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Can Affinity Designer Link Documents? And, do so in real time?


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Suppose I have 2 documents: document1 and document2:

I place document1 into document2. As I place it, may I choose to link document1 into document2 instead of embed it (which occurs by default)? If so, may I edit document1 independent of document2 so that the changes may be observed in document2 in real time? (The same way they would if I were editing changes to an embedded copy of document1, but instead so that the changes are actually occurring to the real document1.)

If so, I should be able to use document1 as a or multi-document or application level symbol from which I can link it into other documents so that if I make a change to document1, all documents containing it as a linked object will reflect the change (in real time as well).

Is this currently possible?

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Welcome to the forums.
This sounds like it might be possible but it would probably depend on various things, such as:
* which Application(s) you’re using (and on which OS);
* what sort of document you are putting the other document into;
* what sort of documents you are putting into it;
* and maybe other things.
Can you give a specific example of what you are trying to do please?

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Assuming you mean Affinity documents (APhoto, Designer, Publisher) rather than JPGs / PNGs etc, then you will need the 1.8 beta

It won't work with the current 1.7 release

(If I understand you correctly) 

To save time I am currently using an automated AI to reply to some posts on this forum. If any of "my" posts are wrong or appear to be total b*ll*cks they are the ones generated by the AI. If correct they were probably mine. I apologise for any mistakes made by my AI - I'm sure it will improve with time.

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The question seems to be about Affinity Designer, and only Publisher is intended to be able to use Linked documents.

There are at least two bugs which will allow you to end up with Linked documents using Designer in 1.7, but they are both (I think) fixed in 1.8. That restores the intended behavior that Designer will make Embedded documents instead. In 1.8 it would be necessary, as far as I know, to use Publisher to get Linked documents.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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Hi LJM,

Welcome to the forums :)

2 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

There are at least two bugs which will allow you to end up with Linked documents using Designer in 1.7, but they are both (I think) fixed in 1.8. That restores the intended behavior that Designer will make Embedded documents instead. In 1.8 it would be necessary, as far as I know, to use Publisher to get Linked documents.

The above is correct, there are a few bugs currently which allow you to add linked documents into Designer but this was unintentional and have been removed for version 1.8.

Unfortunately this means that Affinity Designer only supports Embedded Documents, and you will require Publisher for true Linked documents - where you can also use StudioLink to switch to the Designer Persona.

You can try a free 10 day trial of Publisher from the following link - https://affinity.serif.com/publisher/trial

I hope this helps!

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6 hours ago, GarryP said:

Welcome to the forums.
This sounds like it might be possible but it would probably depend on various things, such as:
* which Application(s) you’re using (and on which OS);
* what sort of document you are putting the other document into;
* what sort of documents you are putting into it;
* and maybe other things.
Can you give a specific example of what you are trying to do please?

To clarify, I would want to link (not embed) Affinity Designer documents into other Affinity Designer documents in nearly the same way that embedded documents currently work. The only difference would be that whenever the original document (to which the link refers) is edited (whether by double clicking it as a linked document or otherwise independently navigating to the original), all documents that contain links to it all get updated in real time. For example, suppose I create a logo in document1 to be used in a variety of subsequent branding and UI work. After the creation of the logo document called, document1, other collaborative team members work on Affinity designer documents2–9 to create branding and UI work that must contain logo I created in document1. If document1 is saved onto a server from which documents2–9 can reference, then it would be great of the other team members could link instead of embed document1 into each of their documents. Therefore, when I make changes to document1, the changes will be seen in documents2–9 live (or as soon as they are opened after the changes). 

It seems that (based on the responses from the other users) the only way this is possible now is to use Affinity Publisher for all documents that will contain links to other documents.

I would like this feature to be natively supported in the rest of the Affinity apps since, for the workflow described, I do not currently require any other features in Affinity Publisher. Therefore, it would seem inefficient to have to use an entirely separate app just to link to Affinity Designer documents.

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1 hour ago, LJM said:

Therefore, it would seem inefficient to have to use an entirely separate app just to link to Affinity Designer documents.

In my experience it is not inefficient, because when you have both Publisher and Designer you can use the capabilities of both the Publisher and the Designer Persona from Designer within the one application, Publisher. You only need to use both applications if you need the Pixel Persona of Designer, or the Export Persona of Designer. If you do need those other Personas from Designer, you can easily switch back and forth between Publisher and the full Designer application by using File > Edit in Designer (from Publisher) or File > Edit in Publisher (from Designer).

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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10 hours ago, LJM said:

Would anyone be interested in the ability to link Affinity files within all Affinity applications as I have described? I think it would make for a useful request.

Feel free to add a Feature Request to the Feedback for the Affinity Suite of Products forum or to concur with an existing one if you find one there (or if you find one in the corresponding forums for Designer or Photo).

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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I dragged a number of PSD and afphoto files into Affinity Designer, got lots of "embedded documents" but no linked that I could see... yet this appeared when I opened the file today:

image.png.0da07c66a72b05f33c988fd2c627e5fb.png

I'm guessing this is part of what will be fixed in the next version?

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17 minutes ago, eobet said:

I dragged a number of PSD and afphoto files into Affinity Designer, got lots of "embedded documents" but no linked that I could see... yet this appeared when I opened the file today:

image.png.0da07c66a72b05f33c988fd2c627e5fb.png

I'm guessing this is part of what will be fixed in the next version?

When you created that document, what Preset did you choose in the New Document dialog? One of the bugs was that if you choose "Print (Press-Ready)" then Designer defaults to Linking documents instead of embedding them.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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6 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

When you created that document, what Preset did you choose in the New Document dialog? One of the bugs was that if you choose "Print (Press-Ready)" then Designer defaults to Linking documents instead of embedding them.

Print (Press-Ready) creates linked documents but you still get that message with any preset

To save time I am currently using an automated AI to reply to some posts on this forum. If any of "my" posts are wrong or appear to be total b*ll*cks they are the ones generated by the AI. If correct they were probably mine. I apologise for any mistakes made by my AI - I'm sure it will improve with time.

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