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ernie-f

Impossible to work professionally with Affinity Publisher

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I have a lot of book typesetting and test Affinity Publisher from time to time. I have always tried to publish a project. I have not yet been able to set a single book with Publisher.
It is simply impossible to work professionally with Affinity Publisher (neither v1. 7. 3 nor Beta v1. 8. 0. 523).


The orphan and widow settings are a joke and so not usable. Footnotes are completely missing. Book function not available.
The speed is so slow that it is unacceptable for a modern program. All in all, in my opinion the software has no sense in this way.
For a few flyers or business cards there are enough alternatives. But for book typesetting?

Serif I think this will take few years befor Publisher can be named so.

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It would be more helpful if you explained what is wrong with the widow and orphan function. Footnotes - well I understand that's on  the horizon but many designers I know that use InDesign don't use the footnote function at all and prefer to create them manually, but that's not a reason for the function not to be in Publisher. What do you want from a Book function? As for speed - I'm at a loss. Publisher is extremely fast and makes InDesign look like a snail in comparison. What computer are you using?

You say you test Publisher from time to time but it was launched less than 6 months ago at a price level less than 10% that of Indesign or Quark Express. That's not to say that we shouldn't have high expectations but we should cut our cloth etc. It took Adobe with profits in the billions and an unlimited access to programmers and developers in their budget years to get InDesign to the same level that Publisher has already achieved.

Constructive criticism is helpful, and positive. This just sounds like an InDesign fan bad mouthing another product.

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Yes, ernie-f I'd say you are right on target.

You are not just complaining, but are talking about very real issues for those of us interested in publishing books. Sadly, AF Publisher does not meet a professional standard.

I started with Quark and moved to InDesign many years ago. I've been thrilled with owning both AF Designer and AF Photo and had high expectations for AF Publisher.  I downloaded a beta version of it last year and saw it was not ready. But I bought a copy of AF Publisher a few weeks ago since I thought it would be ready for publishing primetime by now. Sadly, it's not a professional tool like Designer and Photo. Publisher is best suited for an office secretary doing flyers and, IMO, is not equal in functionality as AF Design and Photo.

I don't think the fact that that Publisher is cheap should be any excuse for it having key weaknesses, as you describe. After all, AF Designer and Photo are cheap but they are world-class professional tools.

My advice is that Affinity management tries to produce a 250-350 page book using it. One with a TOC, illustrations, footnotes, and bibliography. They would not be able to do it with any efficiency. Also, it's silly to just patch on the export module from Designer and Photo. Book creators need mobi and epub in addition to PDF, not all those legacy formats from their image software. Most are irrelevant since digital print publishing is mostly PDF-oriented these days.

I'm old enough to remember the term "kluge" as applied to computing. If something in programming didn't work, rather than redo it correctly, you would "hang a bag on it" making a technological griffin, which was a kluge. Sadly, I'm afraid that's what we have in AF Publisher at this point.

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22 hours ago, DonHz said:

My advice is that Affinity management tries to produce a 250-350 page book using it. One with a TOC, illustrations, footnotes, and bibliography. They would not be able to do it with any efficiency. Also, it's silly to just patch on the export module from Designer and Photo. Book creators need mobi and epub in addition to PDF, not all those legacy formats from their image software. Most are irrelevant since digital print publishing is mostly PDF-oriented these days.

It is my understanding that Affinity is producing the Affinity Publisher Workbook using Publisher.
So I assume they are getting firsthand experience with the issues faced by users who produce long documents such as books.
Hopefully that will accelerate the introduction of needed/required features.
My interest in APub is primarily for producing long documents, so right now I too simply cannot use it.
But I love what they are doing, I support them 100%, and I am rooting for them.
They are making progress and I expect one day APub will have everything I (we) need.

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On 1/1/2020 at 3:35 PM, DonHz said:

One with a TOC, illustrations, footnotes, and bibliography.

