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Very very disappointed with Publisher 2


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On 11/10/2022 at 7:28 PM, Bryan Rieger is on a break said:

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.

My feelings are also very ambiguous. I hope for some public betas again?

Hardware: Windows 11 Pro (23H2, build 22631.3296, Windows Feature Experience Pack 1000.22687.1000.0), Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-14900K @3.20 GHz, 64 GB RAM, NVIDIA RTX A4000 (16GB VRAM, driver 551.61), 1TB + 2TB SSD. 1 Display set to native 2560 x 1440.
Software: Affinity v1 - Designer/Publisher/Photo (1.10.6.1665), Affinity v2 (universal license) - Designer/Publisher/Photo, v2 betas.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I commented on page one of this thread and only now came back. In the meantime, I was out there doing real work, some of which involved teaching Affinity products. In the interim I updated to version 2, despite the fact Publisher is lagging quite severely behind the other components. 

I have just read several posts saying that Publisher works just fine and is "missing nothing" from Adobe's products. Such comments are simply the product of ignorance. Perhaps it's worth repeating the missing features, so that people joining the thread more recently can learn.

  • No spreads of 3+ pages. This is a problem I encounter on day two of teaching first year design. Day two. It's not an advanced feature at all, but rather a requirement for covers with spines, flyers, and many other types of publications. 
  • No informal spreads, which allow temporary reorganisation for side-to-side comparison.
  • No scripting, which strictly limits automation, making Publisher unsuitable for complex documents. 
  • No conditional text or objects. Ditto.
  • No regular expression search/replace. Ditto.
  • No global layers. The current layer implementation works on a page-by-page basis which is unsuitable for many use cases. 
  • No Markdown import, IDML export, ePub export, etc. which seriously limits inter-operability in professional workflows. 
  • No cross-references for story text, only indices.
  • No vertical text or RTL (right-to-left) text.
  • No typeface sets, which helps organise resources across project pools.

On the plus side, we did get these features:

  • Footnote / endnote support.
  • Ability to compile documents as a Book.

Not all of these features are equally important, but this list should at least demonstrate the gap between Affinity Publisher and the competition. There's far more room for improvement in this application than the rest of the suite. But I suppose that DTP is less glamorous and has a smaller user base. So perhaps we will never have a competitor for Adobe?

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16 minutes ago, rparmar said:

I commented on page one of this thread and only now came back. In the meantime, I was out there doing real work, some of which involved teaching Affinity products. In the interim I updated to version 2, despite the fact Publisher is lagging quite severely behind the other components. 

I have just read several posts saying that Publisher works just fine and is "missing nothing" from Adobe's products. Such comments are simply the product of ignorance. Perhaps it's worth repeating the missing features, so that people joining the thread more recently can learn.

  • No spreads of 3+ pages. This is a problem I encounter on day two of teaching first year design. Day two. It's not an advanced feature at all, but rather a requirement for covers with spines, flyers, and many other types of publications. 
  • No informal spreads, which allow temporary reorganisation for side-to-side comparison.
  • No scripting, which strictly limits automation, making Publisher unsuitable for complex documents. 
  • No conditional text or objects. Ditto.
  • No regular expression search/replace. Ditto.
  • No global layers. The current layer implementation works on a page-by-page basis which is unsuitable for many use cases. 
  • No Markdown import, IDML export, ePub export, etc. which seriously limits inter-operability in professional workflows. 
  • No cross-references for story text, only indices.
  • No vertical text or RTL (right-to-left) text.
  • No typeface sets, which helps organise resources across project pools.

On the plus side, we did get these features:

  • Footnote / endnote support.
  • Ability to compile documents as a Book.

Not all of these features are equally important, but this list should at least demonstrate the gap between Affinity Publisher and the competition. There's far more room for improvement in this application than the rest of the suite. But I suppose that DTP is less glamorous and has a smaller user base. So perhaps we will never have a competitor for Adobe?

Agree with most everything here despite the backhanded commentary. It being further down the list in features behind the other apps makes sense since Publisher came later compare to Photo and even Designer. I'm not sure that a Publisher app was always planned? I could be wrong, but some of us were surprised when it was announced when were waiting on Designer, in particular, to receive critical features.

Spreads and conditional formatting to me are essential to get me to break my workflow from Designer to Publisher for folded items. This is something for Serif to consider, even for light users. And yet, this post which is quite old said in 2018 they didn't have plans to add them at all. Hopefully this has changed internally. Feel free to add your take to that thread as well:

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1 hour ago, rparmar said:

No scripting

Serif has clearly stated that they do have a team working on this and it will be coming when it is ready.

 

1 hour ago, rparmar said:

No regular expression search/replace

This has been available for several versions now.  In the Find/Replace panel, click the gear next to Find and choose Regular Expression.

 

1 hour ago, rparmar said:

IDML export

QuarkXPress doesn't have this either, at least not "out of the box" - it has IDML import only, just like Affinity Publisher.

