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redlik

This is not ready for pro production yet :-(

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Before I start my "rant" and people will disagree/agree I'd like to admit first - I bought all 3 apps, as well as 2 Ipad versions so I fully support and appreciate what Affinity is doing but the truth is I barely use them, unfortunately.

I hope devs read this forum and hear me out. As someone who used InDesign/Quark for the last 20 years I understand we're at version 1 and there a lot of things we didn't get yet but if the app (all 3 of them) wish to be considered as adobe killers they should at least offer similar capabilities the current version have.

I work in a busy print house but I managed to try Publisher on couple of jobs I do regularly. First one was a health magazine, A4 16 pages. It's a mixture of articles, ads, recipes etc.

I've finalised the mag but here's the list of stuff that made the job hard or sometimes impossible to finish:

  1. No PDF pass-through. The mag includes PDF ads sent by producers so importing them, even as external links caused the ads to be "opened" and fully editable. This is very dangerous as there were fonts missing, images loosing their transparencies etc. Had to convert most of them to tiff's
  2. Images with no frames by default. Some people may call in just an old habit but this is how I think layout app should deal with images. When I drop an image on a page I want to control the size of the frame and image inside independently. When one is laying out a page of a magazine you have only a space that text allows so I constantly resize, crop move image inside the frame to get that spot-on position. Publisher allows to do it but it's really clunky, and not on by default. On top of that when I switch this option and resize the outer frame the image inside scales and re-centers itself which drives me maaad! 
  3. No hand tool when inside the text frame. I hit the ALT key constantly to move around the page, while my cursor is inside the text frame (cant use space obviously). I know I can move around if I have 3-button mouse but it's not the same as standard hand tool.
  4. Changing selected text frame option makes it the default. Not sure why this is the default behaviour. It's very confusing and un-intuitive. 
  5. No scope for S&R. This is really huge omission, especially when we can use GREP. I use it all the time to clean up imported text (double spaces, returns, extra tabs, leading numbers). Without an option to limit to current frame or a selection this can really mess up your existing layout.

The second job was a technical manual, lots of tables, footers, end-notes. Here's my list of missing features:

  1. No footnotes/endnotes. I'm guessing it's coming in future versions, I mean it has to.
  2. No way to split/flow tables between pages. 
  3. Tables are separate from text-frames. I know you can anchor the table inside the text frame but then we go into issue 2 - tables won't split themselves between pages.
  4. No book feature. My manual is approx. 200 pages. It's a mixture of portrait and landscape pages so my original ID project is a book, which includes all sections. This way I can have portrait and landscape as separate indd files and join them together as one PDF, with page numbers, TOC's all synchronised. This feature is a must for any longer publication I believe. I hope it's on the feature list as well.
  5. No separation/overprint preview. This is very crucial feature for pro designers. I check the breakdown of colours on the layout all the time. 
  6. Preflight/Packaging. I think that's self explanatory

 

To make this post not just a list of complaint here's what i like about the app.

  1. Speed. This is ways ahead than current Adobe apps. Even on an older machine all 3 apps work as fast as I can work myself.
  2. Studio link. I like this feature, ability to edit images or vector files without leaving the app is great. I'm still not sure what happens to original files - do they get embedded or originals get edited. I guess I need to use it more often to figure out.
  3. The amount of pro features in v.1. Even though I've listed a lot above I'm still impressed how many features we got in the first release. I did manage to finish these complicated jobs with the current version so I'm really impressed and looking forward to future releases. I just wish the list of new features are more aligned to pro user than "Publisher on iPad" - nobody needs that.

I would love to use Publisher on as many jobs as I can, now that we have indesign import coming but when I think about the features I miss I just skip and go back to indesign, which is really a bummer.

I hope this post won't start a flame war but a good discussion how we'd like this app to go forward. I think everybody here is tired of Adobe slow apps, lack of real progress, extortionist prices for subscription and would love to drop them for Affinity apps.

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39 minutes ago, redlik said:

I hope this post won't start a flame war but a good discussion how we'd like this app to go forward.

I would say that Publisher is not ready for certain Pro jobs yet.

I used Publisher to successfully layout a few books that didn't need footnotes, etc and the result was superb.

You need to evaluate each job individually though.

