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Exporting an Affinity Publisher file to a format Adobe InDesign can import


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Hi,

Is it possible?  I have someone flinching because I am not using Adobe InDesign to do a brochure for him.  I told him that I could export to an InDesign format but that statement of mine doesn't look like it is true.

I am using 1.8.3

Attached is what I see when exporting a document.

 

APexportchoices.jpg

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@PaulWilliamson

I understand InDesign can open/read pdf files so I suspect that is the route you should go.  

Jeff

Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, NVidia GTX1660 Ti and Intel HD530 Graphics

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher, version 1 and now version 2.

iPad Pro (12.9") (iOS 17.2) running Affinity Photo and Designer version 1 and all three version 2 apps.

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2 minutes ago, PaulWilliamson said:

That page says that you can use File > Place with a PDF file.

-- 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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Thanks for those links.

The first one, under File>Place includes pdf??

Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, NVidia GTX1660 Ti and Intel HD530 Graphics

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher, version 1 and now version 2.

iPad Pro (12.9") (iOS 17.2) running Affinity Photo and Designer version 1 and all three version 2 apps.

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Placing PDFs to InDesign layout works very reliably and is used all the time by those who place ads to publications. No problem.

You just cannot EDIT a placed PDF in InDesign, or you cannot OPEN a PDF so that InDesign could edit it.

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It should not need an existing InDesign file, I think, merely a blank ID document to be open.

Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, NVidia GTX1660 Ti and Intel HD530 Graphics

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher, version 1 and now version 2.

iPad Pro (12.9") (iOS 17.2) running Affinity Photo and Designer version 1 and all three version 2 apps.

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7 minutes ago, Fixx said:

Placing PDFs to InDesign layout works very reliably and is used all the time by those who place ads to publications. No problem.

You just cannot EDIT a placed PDF in InDesign, or you cannot OPEN a PDF so that InDesign could edit it.

Well, this makes an option to offer exporting from Affinity Publisher to InDesign useless if it can't be edited in InDesign.  I have edited many PDF files in Affinity Publisher without a problem.  Works great!

I would have to talk people into buying AP but I have a feeling that Adobe users may be snobs and wouldn't succumb to this!

Thank you,

-paulw

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18 minutes ago, Fixx said:

Placing PDFs to InDesign layout works very reliably and is used all the time by those who place ads to publications. No problem.

You just cannot EDIT a placed PDF in InDesign, or you cannot OPEN a PDF so that InDesign could edit it.

A 7 day free trial of Adobe InDesign immediately turns into a $21 a month service.   https://commerce.adobe.com/checkout/email/?cli=mini_plans&co=US&items[0][cs]=0&items[0][id]=7AC98ED7C0B9E7138F774892B4C40FE2&lang=en

Payment information must be filled out before the "free" trial begins.  Perhaps the subscription can be cancelled after the first month but not sure if the cost of the first month would be reimbursed.

Companies must have a lot of money to burn, even in these times!

I am going to have to limit my services to potential clients that do not care about Adobe products!

-paulw

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50 minutes ago, Fixx said:

Placing PDFs to InDesign layout works very reliably and is used all the time by those who place ads to publications. No problem.

You just cannot EDIT a placed PDF in InDesign, or you cannot OPEN a PDF so that InDesign could edit it.

Didn't Adobe create the PDF format? 🙂  I guess they want you to buy Acrobat (which the free trial also automatically turns into a recurring monthly fee).

I wonder if someone could take a PDF file I exported with AP and edit and change it to their liking (wording, images) with a PDF editor.

Do people only charge for an Affinity Publisher or InDesign PDF (or photo or graphic files) or do people give them the source file (.afpub or whatever the InDesign file is) so that they can change it to their liking and/or use it to create their own future documents/graphics?  I think I should search for graphic designer services and see what they say in their Request For Proposal document or contracts to see how this works.

Thanks!

-paulw

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2 hours ago, PaulWilliamson said:

I would have to talk people into buying AP but I have a feeling that Adobe users may be snobs and wouldn't succumb to this!

You've got my answer here, and it's not snobbery.