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On 12/20/2022 at 10:49 AM, rparmar said:

Not all of these features are equally important, but this list should at least demonstrate the gap between Affinity Publisher and the competition. There's far more room for improvement in this application than the rest of the suite. But I suppose that DTP is less glamorous and has a smaller user base. So perhaps we will never have a competitor for Adobe?

I am amused by this comment because I have posted that Affinity is concerned only with desktop publishing on the Mac platform and therefore ignores APhoto.

Affinity Photo 2.4.2 (MSI) and 1.10.6; Affinity Publisher 2.4.2 (MSI) and 1.10.6. Windows 10 Home x64 version 22H2.
Dell XPS 8940, 16 GB Ram, Intel Core i7-11700K @ 3.60 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060

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38 minutes ago, Granddaddy said:

I am amused by this comment because I have posted that Affinity is concerned only with desktop publishing on the Mac platform and therefore ignores APhoto.

So to sum up your comments, Serif Software is massively behind with their flagship Publisher, although they may even be focusing too much on it. It takes the focus off their other products which are also massively behind. If you are entertained by such things, this Catch 22 is good stuff.

I've heard from almost reliable sources that Buddhist monks in Nepal are sending their young monks on a final training course in patience... "Go to Nottingham in the land of the hungover, seek not pubs nor inedible food but wisdom, bring this feature request to the company with hollering marketers, and return home only when it is successfully implemented."

None have succeeded, so far.

 1) You have completely wrecked the layers panel, Serif.

2) I recommend Reddit groups instead of this forum. Not the same few bot-like users replying to everything, a wider representation of users, fewer fanboys, more qualified users. In short, better!

3) I was here to report bugs and submit improvement requests for professional work professionally in a large setup and to bring a lot of knowledge from the world, i.e. professional product development, web- and software development, usability, user experience design and accessibility. I actually know what I am talking about!

BUT! We are phasing out Designer and Affinity in 2022 Q1 - and replacing it with feature complete and algorithmically competent alternatives.
Publisher is unsuitable for serious use, and was never adopted.

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  • 8 months later...

I regret to say I must agree with you.  Since using Page Plus right from the very first version when Serif was based in the US apart from some glitches in some upgrades, it was a sheer delight to use, intuitive, versatile. Sadly after purchasing V1 one then 2 of publisher I just find it hard work, frustrating and sometimes totally unintuitive.  I suppose it is partly because I have used PagePlus for so many years and knew it inside out. 

There are just silly things in publisher. Just now I wanted to stop the curser stop moving my main text frame around so I set it to lock. result it locked the whole thing so I cant even edit the text.

Another annoying lack is whereas PP had an asset windows to store pictures, clipart, picture frames etc that could be dragged in when required (admittedly it was not always easy to find you had to look for the right arrow on the edge of the left hand tool bar, I have yet to find thus useful feature in Publisher

Help has no search facility except online.  For me its been one of those program's that the more I use it the more I dislike it. Some programs become a real delight to use.

Getting  a project done now which has hardly got anywhere would have been nearly finished  if I had used PagePlus. In fact I forgot I had PP on this laptop so have yet again given up on publisher, copied the text I was able to salvage from publisher and taken it to PP to start again. I have a deadline for it so cant afford to waste more time. Maybe when I have a LOT of spare timer I can try publisher again and see if I can get to grips with it. Who knows in a year or so I might actually get to like it yet!

I suppose the only answer is to ditch publisher and go back to PP or ditch PP and try to struggle through Publisher and see if I can get to the place where it is usable. Photo editing is another case in point. I have tried to like it but gone back to a different product where it is easy to get done what I need  - and quickly.

Designer is the only one I have used and actually don't get frustrated with it.

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, ROBING said:

Another annoying lack is whereas PP had an asset windows to store pictures, clipart, picture frames etc that could be dragged in when required (admittedly it was not always easy to find you had to look for the right arrow on the edge of the left hand tool bar, I have yet to find thus useful feature in Publisher

https://affinity.help/publisher2/en-US.lproj/pages/Assets/assets.html 

5 minutes ago, ROBING said:

Help has no search facility except online. 

The built-in Help has a Search facility, though if you're using V2 and the Dark UI it may be hard to notice the search bar at the top of the Help dialog, at least on Windows.

 

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.4.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.4.1

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Unfortunately I started using APublisher for my first book and remained jammed with it (today more than 2500 pages and 4500 images). Twice stupid (by me) because I have (and pay) also the Adobe suite; I liked Affinity and wished to promote their activity, but in my experience, they are not much better than Adobe. The 2.0 release without a sufficient test was terrible and not a sign of great respect for the customers.

Today things go better, even if the APublisher stability is still far away, especially finalizing large documents, when I normally loose one or two days to find what is determining the crash, by trying and trying.

I am an electronic engineer, not a graphic designer and thus not a power user (even if currently intensive); for me Photo is however a not-very-rich but a good product. Only from time to time I am forced to use Photoshop.

Also updates are not frequent and the limits remain (for example, you cannot easily use page references in a book, if any). 

