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Earlio

Files Not Opening On Mac Due to Preferences

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I have been extremely frustrated (once again) with Affinity Photo on my Mac.

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) - 2.9GHz Quad Core - 16Gb Memory

I can open files (in this case jpg) but also suffer same issue on tiffs, raw and afphoto files.  I open a file (or number of files), and all goes well, I then try to open another image from the same folder, and get a permissions error (you do not have permission to open this file).  Whatever method I use, the file will not load.  I have tried changing the permissions in the info panel, but to no avail.  The only way to get the files to open is to quit Affinity Photo and restart, then all is well.  It is a pain and disturbs my workflow.

I have checked to see if other users are experiencing similar issues, but could not find any further information on this issue.

I have been through the Apple procedures to fix permissions issues,  but it persists (Recovery & Repair Home Folder and re-install Catalina) but have not solved this issue thus far.  It does not happen with any other app on my Mac.

I am hoping for some help.

I have attached a short screen capture which displays the issue.

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Couldn't play those videos in a viewable manner, but from the panels shown bottom file path these look to be synced Dropbox folders. Thus I assume the images are accessed over a remote connection which seems to fail for Affinity and makes problems. - You can try to use/work with those images from your local file system (harddrive) instead of accessing them over a remote connection. When you use them on your local file system it should usually work.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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Hi v_kyr,

Thank you for your response.

The videos are the same video - uploaded twice!  Odd, as the Forum uploader showed the first upload had failed, but that is a matter fo another day. The videos were made with the screenshot on the Mac, so I am a little unsure as to why you cannot view - I can view the uploaded videos without issue.

The issue persists wherever the files are stored.  The example in the video shows a Dropbox file, but the issue is the same for the desktop. I have not experienced any difficulty with Dropbox.

This occurs with files on the hard drive, Downloads folder and desktop.  In fact the issue is not confined to this, often happens when working on an image, loaded from Raw or straight into the Photo Persona.  When downloading from Unsplash, for instance, the Preferences issue is always present.  Further sometimes when working on an image, often the file will not save, and I have to quit Affinity Photo (sometimes Force Quit through Activity Monitor), and reopen so that the work done is not lost.  I have set the Autosave in preferences to every 30 seconds, in order to ensure that I lose as little of the prior work as possible, it is very frustrating.

 

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Are you using a Standard account or an Administrator account (System Preferences/Users & Groups... the current user will be highlighted in the left-hand column with a "Standard" or "Admin" designation)?

For security, I've set up both Admin and Standard accounts on my Mac, but usually only use the Standard account. Running under a Standard account will, rarely, give me weird permission problems (although no problems with Affinty apps so far). If you're running under a Standard account, you might want to try setting up an Admin account to see if the problem persists.


iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2019)| MacOS (Probably latest stable build)

Affinity Designer|Affinity Photo|Affinity Publisher

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Hi appearsharmless,

Thank you for the response.

I use an Administrator account.

I have set up another Administrator account to test in Users & Groups, and the issue persists when running under the new Administrator credentials, I have discussed with AppleCare and on their advice went through the whole restart in Recovery Mode,  Repair the  Home Folder and reinstall Catalina process - but all to no avail.

I am an experienced Mac user since 2009, and have quite a lot of experience in dealing with issues on the Mac - I would guess many of stiill remember when the slogan for Apple products was  "It Just Works".B|

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19 minutes ago, Earlio said:

I am an experienced Mac user since 2009, and have quite a lot of experience in dealing with issues on the Mac - I would guess many of stiill remember when the slogan for Apple products was  "It Just Works".B|

Those were the days, actually now that I think about it, lots of problems back then too.

I can't view the videos, neither of the two uploads will play for more than a second at a time.

You have a tonne of items running with which I am not familiar. Perhaps one or more of them is interfering with the ability of Affinity Photo to get the file.

2123384758_ScreenShot2020-05-13at10_20_29AM.thumb.png.f230b5e2b5a04541b6067a6587bd14fa.png

All you need is one of the many folders in your file path to have different permissions set (and it may have set all the contents to those same permissions) to mess things up for you.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.6

Affinity Designer 1.8.4 | Affinity Photo 1.8.4 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.4 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.9.0.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.9.0.199 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.9.0.742

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Hi Old Bruce,

Thank you for the tip. Apologies for the tardy reply, but I am sure that you will see why...