 

1 hour ago, PaulWilliamson said:

I wonder if someone could take a PDF file I exported with AP and edit and change it to their liking (wording, images) with a PDF editor.

It's mainly done using Illustrator or Acrobat pro for people using CC, but since it means having the font installed to modify the text, it usually means correcting files, generally adds send by clients.
Layout apps give a lot more options and tools for producing documents.

 

1 hour ago, PaulWilliamson said:

Do people only charge for an Affinity Publisher or InDesign PDF (or photo or graphic files) or do people give them the source file (.afpub or whatever the InDesign file is) so that they can change it to their liking and/or use it to create their own future documents/graphics?  I think I should search for graphic designer services and see what they say in their Request For Proposal document or contracts to see how this works.

  • You can be paid to create a template and do different issues of a document, like a magazine.
  • If you're paid only to create a template, they'll ask first for a specified type of file, usually made with inDesign, QXPress, etc. You'll have to send the file and all the usefull elements (linked images, etc.)
  • They can send you a template, and you'll have to do one or more issues of a magazine, for example. You'll have to produce a PDF for print with specific settings, and send back an archive with the file and all the elements you used, for their… archives. (They'll ensure first you use the same application).
  • You can also be paid to produce an add, or some flyer, some poster, logo, banner…

In some cases, it'll be important to know which app you're using, and that'll be one of the first questions/or they'll ask for a specific file format. In other, you'll be free to use the apps you want.

 

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1 hour ago, PaulWilliamson said:

Didn't Adobe create the PDF format? 🙂  I guess they want you to buy Acrobat (which the free trial also automatically turns into a recurring monthly fee).

I wonder if someone could take a PDF file I exported with AP and edit and change it to their liking (wording, images) with a PDF editor.

Yes, Adobe did invent PDF. You also might have noticed that the Adobe Illustrator.app saves its files in the PDF format, and only optional with or without additional, specific Illustrator properties.

Yes, someone could edit your PDFs you created with an Affinity app, since PDF is no "secure" or even encrypted file format. Besides Adobe or Affinity apps there exist for years already applications which can edit a PDF. They often are used by pre-press or print services, originally/historically to repair failures in a PDF done by designers with a lack in knowledge or understanding about export preferences.

The later file type ".joboptions" was developed to avoid those issues. It can be published by a print service to get used by designers and it does the export setup according to the printer's needs. Unfortunately Affinity currently does not support .joboption files.

The keyword here is "passthrough". Apps which are able to edit a PDF are different to those which can't edit. If an app can't edited a PDF it simply does pass it through – whereas an app which can edit does 'open' the file when using it. Those apps don't pass through and therefore e.g. also require the fonts used in a PDF – which doesn't matter for apps which do pass through, since they use the font description which gets embedded for the used characters when exporting a PDF. In the sake of font copyrights the PDf format was developed to be tricky.

macOS 10.14.6 | MacBookPro Retina 15" | Eizo 27" | Affinity V1 only

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9 hours ago, thomaso said:

Yes, Adobe did invent PDF. You also might have noticed that the Adobe Illustrator.app saves its files in the PDF format, and only optional with or without additional, specific Illustrator properties.

Illustrator can export as PDF, but usually save in its own format, with the possibility to include a PDF preview. That's a big difference.

Affinity apps can't read the .ai format, since there's no documentation about it to read it properly, but if there's a PDF preview available, it'll use this to display the file.

 

PDF is a "final render display" of a file. That means it'll only export on specified area how the page should be, in vectors and raster data, locking everything in its final position. That's why it's perfect for print (exporting as PDF). Every superfluous data used by the app is deleted. Some app can open and modify PDF, butthey won't know anything important, only where each item (character, image...) is positioned, and offer to modify them. Some apps like Affinity ones, for example, try to deduce lines and paragraphs from a PDF page, when and where it's only successive informations about where each character is describe and positionned. That's why it's not always accurate.

We can compare this (Illustrator or another app's file) to an Excel table, with lot of columns with complex formulas processing each data you enter, to calculate and automatically input the results in some other cells.
PDF would be the simple text file resulting of displaying the final content of the columns. No way to understand or read the formulas, to modify some line and have the result updated.

