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Searching local Help within any Affinity application only ever returns one, incorrect, match


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I've recently upgraded to macOS Sonoma and now find that searching the local Help for all three Affinity programs no longer returns correct results. I'm 98% confident it was working before the upgrade to Sonoma (I always start doubting myself at times like this! ūüôā

The quick summary is that opening the Help window in any of the applications (Help menu > Affinity AppName 2 Help) then searching using its search box returns only one match in the application's local help, and that match is not correct for the search performed. The result is consistent each time for each application, although different between applications.

What Application are you using? [Designer/Photo/Publisher]

Affects all three applications: Designer, Photo and Publisher

Are you using the latest release version?

Yes: version 2.2.0 of each application

Can you reproduce it?

Yes. I can reproduce it within each application, and have tried quit/rerunning the application, restarting the Mac, and also reinstalling Publisher.

Does it happen for a new document? If not can you upload a document that shows the problem?

Yes, it happens for new and existing documents. It also happens when the application is open but without a document being open.

If you cannot provide a sample document then please give an accurate description of the problem for example it should include most of the following:
   What is your operating system and version (Windows 11, OSX Ventura, iOS 16 etc)?

macOS X Sonoma 14.0

   Is hardware acceleration (in Preferences > Performance) ON or OFF ? (and have you tried the other setting?)

Hardware acceleration is ON (Metal) for Publisher and Designer
Hardware acceleration is OFF (OpenGL) for Photo because of an earlier bug discovered

   What happened for you (and what you expected to happen)

Using the Help menu's "Affinity AppName 2 Help" item and searching for a keyword results in only one, not relevant, match being found in the application's local help.

   Provide a recipe for creating the problem (step-by-step what you did).

  1. Open the Help menu's "Affinity {Publisher, Designer, Photo} 2 Help" item. A window will open to the local help content and showing the application's logo in the centre.
  2. In the window's search box (at its top right) enter a word or phrase and press Return.
  3. Only one match will be found within the application's local help, followed below by general macOS help results. The item found appears to be consistent for each application, although different between them, and not relevant to the search.

The following help item appears to be returned in each case:

  • for Publisher it is always "Setting a cross-reference's text"
  • for Designer it is always "Layers Panel (Export persona)"
  • for Photo it is always "Edit selection as layer using Quick Mask"

   Did this same thing used to work and if so have you changed anything recently? (software or hardware)

I'm as certain as I can be that this was working until recently under macOS Ventura, but since upgrading to Sonoma the problem has started. (I don't often need to use Help, but am pretty sure I used it in the week before Sonoma was released and was using the local help at the time instead of the online.)

I upgraded all three applications to 2.2.0 when they were released, but can't remember if my last successful use of Help was before or after that upgrade, hence I'm not certain whether it's related to the installation of the  v2.2.0 applications or of Sonoma.

Screenshot 2023-09-30 at 21.53.46.png

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Hmm, I'm seeing the same behaviour in v1, too, only one result no matter what I try. I think something broke with Affinity help and Sonoma.

There seems to be one search result that it returns regardless of the keyword. And you get the same single result for each app if you search from another app's help. Typically if you searched for something like affinity publisher colour from the Apple Numbers help page you'd get lots of hits from Affinity Publisher's help.

Screenshot2023-09-30at8_26_45PM.png.ee14b7df85d1540c3191e3d8bcef8b44.png

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.4 from this forum - expanded 300-page PDF

My system: Affinity 2.4.2 for macOS Sonoma 14.5, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have the same problem as Truthseeker10 with the help system after i updated to MacOs 14,  Sonoma,

Affinity help system before i upgraded were some of the best designed help files of any app i have aver used.
I hope there are plans to correct this (soon)

Anyone know if there are any downloadable help files for Photo and Designer?

em

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18 minutes ago, elfmarc said:

by the way. I deleted Designer 2.2.2 and  reinstalled Designer 2.1.1 and still have the same problem

It's probably a Sonoma problem, as Help is largely an OS function on Mac, so the version of Designer wouldn't matter.

-- 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 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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2 hours ago, elfmarc said:

Anyone know if there are any downloadable help files for Photo and Designer?

You can use the online version which is easier to read anyway. Search isn't impacted in it. https://affinity.help

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.4 from this forum - expanded 300-page PDF

My system: Affinity 2.4.2 for macOS Sonoma 14.5, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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On 10/21/2023 at 4:59 PM, elfmarc said:

Anyone know if there are any downloadable help files for Photo and Designer?

They are part of the downloaded applications, and you can navigate to them from your browser if you want to be able to read them in a browser but while you're offline (I usually just use the Online Help that Mike mentioned).

For Publisher 2, for example, the local Help files for US English are here if you've installed from the Affinity Store:
 

file:///Applications/Affinity%20Publisher%202.app/Contents/Resources/AffinityPublisher.help/Contents/Resources/en-US.lproj/index.html

You can locate the files for your application and language, and bookmark them in your browser.

Or, for example, another user created a web page to point to them:

 

-- 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 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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re: Help files not searchable after update to MacOS Sonoma14.0 (all 3 Affinity apps)

I spent some time on Apple forum discussing this with Apple. Of course they said it was an Affinity problem not Apple.
The Mac guy did acknowledge that the search function didn't work on Sonoma but it DID work on earlier MacOS, but that was all.

I  tried the online Photo2 help files which are a usable alternative (thanks for the tip) , but most of my work is done offline so i hope Affinity and Apple can work together and find a solution for this.

If anyone knows of downloadable help files for Photo and Designer, like the one for Publisher, please let me know.

As a note, I opened Photo2 on a PC/Windows machine and searching offline help worked just fine!

Thanks for the help and tips!

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1 hour ago, elfmarc said:

If anyone knows of downloadable help files for Photo and Designer, like the one for Publisher, please let me know.

As I said above, they are already downloaded; you just need to point your web browser to them.

-- 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 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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