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I am sorry to be negative on this forum, as in general I like most of the things in the Affinity Suite, but the tables function in Publisher just leaves way to much to be desired. I have commented on this issue before, but besides some small bug fixes it is still generally the same deal. I have a project I am working on that includes many specifically formatted tables which occur many times in the report, each with different data, but the same setup. I started this recurring project in Indesign 2 years ago and was hoping to transfer it to Publisher, as I still work with an old Indesign version and it is not very smooth. Publisher is much smoother overall. However I cannot get the tables to work as they do in Indesign, however way I try. I have several problems.

First thing is that it is very hard to get the column widths as i want them. It works very different from indesign and I just find it very frustrating. When I create a table with a specific nr. of rows and columns the entire table has a specific width and each column has a uniform width. Now I want to make specific column to right of the one I widened gets squished... When I try instead to first change the width of the right most column, the table as a whole changes size...? I have no idea why this makes any sense at all. I have been working with tables in indesign for years, so perhaps I just don't understand what Publisher is doing? The only wy to archieve the result I want is to drag the width of the table wider then I will use it in the end, and then change the width of each column from left to right. But this is very inflexible, and if I want to change the width of a column later it will always affect the other columns. I find this highly frustrating.

The other big problem is the text formatting within the table. I have use several text styles within the same table, so I have created a basic table in the way I want it to look. Now I will paste the data from Excel into the table, but this is where the problem occurs: All the pasted text will have the style of the upper left most cell. It completely ignores all the local formatting I have done. This creates a lot of unnecesary work to adjust the table the way I want it to be again. The only partial solution was to use the table style dialog and create a separate style for each table with text style assigned to the right cell. So when I have my table defined in this way I can paste the data and apply the table style. But this is quite unintuitive and gives me new problems with regards to lines. If I have have certain cells with and certain cells without border lines, it will not retain these local formatting. I have no idea why these things have to be so complicated.

It is these things that keep me from using Publisher for this project, which is a great shame. Can you tell me if you are working on improving the tables in the near future?

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Hi @postmadesign,

Unfortunately our devs don't tend to reply to Feedback posts and we don't cover this section of the forums in the same way we do the Questions section, meaning not every post in Feedback will be responded to by an Affinity staff member.

We do sincerely appreciate your criticisms of Affinity Publisher, as honest feedback from our customers is the best way for us to continue improving the app - as far as I'm aware the devs do plan on updating and improving the Table Tool in the future, however I cannot confirm when or how this update may look at this time, my apologies!

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Hello Dan C,

 

thanks for your response. I was not sure in which place this would get the attention. This forum here is very big, and responses are sometimes hard to come by. If you have a better idea how to contact the devs on issues like these, please inform me.

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18 hours ago, fde101 said:

Then watch the beta announcements.

Well yeah I have done so every time to see if changes were made, but this has pretty much remained the same since they dropped the app. I hope this is not an area of development which will take affinity several years to get on top off.

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Just out of curiosity: What happens if you have applied your Layout to the cells, and use „paste without style“ for the data ?

If the Layout is always the same, and the data will not change after publishing, couldn’t you make a pdf from Excel (just from the relevant cells) already formatted, and place this into the publisher document ?

In general I agree that the table Tool in Publisher is ... basic.

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No problem at all :)

2 hours ago, postmadesign said:

If you have a better idea how to contact the devs on issues like these, please inform me

We don't really offer direct contact lines to our developers, if you have any questions about the app and it's tools, then you can create a thread in Questions - where both the community & the Technical Support team (which I'm a part of) respond.

If you have a bug to report, then please post this in the Bugs section, where our community members & internal QA team will respond.

In terms of Developers, they are all members of this forum and usually reserve posts for announcements, detailed explanations and the occasional direct support with the user - so there is a high chance that one dev may have read your post, however it is rather unlikely for you to be able to converse directly with them.

For anything our Tech Support team can't answer, our QA team usually can, and failing that we have direct external contact with the developers allowing us to be the 'middleman' in the conversation.

I hope this clears things up!

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2 hours ago, Dan C said:

I hope this clears things up!

It sort of does. I understand why there is not a direct connection to the devs, as it would suck up all their time. What I am interested in is, if the suggestions made are read by anyone, if they might be considered. It would be helpful to have some kind of development plan/roadmap for the app, to see what the devs are considering for the next updates. If there is one, could you please point me where it is.

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11 minutes ago, postmadesign said:

It would be helpful to have some kind of development plan/roadmap

There was a list of planned features until about maybe two years ago ... Serif took it down and stopped talking about plans, because people started getting angry when things on the list they wanted didn't get done fast enough and started arguing among each other and with Serifs staff when features appeared that where not on the roadmap while things on the roadmap got pushed back and ... it was a very unhealthy situation and ate into everyones energy and time, so it was not worth it.

If you want to know what's coming next, I recommend keeping an eye on the developers Twitter (there's sometimes short animated GIFs as teasers) and the beta forums.

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11 minutes ago, Jens Krebs said:

There was a list of planned features until about maybe two years ago ... Serif took it down and stopped talking about plans, because people started getting angry when things on the list they wanted didn't get done fast enough and started arguing among each other and with Serifs staff when features appeared that where not on the roadmap while things on the roadmap got pushed back and ... it was a very unhealthy situation and ate into everyones energy and time, so it was not worth it.

If you want to know what's coming next, I recommend keeping an eye on the developers Twitter (there's sometimes short animated GIFs as teasers) and the beta forums.

I will, thank you

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I'm in agreement with you regarding Affinity Publisher's tables. 

One formatting feature that I found to be particulary troublesome ('buggy') is the table cell "color fill". After several attempts to re-color rows, I was about to completely surrender thinking that I was not going to be able to attain the result I was looking for. Then, as a last ditch effort, I realized that I had the option of working on the table within one of the other software environments (Affinity Designer & Affinity Photo). I was able to very easily attain my desired results within seconds of applying my coloring of the selected rows of my table within the Affinity Designer environment. To Serif's credit, the added option(s) to allow the end-user to perform similar tasks within the other software environments (without exiting Affinity Publisher) is a valuable feature that allowed me to save an otherwise doomed project.

I hope others find this option helpful to circumvent some of Affinity Publisher's (work-in-progress) features.

Edited by Steve_S

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