Over time, new features were added to PDF, but those are limited and specific, and don't cover the extend of functionnalities of the different apps that can produce them, it's not its purpose.

When you create a file in APub/inDesign/QXPress, etc., the important features are text and object styles, their relations, the master pages, the colour palette to use, variables, etc.
Nothing that will be found  in a PDF. You can open a PDF in APub or another app and try to deduce them, but you'll only have part of the datas.

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12 hours ago, PaulWilliamson said:

... Is it possible?  I have someone flinching because I am not using Adobe InDesign to do a brochure for him.  I told him that I could export to an InDesign format but that statement of mine doesn't look like it is true. ...

If they (or any client) requires ID files returned for any reason, it's simply prudent to use ID.

You *might* be fine using VivaDesigner as it has very good IDML import/export. (And can open .indd files, too.) But until such time as Serif adds .idml export, APub will not work in an ID collaborative work-flow.

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  • 2 years later...

Most designers are producing page layouts for publications using InDesign, the industry standard. Publications typically have to be shared with other designers who need to repurpose the content with the design software they use. Therefore, an ideal utility that would make Affinity Publisher fit in the workflow of other designers would convert Affinity Publisher files to .idml files. It would be best if the conversion did not require many tweeks to make the text flow and appear exactly like the original Affinity layout when opened in InDesign, but without some capability to export to a format that can be opened in InDesign you just have a stand-alone product. That not how the advertising and publishing world works. Placing a .pdf in either Affinity Publisher or InDesign does not make the content "live" and editable in either application. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/17/2022 at 7:13 AM, zydeco Jim said:

Most designers are producing page layouts for publications using InDesign, the industry standard. Publications typically have to be shared with other designers who need to repurpose the content with the design software they use. Therefore, an ideal utility that would make Affinity Publisher fit in the workflow of other designers would convert Affinity Publisher files to .idml files. It would be best if the conversion did not require many tweeks to make the text flow and appear exactly like the original Affinity layout when opened in InDesign, but without some capability to export to a format that can be opened in InDesign you just have a stand-alone product. That not how the advertising and publishing world works. Placing a .pdf in either Affinity Publisher or InDesign does not make the content "live" and editable in either application. 

This would be fantastic if it could be done. Is there a wishlist to add this to?

What would also be brilliant if this were possible - there would be a path for converting AI files to InDesign which currently can't be done. AI files can open perfectly in Designer with text blocks and everything fully editable. Designer files can then be opened in Publisher also in near-perfect shape. If they could then be saved as editable InDesign files Affinity would have achieved what even Adobe can't do.

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  • 5 months later...

Hi, can someone here help me convert a Publisher layout to InDesign so I can get the client OFF and AWAY FROM Publisher?

I am over and DONE with the broken piece of crap this app is. Publisher about 2-3 years ago was fine, this new version is broken and should be discarded.

Anything that can be done in InDesign with two clicks is taking ages to find workarounds in Publisher and that is not acceptable.

Case in point - simply copying a line of text with an inline graphic to a master page, it would not copy the graphic. It would allow me to copy the graphic separately and then set up new on the master page but that is like going back to 1970 and saying I only need 8k of RAM because I only want to do things one single element at a time, but not because my MacBook can't handle, it's because the app is just broken.

If anyone can take an existing Publisher file and export/save/convert or whatever is needed so I have an InDesign layout to work with from now on please let me know.

Thanks.

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On 6/4/2020 at 2:58 PM, PaulWilliamson said:

Hi,

I just found out about the "place" option.  I suppose that means putting a PDF inside an existing InDesign file.  I wonder how that would work and look?

Thanks,

-paulw

My assumption (and we know what happens when one assumes) is that it would look O.K., but not be editable.  Going in the other direction, InDesign to Publisher, requires the InDesign document to be output as an IDML file, and the result is good but not perfect.

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3 hours ago, SallijaneG said:

My assumption (and we know what happens when one assumes) is that it would look O.K., but not be editable.  Going in the other direction, InDesign to Publisher, requires the InDesign document to be output as an IDML file, and the result is good but not perfect.

Thank you!

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