I have my own list of missing features but I can't expect them to appear all at once.

I use GREP Styles and Nested Styles  a lot in inDesign and these together with User Defined Text Variables are things that I miss most in Publisher at the moment.

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1 hour ago, redlik said:

Preflight/Packaging. I think that's self explanatory

Initial versions of these two features are present in the 1.8 beta, though the "packaging" is for images and does not include fonts yet.

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1 hour ago, Seneca said:

I would say that Publisher is not ready for certain Pro jobs yet.

I used Publisher to successfully layout a few books that didn't need footnotes, etc and the result was superb.

You need to evaluate each job individually though.

I have my own list of missing features but I can't expect them to appear all at once.

I use GREP Styles and Nested Styles  a lot in inDesign and these together with User Defined Text Variables are things that I miss most in Publisher at the moment.

Completely agree. I've completed a lot of smaller jobs like flyers, posters and it was a pleasure to use the app. But these were not pro jobs in my opinion. I could easily do them in Designer, Photo or even "toy" apps such swift publisher, Word etc.

I hope we will get these "pro" features at some stage as it would be sad to see the app not sitting in my Dock open all day long.

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@redlik While I agree that there is still a lot of things missing that other software has and all the points you list are absolutely valid, I think "not ready for pro production" is a bit harsh -- I have just sent my first 92 page product catalogue to the printers and couldn't be happier. I cannot transfer all my work to Publisher yet, but for a lot of jobs (professional work) Publisher is suited.

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54 minutes ago, Jens Krebs said:

@redlik While I agree that there is still a lot of things missing that other software has and all the points you list are absolutely valid, I think "not ready for pro production" is a bit harsh -- I have just sent my first 92 page product catalogue to the printers and couldn't be happier. I cannot transfer all my work to Publisher yet, but for a lot of jobs (professional work) Publisher is suited.

I did spend a lot of time using Publisher, initially at least. I do wide variety of jobs so I wanted to really try on the whole range of different projects. The feature set we have will probably cover a lot of cases but I can see a lot of people asking for features I've mentioned. I can create 2 jobs in both InDesign and Publisher and one wouldn't tell the difference but the time spent for both will probably be 1:2 for InDesign, unfortunately. 

Not to mention the features completely missing - footnotes, data merge.

That's why I hope the devs will concentrate on pro features and not some gimmicks like the iPad version.

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Just now, redlik said:

...but the time spent for both will probably be 1:2 for InDesign...

My figures are a bit more pessimistic as regards time taken to do concurrent work in ID/QXP vs. APub. Long books, for instance (just novels, some with/without images) are more like 3-4 times as long in APub. 400+ pages of text can become a pita at this time as revisions arrive.

I do believe Serif will tighten it up, make fundamental changes to layers (and hopefully swatches), add certain features, etc., etc. It's just timing that is the issue as regards a particular shop's adoption/addition of APub.

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8 minutes ago, MikeW said:

My figures are a bit more pessimistic as regards time taken to do concurrent work in ID/QXP vs. APub. Long books, for instance (just novels, some with/without images) are more like 3-4 times as long in APub. 400+ pages of text can become a pita at this time as revisions arrive.

I wanted to be more diplomatic :-). It is a pity we can't make the jump now considering Affinity had a base built years ago and used in Designer and Photo. I guess they've released Publisher with features that were release-ready but the omission of so many obvious-pro feature is baffling.

We are the early adopters so we need to be more patient I guess...

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Just now, redlik said:

... I guess they've released Publisher with features that were release-ready but the omission of so many obvious-pro feature is baffling. ...

Not too baffling. Serif stated early on that APub would be released once it had X features to work for X number of users.

It is a 1.x release. They didn't purchase an existing company's year's worth of coding like Adobe did for ID.

So yep, patience is needed. 

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5 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Not too baffling. Serif stated early on that APub would be released once it had X features to work for X number of users.

It is a 1.x release. They didn't purchase an existing company's year's worth of coding like Adobe did for ID.

So yep, patience is needed. 

My worry is it will take too long for the Publisher to catch up. As many people I would love to switch 100% as it doesn't make sense to use 2 apps for the same job. But if I have to think everytime if the job is doable in Publisher in reasonable time and with features it has currently I will end up using inDesign 100% of the time and slowly forget I have it :-(

Good thing InDesign update progress is slowing down. The last update brought "column rules" and "SVG import" - that's it - 2 features.

