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Very very disappointed with Publisher 2


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After banging on about tables for years in this forum, I had hoped that Publisher version 2 would have addressed the glaring issues. Alas no text to table, no table to text, no flowing tables. And no span columns. These are essential tools.

It's hard to see what is that different. I am beyond disappointed. This is a dot update, not a version upgrade.

I said recently I would wait for a major upgrade before passing further judgement, and have wanted to support Affinity by giving them the benefit of my 35 years experience in DTP. Sorry folks, this is not yet a serious publishing tool, it is still just a flyer app. Hey Ho, can't ditch Adobe yet I'm afraid.

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No global layers.

No multi-page spreads.

No scripting.

No typeface sets.

No informal spreads (so pages can be reorganised for side-to-side comparison).

Apparently there is footnote and endnote support. Anyone upgrading can tell me how that works. 

Ratio of 1 in 6 is not very good progress, IMHO. Publisher is way behind the other products in the suite and needs some TLC.

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I agree with rparmar, Publisher seems to be the poor relation. I use Designer in preference to Illustrator, although I have the Adobe suite, because it has nearly all the functions (apart from trace) but is easier to use. Photo ditto, though I find myself still using PS for some things out of laziness because I have been using it for decades - but I'm sure I could do without it. So I am overall happy with Affinity suite 2.0, though not overwhelmed, but I know three people apart from myself that would ditch InDesign if Publisher were better. 

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17 hours ago, captain_slocum said:

It's hard to see what is that different. I am beyond disappointed. This is a dot update, not a version upgrade.

In a way that is true but Serif has an unusual way of releasing upgrades. Version 1 came out over 3 years ago and since then there have been a lot of improvements and new features and all for free. So comparing version 2 with version 1.9 (or whatever the previous build was) is a bit unfair. At some point they have to get revenue so they release a new version and if people want it they have to pay for it. Presumably new free features will keep coming and people will decide to upgrade or not.

Windows 10 Pro, I5 3.3G PC 16G RAM

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1 minute ago, MickRose said:

Presumably new free features will keep coming

That is a fair assumption 2.0 is not the end of the 2 development cycle

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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36 minutes ago, rparmar said:

Apparently there is footnote and endnote support. Anyone upgrading can tell me how that works. 

There is a tutorial here

and a lot more here

 

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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1 hour ago, Opera said:

Agreed. There's no point in buying version 2 if you have version 1. And if you're a professional, the question is really whether it makes sense to switch to InDesign right away and save yourself all those workarounds.

Please feel free to stick with V1 until we get to a point you see as a worthwhile upgrade. There's no compulsion to pay again right away. V1 will keep working, we'll keep working, upgrade only when you see fit.

Mark

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I'm seeing Publisher V2 as a disappointment, too. Maybe it wouldn't have been, hadn't there been this Hyping by Affinity. The changes would have made for a nice update... It seems to me that it is an Upgrade not because of the improvements they made but because Affinity needed a justification to charge some money without switching to a subscription based system.

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1 hour ago, Foucault said:

I'm seeing Publisher V2 as a disappointment, too. Maybe it wouldn't have been, hadn't there been this Hyping by Affinity. The changes would have made for a nice update... It seems to me that it is an Upgrade…

Yeah, so far I'm finding v2.0 very disappointing (bugs, missing features, UX/UI issues, etc)… IMHO the overall hype, and then by failing to manage expectations, the Serif marketing team made things worse. I agree that this would have made a fantastic update, maybe a v1.5 with a generous beta period… but it largely feels like a reskinning up the UI with many of the issues (and long standing feature requests) still going unaddressed. 

For me the upgrade price was entirely acceptable (actually the Universal License is great value for money) as I've been using v1 since the first release(s) (with Designer that's going on 8+ years). That said, between the App Stores making upgrade pricing difficult, some folks expectations that 'lifetime updates' are tied to their lifetimes, not the lifetime of the product version, and general global pricing issues ($99 USD is very accessible to most Americans, Brits, etc, but is often a considerable financial obstacle to many folks in other countries) it's no wonder many folks are upset, especially if they made the investment recently, but outside the 3 month window Serif is currently providing free upgrades for.

While I'm disappointed with this release, I'm still optimistic that Serif is listening and will do better in the future. 

Maybe this is the right time for Serif to try the whole public roadmap thing again (but different from last time)? For those of us along for the ride, it would be nice to know where we're heading.

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It is a bit of a mixed bag right now, in this initial 2.0 release.

There are indeed some important additions, such as footnotes/endnotes, as well as some very nice smaller touches (such as being able to drag the FX icons between layers to copy the layer FX from one to another).

Sadly there are also a few important things that were dropped, such as separated mode on the Mac (this makes little difference to me personally right now but it will be a major impact on many other users, as the "replacement" is simply not practical for many situations and workflows) and the ability to unlock the software offline (which will impact anyone who needs to keep their working computer off the internet for security reasons).

