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Am evaluating the full suite of programs and thus far am impressed.

One missing feature is a killer for me though, with respect to Publisher. The program needs to support cross referencing out of the box without needing to use workarounds. Technical and scientific documentation can't live without this key feature.

I am coming from a FrameMaker/InDesign background.

Is this on the Publisher's near-term roadmap? I've seen other requests for cross referencing posted on this forum. As minor as this feature might seem to some, it is what is preventing me from making the switch away from Adobe.

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15 hours ago, The Wook said:

support cross referencing out of the box without needing to use workarounds.

What workaround in particular are you cross referencing to out of the box?

Currently the hyperlink types Page, Anchor, URL, File and Email are supported. They are set via the Hyperlink Panel and Anchor Panel.
Here two small PDFs for a test:

v183 hyperlinks A.pdf

v183 hyperlinks B.pdf

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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8 hours ago, thomaso said:

What workaround in particular are you cross referencing to out of the box?

Currently the hyperlink types Page, Anchor, URL, File and Email are supported. They are set via the Hyperlink Panel and Anchor Panel.
Here two small PDFs for a test:

v183 hyperlinks A.pdf 34.96 kB · 3 downloads

v183 hyperlinks B.pdf 35.06 kB · 1 download

@thomaso

Thank you for taking the time to do this. However, perhaps we aren't referring to the same things. The examples you've provided demonstrate that Affinity Publisher indeed handles links or hyperlinks in a variety of ways: page, anchor, URL, file, and email. Hyperlink interactivity is indeed very useful.

I should have been a little clearer though. What I refer to as cross referencing is more old school, not involving interactivity that indeed you've demonstrated Publisher can handle.

To me, cross referencing is used (and still especially useful, even in these days of electronic publishing and document interactivity) in text to refer the reader to other sections, figures, chapters, appendices, etc. of interest. Here are some examples:

- Refer back to section 3.4 "System Operation" for more information.

- Figure 43 on the next page illustrates this concept in action.

- Full system specifications are found in Appendix B on page 343.

Not all technical documentation is always available in electronic form. Sometimes paper copies still dominate.

Cross referencing is referred to by this name in FrameMaker, InDesign, and even Microsoft Word, all of which also offer hyperlink capabilities similar to Publisher and what you've demonstrated with your two examples. 

 

Can text anchors be used to repeat, rather than link? By this, I mean, can you add an anchor to say the heading text "Appendix B" and then somewhere earlier in the document body text "call" that anchor to be repeated (the refer to "Appendix B" part of my earlier example?).

 

The Publisher workarounds I've seen proposed are similar to what is described here:

But really, this workaround isn't as simple, quick, nor intuitive as what is seen in Publisher's competition.

That is, unless I've just missed this capability as I continue to evaluate the full suite.

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24 minutes ago, The Wook said:

Can text anchors be used to repeat, rather than link? By this, I mean, can you add an anchor to say the heading text "Appendix B" and then somewhere earlier in the document body text "call" that anchor to be repeated (the refer to "Appendix B" part of my earlier example?).

Ah, I see. Sorry I misunderstood your inital post. So your approach seems to be rather getting content managed, e.g. keeping any numbering up-to-date (chapters, figures, appendices), than getting content linked for user interaction. Similar to the missing feature of footnotes I guess.

To your question: No, in APub's anchor feature there is no offer to transfer content this way. You only define a position to jump to, while content is entirely ignored, though the anchor moves with the content around it.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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At this point, as far as I know, only the method I mentioned in the thread referenced above works for this. It's a bit complex, and takes some experience using it, but it does work. But yes, I would consider it a workaround.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.6.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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To clarify that last post I made, the technique I described in the referenced thread is needed if you want to be able to say "See xyz on page 3" and allow for the possibility that "xyz" will move. Without that technique the page number would require a manual update. Even that technique won't work if you want to say something like "See table 4 on page 3" and allow for the possibility that the page number changes, or the name of table 4 changes (possibly when you add a new table before table 4. Of course, that will require a manual update, anyway, as there's no automatic numbering of tables today.

However, if you can simply say "See xyz" the current hyperlinking capabilities in Publisher will handle the situation of the referenced object moving to a different page.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.6.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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@walt.farrell The idea of using linked frames and the asset panel is a good one for sure given the absence of native cross reference support. I did try it. But it just won't work for me across the sometimes long docs I work on :(.

Serif's triumvirate is certainly otherwise very capable, user-friendly for those trying to convert from a wayward Adobe, and....affordable. Those three things are hard to find all together.