Many books don't have footnotes.

I'm curious what your issue is with bibliographies in the current implementation?


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1 hour ago, walt.farrell said:

Many books don't have footnotes.

Maybe less for Novels, short stories and brochures, but for any serious academic writing, thesis, technical manuals, IT or programming book and the like one have to use and needs tons of those. Further you need to reference and list a lot of other papers and writings there, aka bibliography, which overall behave in document usages in a similar fashion to footnotes/sidenotes/endnotes, through mostly usages via bibliography based {cite} references. - See for example "Quoting with BibTeX" usage or some samples etc.

 


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9 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

have to use and needs tons of those.

A book with just one footnote can mess up your week's work.


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1 minute ago, Old Bruce said:

A book with just one footnote can mess up your week's work.

Thus one need a good working and foolprove implementation for those things.

For technical writings, books and longer manuals etc. such things are mandantory. In the past basically all available word processors and DTP software had many weaknesses in this regard, so many people (students, academics, developers etc.) used LaTeX/BibTeX, or expensive professional tools like FrameMaker for such book/manual publishing purposes. - Nowadays things are better here, nearly all major word processors learned to deal (more or less in the one or other way) with the handling of such things. Though for huge technical books with a lot of footnotes/sidenotes/endnotes, cross referencing, bibliography citing and references, math formulas, image indexes etc. still not everything is really usable at all here. You have to separate the wheat from the chaff here. - And in it's initial actual state, Publisher is far away from being usable at all for such technical book writing/publishing purposes.

 


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I'm honestly super happy publisher has been released in its current state, while I have have not yet tackled the larger projects you all have with footnotes/references/math etc, to me, it has been so helpful as I was able to publish two picture books with it, create flyers, banners, and n-up some work for print. It's getting better every month, and I'm sure they will get this functionality in soon. But being able to add-in proper footnotes and such will be very helpful once I start tackling larger projects as I'm working on a game manual now. Considering how quickly they improve it, I've been very happy with the software that came out last summer. It would be nice if they did more with tables though and fixed window adjustments, for me not being able to resize elements in a window makes it hard for me to see what I'm clicking on and that's super frustrating when trying to pick out glyphs which I use a lot in my design work. I also found the table of contents pretty poor compared to google docs, but I'm grateful they are working on this software and can't wait for improvements.

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I bought Affinity Publisher just because it is occasionally helpful, but mainly to support Serif/Affinity as they continue to develop their products. However, I wish to add my voice to the cry for support for book publishing - both in paper and eBook(although Calibre can handle PDF->eBook so that's a secondary wish). But footnotes(and endnotes), bibliography with references etc is vital. For now, I'm using MS Word - and a decent Word importer would be a step forward! - or an ancient version of FrameMaker (v6), which was the best book publishing tool ever until Adobe got their hands on it and wrecked it! 

What I really would like is to use Word (or LibreOffice) for content creation then import it into Publisher for presentation. At present, I can do my cover in Publisher but everything internal has to be done in Word (or imported into FrameMaker).

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7 hours ago, alanGmedia said:

...or an ancient version of FrameMaker (v6), which was the best book publishing tool ever until Adobe got their hands on it and wrecked it! 

That coincides with my experience, FM is the main tool for technical writing and huge book publications, indeed very powerful and functionally very well thought out for book, manual and technical writing creations. In my bookshelf, no surprise, more than half of the programming and software engineering books are made with it. - Related to the Adobe take over, I believe in the past they needed some insights for how to add/build/code certain things in a working manner for InDesign, therefore they have certainly benefited from it. Shame they restrict it nowadays to be only available for the Win platform.

However, for APublisher a book project template mode would be pretty useful, so you can seperate and structure all book related parts like "title, toc, chapters, index, list of figures, bibliography etc." into separate book related files. No need to say that here then the creation of TOC, index, footnotes/sidenotes/endnotes, bibliography cite references, figure/page number counting etc. have to be handled/created across all the book project involved files.