Not everything was added that we might have hoped for, the UI reskin has both positive and negative aspects to it (some of which will vary depending on who you ask), but for the most part and for many users it is a solid upgrade, though not nearly what the hype would suggest.

For some users it is no longer a viable tool for working where version 1 might have been, for others it is a major step forward, depending on the specific needs of that user.

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24 minutes ago, Bryan Rieger said:

Yeah, so far I'm finding v2 very disappointing (bugs, missing features, UX/UI issues, etc), and IMHO the hype the Serif marketing department created kinda made things worse. I agree that this would have made a fantastic update, maybe a v1.5 with a generous beta period… but it largely feels like a reskinning up the UI with many of the issues (and long standing feature requests) going unaddressed. 

For me the upgrade price was entirely acceptable (actually the Universal License is great value for money) as I've been using v1 since they first release (with Designer going on 8+ years). That said, between the App Stores making upgrade pricing difficult, some folks expectations that 'lifetime updates' are tied to their lifetimes, not the lifetime of the product version, and general global pricing issues ($99 USD is very accessible to most Americans, Brits, etc, but is often a considerable financial obstacle to many folks in other countries) it's no wonder many folks are upset, especially if they made the investment recently, but beyond the 3 month window Serif is providing free upgrade for.

While I'm disappointed with this release, I'm still optimistic that Serif is listening and will do better in the future.

It would be nice if they would just be so much more aggressive with the betas. Let the technical people in who are willing to be highly critical of their suite but also have expertise to provide useful criticism. If it has to be closed betas to people who actually are properly credentialed to avoid a clown shit show, then so be it.

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It’s obvious from the free samples provided, and Spotlight, that is EXACTLY what happens… Affinity is a fraction of the size of the competition, and a finite number of people can only do so much to balance squashing bugs, polishing existing features, releasing new features, developing future tools, and dealing with a mobbish public waving pitchforks bc they failed to meet everyone’s expectations…

Meanwhile, back in reality, we have access to a leading, multi OS design and publishing with arguably an unrivaled platform boasting the best file format, performance, feature set, and innovation the industry has seen in DECADES for $9 an app. Yea, “Serif sucks.” Whatever, there no is pleasing some…

2021 16” Macbook Pro w/ M1 Max 10c cpu /24c gpu, 32 GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Ventura 13.1

2018 11" iPad Pro w/ A12X cpu/gpu, 256 GB, iPadOS 16.2

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I fully appreciate the need for Serif to raise revenue - they can't go on doing updates for ever for no more revenue. But while there are some interesting things in Designer and Photo, which I have happily paid for, the upgrade to 2 for Publisher is disappointingly poor. I don't know how the Publisher team go about setting up focus groups to find out what people want, but I don't feel they can be going about it in the right way. As a professional designer, I spend a lot of time finding out exactly what my customers want, but I'm not sure Serif have done this. Even just hiring someone on to their staff who was a seasoned print designer with a wide range of experience would have made a huge difference, but I can't imagine this is something they have done. I'm echoing the post from Bryn Reiger here, though less optimistic than him that they will listen this time - they haven't done so yet! Perhaps their system of toting up the number of requests for each feature is at fault. If ten friends told me I had a cold and one doctor told me it was a serious disease, I think I would go with the doctor. Quality, not quantity.

But I am wondering - is it me? When the Affinity suite came along, I thought - aha, this is going to give Adobe a run for their money! But perhaps I have been deluded by my own expectations. Maybe all they wanted for Publisher was to make it a decent flyer/small booklet app - which it is. In fact the only one really, for the Mac anyway, as Word and Pages are just WP and InDesign too complicated and expensive for the average village hall or small company publicist.

Well it is what it is, and I'm not sure I can carry on carrying a torch for the Publisher part of the Affinity suite much longer, though I will continue to recommend Photo and Designer.

 

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On 11/10/2022 at 3:16 PM, captain_slocum said:

Well it is what it is, and I'm not sure I can carry on carrying a torch for the Publisher part of the Affinity suite much longer, though I will continue to recommend Photo and Designer.

There’re lots of pros using Affinity since v1 to earn a living “professionally,” whatever that label means. In any case, I seriously doubt Serif haven’t professional designers and experienced production people on board, thats a ridiculous assumption. Perhaps the more likely scenario is that a multitude of “pros” have their own unique workflows and use cases, and people quickly forget that a finite amount of time funnels an infinite amount of requests. If Publisher doesn’t meet your current use cases it‘s best not to use it. There are other powerful, affordable, polished, cross-platform options available I’m sure…

2021 16” Macbook Pro w/ M1 Max 10c cpu /24c gpu, 32 GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Ventura 13.1

2018 11" iPad Pro w/ A12X cpu/gpu, 256 GB, iPadOS 16.2

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Reading the comments here on the forums, Facebook, Reddit etc (and after spending the whole day playing with the new apps) — I can’t understand how 2.0 is underwhelming for some iPad users.