The best thing of Affinity, in my opinion of course, is this forum, where very kind people are always answering quickly and professionally. I wish to thank them by heart for the help that from time to time give me and that made possible to continue using this suite.

More than 30 Macs, from 1984 Mac 512K Plus to 2020 iMac 27" i9

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2 hours ago, Gianni Becattini said:

for example, you cannot easily use page references in a book, if any

That is coming as part of the 2.2 release, currently nearing the end of the beta testing phase.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.4.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.4.1

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2.2 is coming out next week fyi.🙂

Tzvi 9_9

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Ryzen 7 5700U Rx Vega 8 graphics 

16GB RAM (15.3 usable) 

Acer KB202 27in 1080p monitor

Affinity Photo 1.10.6

Affinity photo 2 2.4.0 Affinity Designer 2 2.4.0 Affinity Publisher 2 2.4.0 on Windows 11 Pro version 23H2

Beta builds as they come out.

canon 80d| sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD | Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Autofocus APS-C Lens, Black

 

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  • 1 month later...

I've been reading the complaints and also the comments defending the upgrade. Personally, Im still a newbie to Affinity Suite, as I just got off the Abobe wagon simply because of their pricing range for what I used which was only Photoshop and InDesign. Im still in the learning stage. Therefore, if I see there is something missing PS had, I will adjust because I simply wasn't going to pay for a lot of apps I didn't use, nor pay the individual app price. Adobe does not offer a la Carte for only Photoshop and InDesign. So far I am not disappointed in the switch. I've saved myself a lot of money and for that alone I am a happy about. I will happily wait for updates. I now use Canva a lot for digital ads instead of PS, so like I said, I am pleased with my purchase. I am sure I will have questions along the way like this one: Can Affinity import InDesign files and save as theirs. If this is not in V2, then I will continue to use Markzware for another year to do the switch.

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24 minutes ago, KWD said:

Can Affinity import InDesign files and save as theirs.

You can Open IDML files in Publisher v1 and v2 but you can't Save or Export back to any InDesign formats.

Affinity Designer 2.4.2 | Affinity Photo 2.4.2 | Affinity Publisher 2.4.2
Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.8
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.8, Magic Mouse

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33 minutes ago, KWD said:

I just got off the Abobe wagon simply because of their pricing range

This is the same reason we did as well.

34 minutes ago, KWD said:

Can Affinity import InDesign files and save as theirs.

In InDesign, export your file as an IDML file. AP can import this. Although you should be aware that there are misc. things which do not seem to behave properly in AP with an IDML import for whatever reason. Some of those have been resolved in subsequent releases, so I'm assuming that eventually an IDML import will work as expected.

 

At present AP does not support IDML export.

 

Chris

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41 minutes ago, Chris_06 said:

so I'm assuming that eventually an IDML import will work as expected.

It is unlikely to ever be perfect, as there may always be some features the InDesign supports that Publisher simply doesn't.

And even if Publisher were to implement them, they may not be identical. Consider, for example, the paragraph-level composer that I've read that InDesign has, which Publisher doesn't. The lack of that function means that justified text will flow somewhat differently between the two applications. And even if Publisher were to implement its own paragraph-level composer, unless Serif could guarantee that theirs operated identically with Adobe's version, text using that function could still come out differently.

So, while importing IDML may get close to what InDesign supports, and may get closer over time, it is unlikely to ever be guaranteed to be identical.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.4.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.4.1

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

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.

 

If anyone remembers Pagemaker to Indesign, (InDesign 1 was absolutely terrible) hopefully this gets better 

 

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On 10/23/2023 at 6:47 AM, Chris_06 said:

We finally resorted to just rebuilding our publications from the ground up in AP. The time spent was well worth it.

It would be interesting to see how much time is saved by simply starting from scratch in Publisher as opposed to hunting down and fixing all of the various problems which will be created by opening an IDML file.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 12.7.4 
Affinity Designer 2.4.1 | Affinity Photo 2.4.1 | Affinity Publisher 2.4.1 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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21 minutes ago, kgretka said:

If anyone remembers Pagemaker to Indesign, (InDesign 1 was absolutely terrible) hopefully this gets better 

I only switched from FrameMaker to InDesign at CS5.5 (I had CS2, but InDesign was unusable).

I have to say that ID has never been really stable on my systems (mostly depending, I believe, from incompatible fonts), but it has never made me lose a single file. Its recovery system has been very strong.

Paolo

 

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9 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

It would be interesting to see how much time is saved by simply starting from scratch in Publisher as opposed to hunting down and fixing all of the various problems which will be created by opening an IDML file.

I can only speak for myself, and to me IDML conversion looks really fine. There are missing things, but those that are there mostly translate very well.

Paolo

 

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31 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

It would be interesting to see how much time is saved by simply starting from scratch in Publisher as opposed to hunting down and fixing all of the various problems which will be created by opening an IDML file.

There is some sort of nasty bug which results in the style being messed up across linked text frames after importing into AP. To make things more maddening, the manifestation of this is inconsistent. Thus far, I have been unable to "fix" it when it happens. So I just gave up.

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