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Export to PDF -> no layers created


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Have you created any Layers in your Designer document?

You would create them by Layer > New Layer or by using the Add Layer icon (document page with folded corner) at the bottom of the Layers panel.

-- Walt

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5 minutes ago, mco said:

And no layers shows in Acrobat reader !

This is confusing. There are layers and layers. If you want to export with layers add a layer from the Layers panel or from the menu and move the elements (this how I would call them) into those layers. After that export to PDF with a preset that include layers. See under the More button for this option. Attached a version with "layers".

There is always someone being faster ... this time Walt. :(

enseigne_decoupe_3D_125x38-with-layers.afdesign

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On 11/18/2021 at 4:41 PM, mco said:

I need to export my afdesign file to a layered PDF (for a cutting machine ) I have tried all PDF export settings. And no layers shows in Acrobat reader !

On 11/18/2021 at 4:48 PM, walt.farrell said:

Have you created any Layers in your Designer document?

That's indeed confusing in the export options since all items are on layers. It would be more clear if the dialog wouldn't say "Include layers" but rather make the capital L more obvious, e.g. "Include each Layer (Layer)" instead, or "Include all "(Layer)" layers".

1777092872_includelayers.jpg.7c517ecd81af4f65946e7876268cc82e.jpg

 

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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1 hour ago, mco said:

Then go to the "Layer" menu and select "Convert the group into a layer""

In the Mac version of AD, in English this menu item is labeled "Promote Group to Layer," so it sort of gets the capital L "(Layer)" part right but since Group is capitalized as well, that is yet another place where users are likely to miss the importance of the capital L.

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

In the Mac version of AD, in English this menu item is labeled "Promote Group to Layer," so it sort of gets the capital L "(Layer)" part right but since Group is capitalized as well, that is yet another place where users are likely to miss the importance of the capital L.

It is a weird decision by Serif anyway to give identical names to objects with different properties and distinguish them only by the spelling of their first letter. Is it common in English to distinguish two objects only by their capital letter? – In the e.g. German version this remedy doesn't work because all nouns are capitalized, so there is no difference between "Ebene" and "Ebene" when writing about layers and Layers.

1519916567_layerLayersEbeneGerman.jpg.01b25ab07416e3472bfb01dbefac6b56.jpg

 

It may seem clever, but isn't it also a bit kindergarden to talk about "layer" vs. "layer-layer" as a workaround, especially since a "Layer" appears to correspond to a group rather than a layer. Imagine if we called master pages "page-page" and master page layers on document pages "page-page-layer" accordingly, if they are arranged in layers even "page-Page-layer-Layer" ;)… how about "main layer", "container layer" etc, just to not have to ask for a possible capitalization...?

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27 minutes ago, thomaso said:

Is it common in English to distinguish two objects only by their capital letter?

Only for proper nouns, while are capitalized vs common nouns, which are not.

32 minutes ago, thomaso said:

It may seem clever, but isn't it also a bit kindergarden to talk about "layer" vs. "layer-layer" as a workaround, especially since a "Layer" appears to correspond to a group rather than a layer.

They are both containers but a "(Group)" is not the same as a "(Layer)," so referring to the latter as a 'container layer' does little to end the confusion.

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3 minutes ago, Hens said:

Simply call a Layer a Container and a Group a Group would suffice.

If we did that, how would we explain that a Group is also a type of container?

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21 minutes ago, Hens said:

Semantics,wow,simply rename the Layer object to container in the help and in the program and leave the group object have the name group isn't that difficult.

But "(Layer)" objects are not the only kind of container objects the Affinity apps support. So in the help, or in replies to users asking about the different kinds of container objects, how should that be done?

Also consider that the help topics & layer labels must work for all supported languages, so I am not sure if other language versions of "container" would have the same meaning in all of them.

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

Only for proper nouns, while are capitalized vs common nouns, which are not.

It seems that proper nouns are unique or individual, while common nouns can be less specific names for several of them? Wouldn't then both layer types be common nouns? They both can exist in nearly any quantity in each single Affinity document – different to an individual person, building, painting, design, etc. – whereas then their "Document" might appear to be more proper than common and could be written with capital D.

Probably I am not able to understand the correct use and differentiation of proper vs common nouns, it may even appear as a matter of taste for native English speakers too. And maybe there is never a way to be consistent or fully logical in the Affinity UI, as e.g. with B and b in "Bleed" vs. "Include bleed". (document setup vs export dialog). But using 1 word for 2 different things simply causes confusion.

2 hours ago, R C-R said:

They are both containers but a "(Group)" is not the same as a "(Layer)," so referring to the latter as a 'container layer' does little to end the confusion.

