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V2 Backward compatibilty, e.g. open in V1 or expert to V1

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Opening working files (afphoto, afdesigner, or afpub) files created in V2 in V1 is not possible. However Exporting to whatever file format, be it jpg, png, psd, pdf, should not be a problem.

I would think the time and cost to make each successive working file, backward compatible would be prohibitive, especially for a small company like Serif. I do know of one company that has made backward saving for sometime. It is no small corporation/company, and have huge teams to handle such things. It's just not that simple to do so.


Affinity Photo ; Affinity Designer ; Affinity Publisher ; Affinity2 Beta versions. Affinity Photo,Designer Win10 Home Version:21H2, Build: 19044.1766: Intel Core i7-4770, 3.90GHz, 32GB Ram, Nvidia GTX 645, 3-Internal HDD (1 Crucial MX5000 1TB, 1-Crucial MX5000 500GB, 1-WD 1 TB), 4 External HDD

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1 hour ago, Callum said:

Hi Mr Lucky,

This isn't something we have any immediate plans for.


This seems very short sighted as a business practice. I have two Mac's. One can't upgrade to V2. How am I meant to continue to work using both of them? There needs to be a Save As V1 option  no question as a customer I need it. Breaking interoperability is a ongoing black practice in design apps. Round tripping files via PSD is as silly as it sounds and also proves you could easily do a V1 convertor. I'd also argue that as the file format has been designed to interoperate with three apps so functions are enabled or disabled based on app context then doing version mapping shouldn't be too difficult?

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I agree that it should have been included. It's not as though there are multiple previous versions, it's one step and those new file inclusions for V2 could have been planned with a fall-back from the get go. The business case probably stacks up, just feels a bit like the users have been left out of the equation.

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Absolutely this should've been included, even if just providing an option to save in v1 format. This id no different from the functionality offered in Word or even open source software such as OpenOffice.

I have to share files with a large number of colleagues, some of whom are only infrequent users who are unlikely to be bothered to upgrade. Without this very simple feature, v2 is useless to me. Yes, I'm just one user saying this, but across my organisation there are several hundred licenced affinity users who have all now been advised not to upgrade.

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1 minute ago, am2008 said:

Yes, I'm just one user saying this,

Well, it's one thing that is making me think twice.

It;'s no big issue to just remain on v1 unless I discover some new feature that is indispensable.


The bad case scenario would be if there was some kind of security issue arise in v1 and as it is EOL it would not get fixed.

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1 hour ago, drkanukie said:

I'd also argue that as the file format has been designed to interoperate with three apps

I think it's sort of the other way around: It's actually just one universal file format to begin with. The file extension is there only to define the default app to open it.
But theoretically, all three apps could in fact be just one app with a dozen of personae and all the other bloat. The split into three apps exists because many users will need just a specific subset of all possible features available. For example hobbyists might be just fine getting only Designer because it's got a bit of layout tools as well as a bunch of bitmap tools to work with. So it's mainly a marketing decision not to sell just one "eierlegende Wollmilchsau" (as the Germans say) product.

1 hour ago, drkanukie said:

version mapping shouldn't be too difficult?

We don't know. It's a proprietary file format.

Some application allow version interoperability to some degree, but they will also warn you that the documents may stop working as expected if you go a version or more back. From what I'm using regularly, that applies e.g. to Logic Pro X which allows me to open project documents created on v10.6.2 (Catalina) in v10.3.3 (El Capitan), but with a warning. (Generally I work in El Capitan anyway due to external audio hardware compatibility.)
Or FileMaker with its *.fmp12 document format is – as the extension suggests – backwards compatible to FM 12. Not all features are, though.

MacBookPro9,1: MacOS El Capitan > Affinity v1 / MacOS Catalina > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // iPad 9th: iPadOS 15.7.2 > Affinity v2

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Backward compatibility is nearly impossible to do if you expect software to move forward with new features.  Every example I have seen of some application allowing you to save to an older version (photoshop, word etc) will warn of losing features.  It becomes compounded if the 2.0 file is further edited with the 1.0 version, potentially breaking relationships between objects and data structures that 2.0 would naturally keep intact.  Then you have a complete mess.

It might technically be possible to have a data structure with 2.0 exclusive features (for example) as a separate metadata structure with links to the "base" primitives, but then what happens if that primitive is edited or removed?   Opening the file again in 2.0 will have metadata tied to a non-existent primitive.  So then 2.0 would have to try and "clean up" all these orphaned links.

That's just a simple example.   It's really not reasonable to expect 100% migration compatibility at major version changes.


