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Beginner - Background Colours - on Master Pages, and other stuff


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Complete beginner trying to get to grips with Affinity after using Page Plus for years. I produce a newletter for a voluntary group which I have done for years quite successfully using Page Plus but given it is no longer supported and eventually will be obsolete i decided to 'upgrade' to Affinity. There are a number of things I am struggling with but I will focus on the basics:

1. There are no themes built into the software so getting a predeveloped background to a page isn't available. I somehow have to design my own in Designer. Not easy. Where can I reasonably buy a set of page backgrounds?

2. All my master pages are white - how do I colour them? Do i just layer them up with a photo frame and then fill them with colour? Doesn't seem right. 

3. I cannot get to grips with artboards. I was used to the space around my document as an artboard but somehow this software doesn't seem to work like that? 

4. What happened to the lasso - grouping various parts together to group them?

This is just for starters. i think this software was designed for professionals not amateurs like me.  

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10 minutes ago, ces58 said:

3. I cannot get to grips with artboards. I was used to the space around my document as an artboard but somehow this software doesn't seem to work like that? 

"Artboard" is not the term you want. They are a specific function more often associated with Affinity Designer. Perhaps "pasteboard" is a better term.

You can use that space to the left and right of a spread in Publisher, but you will need to disable/toggle View > View Mode > Clip to Canvas

-- Walt
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2 hours ago, ces58 said:

1. There are no themes built into the software so getting a predeveloped background to a page isn't available. I somehow have to design my own in Designer. Not easy. Where can I reasonably buy a set of page backgrounds?

Not sure what you mean by "predeveloped background" so please explain more about what you are looking for & how it should appear in your documents.

2 hours ago, ces58 said:

2. All my master pages are white - how do I colour them? Do i just layer them up with a photo frame and then fill them with colour? Doesn't seem right. 

First, why do you want to have colored master pages? If you do want each of them to have a color you can add that using any suitable shape, for instance a rectangle if you want that, & set it to the full width & height of the page if that is what you want. But note that you can also apply more than one master page to your document pages, so if you want all of them to have the same color you could create a single master page for that & apply it to all your document pages.

2 hours ago, ces58 said:

4. What happened to the lasso - grouping various parts together to group them?

You can use the Move Tool to drag select various layers or shift-click to add to the selected ones, then just use the Group button on the Context toolbar, the keyboard shortcut for that, or the right-click option in the Layers panel to put them into a group.

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V23.0 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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Have you tried watching the tutorials from Affinity? They're only about 5-10 min. each and incredibly helpful. Check them out here: 

Or here too:

https://affinityspotlight.com/article/learn-how-to-use-affinity-publisher-fast/

Also see Affinity's awesome quick start guide here: https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/learn/publisher/desktop/quickstart/

Lastly, you might want to have a look at this Affinity Publisher help guide: https://affinity.help/publisher/en-US.lproj/index.html?page=pages/Text/textStyles_types.html?title=Text style types

Hang in there. This is an amazing program. Give yourself some time to learn it and be patient with your learning curve. You'll be designing your newsletter in Publisher with ease faster than you thought possible. And people here on the forum are extremely helpful and quick to respond with solutions and suggestions. 

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