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5 minutes ago, redlik said:

My worry is it will take too long for the Publisher to catch up. As many people I would love to switch 100% as it doesn't make sense to use 2 apps for the same job. But if I have to think everytime if the job is doable in Publisher in reasonable time and with features it has currently I will end up using inDesign 100% of the time and slowly forget I have it...

As a contractor, I need to regularly use 3 layout applications (QXP, ID & Viva Designer) and some days bounce between them all. I don't have the luxury of using a single application. Same goes somewhat for vector drawings, I often enough need to supply my illustrations/drawings to the customer in AI format. Which pretty much excludes using AD for all or part of the drawing process.

In short, I'll never be able to use APub 100%. And I don't know if I'll ever be able to use APub for even simple novels (I do a lot of book layout).

5 minutes ago, redlik said:

... Good thing InDesign update progress is slowing down. The last update brought "column rules" and "SVG import" - that's it - 2 features.

Yep, the 15.0.1 was a maintenance release for the most part, but the first v.15 wasn't. Important to me was the East Asian support, but there were a couple others beside those 2 you listed. However, I only rent when needed for a particular job and otherwise use CS6. At $20/month, it's pretty easy to add in the cost upon client wishes. QXP I simply keep upgrading as it is the application I use when ID is not specified, which is the majority of my work.

For me, it's not so much the lack of features that will prevent greater adoption of APub (but it is part of the reason). Rather it is the work-flow and how certain features are implemented.

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45 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Long books, for instance (just novels, some with/without images) are more like 3-4 times as long in APub.

I wonder if the slow speed on long documents is caused by the deep linking with Designer & Photo, plus all the fancy fills and graphic features. Maybe it's just a trade-off.


Windows 10 Pro, I5 3.3G PC 16G RAM

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1 minute ago, MickRose said:

I wonder if the slow speed on long documents is caused by the deep linking with Designer & Photo, plus all the fancy fills and graphic features. Maybe it's just a trade-off.

If it were some sort of trade-off on simple books of such length, it is unacceptable.

As for images, the majority of novels I do have at most a chap title image and/or a chap start facing page illustration. The rest of the content is simply text. So nothing fancy.

I'm pretty certain Serif will rectify the general lag on such books. When I see/experience that improvement, I'll revisit the concurrent layout testing.

If I'm still in business, anyway. I've been thinking of fully retiring and trying my hand at ... enjoying life in other ways. I had to find other vendors to handle client load after my open heart surgery in 2016, and now with my stroke in June of this year that has left my dominant hand a bit useless, I've pretty much pared clients down to publishers of "easy" books and jobs I largely have automated. Those jobs I automate may never be suitable for APub anyway.

Mike

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9 minutes ago, MikeW said:

As a contractor, I need to regularly use 3 layout applications (QXP, ID & Viva Designer) and some days bounce between them all. I don't have the luxury of using a single application. Same goes somewhat for vector drawings, I often enough need to supply my illustrations/drawings to the customer in AI format. Which pretty much excludes using AD for all or part of the drawing process.

In short, I'll never be able to use APub 100%. And I don't know if I'll ever be able to use APub for even simple novels (I do a lot of book layout).

Yep, the 15.0.1 was a maintenance release for the most part, but the first v.15 wasn't. Important to me was the East Asian support, but there were a couple others beside those 2 you listed. However, I only rent when needed for a particular job and otherwise use CS6. At $20/month, it's pretty easy to add in the cost upon client wishes. QXP I simply keep upgrading as it is the application I use when ID is not specified, which is the majority of my work.

For me, it's not so much the lack of features that will prevent greater adoption of APub (but it is part of the reason). Rather it is the work-flow and how certain features are implemented.

I keep a copy of Quark and MS Publisher as we get files from clients but for my own work I prefer to have one app. You have your shortcuts, palettes, workspaces so when I design it's muscle memory doing most of the job. That's why I'm disappointed Apub is not there yet.

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As long as Publisher and Photo cannot deal with 1bit bitmaps, it is useless to me for most of my print work. The latest 1.7 still converts a 1bit 1200ppi image to 8bit when exported to pdf, irregardless of the settings.