The apps running in the background are (from L to R):

  • iStat Menus Background System Monitor)
  • Little Snitch (Internet Monitor)
  • Memory Clean
  • WiFi (Apple)
  • Nord VPN
  • 1Password
  • Date & Time (Apple)
  • BusyCal (Calendar App)
  • RSS Reader
  • Magnet (Window Manager)
  • Watts (Battery Life Manager)
  • Caffein (Display Controller)
  • Shortcut Bar (Application Opener)
  • Copy Clip (Clip Manager)
  • Rest of Menu Bar - Standard Apple Items (Airplay, Spotlight, HD Name, Time Machine, Notifications)

I agree there were issues with Macs from the beginning, however, I guess that now Macs are so popular, and the sheer number of apps and processes, Apple have started to run into the same issues as Windows.  I remember when Mac were free from malicious attacks, Ransomware, malware and viruses - no longer the case.  I think that some of the issues with Windows (one of the major reasons I switched to Macs, along with the easy integration with my iPhones) were mitigated by Apple choosing to use a Sandboxed system.

I also have another apps running in the background (Anti-Virus) and I also disabled that (just in case). I checked Activity Monitor for anything else running in the background, but nothing but standard Apple processes.

I took your advice and (in my spare Administrator Account) worked through these - carefully checking Activity Monitor for running processes each time - as follows.

Initially tried with none of the apps running after restart. Issue persists.

I then tried each app separately, each time trying to open an image downloaded from Unsplash. I did a restart every time, preventing the apps auto-opening at Start. Issue persists.

So, it would appear that this is not the issue.  But as usual with debugging, it is a matter of eliminating the possibilities and coming up with a solution. This takes long time, but I am committed to getting to the bottom of the issue.

Overnight, I intend to try again with the Recovery & Repair Home Folder and re-install Catalina, as there is also the possibility that either I missed a step in the process, or it simply did not work, for some other reason, the first time.  I will update tomorrow.

With regard to the video, it appear that I, unthinkingly, uploaded these in a Movie (.mov) format.  I have now converted to mp4, and reloaded below.  I have tried to delete the previously loaded .mov files, but had no luck with that.

Regards,

 

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So here is what is most frustration, load a Raw image, develop and work on the image - in this case, fortunately not too much work to do - but this also happens with composited images on which a lot of work has been done.

Try to save the image, and the issue with regard to preferences returns.  If I quit without saving, I lose the work.  If I Force Quit, then sometimes the the file is autosaved, and sometimes as in this example, it is not recoverable.

Once Affinity Photo is restarted the file loads as a Raw file again, and I can work on the file, and save it.

Although this issue is intermittent, it happens regularly enough to be a real issue, when sometimes hours of work is lost.  I have tried mitigating this by saving the file as a .afphoto file after the developing the Raw file, but even then the issue raises its head again, and I cannot save the work done since the save.  

On 5/13/2020 at 4:01 PM, Earlio said:

I have set the Autosave in preferences to every 30 seconds, in order to ensure that I lose as little of the prior work as possible, it is very frustrating.

 

 

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You clearly have a permission issue.

To keep things simple I would restrict sorting it out to the local drive (it can be extended to cloud storage if it works locally).

Just a hypothesis by watching the Videos (Play fine for me, on my iPad): To me it seems that the permission issue may be routed in Affinity. Once you open a file in Affinity, it take possession. When you try to save, it lacks the permission to write to the location.

Have you tried to uninstall Affinity, using AppCleaner to really get rid of everything it installed, and start from scratch with a fresh install ? Maybe uninstall all Affinity apps, since they probably share modules.

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Hi Blende21,

Thank you for your response, I am aware that this is a permission issue, and as yet I have been unable to solve.

As an aside, I have not yet experienced this issue with either Affinity Designer or Affinity Publisher.

I have tried your suggestion.  In fact I was driven to do a completely clean install of Catalina (not a bad thing in itself),  reconfigured the whole system and reinstalled all apps clean, from the App Store or downloads, as I did not want to use Time Machine in case this brought over some legacy issues.  When the issue was first showed up, I did the whole Recovery & Repair Home Folder and re-install Catalina, and then reinstalled Affinity Photo. More than 8 hours work in total but the issue still persists.

Due to a lack of tools to save desktop workspaces, every time I have to: reset presets; reinstall all of the macros; repeat the reset of the workspaces; tools; toolbar; etc. Given the variety of Presona, this is a lot of work and it is very time consuming.

I am just coming to the end of my Photoshop contract, which I took out due to previous issues with AP, that took more than 8 months to solve, and with version 1.7 I had thought my troubles were over.  Looks like I will have to renew my PS subscription, costing more money, and once again stop using AP for critical, and I in particular time critical work.  I recently had an image that took 3 hours to complete with a lot of Frequency Separation and many layers - only to find that I could not save, and had to repeat the whole process.

