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Publisher: Distribution is NOT Alignment!


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A recent convert from Adobe, and unable to find the function, Publisher Help says 'distribution' is available via Alignment.  IT IS NOT!

The six alignment buttons (or menu options) simply provide for top/bottom/middle and left/right/centre.

DISTRIBUTION (which is missing) would provide for EQUAL SPACING of all selected objects between the two most-outer objects.

This is hugely important for technical designs and has been available in Illustrator and InDesign for ever.

 

Greg

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As documented, the Alignment function in Publisher does provide distribution.

image.png.1b1fd759fc92b66cac19a7a7015951f2.png

From the Toolbar, you select Alignment, then within "Align Horizontally" you choose "Space horizontally" and then choose "Auto distribute" or specify the exact spacing.

Similar options exist within "Align Vertically".

Or, from the menu, Layer > Alignment offers the Distribute Horizontally/Vertically functions:

image.png.bcfaa6e349e7a2047c40a92d66613462.png

 

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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Thanks Walt -- I greatly appreciate the speed and clarity of your response. I have been able to move on with the project.

The problem here is that not only do Publisher/Designer have a) the buttons on different toolbars, but b) the Distribution' option does not even appear in the context menu (right-click selected objects).

image.png.5f4e70e87ba2267aed4296afbb70a503.png

 

image.png.af12f7262e99b6741c5593f821dcae5c.png

 

Unsure whether Affinity reads these Forums, but (especially if targeting Adobe users), Illustrator has Alignment and Distribution buttons next to each other on the toolbar as part of the same functional block, and also in the same dropdown list.  EVEN MICROSOFT OFFICE has them grouped together in its 'drawing' tools.

Thanks again, Walt.

Greg

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You're welcome.

And yes, Serif reads this forum, though they are unlikely to respond, as a matter of policy.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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7 hours ago, GregB said:

Unsure whether Affinity reads these Forums, but (especially if targeting Adobe users), Illustrator has Alignment and Distribution buttons next to each other on the toolbar as part of the same functional block, and also in the same dropdown list.  EVEN MICROSOFT OFFICE has them grouped together in its 'drawing' tools.

If you need them on the Toolbar, why not add them there?
image.png.e4af462f83087263556bbbfd81343845.png

image.png.c22ddb733fc59d39585fddca5746e4c5.png

Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.8.5.703.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 20H2, Build 19042.610.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.
Intel NUC5PGYH, Pentium N3700 2.40 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics, EIZO EV2456 1920 x 1200.

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8 hours ago, GregB said:

Still something for Affinity to address as buried too deep for new users.

Really? In my opinion, the need to set up applications according to my/users needs, is a completely "standard" matter. I don't know of any application with a certain complexity (including the Office you present), which would suit all users (from complete beginners to experienced users) without the need for customization.

Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.8.5.703.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 20H2, Build 19042.610.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.
Intel NUC5PGYH, Pentium N3700 2.40 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics, EIZO EV2456 1920 x 1200.

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17 hours ago, GregB said:

Still something for Affinity to address as buried too deep for new users.

Indeed. Options hidden deep inside the program and the need to consult manuals is not acceptable or good usability. There is no "standard" involved - only de factor "doing it wrong" standards from 1992 before usability was professionalized and mover away from developers.

You do not bury features so deep. Access to distribute options should be easily accessible from the default toolbar somehow - if "hidden" still only one click away from the alignment options. How to do it is not up to random people from the Internet in a forum. Enter professional user experience designers. 

I could write a book about what some of you don't know.  It doesn't represent anything else than what you know - and don't. Let user experience designers make the calls.

I spent hours yesterday in InDesign. Today and now on my lunch break after two hours of meetings with a developer team and two user experience designers and two product owners - me being one of them. Every scenario examined from any angle - user tested on mockups, prototypes, early betas and the release candidate. And now one more meeting. Coming here is depressing. It is like stepping back in time. I see no signs of the professionalism or ambitions I am used to from work or from InDesign. I didn't see anyone working like Serif since 1997 personally. Whow!

Software that effectively needs a HELP? ASK WALT! button and a constantly open manual is not quite there yet. 

  • "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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Dear All

My original post here was to (hopefully):

  1. get some feedback (which happened very quickly!) from more experienced users who could advise whether the distribution feature was available, and WHERE 
  2. flag the issue to Affinity for future attention/change/inclusion (I was informed that Affinity is aware of the forum)

However I've been concerned that even here, amongst creatives, it is too easy to become divided as either extreme 'for or against'.  It's a new world of instant opinion and public expression of like/hate with no room for shades of grey.

Personally, I doff my hat to Affinity for having created 3 superb applications in such a short space of time. The software is not only functionally great but also amazingly cheap.  Application development is not a trivial task, especially on this massive scale!

So I implore all contributors to this topic, and the forum in general, to be constructive and supportive, e.g.

  • simply itemise and illustrate what does not work, or could work better and more efficiently, and how it impacts your workflow
  • be polite, and discuss as if you were speaking to someone face to face ... though by all means be sarcastic, a valuable tool in human conversation :) 
  • and remember that it is not nice to receive harsh criticism, especially if you are under the pump while still trying your best to do a good job
    The programmers at Affinity have no right of reply!

I think Affinity's future is bright and it needs to focus on things that regularly cause frustration to a lot of people, and I recommend to Affinity that they start two feedback/steering groups:

  1. Experienced designers/users of the Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign (a huge target market?)
  2. New designers and new users of Affinity products (to understand and keep the new customer base)

Here's my current personal journey moving from bloated, expensive, subscription Plan-only, slow-to-update, and increasingly bullying software behemoths.
(Suggestion: any break needs to be 100% or else you slip back to the familiar at the first hurdle.) 

  • Jan 1, 2020 - I moved completely from Premiere Pro to Davinci Resolve for music videos (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lSvxf-EEYUT3TAcJGc74bcyaIZ3Bg9AwM)
    In that time Resolve has moved from version 15 to 17 (at no further cost).  Resolve also does things for which Premiere requires the additional Audition and After Effects and fully uses the GPU for enhanced speeds (e.g. rendering movies 4 times that of Premiere ... and never crashing!)
  • Jan 1, 2021 - made a clean break from Adobe design suite to Affinity
  • April 1, 2021 - moving completely from Avid ProTools to Presonus Studio One for recording/arranging/mixing.

As yet, I've found nothing better than MS's Office 365 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) for functional depth and completeness, especially at a price-point of $99pa for 5 licenses.  But it worries be that they feel obliged to keep introducing low value 'fresh' features and interface 'looks' which cause millions of people to have to waste time visually adjusting, even having to find where old things have been relocated.

 

Anyway.  Perhaps I have too much time on my hands? :) 

Greg

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