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Fantomas.CZ

[549, IDML import] Layout, layers shifted etc.

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Hi, as a long time InDesign user, I'd also like to help fine-tune the importing routine, so in the attachment, you will find my test files. 

I'm preparing various liturgical booklets for a nearby Cistercian monastery. As such, I use custom made fonts, a special Gregorian chant font to draw the music, usually two layers that need to match perfectly the way they were, the layout matching exactly... To be honest, I expected worse, but still, there are couple of things that could be improved:

  • Drop Caps: especially this font (Uncialis Gothica) gets botched up quite a bit. When I enlarge it to about 120% (vertically and horizontally), the results are quite satisfactory, but still, InDesign and even LibreOffice draws it better. Please compare the two PDFs, the font file is included.
  • Columns: ID supports columns on a part of the pages, Affinity Publisher does not (see page 3). It would be nice to convert columns that are smaller than the entire page as tables or so...
  • Hyphenation: it seems that when importing from IDML, hyphenation does not work, at least not in the tables, even if it was turned on in the IDML file. However, when the tables are created anew, hyphenation works.
  • Layers: almost always they are shifted in respect to each other. In the document, you will see it, as the red lines and a drop cap on the first page are visibly shifted and mismatched.
  • Layout: some lines are slightly longer then in the original, other match beautifully. Some are just a bit longer, some even more. Here, the music lines are at their maximum length, so when the line is even a hair longer, it overflows and messes up the layout. 
  • Something very bad happened at page 7...

In attachment, you will find both PDFs, one generated by InDesign, one by Publisher, then a zip file with a complete package, INDD and IDML file along with all the fonts and images.

Thanks for having a look, thanks a lot if you fix it :) 

Have a nice day!

IDML_Export_Test_(Affinity_Publisher).pdf IDML_Export_Test_(InDesign).pdf IDML_Export_Test_Folder.zip

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Hi @Fantomas.CZ,

Thanks for the file.

Drop Caps - I can see what you mean here and have logged this, the settings are being imported correctly for dropcap lines so I'm not sure why this isn't displaying correctly.

Columns - As you state we don't support this feature, I've mentioned it to see if we can do a better job converting but this will never look ideal.

Hyphenation - Do you mind just pointing me to a good example of this?

Layers - I can see what you mean on Page 1 and have also logged this

Layout - I can see a few instances where things don't match but they will be caused by the above 2 issues from what I can see.

Page 7 -  This seems fine for me and I think this will be better in the next build,  but there is a frame with partial columns here so again it won't be correct

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Hi @Jon P,

thanks for the reply!

Drop Caps: yes, it is imported correctly, however Affinity Publisher simply doesn't display this kind of drop caps correctly... As stated before, I need to add one line and enlarge the letter by 120% to get a sort of comparable result to InDesign, when using those ornamental fonts, either Uncialis Gothica or LTC Ornamental Initials. There is something quite wrong in a way Publisher is drawing this kind of drop caps. Even LibreOffice does a better job. Could you check into this too?

Hyphenation: sorry, I forgot to include the page. You can find two pages, where this problem can be demonstrated. I have fixed it and included just two such pages. On the first one, you can see the hyphenation that doesn't work, no matter what I do. When I opened a Publisher 1.7.3 file with hyphenated text in tables, the 1.8.549 beta showed it exactly like the 1.7.3 version, so the system is configured correctly.  However here, no matter what I do, I cannot get the auto-hyphenation working... Which is a shame as the text looks ugly...

I also included another page, where the text flow is a bit different than the one used by ID, leaving quite ugly wide white spaces.

 

IDML Export Test (2) (Affinity Publisher).pdf

IDML Export Test (2) (InDesign).pdf

IDML_Export_Test_(2)_Folder.zip

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I was also going through some other of my booklets to see, which fonts are affected by the strange drawing of drop caps, and find some more stuff.

  • Affinity Designer doesn't read EMF files?
  • On page 2, the front layer with black texts and underlying layer with red staves are perfectly aligned, unlike the previous file. However the first line is rendered a bit longer than the limit set for it, which botches all the following text.
  • Page 3: just the drop cap.
  • Pages 4 and 5: Again, drop cap. Another font, however the problem remains. If I count correctly, this is 2 lines, not 3 lines in height, still, 3 lines are set. And one missing EMF link.
  • Page 6: nice music and text layout, however the lines are rendered a bit longer, so the text overflows...
  • Page 7: drop cap, otherwise everything is fine.
  • Pages 8 and 9: There are two problems: (1) the drop caps again. (2) This fonts contains a lot of special ligatures, so that I don't need to open a glyph browser all the time. One of them is +++, which translates to an ornate maltese cross, which lies in the private area of the font file. Another one is RG/, which translates to a gothic response glyph, which is located again in the private area of the font file. What is curious, that the same ligature is used in the first four lines after the title, where it works fine. And as the following image shows, the program sees the ligature, but does not draw, for some reason... This actually happened to me in the 1.7.3 version too, on a page with such ligature at the beginning of each line, about two of them simply didn't show the right glyph and I needed to delete the letters and replace them with the glyph from the glyph browser.