One of the most requested features from users on this Forum is to enable a complete workspace save, as like many other I lost most of the settings updating to AP 1.7.

I have even tried to install Affinity Photo as a Plug In to Photoshop, to ensure that I could save my work, but could not figure out a way to do it.

I cannot begin to calculate the time that I have spent trying to sort issues with AP, and of course, the time spent on this forum trying to get things sorted.  There have been several times I have considered abandoning this app, but I love the simplicity with regard to masking, the live display of blending modes, ease of selection etc., etc., but cannot justify the additional time I spend doing the troubleshooting.

Regards,

Earl

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If you purchased Photo from the Mac App Store, rather than directly from Serif, you may also be having a MacOS sandboxing issue, not a simple permissions issue. For example, I recall some older posts about this where the number of fonts installed is important when running the MAS versions of the Affinity applications. The sandboxing restricts the total number of files a sandboxed application can access, and the number of fonts counts in that limit.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 2004 (19041.388),
   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 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.852 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.852 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.863 Beta.

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Hi Walt,

Thank you for the advice.  I am using a Mac on OS 10.15.4, so I not sure if the issue you described applies to both Macs & Windows

Yes, I bought this for the Mac App Store, being unaware that the app would have a different version if purchased direct.  It is disappointing to find the version I bought through "official" channels has different functionality to the version bought direct, at the same (or in fact cheaper in some instances) price.  Hey Ho.

I am not a big user of fonts in my workflow, so have only the default fonts, and around 50 more I used for specific projects.  These are small in terms I have a far greater number of fonts, and tend to load these to APbas needed, and leave them there.  Taking a quick look, they are very small in terms of size totalling about 650mb.  I am not sure if this would be enough to make a difference in terms of the permissions, but will, when I have time, delete all of the non default fonts and see if I get any further permissions issues.

I have wasted a huge amount of time and effort on this, and am back using Photoshop for the moment, being unwilling to continue to lose work.

I will return to the app again, as I am a fan of the app, but the issues I have been experiencing have once again rendered Affinity Photo unusable for my purposes.

Regards,

 

Earl

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38 minutes ago, Earlio said:

Taking a quick look, they are very small in terms of size totalling about 650mb.

It's not a question of size, or the number used in a project, but of the total number of fonts installed. (At least, as I understand the problem. And, yes, it is specific to Mac and to the version purchased from the Mac App Store. The application is the same as the one purchased directly from Serif, but Apple chooses to apply some sandboxing techniques to any program purchased from the App Store, and Serif has no control over that.)


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 2004 (19041.388),
   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 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.852 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.852 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.863 Beta.

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Thanks, Walt,

I have only the default fonts installed - having removed the additional fonts loaded - now and have the same issue

I can think of only a couple of projects where I saver used more than two fonts, and more that 5 or 6 Text Layers.  These all saved without permissions errors.

The issue is intermittent, and seem to have no logic.  Some images save without issue, then from the same folder, the next image will have the issue.  In other cases I am able to open a file with no issues, but when saving the file, permission to save is denied, and it does not matter at that point where the save is tried, it will not save.

I took to opening the files, saving as an .afphoto file immediately, then reopening using the open recent file dropdown.  However this is clunky, and requires an additional actions on every file.  Even then the permissions issue is evident, although much less so.  The opening permissions error requires the app to close, reopen, and then the file loads without issue.

I appreciate you taking the time to help.

Regards,

Earlio

 

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See also:

You may also check the app and user permissions for certain folders in Catalina, the following screenshot is from a XCode  project, but shows how things can be restricted when developing/building sandboxed apps ...

sandboxed.jpg.bc5b82167494e8e17699a78006e4ed10.jpg

 


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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The advise to install a direct download is IMHO pretty good. I did not install Affinity products from the AppStore, but had problems with other installs from there. The sandbox is applied automatically on the AppStore installations - it is the same software, no other version, but restricted by the installation.

Even when it means a lot of work, I would try the direct reinstall. When uninstalling use AppLeaner to really get rid of all program parts. Then download the install right from the Serif web site. The license keys usually work with both versions / installs - maybe check this in advance with the Serif customer service.

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Hi v-kyr,

Thank you for your contribution, these were the first actions I tried.

