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Where is the MANUAL for Affinity Photo?


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4 hours ago, v_kyr said:

It's always a good idea to also have a PDF file of that one either way!

Maybe I am missing something but since all the help topics are built into the app, aren't they always available via the Help menu? Why have a second version of them using up disk space?

Considering this, I think the only thing that needs fixing (at least for the Mac version) is the ability to print out the pages, which I think could be done if they can enable the print button when viewing the HTML versions via a web browser.

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58 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Maybe I am missing something

Follow the thread in terms of where LondonSquirrel tried to print out.

1 hour ago, R C-R said:

which I think could be done if they can enable the print button when viewing the HTML versions via a web browser

Try that and tell me what you realized then!

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3 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Try that and tell me what you realized then!

What do you mean? I said if they can enable the print button when viewing the HTML version, not that it is enabled now. (I know it is not.)

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22 minutes ago, R C-R said:

if they can enable the print button when viewing the HTML version, not that it is enabled now.  (I know it is not.)

Try and use Cmd-p instead there then!

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1 hour ago, v_kyr said:

Try and use Cmd-p instead there then!

I have tried that but it just shows & prints a blank page. Are you suggesting something else should happen? If so, can you lead me through it, step by step?

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7 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I have tried that but it just shows & prints a blank page.

Yes, so you now discoved the initial problem there! - No matter if you use the "MacOS Help Viewer" or a Webbrowser, they initially will behave that way there!

11 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Are you suggesting something else should happen? If so, can you lead me through it, step by step?

Yes, as you've seen what you get is initially sort of a blank page, that's why what is send here then to the printer is the "index.html" file side (aka the left side) and not what is possibly selected shown up on the right side content. - But now select an entry from the index.html in a webbrowser and open an entry from it via a right click "Open in new Window", so you get that shown in a new browser window. This time the related HTML-page is accessed and loaded, if you now retry printing via Cmd-p it should work!

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52 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

Yes, so you now discoved the initial problem there!

??? What I have been suggesting is a fix for that. Like I said, I know it does not work now.

53 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

This time the related HTML-page is accessed and loaded, if you now retry printing via Cmd-p it should work!

Nope. I still get a blank page. Possibly this is because even with a right-click 'Open in New Window' I still get the index running down the left side of the page in the new Window.

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8 hours ago, v_kyr said:

See here inside this thread and use a Webbrowser like FF not the MacOS Help Viewer.

I am using a browser (Safari v 15.1), not the Help Viewer app, & starting by opening the index.html file in it, then right-clicking on an index entry to open it in a new web page window. I do not get what you show in your post, not even by using CMD + P. The preview & output if I try to print is still a blank page.

EDIT: I just tried this with Firefox instead of Safari & it works like you say ... more or less. Some help topics print (or export to PDF via the Mac print dialog "PDF" button option) OK but others include only the top part of the help topic, with what should be one or more other PDF pages as a single blank page.

However, even if this worked perfectly for every help topic, it would be tedious to print out more than a few of them. It does not seem to me to be a viable solution for those wanting a printable version of the help topics.

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36 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I am using a browser (Safari v 15.1), not the Help Viewer app, & starting by opening the index.html file in it, then right-clicking on an index entry to open it in a new web page window. I do not get what you show in your post, not even by using CMD + P. The preview & output if I try to print is still a blank page.

It's possible that Apple's Safari and their Help Viewer app do share some code base, since they seem to behave similar here (...though not sure with the same codebase, haven't researched this possibility, so it's just a guess).

39 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I just tried this with Firefox instead of Safari & it works like you say ... more or less.

Yes FF at least get's the right content side then here, though independently from that, FF often doesn't print (or saves to PDF) website pages in the same manner as Safari. On Macs, Safari usually does the best job here for saving all parts of a content page completely as an PDF (due to the way it overall handles HTML content pages).

44 minutes ago, R C-R said:

However, even if this worked perfectly for every help topic, it would be tedious to print out more than a few of them. It does not seem to me to be a viable solution for those wanting a printable version of the help topics.

That's why I said It's always a good idea to also have a PDF file of that one (the whole help-system context, or a even better an explicite manual) either way. Some people already offered some ready created PDFs under the forums resources section. - One can also try to use a copy of the local HTML help files and then rework and convert into some more suitable PDF or eBook format (...which of course would mean having to do some additional personal work and effort here).

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4 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

Yes FF at least get's the right content side then here, though independently from that, FF often doesn't print (or saves to PDF) website pages in the same manner as Safari.

It isn't just that FF doesn't print the pages in the same way Safari would (even if it worked in that browser); it is that it doesn't save or print everything in the help topic unless it is short one (from what I can tell, one that would require more than one paper page to print out.

8 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

That's why I said It's always a good idea to also have a PDF file of that one (the whole help-system context, or a even better an explicite manual) either way.

Maybe, but it would still take a lot of paper to print out all the help pages, even if that was done for just one of the supported languages, & of course none of the links to other topics or interactive features would work in the printed version, so it would take a lot of editing to redo all the help topics to create a printer-friendly version.