We got hundreds of major features, new or for the first time on the iPad. We can import palettes, set language for text (as a Romanian this is so, so unexpected, and I think all non-English speakers are just as happy), have access to StudioLink (which works fantastic, and which is so fast you can’t even tell when you move the project from an app to another), content link for easy access, glyph browser, knife, builder, vector warp, etc etc. We have twice as many features than before and then some. Right now Affinity for iPad is 100% up there with its desktop counterpart.

There are hundreds of improvements as well, real improvements, that barely anyone is talking about. The raster brushes feel absolutely fantastic now; the pressure  is up there with Procreate if not better. Even in huge documents the app is crazily fast. Maybe the long-press to activate the quick menu takes too much but the 3-finger-swap is instant. Overall the menus are much more easily  accessible, etc

Publisher being so criticised for little improvements makes no sense on the iPad, which until now lacked a professional tool for publishing at all, but even for desktop people are too harsh and unreasonable. The app is much newer than AP and AD and because of studiolink Publisher is essential and need to be part of the suite. Remember 1.7 version? I’m confident Serif is going to provide major features during 2.X as well.

The only things that I miss are a quick erase delete command, which everyone seem to miss, and personally I’d love a more accessible Group command too, position similar to V1 and not hidden in a menu. As for users who don’t like the UI because of the new icons, there’s an option in Preferences to use monochromatic iconography instead, which solves the “issue’’ instantly.

All the best.

 

StudioLink 256gb 11’ M1 iPad Pro 

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4 hours ago, debraspicher said:

It would be nice if they would just be so much more aggressive with the betas. Let the technical people in who are willing to be highly critical of their suite but also have expertise to provide useful criticism. If it has to be closed betas to people who actually are properly credentialed to avoid a clown shit show, then so be it.

There will be customer betas here on these forums very soon. Be as critical as you like and we would appreciate your credentials improving the software.

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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9 minutes ago, iuli said:

Reading the comments here on the forums, Facebook, Reddit etc (and after spending the whole day playing with the new apps) — I can’t understand how 2.0 is underwhelming for some iPad users.

We got hundreds of major features, new or for the first time on the iPad. We can import palettes, set language for text (as a Romanian this is so, so unexpected, and I think all non-English speakers are just as happy), have access to StudioLink (which works fantastic, and which is so fast you can’t even tell when you move the project from an app to another), content link for easy access, glyph browser, knife, builder, vector warp, etc etc. We have twice as many features than before and then some. Right now Affinity for iPad is 100% up there with its desktop counterpart.

There are hundreds of improvements as well, real improvements, that barely anyone is talking about. The raster brushes feel absolutely fantastic now; the pressure  is up there with Procreate if not better. Even in huge documents the app is crazily fast. Maybe the long-press to activate the quick menu takes too much but the 3-finger-swap is instant. Overall the menus are much more easily  accessible, etc

Publisher being so criticised for little improvements makes no sense on the iPad, which until now lacked a professional tool for publishing at all, but even for desktop people are too harsh and unreasonable. The app is much newer than AP and AD and because of studiolink Publisher is essential and need to be part of the suite. Remember 1.7 version? I’m confident Serif is going to provide major features during 2.X as well.

The only things that I miss are a quick erase command, which everyone seem to miss, and personally I’d love a more accessible Group command too, position similar to V1 and not hidden in a menu. As for users who don’t like the UI because of the new icons, there’s an option in Preferences to use monochromatic iconography instead, which solves the “issue’’ instantly.

All the best.

 

Some of the complaints are hilarious and almost seem like a desperate attempt by competitors to discredit Serif’s achievements.

This software is valuable to us professionals and as capable as anything Adobe offers with this V2 release.

Hopefully the team buys a company yacht with some of the incoming sales (which likely won’t slow down for a long, long time) and cruises off to celebrate 🎉 

They deserve it.

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6 minutes ago, Tia Lapis said:

Imo there are no major show stoppers to replace the Adobe tools with Affinity. Yes there are some rough edges but in the end you can do near everything Adobe can with it.

As much as I like the Affinity apps I don’t agree, perhaps if you are only comparing publisher vs ??? but as you says tools I assume you mean PS and AI too. AP and AD aren’t feature comparable yet. Of course it depends on your requirements, affinity may well be more than enough.

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Well, you don't need feature parity to be able to replace one tool with another. That's at least what I believe. Af Photo ie is at least as powerful as PS cs1 and that is more than enough to work on pictures and paint.

Mac mini M1 / Ryzen 5600H & RTX3050 mobile / iPad Pro 1st - all with latest non beta release of Affinity

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