Good 1bit support is absolutely required for a variety of print jobs.

When imported, a 1200ppi 1bit image looks fine in Publisher. Switching to Photo results in the image being down-sampled to a 300ppi anti-aliased version in the view. Any edit in Photo will return a 300ppi greyscale image to Publisher!!!

Imagine that: import a 1bit print resolution tiff in Publisher. Then the user decides to remove a scan stain, or something in Photo. Result: the image is reduced, without asking, to a 300ppi greyscale version, which will print at low resolution and with fuzzy edges. And because the user worked zoomed out, they did not notice and generate a pdf for printing.

Now imagine the client's reaction.

It staggers the mind to realize that the Affinity devs have stated they will never support 1bit images in Photo. As for Publisher support: it is all up in the air. I have not yet tested the 1.8 beta. Will do this today.

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7 hours ago, MikeW said:

my open heart surgery in 2016, and now with my stroke in June of this year that has left my dominant hand a bit useless

Sorry to hear that Mike.

I hope that in time you'll be able to fully recover from that.

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2 hours ago, loukash said:

WHAT?!

We may be in the minority nowadays, but I definitely do work with 1-bit images every now and then.

Yep.

However, without the ability to set different dpi in say pdf export using Affinity applications as per other applications pretty much negates 1-bit image support. 1-bit images need to be 1200 dpi or higher while other formats would typically be exported to pdf at say 300 dpi. Not being able to make pdfs with different dpi for color, grayscale and 1-bit images is just as much of a bummer.

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4 hours ago, MikeW said:

Yep.

However, without the ability to set different dpi in say pdf export using Affinity applications as per other applications pretty much negates 1-bit image support. 1-bit images need to be 1200 dpi or higher while other formats would typically be exported to pdf at say 300 dpi. Not being able to make pdfs with different dpi for color, grayscale and 1-bit images is just as much of a bummer.

No support for 1-bit files is another argument this app isn't or even won't be ready to replace pro apps like ID or Quark. 

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16 hours ago, MikeW said:

If I'm still in business, anyway. I've been thinking of fully retiring and trying my hand at ... enjoying life in other ways. I had to find other vendors to handle client load after my open heart surgery in 2016, and now with my stroke in June of this year that has left my dominant hand a bit useless, I've pretty much pared clients down to publishers of "easy" books and jobs I largely have automated. Those jobs I automate may never be suitable for APub anyway.

Fair play to you for still working after stuff like that. Mighty man!

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19 hours ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

It staggers the mind to realize that the Affinity devs have stated they will never support 1bit images in Photo. As for Publisher support:....

This second bit of Medical Officer Bones paragraph is important. 1-bit DOCUMENT support (in Photo) is not the same as Publisher never supporting the placement and export of 1-bit images. Some of you may want both some may be able to deal with just the placement of these images for export.


Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

Latest releases on each platform 

 

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2 hours ago, Patrick Connor said:

This second bit of Medical Officer Bones paragraph is important. 1-bit DOCUMENT support (in Photo) is not the same as Publisher never supporting the placement and export of 1-bit images. Some of you may want both some may be able to deal with just the placement of these images for export.

Just the placement without being able to place, and export, a 1200 dpi 1-bit image at that doing while exporting color images at 300 dpi would be pointless.

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On 12/18/2019 at 2:17 PM, MikeW said:

Just the placement without being able to place, and export, a 1200 dpi 1-bit image at that doing while exporting color images at 300 dpi would be pointless

Obviously I also think this would be an important improvement


Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

Latest releases on each platform 

 

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Wanting to add the importance of RTL feature which I think should have been added from the beginning and I guess brings to the title of this topic. While I appreciate this is not as simple as it sounds, it currently renders APUB useless for a project which requires the use of Farsi/Arabic text. As a result had to go back to the former foe (Adobe ID) and make peace with it. 

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21 hours ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

Any edit in Photo will return a 300ppi greyscale image to Publisher!!!

Wouldn't this be controlled by the document resolution setting?  I would expect the image layer to rasterize to a pixel layer at the resolution specified for the document.  If that is defaulting to 300 dpi, then you would get a 300 dpi pixel layer.

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