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Merging Documents in AfPublisher v2.0.3 (Windows)


AllanP

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I'd appreciate seeing some clarity on what can or cannot be done when it comes to merging documents if APub. Especially in relation to the "Add Pages from File..." under the Document menu.
 
Using that option and having selected the file from which you wish to insert pages, you are given the option to add all pages, a range of pages, or a specified section from that file.
Within the "receiving" document you have the option to insert the "incoming" pages before, after , or replacing a specified page or after the last page; or you can select to insert before, after, replacing or after the last page of a specified section within the receiving document.
 
However, the process appears buggy.
 
My test scenario -
I have a "Sections Base Document" of 10 pages divided into sections with Section Manager. The document is set up with facing pages and has a simple Master (A) with a page header frame at the top and a page number frame at the bottom, populated by the section name and page number values from the References-> Fields panel. There are three single page sections in the middle of the document (named Placeholder 1/2/3). The concept being that each Placeholder page/section could be replaced with a separately produced document.
So, I have a "Sections Insert Article" document with 4v pages of content and the same facing page/master page layout for the "Sections Base Document" as a single named section.
My intention is to replace the Placeholder 1 section of the base document with the insert article.
 
I use the "Add Page from File..." option on the base document, specifying that I want to add the single section from the "Sections Insert Article", replacing the "Placeholder 1" section of the base document.
The results are mixed.
The four pages are inserted.
The page header of the inserted article is blank - while the frame is there (as seen in the Layers panel, it does not show any content.
The inserted article section restarts the page numbering from 1 - OK, I can accept this, there is no way I can see of telling the section to continue the numbering, and it's easy to reset.
The second and third pages of the inserted article have the correct section name in the page header, but the fourth does not - it has the section name of the section it replaced.
The page after the inserted section now has two page header text frames!
So not quite what was expected.
See my attached test files of Base Document, Inserted Article ad resulting "Base plus Insert"
 
My initial thoughts are that the use of facing master pages as in my test are not correctly catered for.
I think it would be useful to have more information on how the merge documents facility is intended to work. My understanding is based on the information in the Help file, but does not seem to match up. Serif's video tutorial on the Section Manager only appears to deal with splitting a document into sections.

Sections Base Document NMF.afpub Sections Base plus InsertedNMF.afpub Sections Insert Article NMF.afpub

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To the best of my knowledge we cannot overwrite pages. So right off the bat we have a problem with the three "Place Holder pages.

I would have used Linked Text Frames on the Master Pages. I would also have named each and every item on the Master Pages with a Left and Right. So you would have Page Header, Page number and Text (with the Left/Right) text frames.

Doing this Naming helps keep the text frames organized when we insert pages and makes editing easier later on. Note that you'll have to do some relinking of text frames for the inserted article because it is going into the middle of a spread.

Try with these two documents. I include them because it seems to work for me but I am not exactly sure what you are aiming for.

Bruce Sections Base Document NMF.afpub

Bruce Sections Insert Article NMF.afpub

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 12.7.5 
Affinity Designer 2.5.3 | Affinity Photo 2.5.3 | Affinity Publisher 2.5.3 | Beta versions as they appear.

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

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@Old Bruce -
Your comments/suggestions have been very helpful.
 
Just to clarify - having used Serif's PagePlus on many projects over the years, I'm intending to transition to APublisher now that the Endnotes feature has been added to v2.
One project is a newsletter/magazine with some fairly standard front matter and end matter sections each issue and a varying set of articles between the front and end sections each issue. Having read through the Affinity Help file on merging documents, I hoped it would be relatively straightforward to set up one document with the front and end matter, work on the intended articles in separate documents and then insert (using the "Add pages from File..." option) these articles into the front/end matter base document. This in conjunction with using the insertion of the section name field in the page headers.
 
So, I agree that using linked text frames on the Master page(s) is the way to go (not sure why I don't set them up like that). Also, I see the benefits of naming the page elements - that's a good call.
As you say, there needs to be re-linking of frames as the inserted article goes into the middle of a spread, coupled with using the Section Manager to "Continue page numbering" on the inserted section. It seems that regardless of inserting the section on a right hand or left hand page, the first inserted page's text frame is always blank, necessitating the re-link. (I guess I should experiment to see what happens if the inserted document starts on a right hand page...) At least now, thanks to your comments, I can see how to use this feature best.
 
I guess my gripe is that the supplied information on merging documents lacks some clarity on what happens and what actions the user my need to take. The way the information is presented implies that specifying which section tio insert where is all that needs to be done, but in reality each publication may need some specific actions.
 
In summary -
Use linked text frames on master pages and name the layer elements for ease of use.
When inserting sections from another document, ensure "ignore initial section" is unchecked.
After the section has been inserted re-link the first 2 pages of the insertion and adjust the page numbering in Section Manager as required.
Re-align any images as necessary.
 
So, thank you Old Bruce for your feedback. That's helped me understand more clearly what was happening - I had probably got too close to the detail and needed to step back a bit.
Keep up your great support of fellow Affinity users.
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