Jump to content

Recommended Posts

(This appears to be the feature-requests forum, but I've been wrong before. If I picked the wrong location please advise.)

I would surely appreciate improvements to the Edit Text Style dialog, which could be made easier on the end-user.

Dropdown menu for selecting styles
Please consider adding a drop-down menu to this dialog's first panel (the one named, simply, "Style"). Purpose: select some other style for editing. It would be useful having the option to filter the display: all styles, versus paragraph styles only, versus character styles only, versus only styles presently used in the document.

UI Font size   : -)
Text throughout Affinity Publisher's UI is small enough to make things, well, a bit hard on some of us. I'm glad I don't use a 4K monitor — if I did the UI would be so hard to read that I would probably not have purchased the program after using the trial version. Even on this laptop with its relatively small monitor, there is plenty of "screen real estate" to expand a dialog like Edit Text Style if a larger UI font were used.

I've noticed that Publisher's Mac version has a way via Preferences to adjust the fonts in the UI. Not so the Windows version. So Windows version users are stuck with the small UI fonts, as-is. (I do already have fonts somewhat enlarged via Windows' own control panel. But enlarging them further using that control will not likely give good results.)

Display of specific style information
Describing all kinds of data—font, size, color (etc.)—simply as "No change" says nothing about the actual style data. This is unlike the style information displays in word processors or page composition programs I've used in the past. Even in the first ("Style") panel of the dialog, the summary information at the bottom of the dialog (in the "Style Settings" field) includes the actual typeface name only if you are editing "Base." In short: Understanding fully what's in a style has been made unnecessarily difficult. Please consider ways of improving this.

Copying style data to the clipboard
I'd hoped I could copy the information from the dialog's "Style Settings" field to the clipboard so that I could examine the style information using a more readable typeface, in a text editor or word processor. Each item in the field ends with a semicolon. So, I figured I could replace each semicolon with "newline"—voilà, more readable text.

But the information within this field cannot be selected or highlighted (let alone copied). Please either add a "Copy" [to clipboard] button for the field, or at least make the text in it selectable with the mouse (or all of it selected at once by clicking in the field and pressing Control+A) so that the user himself can copy it to the clipboard and paste it somewhere else.

Thanks.

 


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/17/2020 at 2:21 PM, jjk said:

Particularly  Display of specific style information

I've since realized that the "[No change]" display has a purpose I didn't know about before. I'm not 100% sure of this, but I think if you set a character style to "No change" for typeface and point size, applying it causes it to affect only the formatting you've assigned to it — excepting the underlying paragraph's point size and typeface. This is certainly useful in a number of situations. (But this whole text-formatting business is complicated in Publisher and I've been wrong before.)

As for the point size of text in the UI: Someone at Serif wrote to me when I emailed them about this. He suggested using Windows' own controls for enlarging fonts on-screen. I replied that this had worked out very badly under Windows 7 but then I tried it on Windows 10 and the results were a lot better. So perhaps I can use Windows itself to enlarge fonts to, say, 150% of normal size, and get a bit of relief from eye strain that way.


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, MikeA said:

I think if you set a character style to "No change" for typeface and point size, applying it causes it to affect only the formatting you've assigned to it — excepting the underlying paragraph's point size and typeface.

I think so. For me, it is the reason to be of "No change".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MikeA and @jjk I agree about the [No Change]. Makes me smile when I think how No Change is actually very powerful. 


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.8.3 | Affinity Photo 1.8.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.3 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.8.3.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.8.3.180 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.8.3.651

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure it is powerful. The trick is figuring out just how to use it (versus mis-use it).


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me: I think if you set a character style to "No change" for typeface and point size, applying it causes it to affect only the formatting you've assigned to it — excepting the underlying paragraph's point size and typeface.

11 hours ago, jjk said:

I think so. For me, it is the reason to be of "No change".

But I'm wrong about this at least some of the time. I just tried it with a character style — editing it to change its typeface setting to "No change" — but within the Publisher document that passage of text did not update to reflect the underlying typeface of the paragraph where the character-style text is located.

No idea why. Back to square one, I guess. This is all quite weird.


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, MikeA said:

I just tried it with a character style — editing it to change its typeface setting to "No change" — but within the Publisher document that passage of text did not update to reflect the underlying typeface of the paragraph where the character-style text is located.