The point is that many terms used in Affinity (and life) have more than 1 meaning – but layer & Layer are the same word for not the same things. Correct, also a "(Group)" is a container, as "Picture Frame", "Text Styles Panel", "Swatches Palette" or ".afpub", ".pdf" and ".eps" are containers, too. The word "container" came to my mind not because of being more precise than "layer", "Layer" or "Group" but because it seems to be not used yet within Affinity to name an item of the interface.

Compare also the confusion between "style" and "Style" in Affinity which might mean a specifically formatted design (as visual look) AND / OR a saved item of that design (as numerical definition) (e.g. text style vs. Text Style).

The problem with layer & Layer becomes more complex by referring to items outside of Affinity, as it does with the layers mentioned in the export dialog, referring to the layer especially in a PDF.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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4 hours ago, R C-R said:

So in the help, or in replies to users asking about the different kinds of container objects, how should that be done?

Does the help mention / differentiate containers at all? Ironically the German APub Help Search finds 1 container only. It is used for text frames created with the Frame Text Tool – whereas the Art Text help text doesn't mention "container". – Nevertheless, no one would think Art Text is not a container for text as well, – right?

213199213_helpcontainer.thumb.jpg.0204bf8d6be13807e200a346cbe1ffa1.jpg

It does not make sense to argue with ambiguity of "container", different containers contain different things and make it clear what container means in various situations. If you ask people "What is a container for text?" they hardly would answer "A frame." – but this doesn't cause confusion.

 

But layer & Layer are closer together (we can't even say they have different spelling), while the Layer is also a group – although both layer & Layer have fundamentally differences. As we see in this topic about layers in PDF. – Does the Affinity Help explain this difference? To me it seems not even to be aware of it:

466630414_helplayer2.jpg.4d5ad0bd74c54fb74e682cee5ce54809.jpg

1479275346_helplayer1.jpg.c132cf107bbbb4288842d93ab1380fc4.jpg

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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I think it is much a matter of just deciding that a specific and distinct name is used for a feature that has a functional difference. I do not think that there is any "intrinsically" correct ("natural") name for the kind of "layer-layer" an Affinity "Layer" is, and because of the ambiguity in localizations (at least in German language) that makes the use of mere initial capital letter useless, it would be good to give the feature a different name. (But as it now is, the export option in English should definitely be written with the capital letter "L".)

When exporting to PDF, the "layer layers" are partially (on root level) exported as "Optical Content Groups" (OCGs), the term used in the PDF specs and documentation, which Adobe Acrobat in turn calls just "layers" (and other Adobe apps generally as "Acrobat Layers"). The "Acrobat Layers", are in turn, different from Illustrator layers in the sense that the former are not imported as Illustrator layers when opened in AI (not even at root level), even if AI allows top layers to be exported as Acrobat Layers. Also, as the "Layer" layers in Affinity apps have also other functional features (besides being exportable at top level to OCGs/Acrobat Layers), I would not call them "OCG" or "Acrobat Layers", either (even if Acrobat/OCG layers ARE actually imported when PDF files containing them are opened back in Affinity apps, which is good to know and possibly a useful feature in certain scenarios).

The big part of the confusion is of course created by Serif when they initially decided to call all different kinds of containers as layers, and thus stand out from the rest of the industry (not just Adobe apps, but Corel, former Aldus/Macromedia apps, Quark, etc.). So in that sense child-talk is useful, and "layer-layer" does make sense. Any distinct name would, e.g. calling them "Super Layers", "ALayers", etc. In lack of such term, it is useful to call them "layer layers" (even if in English context "Layer" might suffice, but that would assume that the readers truly understand the difference from the mere "layer") -- and then using equivalent localized forms. Actually "ALayer" might be fine as it keeps the Acrobat functionality in sight, but could also just be interpreted as a short form of "Affinity special layer", and would be useable also in the Layers panel. In localizations it could then also just have "A" in front of the actual localized term for the "layer" (AEbene, ACapa, ACalque, etc.) 

 

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16 hours ago, mco said:

Then go to the "Layer" menu and select "Convert the group into a layer""

A nice shortcut! I wonder why this option is not available in APub? (respectively requires in APub a switch to the Designer Persona)

15 hours ago, R C-R said:

In the Mac version of AD, in English this menu item is labeled "Promote Group to Layer," so it sort of gets the capital L "(Layer)" part right but since Group is capitalized as well, that is yet another place where users are likely to miss the importance of the capital L.

Here the French interface obviously uses both notations, "layer" and "Layer", and also the English version can not provide a reliable capitalization to clearly identify the used meaning of layer / Layer, e.g. according to our habit of Affinity layer notation a pixel layer would never be a Layer, - right?

This illustrates that the user interface conflicts with its different notation/capitalization approaches, both within and between languages. It doesn't really hurt with prepositions (to / To) but it does since "layer" and "Layer" have different meanings. (A general disput outside of Affinity about capitalisation in American vs. British English may increase the confusion but is not the culprit here.)

