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I used Affinity Publisher for the first time on a production project, a small quarterly newspaper, after testing it a bit and had to import a few ads and placed them as pdfs inside the document. I didn't even care to check, as this is functionality that should just function, especially on a Mac, as it has a quite intensive relationship with the file format through it's roots in Display PDF. I now got message, why the advertisements were printed wrongly and the fonts were not as sent by the customer. I crosschecked now with Affinity Publisher and - on import - it did exactly as shown in the attached images. This is not even a bug, this is more of an anthill for a layout program, as pdf is the standard in transmitting layouts.

I actually don't want a workaround, I, and every other designer, needs that fixed pretty much on the spot.

It is obvious even in font rendering, which is decidedly thicker than all other programs. This needs to be addressed as well pretty much on the spot, as it is no longer the font as intended by the designer.

Ad as imported by Publisher

advertisment - as rendered by Affinity Publisher.png

 

Ad as sent by the customer

advertisment - correctly rendered as sent by customer.jpg

Edited by martinskopal

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I'm sorry about being angry about that. Why should they not, and why cannot they use the embedded fonts, when actually everyone else seems to pretty much do that.

If it is not possible, how can I rectify the issue, if the only way would be to either place the pdf as an image file or to convert the pdf into a full vector graphic? Or are there other ways as well?

Well, yes, next time a don't need to check.

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48 minutes ago, martinskopal said:

I'm sorry about being angry about that. ...

Absolutely no problem! 

48 minutes ago, martinskopal said:

... Why should they not, and why cannot they use the embedded fonts, when actually everyone else seems to pretty much do that. ...

Serif simply hasn't programmed/included what is called "pdf pass-through" at this time. They are going to add this capability in the future--we just don't know when it will arrive. The net result is that currently every pdf is opened as if one intends to edit it. This applies even if a pdf is placed with the downside that one may not notice font substitution happening until one *very* carefully inspects the resulting pdf out of APub, etc. Dangerous is a kind word I would use.

49 minutes ago, martinskopal said:

... If it is not possible, how can I rectify the issue, if the only way would be to either place the pdf as an image file or to convert the pdf into a full vector graphic? Or are there other ways as well? ...

You got it. The only viable way is to use an application or a command-line application such as GhostScript to convert type to curves. I beieve that on the Mac one can use Preview to save a pdf as an eps to do this...but I use a PC so my memory may be off.

I use pdfToolbox to convert type in pdfs to curves, especially ads, and I often do so even when using QXP and ID. Acrobat can convert type to curves, the procedure depends on the version. 

There are a couple very long threads about this subject.

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Yes, on MacOS, the best way I found now since posting my first message is to open the pdf in Preview, go to the Print dialogue and save the file as PostScript xyz.ps file. It is then converted to curves, and opens up correctly in Publisher. A direct Save as… eps is not possible in Preview - and in all the other, non-Adobe Programs I found in said timeframe. pdfToolbox seems like a fine solution, but at 500€ it is a bit of an expensive solution for that problem. But thanks for the tip.

I have found some of those threads now, they are enlightening ;) But it is remarkable as to not addressing this subject from Serif. I'm not a lawyer, but as loads of rather really small companies just implemented exactly that functionality, this strand of argument is quite frankly beyond me. And the technical feasibility should not be that high, for exactly the same reason. I don't need pdf editing - that's just not what pdf is for.

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I usually open PDFs in Acrobat (you can still buy Acrobat Pro 2017 as a one-off on amazon, good for this and for a lot of prepress tasks) and save them as high-res image -- that is not ideal, but saves me a lot of headaches.

PDF pass-through (pushing the original PDF through rather than rendering), if not for Designer at least for Publisher, has been asked for a lot and I'm sure the developers are aware that it's needed for any professional workflow. Let's use workarounds and keep our fingers crossed that it's in the pipeline.

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[Windows Version 1.8 of Designer]

It is quite easy to create a high res image document (see settings found in Export → pdf → more).

This saves a pdf without fonts but renders them as image (not as vector curves as the naming suggests). The "font resolution" depend to the dpi settings – to get "reusable results" I would set it to 600 (not in the list but you can insert it).

Snag_12c9fb7.png

EDIT: I have to correct myself. Depending to the preset for exporting to PDF "text as curves" is as it says: vector graphics. I have no idea where this is set explicitly to curves instead of pixels because the preset selection got lost if you make this change.

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This has been an issue from day 1 beta of Publisher. A tough lesson to learn on a live project. The forums here are filled with the same issue though many people call it a feature as does Serif themselves I believe. The only options are to outline all fonts and then place in Publisher, or to convert to a high res JPG. Not ideal at all. 

I think you got off pretty easy with yours. While it is different it is not horrible by any means and not a massive change from the intended look. 

This is one HUGE reason I could not/ would not leave Indesign for Publisher. 

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In the old days (I'm talking when QuarkXPress was king and Pagemaker was there, too), we used to export ads to TIFF (CMYK, LZW compression, at 300 dpi or 600 dpi—the higher resolution is better for text). It still works. You may have to check your color workflow to make sure any critical colors are not messed up.

Then again you may ask your advertisers to send you PDFs with text converted to outlines in the first place. I've worked with publications where that was required.

Remember, Serif is not the behemoth that Adobe is, so you won't get every bell and whistle. As it is, I've found Publisher pretty robust and capable. If you design on a budget, the horsepower is there.

 

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10 hours ago, Cranky Old Huckster said:

Then again you may ask your advertisers to send you PDFs with text converted to outlines in the first place.

This is it. But a lot of PDF creators are not aware that PDF is a container with different behavior even if they look alike. This is the reason why AP offers a bunch of different setups for PDF export. If the received "container" does not contain the required information for further processing it leads inavitably to an inferior result.

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Thanks for the answers. I know, stupid lesson to learn on a live project, as it was the first production project with Publisher after using InDesign for more or less since it was available. You kind of get used to some features 🤔 Educating the advertisers I can try, but this is like relaying a message through 10 people, you cannot say, if the message get's through and you have to deal with constantly changing people, as there usually is more than one ad in this small-town paper. Using Acrobat for me as solution is not an option, as I'm currently on a quest of leaving Adobe behind (quite the task I discovered as photographer and graphics designer). Using the MacOS print engine to create PostScript-Files on the fly is a way I can live with, as I can do this with more or less every file type - I even get ad's sent as Word Documents, and talking to the people doing that proved ineffective so far, after 10 times or so saying the same thing. 

Serif delivers excellent work for about 95% of the way, Affinity Photo is an excellent solution as well, if you don't get excessive with layering images. Publisher is a good solution - with it's own set of problems, I'm learning. But currently there is a workaround for most of it. Support for coloured fonts would be nice as well, but that's really a marginal problem.

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3 hours ago, broadcast said:

When PDF Passthrough arrives I will throw a street party in honour of the Serif gods.

when/if PDF passthrough arrives it will be much more usable and for many people a replacement for Indesign. Lots more needed for my uses, but that is the big one that keeps me even from playing with Publisher. So much of what I do involves PDF's and quick fixes that I can easily do in Indesign without cause for concern. 

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On 5/19/2020 at 1:09 PM, NoSi said:

[Windows Version 1.8 of Designer]

It is quite easy to create a high res image document (see settings found in Export → pdf → more).

That's true, but it's not a solution when the document opens wrong in Affinity in the first place.

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As I have posted on multiple threads

"The sooner Serif sort the pdf passthrough the sooner we can start to use Affinity Publisher, as at the moment it is just easier (although we would like to change) to use indesign." 

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