 1633673882_Screenshot2020-02-13.png.8acb6eaca33e624bd957d567ece686f9.png

  • Page 10. Here you can see one quite peculiar thing Publisher does in the IDML files. When making the drop caps in ID, you need to increase the number to at least 2 lines, however when you set the drop cap height just one line, it doesn't show. However, when you import such IDML with 1 line high "drop caps," Publisher goes crazy and starts drawing one line "drop caps" with a letter at the start of the line, which is especially effective when the line is centered. It would be better to simply ignore 1 line tall drop caps, like ID does.
  • Page 12: Drop cap in the LTC Ornamental Initials font is again too small, however drop caps in the Bookman BT font are completely fine. Why?
  • Page 14: The text is shifted under the image...

That's about it. Thanks and have a nice day!

Benedictio_brasseriae_-_IDML_Export_test_(3)_(Affinity_Publisher).pdf

Benedictio brasseriae - IDML Export test (3) (InDesign).pdf

Benedictio_brasseriae_-_IDML_Export_test_(3)_Folder.zip

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Hi @Fantomas.CZ,

The drop cap issue and EMF issue I've logged are still unresolved, the drop cap issue will be affecting text flow so I suspect that's the reason for some of the text overflow issues.

Regarding the hyphenation issue, do you have the correct hyphenation dictionaries installed in Publisher that is used? We use hunspell dictionaries and only install certain languages by default, we won't import a hyphenation dictionary and it seems this uses a Czech dictionary in this file which we won't have access to.

We will be making continuing improvements to idml import so even if they aren't fixed in the RC it doesn't mean we have forgotten about them

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2 hours ago, Jon P said:

Hi @Fantomas.CZ,

The drop cap issue and EMF issue I've logged are still unresolved, the drop cap issue will be affecting text flow so I suspect that's the reason for some of the text overflow issues.

Regarding the hyphenation issue, do you have the correct hyphenation dictionaries installed in Publisher that is used? We use hunspell dictionaries and only install certain languages by default, we won't import a hyphenation dictionary and it seems this uses a Czech dictionary in this file which we won't have access to.

We will be making continuing improvements to idml import so even if they aren't fixed in the RC it doesn't mean we have forgotten about them

Hi Jon P,

thanks for the reply!

  1. The drop cap issue is kind of strange. If I use normal fonts like Adobe Garamond or Minion Pro, everything works as it's supposed to. But when using those 2 sort of special fonts (Uncialis Gothica and LTC Ornamental or Goudy Initials), suddenly the drop cap is definitely NOT of the specified height. Can you at least outline the mechanism that Affinity Publisher uses to draw drop caps? It is strange that the result is different to both InDesign and LibreOffice Writer... The Uncialis Gothica font has quite substantial "overhangs" out of the basic glyph outline, so if AP scans the font and sets such size, so that the tallest glyph fits into the height specified in rows, it might show similar results, but it is definitely not a good idea, as it doesn't work with any kind of decorative and ornamental font...
  2. Hyphenation. Yes. I'm using hunspell dictionaries from LibreOffice for Czech and Latin with a special version of hyphenation dictionary (sorry, I'm at work, I cannot send the files directly as our system blocks uploads.. If needed, I can send it from home). However, on all my standard installation the hyphenation works as required, on both Mac and Windows. Just in this special case, in a IDML imported into the AP Beta/RC it does not.
  3. There is one more thing: for some reason, AP draws some lines a bit wider (or reads the text box dimensions a bit narrower), which messes up some kinds of my texts. This shows as line overflow of the music font I'm using. Do you also consider this as an issue and will improve this eventually?
  4. Most of the overflow problems are due to previous point and missing hyphenation feature...

Good. I'm sure you have enough to work on and you are swamped with IDML files of other people. So I understand that is take a while. However, if you solved those problems, it would mean much less work for me and people working on similar projects... Thanks for the work anyway!

 

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If you could send me the hyphenation dictionaries you are using I can check, although if it works in a newly created document I would expect it to work on an imported one.

Quote

There is one more thing: for some reason, AP draws some lines a bit wider (or reads the text box dimensions a bit narrower), which messes up some kinds of my texts. This shows as line overflow of the music font I'm using. Do you also consider this as an issue and will improve this eventually?