Besides, considering how many help topics are updated or revised with each new release, any paper version would become at least partially obsolete fairly quickly.

In short, I do not think there is, at least at this time, much value in providing either a paper-based manual or a built-in method of printing one out.

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

It isn't just that FF doesn't print the pages in the same way Safari would (even if it worked in that browser); it is that it doesn't save or print everything in the help topic unless it is short one (from what I can tell, one that would require more than one paper page to print out.

Maybe, but it would still take a lot of paper to print out all the help pages, even if that was done for just one of the supported languages, & of course none of the links to other topics or interactive features would work in the printed version, so it would take a lot of editing to redo all the help topics to create a printer-friendly version.

Besides, considering how many help topics are updated or revised with each new release, any paper version would become at least partially obsolete fairly quickly.

In short, I do not think there is, at least at this time, much value in providing either a paper-based manual or a built-in method of printing one out.

And whats your problem here at all with that? - Affinity could offer people officially a ready made PDF help file they are asking about, or even better a manual, so people don't have to do it themselve. Then let the people decide on their own, if they want to print that then out, or read it instead on the computer.

Why does that care you, if Affinity, or people who want to do that on their own, would have to updates that documentation then accordingly. Affinity itself would have to do that either way also with the online/apps system help for every new release. So they also can generate an up to date supported localisation specific PDF out of that.

Generally, every more complex commercial software benefits from a PDF manual. The big competition offers these things long time too as PDFs. - Not to name very small (even some one man business) software companies here. - And AFAI recall Serifs former times legacy products also all had PDF manuals.

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2 hours ago, v_kyr said:

And whats your problem here at all with that?

Briefly, it is that I would much rather see Serif focus on bug fixes & feature improvements than on producing a PDF manual suitable for being printed out, keeping it updated, & having to answer user questions about why their copy of the PDF manual contained omissions & other discrepancies compared to whatever version of the app they were using.

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It would be neat to have a Wiki for Affinity products. Start it off using current Help system, then let users extend it. As with Wikipedia, encourage a community of experts to sustain it

Dave Straker

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9 hours ago, R C-R said:

Briefly, it is that I would much rather see Serif focus on bug fixes & feature improvements than on producing a PDF manual suitable for being printed out, keeping it updated, & having to answer user questions about why their copy of the PDF manual contained omissions ...

Commercial software companies like Serif have special employees who take care of the documentation, its translations and the like (a documentation team). As a rule, the actual software developers (coders) do not have to deal with this in detail. - In addition, it is fundamentally an important part of the respective software to keep the documentation as consistent as possible with current corrections and improvements to the current software version (i.e. the product).

We are talking about commercial software products that claim to be generic usable and professionally, not some two-man open source projects.

Furthermore, having to answer user questions (e.g. why your copy of the PDF manual contains omissions and the like) will always be there anyway. You can see that every day here in the forum for all kinds of questions. Often a lot of inquiries about things that have already been answered 1000 times before. - Incidentally, documentation is also intended to ensure that such recurring unnecessary questions are then ideally clarified for the end user by reading the documentation.

And if there are any additional questions, things the manual doesn't tell, the Affinity Support staff are there for them. And of course supportive people here in the forum like you.

In this respect, what you bring up here as arguments are nothing for me to worry about. - I see these more as (cramping) excuses for negligence with regard to a users guide/manual.

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6 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Commercial software companies like Serif have special employees who take care of the documentation, its translations and the like (a documentation team). As a rule, the actual software developers (coders) do not have to deal with this in detail.

As it is now, presumably the documentation team is responsible for the online & built-in help, but what is being asked for involves considerably more work than that; namely, a print-friendly version. The developers may not have to deal directly with every detail of that but they still have to work with the documentation team to make sure what could be up to three versions of the help are accurate & remain up-to-date with each new release, for each of the three apps & for each OS platform.

That adds considerably to the workload of all concerned.

Aside from that, it is unclear how many users would actually download or print out a print-friendly PDF version even if it was available.

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18 hours ago, R C-R said:

...
That adds considerably to the workload of all concerned.

Workload of all concerned? - They either ways have to update the online/internal help everywhere and there is nothing easier than to setup an automatic scripting build-process, or use some app, to generate a PDF file then out of that. Thus setup the build-process once and then just reuse it, we call that automated build-processing, which is something every sysadmin does anyway for his daily bread!

So the workload has been passed from Serif here on to the end user, if at all, instead of providing that manual themself.

18 hours ago, R C-R said:

...it is unclear how many users would actually download or print out a print-friendly PDF version even if it was available.

Make a poll ask forum people to participate in that and you will know! - Or search through the forum database with a query which looks after manual Q's and see how many datasets will be returned, one can also use a query counter for that sql!

 

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19 hours ago, R C-R said:

it is unclear how many users would actually download or print out a print-friendly PDF version even if it was available.

If they only have a domestic, desktop, printer, I doubt if many people would print out hundreds(?) of colour(?) pages. (Of course, if you have a printer at work, there's nothing to stop you printing out the whole thing!) 😉

Maybe, occasionally, it might be worth printing out a few pages, but I'm not sure how useful that would be. Personally I used to like browsing through the Plus range (hard copy) User Guides. I'm not sure how much better it would be to have just a PDF version rather than the existing built-in/online version.