I just tried this and it works as expected. I did:

  1. Assign all paragraphs a newly created paragraph style that only changes the font.
  2. Assign a couple of words in the middle of a paragraph a new character style that changes the colour and sets a different font family > font colour and font family look different than the whole text.
  3. Go back in the character style (Edit character style) and set font to 'No change' > the font immediately looks the same as the whole text but the colour is different (because I did not change that).

What might be different with your setup?

d.


Affinity Designer 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.4.650)   |   Affinity Photo 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.4.650)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.4.651)
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.8.2   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.2

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, dominik said:

Go back in the character style (Edit character style) and set font to 'No change' > the font immediately looks the same as the whole text but the colour is different (because I did not change that).

Thanks for your reply. Starting with a new document containing boilerplate text (rather than a .docx file I'd placed into the document) I just followed the steps in your comment and got the result you've described.

In the situation where it didn't work, I wasn't making note of the specific steps. I was doing a lot of editing of both paragraph and character styles in a not-very-organized way. I wish I'd written down what I'd been doing. Whatever it was I ran afoul of, I don't know now what it was. But something was surely amiss that time. I suspect there was some complication due to the way the styles were created in the original .docx file.


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MikeA said:

I suspect there was some complication due to the way the styles were created in the original .docx file.

This is most likely the case. Some around here have the habit of resetting the whole text that was imported from external wordprocessors and start completely new. Long grown Word documents can carry a lot with them :)

d.


Affinity Designer 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.4.650)   |   Affinity Photo 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.4.650)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.8.2.620 (beta 1.8.4.651)
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.8.2   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.2

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the [no change] setting is different in Affinity than InDesign (what I came from and still use to an extent), and it took me a while to get used to. I don't think it is bad, but it did require me to think about styles a little differently.

To me, the [no change] setting makes perfect sense in styles that are based on other styles. It would mean that when you apply the child style, each attribute set to [no change] is given the value inherited from the parent style.

The confusion for me involved [no change] settings in the style at the top of the hierarchy. InDesign still applied some change even there, some default format presumably coming from its [Basic Paragraph] style. I never messed with the [Basic Paragraph] style on the basis of recommendations such as the one here. But in Affinity apps, every attribute that is [no change] in the style definition is undefined, and when applied to text, that attribute is left unchanged. I think that could be powerful, but it helps to know that is what is happening.

My preference is to be in control of everything, so in Publisher I define a base style with basically everything explicitly defined, and I will tune that base style to the needs of the given document. Then all of my other styles are children or descendants of that base style. That way, "You know what they say when you assume things…" is not a problem when it comes to style definition.

2 hours ago, dominik said:

Some around here have the habit of resetting the whole text that was imported from external wordprocessors and start completely new.

Yep. I'm one of those. My thought is let the author do what he does best, and leave the format to the layout artist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, garrettm30 said:

My preference is to be in control of everything, so in Publisher I define a base style with basically everything explicitly defined, and I will tune that base style to the needs of the given document. Then all of my other styles are children or descendants of that base style.

Which is the way the default text styles are setup in Publisher.  There's Base, and everything inherits either directly from Base, or indirectly from something that inherits from Base.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1909 (183623.476),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.651 Beta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, garrettm30 said:

My preference is to be in control of everything, so in Publisher I define a base style with basically everything explicitly defined, and I will tune that base style to the needs of the given document.

Do you typically give it a name other than "Base"? If so, is that new base style derived from some other, such as "Base" itself?


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, MikeA said:

Do you typically give it a name other than "Base"? If so, is that new base style derived from some other, such as "Base" itself?

I can't speak for @garrettm30 but the way I work is to make a Group Style called Base and that Base style is based on [No Style]. Base defines Font Family, size, leading, indents, alignment, text colour, ligature use, and on and on. Everything I think the Basic Normal Bulk paragraph needs, then I make a Paragraph Style based on that and change nothing.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.8.3 | Affinity Photo 1.8.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.3 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.8.3.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.8.3.180 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.8.3.651

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have yet to understand how Group styles differ from a single style used for "based-on" purposes. I wondered on first reading about them if they're analogous, at least vaguely, to using a <div> tag in HTML. But then a basic style, containing all of the attributes you mention in the preceding comment, could also be used in the same way (as opposed to using it for "group" purposes)...yes?

 


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I frequently have several styles, both Paragraph and Character, based on Base (group) and I will suddenly realize that I have the wrong typeface chosen. Now there would be no difference if Base (group) were in fact Base (paragraph) in that situation. But I find it at times easier to work with settings like font family for a whole set of settings in one group style.