Could you just point me to a good example of this? If I compare the pages with the music on they look fairly similar, besides the text flowing a little (the red lines for spelling are in an interesting place, which I will get logged)

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27 minutes ago, Jon P said:

Could you just point me to a good example of this? If I compare the pages with the music on they look fairly similar, besides the text flowing a little (the red lines for spelling are in an interesting place, which I will get logged)

Sure. If you look at the file "IDML_Export_Test_(Affinity_Publisher).pdf 6.81 MB " from my first post, you can find it in pages 2-6 and also at page 13. It's always the first line with music that overflows, actually the last character from the music font - the gregorian custos. You can see it at the pages 2 and 3 as four short lines (the staff) colliding with the red uncial B and S. This line also always starts with a "drop cap," which is however just rendered as a normal letter, just at 40 pts or so.

I'll send the hunspell dictionaries as soon as I get home.

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1 hour ago, Fantomas.CZ said:

There is one more thing: for some reason, AP draws some lines a bit wider (or reads the text box dimensions a bit narrower), which messes up some kinds of my texts.

On this one point, it is worth understanding that the flow of the text will never match the original document exactly. InDesign and Publisher have different kinds of composers, and even if Publisher's composer is improved in the future to match some of the features of InDesign (such as paragraph composer and world ready paragraph composer), there will always be differences, and so the lines will occasionally break at different points when going from one software to the other. And of course the first time Publisher breaks at a different place than the InDesign original, then all of the subsequent will probably be affected.

If your design depends on exact flow of the text, then you can expect that you will need to tweak spacing after the import.

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12 minutes ago, garrettm30 said:

On this one point, it is worth understanding that the flow of the text will never match the original document exactly. InDesign ...

Even ID can reflow from dot and major revisions (aside if one chooses a different composer). Adobe is constantly revising the text engine so that ID can better handle the Optical kerning...but it also can/does affect the Metrics option, though not as often.

Whenever I revisit an ID project, I try to always use the same font revision (font designers are also often tweaking kerning) and use the same version of ID. Both of which are not always possible and so I expect to re-page a file/book.

Point is this is all very much expected when changing layout applications.

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1 hour ago, garrettm30 said:

On this one point, it is worth understanding that the flow of the text will never match the original document exactly.

Thanks for the reply. If I understand the system correctly, various flow composers are applied only on justified text. The notation as well as the text beneath the staves is always left aligned. In this case, the position of the text should be governed exclusively by the width of the character in the font and various kerning/tracking adjustments done in the software. Or am I wrong?

The thing is that the staves need to have constant length, otherwise it looks awful. So yes, in this case, the design depends on the exact placement of the text. But not on any kind of flow composer. BTW, except from those several cases, AP does great job in aligning those two lines of music and text.

And maybe the other text is not the problem, but the "drop cap" is (it serves as a drop cap, but is not formatted as such).

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52 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Point is this is all very much expected when changing layout applications.

Yes. Sure. However, as stated before, AP does a great job on all lines that don't contain a character in Uncialis gothica. Incidentally, this is also a font that is not rendered correctly as a drop cap. So maybe the problem is in handling of this particular font...

However, this ornamental font handling is kind of strange and I'd love to see AP doing at least the same job as LibreOffice Writer...

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13 minutes ago, Fantomas.CZ said:

If I understand the system correctly, various flow composers are applied only on justified text. The notation as well as the text beneath the staves is always left aligned. In this case, the position of the text should be governed exclusively by the width of the character in the font and various kerning/tracking adjustments done in the software. Or am I wrong?

That is a good point to bring up. Yes, justified text is quite a bit more complicated, but this issue is not just limited to justified text. The way the program computes kerning, for example, affects even left-aligned text (for example, whether the text is configured for metric kerning or optical kerning, the latter of which Publisher does not have). Also, the "Adobe Paragraph Composer" (the default setting) also affects left aligned text, versus the "Adobe Single Line Composer" (which is similar to Publisher's approach). Why should it affect non-justified text? The answer is that it makes the ragged-right margin to be less ragged. Point is that the setting causes the lines to break differently in InDesign than Publisher.

Those are just a couple examples of why even left-aligned text could come out different from InDesign to Publisher. There are probably a lot more under-the-hood issues, such as the way each program handles rounding and other layout concerns I haven't thought of.

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5 hours ago, Jon P said:

If you could send me the hyphenation dictionaries you are using I can check, although if it works in a newly created document I would expect it to work on an imported one.

Sure. So I included all the dictionary files, spelling as well as hyphenation. Hope it helps. But it works fine in normal AP files, just in the imported ones it does not...

cs_CZ.aff

cs_CZ.dic

hyph_cs_CZ.dic

hyph_la.dic

la.aff

la.dic

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