Perhaps it's still early days, but any idea whether native cross referencing is in Serif's plans? I've seen that others have requested this capability but nothing from the company themselves.

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9 hours ago, The Wook said:

Perhaps it's still early days, but any idea whether native cross referencing is in Serif's plans? I've seen that others have requested this capability but nothing from the company themselves.

Serif generally does not comment on what is coming, until it is nearly through development and testing. They have been burned by poor customer response in the past when they've said they're working on something, and then problems arise and they can't deliver immediately.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.6.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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I would like to inform you that these features missing in Affinity Publisher are a big problem for me. I started editing 18 printed books in which the cross-reference function would be of great help. There are up to 100 such references per book. Some of them are references that refer to previous volumes. So there is an example of the sentence in Vol 7 "... as I mentioned in Vol 2, Lesson 5.2, page 42, ..." This example therefore requires a reference between two different afpub files. In my opinion, this should be possible. Such a reference has been possible for years in Excel, for example. These 18 books are also published as e-books. At the moment I am still creating all e-books "by hand". That means I create xhtml, opf and ncx files manually in a text editor. Also with an index (of about 10 pages in the printed version).

Example of this printed version (created on Affinity Publisher): https://www.amazon.fr/Cerveau-son-fonctionnement-Psychosyntérèse-U-M/dp/1695360907/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_fr_FR=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&dchild=1&keywords=Le+Cerveau+et+son+fonctionnement+I&qid=1595160754&quartzVehicle=77-946&replacementKeywords=le+cerveau+et+son+fonctionnement&sr=8-1

I also have the general impression that the current version of Affinity Publisher is not suitable for long technical documents. Of the 18 books mentioned above, which represent a course in psychology and neurology, each volume has about 120 pages. If someone wants to write a technical book with several hundred pages, which contains a lot of diagrams and figures, as well as a detailed index, I have the impression that AP is too slow.

I understand that you don't want to talk publicly about your plans. But I can't wait very long because I have to edit the books mentioned. What do you think I should do? Test Adobe FramMaker?

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On 7/19/2020 at 5:15 AM, Thomas-B said:

I would like to inform you that these features missing in Affinity Publisher are a big problem for me. I started editing 18 printed books in which the cross-reference function would be of great help. There are up to 100 such references per book. Some of them are references that refer to previous volumes. So there is an example of the sentence in Vol 7 "... as I mentioned in Vol 2, Lesson 5.2, page 42, ..." This example therefore requires a reference between two different afpub files. In my opinion, this should be possible. Such a reference has been possible for years in Excel, for example. These 18 books are also published as e-books. At the moment I am still creating all e-books "by hand". That means I create xhtml, opf and ncx files manually in a text editor. Also with an index (of about 10 pages in the printed version).

Example of this printed version (created on Affinity Publisher): https://www.amazon.fr/Cerveau-son-fonctionnement-Psychosyntérèse-U-M/dp/1695360907/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_fr_FR=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&dchild=1&keywords=Le+Cerveau+et+son+fonctionnement+I&qid=1595160754&quartzVehicle=77-946&replacementKeywords=le+cerveau+et+son+fonctionnement&sr=8-1

I also have the general impression that the current version of Affinity Publisher is not suitable for long technical documents. Of the 18 books mentioned above, which represent a course in psychology and neurology, each volume has about 120 pages. If someone wants to write a technical book with several hundred pages, which contains a lot of diagrams and figures, as well as a detailed index, I have the impression that AP is too slow.

I understand that you don't want to talk publicly about your plans. But I can't wait very long because I have to edit the books mentioned. What do you think I should do? Test Adobe FramMaker?

From my (generally similar, although I don't produce e-books) perspective, you may be in a bit of a tough spot with regards to suitable software.

FrameMaker is very capable and long-proven in publishing long and complex technical documents. It has a long pedigree in this field. Its book capability, handling of large files with many images/illustrations/cross references, and the breadth of its features and capability make it the gold standard (in my mind, at least) for this type of work. For the past close to 20 years I've been using it for a suite of long technical documents of a similar length to yours, along with a separate program and data file reference that runs close to 500 pages. To my experience, all of the things that seem to be missing from what might otherwise be it's competition, it has. And more.

But it comes at a cost, literally and figuratively. It's part of Adobe's Technical Communication Suite that runs $600 a year. Also while the program has greatly improved over the time of my use of it, it can also be pretty frustrating to use. Compared to InDesign and the feature set it brings to the table, there are times where FM is just not very intuitive. It can also feel "clunky". I've always found I need a web browser open right next to FM whenever I use it as invariably there's something that I've forgotten how to do. In some cases, it seemingly takes forever to get some small thing to work...but that may just be me.