963988178_ADLayermenuFrenchKopie.jpg.fee537dabd715d4fb1acd27eafc58660.jpg1894764455_menucapitalprepositions1.jpg.387b5c7fd35ae494aa807cad11df56d7.jpg . 623314879_menucapitalprepositions2.jpg.b8da23047b9c8631bf4d2775ed9933c1.jpg

5 hours ago, Lagarto said:

So in that sense child-talk is useful, and "layer-layer" does make sense. Any distinct name would, e.g. calling them "Super Layers", "ALayers", etc.

Yes, layer-layer is a clever workaround (contributed by users?) but it doesn't work for all use cases (e.g. in menus with their different capitalisation approach, same for the help). If a new term will become used by Serif to avoid the capitalisation conflict then it could also avoid a notation conflict occurring with sans serif fonts for AI vs AL, maybe "A-layer" … or an artificial word, while avoiding conflicts with existing layer specialities ;)

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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8 minutes ago, thomaso said:

Yes, layer-layer is a clever workaround (contributed by users?) but it doesn't work for all use cases (e.g. in menus with their different capitalisation approach, same for the help

Basically "layer layer" is just a "matter-of-fact" term, similarly as we talk about image layers, pixel layers, etc. It calls the layers with the term that the app itself uses (as shown e.g. in the UI when the layer kind is appended in parentheses to the layer name; so basically the capital letter alone does not name it but rather the prefix "layer" (similarly as there are group layers, pixel layers and image layers, to list just a few of the many kinds of layers that exist in Affinity apps).

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16 minutes ago, Lagarto said:

so basically the capital letter alone does not name it but rather the prefix "layer"

Note, users may rename the prefix but not the suffix "(Layer)".  831081938_layerLayerrenamed2.jpg.7249a2ed7cd0054561e34ee04283dd1e.jpg

However, layer-Layer, pre- or suffix-layer or LayLadyLay, no expression solves the conflict as long it isn't an officially term by Serif in the UI and Help. Some users are familiar to interpret "layer layer" not as an error whereas others need the additional hint about the capital L, with or without additional (brackets) and "quotation" "(marks)", as the only clear difference between the two terms.

Back to this thread: since the export dialog not only doesn't care about this difference – even with capital L it wouldn't be unambiguous. At least at this UI location "layer" and "Layer" are both misleading without an additional clarification.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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Hmm, yes sometimes it's difficult to find the right name wordings, or short name abbreviations, for certain functionalities in UI programs & applications. So to say, which one is unambiguously and which one would probably confuse people more than being obvious helpfull at all for a common understanding here. Add to that then also possible problems with certain language localizations, that some choosen naming will not be unambiguously then there etc. 

Like, do we name that button on a panel/dialog now "Abort", "Cancel" or "Dismiss", which one would make more sense to the end user in a specific application state and context here and would that ideally then also be valid for whatever language is choosen by end users then?

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1 hour ago, Hens said:

the concept of something being a layer is a stupid one in the first place.
Object is more appropriate imo

Saying "layer" instead of "object" doesn't help to differentiate layer from Layer – but it has the advantage to focus on an object in particular in the layers panel. "Layer" refers to the hierarchical attitude of an "object". So saying "Select the image object" may mean in the layout OR the panel, while "Select the image layer" indicates layer directly, in particular useful if it is about the hierarchical features available via the layers panel only. (Well, one alternatively could say "Select the image in the layers panel".) To me "object" may be appropriate in many cases but in others "layer" is more helpful.

 

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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2 hours ago, Hens said:

Object is more appropriate imo

I agree, and would have been in line with the rest of the industry. One might be tempted to think that the reason for extending the term "layer" was a result of offering three apps in one package as Affinity layers are much like the multiple kinds of layers and objects that exist in Photoshop, though oddly enough in APhoto the "layer" layers are specifically missing (even if supported when editing Affinity content created in the other two apps). But Photoshop layers [and all that can exist the Layers panel] are pretty different from layers that are used in InDesign and Illustrator so it is clear that using a common Layers panel to arrange both raster-oriented Photoshop kinds of "acetate" layers, and InDesign/Illustrator-like object layers is likely to cause confusion. 

2 hours ago, thomaso said:

Note, users may rename the prefix but not the suffix "(Layer)".

I was using the the term "prefix" in a sense that it is used when we talk about "pixel layers" and "image layers". The documentation uses these names, and appends the kind of the layer as a postfix in parentheses after the user-definable name in the Layers panel, so in that sense "layer layer" is as matter-of-fact as "pixel layer" or "image layer". All these are shown in the Layers panel as postfixes, e.g. "My name (Layer)", "My name (Pixel)", "My name (Image)".

I can understand that "layer layer" is considered by the devs as the "regular" layer that does not need any additional attribute as an identifier, but as the term "layer" is used much as a synonym for any object, it is clear that this is not easily understood whenever the UI mentions just "layer" when referring specifically to the "layer" kind of a layer.

 

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