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On 12/27/2019 at 6:47 PM, ernie-f said:

The orphan and widow settings are a joke and so not usable.

Could you expand on this? What were you expecting that doesn't happen?

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People really need to learn how to give feedback.

Because simply saying “this is wrong” hardly leads to the other part in the right direction to understand what you mean.

Best regards!


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On 1/2/2020 at 8:41 PM, LibreTraining said:

It is my understanding that Affinity is producing the Affinity Publisher Workbook using Publisher.

This is not entirely true:
a) Affinity Publisher Workbook does not exist yet, there are only Workbooks for Designer and Photo,
b) as far as I know, these workbooks were prepared using PagePlus, the original edition of Serif tools.

Anyway, Serif should have experience in designing SW for large projects/books, just take a while to transfer it to APu.


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13 minutes ago, Pšenda said:
On 1/2/2020 at 7:41 PM, LibreTraining said:

It is my understanding that Affinity is producing the Affinity Publisher Workbook using Publisher.

This is not entirely true:

Er, no it is entirely true. 

13 minutes ago, Pšenda said:

a) Affinity Publisher Workbook does not exist yet, there are only Workbooks for Designer and Photo,
b) as far as I know, these workbooks were prepared using PagePlus, the original edition of Serif tools.

These are true too, but they do not undermine the statement from Pšenda.

3 rights do not make a wrong


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Serif Europe Ltd

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Ah all right thread is moved.
Sorry, I wasn't paying attention.
So I'm back from vacation and try to answer a few questions.


1. Widows and orphans are not set correctly.
If I open the program again, it makes a completely different wrap than the one I saved the document.

To explain: I work with Windows 10 Pro on an I7 workstation, 96 GB of RAM and with a dedicated graphics card with 4GB RAM.
I own, or rather have purchased all affinity programs and keep them up to date.

After my vacation I received an inquiry from a specialized publishing house, a chronicle with approx. 2000 images and many footnotes to set.
The page count is estimated at approx. 600-800 pages.
I have made my offer, but would never have the idea to realize something like this with Affinity Publisher. It's just not possible.
The professionals among you will know which software can do such a project.

So, this is a problem which I cannot solve with AF Publisher.
Like I said, flyers and a small 16 page booklet go. But that's all.
At least not at the moment.

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20 hours ago, ernie-f said:

1. Widows and orphans are not set correctly.

Can you upload a document where they are set wrong, so we can see what is happening and fix it?

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36 minutes ago, Dave Harris said:
20 hours ago, ernie-f said:

1. Widows and orphans are not set correctly.
If I open the program again, it makes a completely different wrap than the one I saved the document.

Can you upload a document where they are set wrong, so we can see what is happening and fix it?

As they open different to the way they looked when saved, it may also be worth having a screenshot inside the file of how you wanted it (and how it looked when saved) for us to compare with how it reloads.


Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

Latest releases on each platform 

 

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12 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

As they open different to the way they looked when saved, it may also be worth having a screenshot inside the file of how you wanted it (and how it looked when saved) for us to compare with how it reloads.

A pdf of the file with it correctly formatted and another after it reflows may be better...

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On 1/1/2020 at 9:35 PM, DonHz said:

I'm old enough to remember the term "kluge"
(...) Sadly, I'm afraid that's what we have in AF Publisher

Hm? "kluge" is what language here that enables to make you frighten?


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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On 1/8/2020 at 8:26 PM, ernie-f said:

1. Widows and orphans are not set correctly.
If I open the program again, it makes a completely different wrap than the one I saved the document.

Can you specify in Test.afpub a page number your where you see such an issue? I scrolled through the first 20 pages and could not detect any affected spot.

Also it would be useful if you upload a screenshot (or PDF) of such "before – after" occurrence.


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24", Affinity in Separated Mode (documents merged)

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