Out of the cost and my seemingly constant frustration with FM I've only recently considered attempting to convert one of my manuals over to InDesign. I'm not sure how well its own book features and cross inter-chapter referencing works with long docs. While considering this, I was pretty happy then to recently test Publisher as a possible alternative even to InDesign and thereby allow me to cut that Adobe CC cord....until finding out that even simple cross-referencing isn't available (yet?).

If you can accept its cost, test FrameMaker. You may find you take to it easily and that it does all that you want.

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On 7/25/2020 at 7:53 AM, The Wook said:

Out of the cost and my seemingly constant frustration with FM I've only recently considered attempting to convert one of my manuals over to InDesign. I'm not sure how well its own book features and cross inter-chapter referencing works with long docs.

I moved from FrameMaker 9 to InDesign (CS5.5, then CS6) years ago. The book feature is much better, since it allows instant synchronization between chapters (I remember I had to import styles in each document with FM, but maybe this changed later). Inter-chapter cross-references are working fine, but they are a bit fragile (change something, and you may have to create them again).

In general, I've been very happy to move to ID from FM. And I make >1000 pages technical books. Yet, I still remember with love the old FrameMaker for Mac, a program that seemed tailored on me.

Should APub become a mix of InDesign (powerful page layout) and FrameMaker Mac (ease of editing mostly text-based documents), I would be more than happy.

Paolo

 

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On 7/25/2020 at 7:53 AM, The Wook said:

From my (generally similar, although I don't produce e-books) perspective, you may be in a bit of a tough spot with regards to suitable software.

FrameMaker is very capable and long-proven in publishing long and complex technical documents. It has a long pedigree in this field. Its book capability, handling of large files with many images/illustrations/cross references, and the breadth of its features and capability make it the gold standard (in my mind, at least) for this type of work. For the past close to 20 years I've been using it for a suite of long technical documents of a similar length to yours, along with a separate program and data file reference that runs close to 500 pages. To my experience, all of the things that seem to be missing from what might otherwise be it's competition, it has. And more.

But it comes at a cost, literally and figuratively. It's part of Adobe's Technical Communication Suite that runs $600 a year. Also while the program has greatly improved over the time of my use of it, it can also be pretty frustrating to use. Compared to InDesign and the feature set it brings to the table, there are times where FM is just not very intuitive. It can also feel "clunky". I've always found I need a web browser open right next to FM whenever I use it as invariably there's something that I've forgotten how to do. In some cases, it seemingly takes forever to get some small thing to work...but that may just be me.

Out of the cost and my seemingly constant frustration with FM I've only recently considered attempting to convert one of my manuals over to InDesign. I'm not sure how well its own book features and cross inter-chapter referencing works with long docs. While considering this, I was pretty happy then to recently test Publisher as a possible alternative even to InDesign and thereby allow me to cut that Adobe CC cord....until finding out that even simple cross-referencing isn't available (yet?).

If you can accept its cost, test FrameMaker. You may find you take to it easily and that it does all that you want.

Thank you for the time you took. I have now installed a trial version of Framemaker and one of QuarkXpress. Framemaker really seems a little too expensive for my small one-man business. I also have the impression that the new 2020 version of Xpress covers most of the features I am looking for. A reference to its page number can be defined for a defined anchor. Long, complex documents are obviously not a problem. It also looks like Quark has lowered prices drastically. I remember prices over $ 1000 when I got interested years ago. The new version is currently available for USD 395.–. Maybe we have to thank Affinity for its aggressive pricing policy.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, I agree, cross references are very important for any publication with a few more pages:

Example: Table of contents ... insert cross reference and place the right number ob the page, where a heading is. And this would also be useful within normal text. This way wrong page numbers are avoided. A standard Word feature. It really has to be implemented soon, I mean really 🙂
I just moved documents from InDesign and miss it in every document.

Best, Michael

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Cross references are a must. Forward and backward references are necessary to refer to automatically insert figure and page numbers.

But we also need footnotes and endnotes. The anchor point for the forward-backward references also needs to be placeable in footnotes and endnotes.

Basically, Publisher is useless for book publishing without these features, except for the most simplistic books.

Books are, in fact, the only thing I keep InDesign around for. But for Publisher to be used as a robust book-editing solution, we probably need more, such as the ability to combine publisher files together into a single book with all page numbering and cross references intact and working. Or perhaps Affinity has better ideas for how this could be handled. InDesign's book system can be rather fragile.