 

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3 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Workload of all concerned? - They either ways have to update the online/internal help everywhere and there is nothing easier than to setup an automatic scripting build-process, or use some app, to generate a PDF file then out of that.

You are missing the point. The request is for a printable version of the help. That means none of the interactive features of the online or built-in versions will work, so they need to be replaced with print-friendly substitutes. So no search, no links to other help topics in the "See also" section, no clicking on the index to open 'chapters' or to jump to any chapter topic, & wherever there is a tap/click for before/after illustrations both of them need to be shown & correctly captioned.

This means adding page numbers, a TOC, (ideally) a book-style index, & so on, which must be done for each supported language.

Aside from that, as I am sure you are aware, even as it is now the built-in & online help leaves a lot to be desired for clarity & completeness, so I really would prefer that they concentrate on improving that rather than adding to the workload by also simultaneously trying to build a print-friendly version.

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3 hours ago, PaulEC said:

If they only have a domestic, desktop, printer, I doubt if many people would print out hundreds(?) of colour(?) pages. (Of course, if you have a printer at work, there's nothing to stop you printing out the whole thing!) 😉

Even if you could print it out at work, I doubt many people would use it more than once or twice afterwards, even if the whole thing was made print-friendly. The online & built-in versions are much easier to use because of all the interactive features.

I suspect this is why not a one of the Mac apps I use includes a printer-friendly PDF version of the manual. Many just rely on the Mac Help Viewer app for that, or on an interactive web site version. In fact, I can't think of a single modern Mac app I use that includes a paper manual; the last ones were for apps that ran on pre-OS X versions of the OS.

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12 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Even if you could print it out at work, I doubt many people would use it more than once or twice afterwards, even if the whole thing was made print-friendly. The online & built-in versions are much easier to use because of all the interactive features.

That's true. Actually I was thinking about a guy I used to work with who insisted on printing out hard copy manuals for everything. For example he printed out the whole Photoshop 7 manual, something like 400 odd pages, A4, in full colour. Then it just sat on a shelf gathering dust along with all the others!

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20 minutes ago, PaulEC said:

That's true. Actually I was thinking about a guy I used to work with who insisted on printing out hard copy manuals for everything. For example he printed out the whole Photoshop 7 manual, something like 400 odd pages, A4, in full colour. Then it just sat on a shelf gathering dust along with all the others!

I have no idea how many pages it would take to print out all of the Affinity help topic pages but I hope very few people would even consider doing that, if for no other reason than because of its negative ecological impact.

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17 minutes ago, R C-R said:

That means none of the interactive features of the online or built-in versions will work, so they need to be replaced with print-friendly substitutes. So no search, no links to other help topics in the "See also" section, no clicking on the index to open 'chapters' or to jump to any chapter topic, & wherever there is a tap/click for before/after illustrations both of them need to be shown & correctly captioned.

Nope, for something you want to be easier as a whole to be printable, a sort of PDF manual or replacement for that (like those help texts) is much more helpful here. Further even if you won't print out the PDF, you can navigate inside. Did you never heard of hyperlinks and inner documents jump to links in PDFs. Did you never searched and used the contents or index marks in any PDF manual?  Did you never looked into some other softwares PDF manuals which contain and offer this? There is enough interaction possible in PDF for offering all these essiential jumps inside a PDF doc here. Before and After illustrations can be shown and printed (before and after as their naming already implies and is common usage in PDF ebooks and documents). - LOL even Affinity Publisher main purpose and offer is to create such publishable PDF files (books, brochures, magazins, legible and printable) here. - So I really don't know what general excuses you're always looking for here!

48 minutes ago, R C-R said:

You are missing the point. The request is for a printable version of the help.

No, this threads title is "Where is the manual..." and further request then "All these tutorials take forever to watch through to find the simplest information.  It's infuriating.   Software used to come with manuals.". Then others asked for printing capabilities in order to have sort of a manual!

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1 minute ago, v_kyr said:

Did you never heard of hyperlinks and inner documents jump to links in PDFs.

Are you suggesting that these interactive features would work with a print version?

2 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

...

  Software used to come with manuals." Then others asked for printing capabilities in order to have sort of a manual!

That is all I am talking about, printed manuals that used to come with apps, not 'sort of' substitutes. Is that still not clear?

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35 minutes ago, R C-R said:

That is all I am talking about, printed manuals that used to come with apps, not 'sort of' substitutes. Is that still not clear?

Maybe we talked past each other the whole time during this discussion, because I always had the impression that you think a manual is superfluous. - Whereas I am of the opinion that a real manual is simply part of a commercial software product and also better underlines its general market acceptance and professionalism. - In other words, the more information and explanatory material end users get, the better for them. Maybe under certain circumstances, this also prevents the same beginner questions recurring here in the forum.

Ok, since this topic has become boring and there are much more exciting topics to talk about, I'll leave it at that for the time being. - We'll see what the future brings in this regard!

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