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16 hours ago, BIOSMonkey said:

It's really not reasonable to expect 100% migration compatibility at major version changes.

I completely disagree, you said it yourself that the Adobe suite allows back saving by dropping incompatible file features (it just drops them back to the next appropriate primitive element).

This is a completely proprietary file format, known and used only by Serif. They were free to change it as needed, they could have even put some changes into the last V1 update if necessary.

This was a time/business decision. I don't see why people feel the need to try and make out like it's an impossible task.

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22 hours ago, Callum said:

This isn't something we have any immediate plans for.

Wrong answer - not acceptable

My main workflow is working great in V2 but there are hundreds (or maybe thousands) of users that can't upgrade, I have a couple of clients, one who needs Mojave for access to Acrobat pro for pre-press checks and some CS6 stuff and one on a version of windows which is unsupported by V2, these guys and many many more have workflows in place that allow them to make a living and make deadlines, at the moment, the only Affinity files I send these clients are single pages with lots of editable layers, so the current workaround is to select all and copy paste from V2 to V1 which works decent enough and rasterises unsupported rasters and converts unsupported vectors to curves plus maintains layer names and wot-not, but for multipage documents, ie an annual report or magazine this is going to be a nightmare - yet someone working in InDesign cc could put a massive annual report together and save as IDML and V1 or V2 would open it ?!?!?!?

As it states on the Affinity home page "Wielding hundreds of timesaving improvements and a completely redesigned UI that will optimise your workflow, V2 is heralding in a new creative era." ----- timesaving improvements!?!?!? Catalina and not Mojave support means taking workarounds for a lot of users to another level, A back saving format like IDML would be a massive plus for users that can't yet upgrade, and won't upgrade until they have everything they need in Affinity - like I say, my workflow is great in V2 as I have a Big Sur / Mojave duel boot main mac and Mojave MacBook pro for Mojave essentials - I'm still an Affinity fan boy and StudioLink is incredible but I really feel for some of the users who are currently stuck.


Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009) 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon 48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GB Ugee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor Double boot Mac OS Big Sur 11.6.5 and Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Affinity Publisher, Designer and Photo 1.10.5 - 2.00







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I am accustomed to using older versions of software to open files created with newer versions. Sure some features might be lost, but the benefits are great. 

For example, as a certified software dinosaur, I'm still running Microsoft Office 2000. I can still open files that my granddaughters create in Microsoft Office 2020. Microsoft many years ago provided an installable utility that enables this to happen.

Also, it has been routine for decades for software to save to files compatible with older versions. 

Affinity Photo 2.0.4 (MSI) and 1.10.6; Affinity Publisher 2.0.4 (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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I agree that the reoccurring assumption that this feature isn't relevant is massively at odds with my experience. It was already the case when Affinity was launched that there was no way to import Serif files. The workaround that was offered back then and now again, e.g. PDF exports, is not really helpful because so much is lost (especially with the Publisher), externally integrated files, more extensive text editing, etc. So I should now have my Serif products, keep Affinity V1 and and and installed or always carry it with you when changing systems? Also because I have also purchased or recommended Affinity in other contexts in which an update is not justified or affordable now, I am quite at a loss as to whether I should update to V2 myself... Love your products, but this ignorance is annoying.

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  • 2 months later...
On 11/11/2022 at 4:15 PM, BIOSMonkey said:

Backward compatibility is nearly impossible to do if you expect software to move forward with new features. 


Figma is 100% backwards compatible, so its not 'impossible to do'. It's a different model but it proves it's not 'impossible'. I'd say its essential unless you want an Adobe style arms race. Also stop with the new features, I'd rather you fix what's still broken than keep adding more bugs thanks. But where is the revenue stream there and thats the point.

For Affinity how come it can save and open PSD format files but not V1 files. Does that make sense that you support a different programs format but not your own. What are the the amazing new features in V2 - nothing really come to mind it's a UI refresh mostly like a better layers panel. There are no new major concepts like 3D or a different kind of Artboard. There are a few layer based filters that could be disabled in a V1 version. That argument is weak.

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20 hours ago, drkanukie said:

For Affinity how come it can save and open PSD format files but not V1 files.

There are many things in PSD documents that Affinity cannot use/see. And there is the oft reported Cannot save Text as Text in PSD export from Photo. So I would say the Opening of the PSD file format is not anywhere near 100%. Same with the IDML opening, more problems than we know about.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.3 
Affinity Designer 2.0.4 | Affinity Photo 2.0.4 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.4 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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