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AdamW

Affinity Publisher Customer Beta - 1.9.0.796

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@kevinslimp Welcome to the forum. If this is something that interests you, then I think you can be a most valuable asset to the community.

To summarize the gist of the PDF problem, Affinity apps try to interpret PDFs, but they fall flat most notably when the PDF contains a font that is not installed and currently active in the system. It doesn't have anything to do with the different kinds of font formats, but rather it just does not yet support font pass-through. There can be other issues with interpreting the PDF instead of just passing it through as a fixed format, but I think this is the issue that comes up most frequently in the forums.

This new beta attempts to provide at least some solution by allowing placed PDFs to be configured for "passthrough" (not font passthrough, mind you) of PDFs. When a placed PDF is configured in this way, Affinity still tries to interpret it for display on screen, but it is supposed to just pass through the file untouched when exporting the document to PDF. It's not quite elegant, and it is confusing the users, but it is a start.

Probably I told you want you already know, but that is the issue in a nutshell, in case it may be helpful to you or others visiting. I think the community would be helped by whatever feedback you are willing to offer in the interest of improving the final product.

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Thanks, Garrett. That is helpful.

In my testing, I found the exported PDFs didn't keep the fonts intact. They exported generally as they looked on the screen with changed fonts, tracking issues, etc.

I'd love to figure this out. Interestingly, back when we were figuring out the whole PDF thing back in 1993, it dawned on me the issues might be in the printer drivers ... which was the key to figuring out the whole thing.

I'm not equating the PDF issues in Publisher with printer drivers. Just saying, these things can be caused by things most would never imagine. For testing purposes, I suggest creating some PDFs, using postscript files out of InDesign and Acrobat distiller - then seeing if those files work correctly. My guess is that they will. If that's the case, the issue is related to the exported fonts.

That and $7 will get you a cup of coffee.

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56 minutes ago, kevinslimp said:

In my testing, I found the exported PDFs didn't keep the fonts intact. They exported generally as they looked on the screen with changed fonts, tracking issues, etc.

That should not happen in the 1.9 beta if you specify Passthrough for the Placed PDF.


-- 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 1.9.0.864 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.864 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.863 Beta.

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Walt, I know they must be there because you mentioned them. I've looked in the export window, the preferences - I googled Affinity Pass Through. I did a find file for the word pass through throughout the entire help guide that comes with beta.

I know it's there. I just can't find it. Where is it?

 

Thanks

Edited by kevinslimp

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9 minutes ago, kevinslimp said:

I know it's there. I just can't find it. Where is it?

When you have Placed a PDF file into your Publisher document in 1.9, and you have the Placed file selected, the option is shown on the Context Toolbar. 

(I'm not sure offhand if it matters whether the Placed PDF is Embedded or Linked, and I can't check right now.)


-- 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 1.9.0.864 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.864 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.863 Beta.

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Thanks, Walt. I found it with your help.

Apparently I was using it all along. I tried embedding, linking, passthrough, not passthrough.

I still get the same results. Plus I'm using PDFs sent in to me from professional designers around the U.S. and Canada. It happens on about half of them. The one thing they all have in common is:

- It's usually a TT font that is causing the issue

- They all have CID fonts (where the non-problem ones don't ... however that's probably because OpenTrype doesnt' usually convert to CID, thus they probably used no TT or Type1 fonts)

I'll keep working on it next week. I

Thanks again or your help, Walt.

 

Kevin

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You're welcome, Kevin. Serif may be interested in seeing one of the PDF files that come out wrong in the exported PDF.


-- 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 1.9.0.864 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.864 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.863 Beta.

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16 hours ago, AdamW said:

Crashing on Startup

It looks like the instability on startup with this build occurs if you have certain panels floating by default in your studio layout. To work around, hold CTRL while running up and check 'Reset Studio'. We will issue an update to fix this issue as soon as we can.

Thank you for the clarification, Adam.

I may give this build a spin on my Big Sur external SSD just to see how it behaves but, for the time being, I'm likely skipping it on my main machine's default, internal Catalina volume, as not using floating panels isn't exactly ideal in a dual-monitor setup like my main one.

If I have the time to test it in depth under Catalina, I guess I'll stick to doing so on the MacBook Pro, where almost all of my Studio panels are docked (and in Publisher's case, that may vary well apply to all of them).

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I think I've found the issue. It's a catch-22. If the files export as a PDF 1.7 (Acrobat 8.x file - it's programming language, not app version) - the PDFs come out correctly.

Now the catch ... the majority of commercial (magazine, book, newspaper) presses have issues with PDFs higher than 1.5 (Acrobat 6), which is why most industry printing standards are based on PDF 1.4 and 1.5. Even though the files might print correctly most of the time, they would cause RIP (press) issues from time to time, meaning losing income from an ad or whatever.

The receiver could optimize the PDF in Acrobat, bringing it down to 1.5 with no problem, however it is an extra step that would have to be taken with every PDF file.

We're getting closer ... I'm smiling.

Thanks again, Walt.

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