This is not just about the file permissions for the download folder, if that were the case I would simply move files to the desktop, and that would be a very easy solution.  To explain again, in AP this happens randomly when opening any file from any folder, even when I have previously opened a number of files from that folder.  In addition, after working on a file (image) in AP, the permission will be changed, and I am unable to save in ANY location, not in the folder it originated in, the desktop, downloads, pictures, nor to external drives. This happens with no other app I have installed.

 

2013102576_Screenshot2020-05-26at20_32_39.jpg.01262a57ec7e476a4d1dfe55f33bf4ce.jpg

827807971_Screenshot2020-05-26at20_24_05.thumb.jpg.cb0d82ca6fe570960a36837fea863173.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Earlio said:

In addition, after working on a file (image) in AP, the permission will be changed, and I am unable to save in ANY location, not in the folder it originated in, the desktop, downloads, pictures, nor to external drives. This happens with no other app I have installed.

That sounds strange, do you use the latest APh 1.8.3 version and made a fresh install/update for that one? - There are for sure other users who use Catalina and a MAS APh 1.8.3 version too, so I wonder if you are the only one with that problem.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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Yes, like me. Latest Catalina, A-Ph/De/Pb 1.8.3, direct install, no issues on my MacBookPro 15“ (2019).

As I posted above, the hint to use a direct install instead of the AppStore install sounds good. The AppStore forces programs to run in a sandbox, which can create accessibility issues. I had them once with Evernote installed from the AppStore - I deleted the app (no, I really purged it from my system, running AppCleaner to really erase each and any file from that install), restarted and reinstalled from the website, and the problems were gone.

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Well since Catalina a bunch of things related to access rights and security have been changed.

A good and essentiell read among others is this here ...

Quote

AKA ...

...

Apple here distinguishes user consent from user intent. Obtaining user consent is tedious, so rather than driving us nuts through interminable dialogs, Catalina relies as much as possible on inferring your intent. When you use any of the LaunchServices methods of opening a document, there is no doubt that you want to open it: so macOS infers that as your intent. When a background process tries to open a document without any user interaction, you haven’t expressed that as your intent.

This works fine for one-off access, but once an app has been given access to a document inside your Documents folder, it needs to retain that right, and that needs to travel with that document wherever it goes. Jeff Johnson – developer of StopTheMadness – has just discovered how this feat is achieved: using a new extended attribute (xattr) which is attached to files, recording the apps which have right of access.

The xattr in question is named com.apple.macl, and if you search Mojave and earlier systems, you’ll discover that the only files which have this xattr attached to them are those which have come from Catalina. Create a new file, or save an existing one, in Catalina using an app built using the latest SDK, and it will have a com.apple.macl xattr attached to it automatically, which gives the creator the ability to open that document wherever you move it.

...

Some tools to deal and overcome with possible xattr problems and the like ...


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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Hi v-kyr & Blende21,

Many thanks for your posts.

I am using the latest versions.

I have asked Serif if there is any way to obtain the direct download after having paid for the dysfunctional (as far as I am concerned) Mac App Store version.

I will respond when I have a reply.  I am bogged down with work, now due to the issues and trying to solve this problem.  I am working, once again with Photoshop while I try to get this sorted, and have some catching up to do, so will give Affinity Photo a rest for the time being.  The last time I had issues which prevented me from using Affinity Photo, it took 8 months to resolve, and `I have run out of patience with this.

I very much appreciate all of the assistance offered, thanks to all who have provided possible solutions.

Regards,

Earlio

 

Screenshot 2020-05-27 at 07.20.29.jpg

Screenshot 2020-05-27 at 07.19.04.jpg

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1 hour ago, Earlio said:

Screenshot 2020-05-27 at 07.19.04.jpg

 

You can try out instead the now new released macOS 10.15.5 update, which again should have some included bugfixes etc.

 


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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FWIW, I bought Photo (& Designer) from the Mac App Store & have never seen any of these 'permissions denied' issues on my Macs. I have not upgraded the OS past Mojave, which may have something to do with it, but I suspect there is some other factor besides the OS version in play here.

I do not know what that might be but I doubt it has anything to do with which store the app came from, if for no other reason than AP remains a very popular & highly rated app in the Mac App Store, so it seems unlikely that would still be true if this was a common issue.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.0.1

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I also downloaded AP from MAS, without any permission or other errors, Catalina latest updates.


Cecil 

iMac Retina 5K, 27”, 2019. 3.6 GHz Intel Core 9, 40 GB Memory DDR4, Radeon Pro 580X 8 GB, macOS,iPad Pro iPadOS

 

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection 

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