I spend a fair amount of time thinking about what the various settings will be for paragraphs. Things I worry about are First Line Indents, Indents in general, Widows and Orphans, Flow options, Keep with next, Justification. Add in things like Drop Cap and Initial Words needing their own Character Styles (or not, your mileage may vary) and I just find having all the font settings being in one place more workable. Then I can change indents in the one style that needs that change and that change happens only in that style.

I will have a separate group style for Headings and do the same thing. At times I will use a group style for Callouts and/or Captions but generally don't.

To sum up, I have several Styles which will have very few settings made in them because the bulk of the work designing how the paragraph looks is done in the group style. Everything is inherited from the Group.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.8.3 | Affinity Photo 1.8.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.3 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.8.3.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.8.3.180 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.8.3.651

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Old Bruce — Thanks for that. As I read it I'm still wondering: How does the Group system you use — for paragraph styling, let's say — differ from simply having a named paragraph style that is the "based on" style for other paragraphs of its type?

The group-styles approach must have an advantage that a mere "based-on" arrangement lacks, but I haven't yet seen what the advantage is. Does using a Group style lead to a more logical, "more readable" appearance for the styles within the Text Styles panel? In other words, does using a Group simply make it much easier to see the hierarchies and inheritances? (That by itself could be pretty valuable.)


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, MikeA said:

Does using a Group style lead to a more logical, "more readable" appearance for the styles within the Text Styles panel? In other words, does using a Group simply make it much easier to see the hierarchies and inheritances? (That by itself could be pretty valuable.)

Yes.

I guess the way I use a group is to control the paragraphs which will be very similar. Think of a newspaper, we have Stories, Headlines and Captions. The different sections, News, Sports, Finance, Entertainment, etc., would have different Styles and I would set up different Groups for them simply to keep the Sports formats away from the Finance formats. For a simple book (a work of fiction)  I would use Group Styles to make changes to the font family easier to manage, different font family means different number of pages which equals more or less paper costs. Using a different font for one article in a magazine means the story fits the space, or simply alters the colour of the page design. One Magazine with two dozen stories and the two dozen Groups may seem to be overkill but it is easier to manage.

What it comes down to for me is that I like it. I plan on using groups whenever I may need to make changes to font choice, leading, or even justification at a later date.

10 hours ago, MikeA said:

As I read it I'm still wondering: How does the Group system you use ... differ from simply having a named paragraph style that is the "based on" style for other paragraphs of its type?

The only real and immediate advantage I have seen is that using Group styles means I cannot inadvertently apply a Group Style which could happen If I used Paragraph Style to base things on resulting in the 'wrong' style being applied. I do admit that it is quite a minor advantage.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.8.3 | Affinity Photo 1.8.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.3 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.8.3.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.8.3.180 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.8.3.651

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Experimenting with this last night, I found that some sequence of parameter-setting managed to divorce a child style from its parent (group) style. Afterward, altering the group style did not update the child style. I assume this means: Once you've manually altered the child style, altering the parent will not make a change across-the-board within the child style unless you reset the particular setting to "no change."

>> The only real and immediate advantage I have seen is that using Group styles means I cannot inadvertently apply a Group Style which could happen If I used Paragraph Style to base things on resulting in the 'wrong' style being applied. I do admit that it is quite a minor advantage.

I'm not sure I'd consider it minor. There are so many things that can go haywire in a large project. Anything that reduces the possibility of an error—especially considering how complicated the style inter-relationships can be in Publisher—strikes me as worthwhile.


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, MikeA said:

Experimenting with this last night, I found that some sequence of parameter-setting managed to divorce a child style from its parent (group) style. Afterward, altering the group style did not update the child style. I assume this means: Once you've manually altered the child style, altering the parent will not make a change across-the-board within the child style unless you reset the particular setting to "no change."

That's exactly how I would expect it to work.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1909 (183623.476),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.651 Beta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/3/2020 at 4:23 PM, MikeA said:

Do you typically give it a name other than "Base"? If so, is that new base style derived from some other, such as "Base" itself?

 

On 4/4/2020 at 9:55 AM, Old Bruce said:

I can't speak for @garrettm30 

…but Old Bruce did a pretty good job explaining my approach. To specifically answer the question, I neither give it a name other than "Base" nor start from the included "Base." The default styles that Serif includes are just examples, which you can use, change or delete at will. They are especially useful to help one see how styles work when learning Affinity. For my part, I have deleted all the included styles for my document default, and I have created my own group style named "Base," which will vary slightly depending on the document (or usually by template).