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Cross references ... a vital feature.

  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” ― Confucius
  • Not an Affinity user og forum user anymore. The software continued to disappoint and not deliver.
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  • 2 weeks later...

X-referencing is really a MUST in a DTP program. Manually updating x-ref's is a source for many (simply avoidable) mistakes which will make readers of printed documents unhappy / angry. Office programs like OpenOffice / LibreOffice support x-ref's and footnotes / endnotes since many years in a simple way. Why is this a problem for APub? When i started using APub a few days ago i did not expect missing this feature, now i'm (badly) surprised...
My urgent request: Add this feature a.s.a.p.!

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I was a FrameMaker user for years, so dropping back to InDesign was a bit of wrench - like not having decent configurable running header capabilities.

I'm trying to create a user manual in Publisher and the lack of Cross-Referencing is a real pain.

I'd like to cross reference by browsing to a Heading/Section and having it auto populate and change if the destination title changes. Right now...

  1. Write cross referenece link (and hope you get it right)
  2. Navigate to Destination
  3. Create Anchor
  4. Go back to cross reference location
  5. Hyperlink Cross reference link

is a long process.

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On 7/19/2020 at 2:15 PM, Thomas-B said:

I would like to inform you that these features missing in Affinity Publisher are a big problem for me. I started editing 18 printed books in which the cross-reference function would be of great help. There are up to 100 such references per book. Some of them are references that refer to previous volumes. So there is an example of the sentence in Vol 7 "... as I mentioned in Vol 2, Lesson 5.2, page 42, ..." This example therefore requires a reference between two different afpub files. In my opinion, this should be possible. Such a reference has been possible for years in Excel, for example. These 18 books are also published as e-books. At the moment I am still creating all e-books "by hand". That means I create xhtml, opf and ncx files manually in a text editor. Also with an index (of about 10 pages in the printed version).

Example of this printed version (created on Affinity Publisher): https://www.amazon.fr/Cerveau-son-fonctionnement-Psychosyntérèse-U-M/dp/1695360907/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_fr_FR=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&dchild=1&keywords=Le+Cerveau+et+son+fonctionnement+I&qid=1595160754&quartzVehicle=77-946&replacementKeywords=le+cerveau+et+son+fonctionnement&sr=8-1

I also have the general impression that the current version of Affinity Publisher is not suitable for long technical documents. Of the 18 books mentioned above, which represent a course in psychology and neurology, each volume has about 120 pages. If someone wants to write a technical book with several hundred pages, which contains a lot of diagrams and figures, as well as a detailed index, I have the impression that AP is too slow.

I understand that you don't want to talk publicly about your plans. But I can't wait very long because I have to edit the books mentioned. What do you think I should do? Test Adobe FramMaker?

This looks like a task for LaTeX. In my understanding it's a highly referenced text. You'll be able to do this via LaTeX and get a really good layout. It's not too hard to handle, sometimes easier than visual word processors if you're used to it. And it's made for a huge amount of text.

Long time ago I used LaTeX for this project:

https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiReader/Laub-_und_Nadelbäume_Mitteleuropas

I hope Publisher will get basic cross referencing like Word has. It's crucial for many documents.

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For technical writing (may it be a reference book, a thesis ... etc.) all what the above posters so far said is essentiell. It's just crusual to have such by a software supported capabilities here.

If I look into my book shelf, pull out some IT & Programming, Math, Physics ... books and take a look at the publishers "colophon" part, I mostly read there "this book was made ... using ..." in such a most used order ...

  1. FrameMaker
  2. LaTeX
  3. InDesign
  4. QuarkXPress
  5. Word

... which tells something about such book productions and technical book writing. Well it has it's reasons!

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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I use cross references for anything and everything. Not for technical writing though. I would say after using hyperlinks in webpages for 25 years it is a sound and solid habit. A service to remind readers of where to find related content. And then... relax. Let the software update the page number and/or title referred to.

  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” ― Confucius
  • Not an Affinity user og forum user anymore. The software continued to disappoint and not deliver.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've just created a document in Mac Pages - It has better Cross Referencing Handling as all headings are listed in its Link > Bookmarks

- I'm seriously considering moving my 9-months-of-work Communications Manual into Pages,

Please can Serif automatically list all headings to be available for cross-referencing.

Adding an manual Anchor is very 1996 - it's useful extra (maybe jumping to a diagram?) but should not be the norm.

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