original Size button wasn't functioning for Picture Frame content

Paragraph Panel layout fixes
Fixed crash transposing characters (e.g. <Ctrl>+T on Mac)
Fixed Drop Cap anomalies
Leading Override can now be set to Auto in Text Style Editor
Fixed crash changing capitalization on multiple Text Frames simultaneously
(Win) Kerning in Base text style is now set to "Auto" 
(Mac) Custom text style shortcuts were not showing in Text Styles Panel
(Mac) Spell check not learning words originating from Master Pages
(Win) Fixed crash adding tab stop in Text Style Editor
(Mac) Paragraph leading, wrong separator being used with non-uk locale settings

Importing docx with no Text Frame selected fails to import style
Importing docx fails to apply 'Normal' style 


To be notified about all future Mac beta updates, please follow this notification thread 

To be notified when this Publisher update comes out of beta and is fully released to all Publisher customers, please follow this thread

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Amazing piece of work! Even if I already found some issues (most of them seem to be known, but I’ll have to check this out more closely), most things seem to work perfectly with my documents. Even text styles, baseline grids, and layer colors are transmitted. Give me footnotes on top, and I’ll never look back … :D

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13 hours ago, Mark Oehlschlager said:

So great to hear the new Beta will be road-testing an IDML import feature.

Should we eventually expect to see an IDML export feature as well so that IDML can be a useful exchange file format?

We are expecting InDesign to implement an AFPub file import so this will be unnecessary ;) 

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I realize this is a more general question but excitedly anticipating any kind of variable font support in this beta. Any plans for that????  InDesign 2020 now supports variables and a lot of foundries are getting into this.

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What if the question to this answer would ask for a common language such as: XML?

At least for Affinity files, this idea sounds promising, for example in terms of .afpub file sizes and e.g. the way previews are stored.

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I'm not a technologist, but I'm all for common exchange file formats that free users from the tyranny of any one platform.

It seems to be less of a technological problem than it is a network effect problem. Too many users (including large institutional users) have been seduced into buying integrated Adobe solutions making them the defacto industry standard, where it is just assumed that collaborative workflows between individuals, agencies, and their clients, will be based on the exchange of proprietary Adobe file formats. That's a tough nut to crack.

Who would be in a position to enforce a common exchange file format for desktop publishing applications like Publisher, InDesign and Quark?

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Wow! The first try with the idml converter is excellent :-)) 

I tried it with a magazine (100 pages) and small jobs and it worked well.

Only the hyphenation was not correct. But a setting of „1“ in the most cases (German) solved it quickly.

So I will try it with books and start with small jobs. The printing-results will show all up.

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Congratulations to Affinity. I hadn't expected InDesign import so soon.

This is great. I've held off upgrading to macOS Catalina because my InDesign CS6 will stop working.

I've usually stored my InDesign projects as .indd files.

Now, as long as I go back and export the old .indd files to idml I'm free of the dependency on InDesign. 

The idml import isn't perfect, but I'm sure it will get better and it's a very good start for preserving access to old InDesign projects.

All I now want for Christmas is the span columns option for paragraphs.

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On 11/13/2019 at 11:00 AM, AdamW said:

The facility to add (vertical) rules / lines between columns in a multi-column text frame. The rules can be configured via the Text Frame Panel

I can't find this option... where am I missing it?

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