About the question of whether to base it on some other style, I do not do that for the style that I call "Base." Whatever one chooses to name his styles in the the style hierarchy, at the top of the hierarchy there has to be a style that is not based on any other style. "Base" is simply the name I choose to use for the top level hierarchy, or perhaps "Base 1" or similar when I need more than one top level style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just starting with Affinity Publisher AP and find the text style system really complex to get my head around taking around 80% of my project time. I mainly work in web design and use style sheets CSS to control the design, I did expect AP styles to work in a similar way. If there is a suggestion system to vote for improvements, I would add that as this as the most important. I keep deleting and restarted a project to see if I can get the styles to work in a similar way to html but it is a very different animal. I am sure most designers understand CSS so if it was more like standard CSS we would quickly get to grips with AP styles.

My 2 cents 🙂

It appears you can import a style file so possibly a good starting file would be useful if the text works in a similar way to html.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MikeBWD said:

Just starting with Affinity Publisher AP and find the text style system really complex to get my head around taking around 80% of my project time

Also new to Affinity Publisher and it has taken quite a bit of testing to understand what's going on with the text styles. Not that I understand what's going on with the text styles yet. :- )

At least one comment indicated it might not be a good idea to start completely from scratch with the styles, but that was my first inclination. When something appears overly complicated: Can it be made simpler? So lately I've been seeing what would happen if I start by telling Publisher to delete ALL unused styles — before I've added any text to the document. If I'm creating new styles from scratch, then it's up to me alone to figure out the relationships among them. If I'm placing a .docx file into the Publisher file, starting from "zero" might give me a fighting chance — figuring out how Publisher interprets the incoming document's styles and their relationships (which adds a new variable to something that already has a lot of them to begin with). It might be that I'll prefer something like this for the workflow:

•  Create a set of basic styles that work for me. This will take a while.
•  Export them to a file.
•  On starting a new document that can use such styles:
» Before adding any text, tell Publisher to remove ALL unused styles in the .afpub document.
» Now import the previously-saved styles

Maybe it'll be useful, maybe not. Haven't tried it yet. It might be very effective for formatting, say, computer documentation, which I always tend to format much the same. It won't likely be useful in "one-offs".


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@MikeBWD

Ah yes, I too suppose I would prefer a CSS approach. I imagine that rather than typing out the attributes as in CSS, you would still have a UI for the text style settings, because otherwise it would not be accessible. But the general approach with how powerful selectors and inheritance are in CSS just does not have a parallel in text styles for the various layout programs.

I am sorry to say, however, that I very much doubt anything like it will ever come to Affinity. One of the big differences is that each paragraph can only have one paragraph style, and each paragraph style has only one parent (or none). Likewise, every character can only have one character style. There is nothing like the concept of giving a single element multiple classes.

Another fundamental difference is that HTML is very hierarchical, so that child elements and parent elements are a major part of the process. That's not the case with text in a single story; not nearly to the same degree anyway, so some hierarchical selectors like 

article div#entry-content > p.class_name

would not be of the use they are in CSS.

For the most part, you have to think in a different way when it comes to layout. You get one paragraph style per paragraph, and one character style per character. You can still organize your styles in a somewhat hierarchical fashion. For example, define a group style called "base" that sets all the common values, maybe like you might use the * selector at the top of your stylesheet for a clean starting point. And then think in broad groups, like Body for all body text styles, and Headings for heading text styles. Those broad groups would be based on the "Base" style, and then you would have other styles that would be based on those groups. For example, "Block Quote" might be based on "Body Text," and almost all of the attributes would be set to [no change] except perhaps paragraph spacing settings.

It is harder with the character styles. If you want to define an an italic style and an underline style, and then somewhere you want to have a bit of text take both of those on, you have to have a third style that is based on one of the other styles. For example, you would have to make a "underline italic" style that is based on italic and then repeat the settings of the separate underline style. You can't have a style based on two other styles. It's not ideal, but I don't know what could be done to improve it in this context.

Edited by garrettm30
@ mention added for clarity; as another post appeared right before mine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, MikeA said:

Now import the previously-saved styles

Note that one of your options in the Text Styles panel, in addition to deleting unused styles, is to make your current set of styles the default for future documents.

That way you won't have to import them each time.

However, this may only be useful when you're composing a new document from scratch. If you're importing a .docx or .idml file you have no choice about getting whatever style garbage they bring along.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1909 (183623.476),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.650 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.3.641 and 1.8.4.651 Beta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please note the Annual Company Closure section in the Terms of Use. These are the Terms of Use you will be asked to agree to if you join the forum. | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.