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Help 'Search' missing from Affinity Designer & Publisher in V2.5


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web based help isn't much good if you for some reason don't have internet. INTERNET DOWN, NO ACCESS FOR OUTAGE, and so on.

Help should should be local and web for the newest.  It can then be updated for each release.

Gary

 

Windows 11 Pro, Ryzen 9 7950x, 64GB DDR5 6000mhz, Nvidia 4080 OC 16gb, Dell 38inch curved monitor.

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43 minutes ago, MikeTO said:

This feature was removed with the shift to web-based help in 2.5.

There are a lot of us who miss this feature so hopefully it will make a return.

I can't understand how that is related. I can get web based help for Pages, Keynote... any other Mac app and still have the search feature in the help bar to look up what I want to find - its default macOS behaviour why on earth disable it? By all means remove the Help Topics section when searching but not the Menu Items lookup.

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1 hour ago, MikeTO said:

This feature was removed with the shift to web-based help in 2.5.

There are a lot of us who miss this feature so hopefully it will make a return.

It is an entirely unreasonable and foolish decision to deliberately (???) remove this search function in help, which is one of the most helpful features in macOS. I love it; it is an absolutely superior way to find features quickly for both beginners and experienced users. It helps, for example, me who uses several programs in my work and sometimes forgets where in the menu structure a feature is located in the respective program.

Who on earth thinks it's a step forward for customers to be forced into a cumbersome manual akin to Windows Help from 1995, where you have to go through several steps, when macOS offers an extremely user-friendly approach to simply finding the function and using it if that's the only help you need? We are not all helpless, needing to start with pen tool 101 every time we access the help menu in macOS. And just think about it, that those of us who have invested in Apple have done so for many of these advantages.

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5 minutes ago, alex8619226 said:

I can't understand how that is related. I can get web based help for Pages, Keynote... any other Mac app and still have the search feature in the help bar to look up what I want to find - its default macOS behaviour why on earth disable it? By all means remove the Help Topics section when searching but not the Menu Items lookup.

The help for Pages and Keynote is not web based, it's stored inside the application. With Affinity 2.5, the help is no longer stored inside the application and the help web site content is displayed in the in-app help viewer. This is the same approach used by Adobe - it reduces the application size, means the help content is always up-to-date, and will allow Serif to add videos in the future, something that wasn't feasible with app-based help.

Apps can still allow menu commands to be searched even if they don't have in-app help so hopefully this feature will make a return soon.

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I was not personally aware of this change during the beta cycle before todays release, so I can only speak on the information available to me in our internal logs - however it appears as though this functionality has been temporarily removed due to a few issues our team found with the in-app menu search function and the in-app helpfiles.

The removal of the menu Search function is slightly different from the reasoning behind moving the Affinity in-app help to use a web based system - which was done due to issues reported against macOS Sonoma, when using the 'built-in' help files.

Currently for Affinity macOS v2.5, the 'Affinity Helpfile' will launch a Safari based help-viewer, displaying web versions of the helpfiles.
We appreciate this is not ideal (ie if you have no internet connection) but at this time I believe it is more important to our team to offer the full, searchable helpfile available within the app (even if that requires an internet connection) for all of our macOS users.

As a consequence of this, the in-app 'menu Search' bar was also removed, whilst we moved the help online.
As Mike mentions above these functions are able to be separated from one another, and the request to return the menu Search feature is currently logged with our development team.

I have added 6 reports to that development report from this thread, and will be continuing to feed-back to our team regarding these changes as our users provide their thoughts.

I do believe that our team is currently investigating ways to return the menu Search functionality, as I certainly appreciate how useful this can be from a usability standpoint.

I hope this clears things up :)

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2 minutes ago, Dan C said:

return the menu Search functionality

Let's hope they find a way to implement this on windows as well, to ,like said, find the appropriate tool or function more easily.




 

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7 minutes ago, Dan C said:

I hope this clears things up :)

Thanks for the comprehensive update Dan - first time I've ever had a problem with Affinity suite in 10 years and great to get such swift feedback. I've reverted to 2.4.2 for the time being and will keep an eye out for news.

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4 minutes ago, Aldus said:

I can search inside Adobe Photoshop 2024? 

If you compare most apps with in-app help (Pages, Keynote...) to Photoshop, and type "Actual" into Help, you'll see a difference. Apps with in-app help with show the menu item "Actual Size" which is what we all want, and also some relevant help topics. Photoshop shows the menu item but it doesn't have in-app help so it can't show relevant help topics - macOS is responsible for indexing the help and displaying those results. Instead Photoshop shows a help topic named "Get Help on 'Actual'" which is just a link to the web-based help's search results for that term. I think this is a very nice solution.

I think we can all agree that we all miss the ability to search for menu commands and to search help from the menu. And for those without internet access, it would be good to have an offline version of help, even if you have to install it separately.

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3 hours ago, Dan C said:

We appreciate this is not ideal (ie if you have no internet connection) but at this time I believe it is more important to our team to offer the full, searchable helpfile available within the app (even if that requires an internet connection) for all of our macOS users.

It is not simply "not ideal," it means if for whatever reason a user does not have a working internet connection, there is no help at all available for the apps!

Surely that is the most important thing for the developers to consider, for both Mac & Windows users?

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V2.5.2 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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14 hours ago, R C-R said:

It is not simply "not ideal," it means if for whatever reason a user does not have a working internet connection, there is no help at all available for the apps!

Surely that is the most important thing for the developers to consider, for both Mac & Windows users?

We are not the only creative, or multi-platform application to take this approach - and the majority of their users seem to have no issue with an online only helpfile method.

That is not to say this isn't something we're discussing internally, as I understand it would be preferable to offer an alternative for users in an offline environment, but this will likely not be the default option provided with the app, as I understand it.

Equally there are also benefits to a web based system, as outlined by Mike above;

17 hours ago, MikeTO said:

This is the same approach used by Adobe - it reduces the application size, means the help content is always up-to-date, and will allow Serif to add videos in the future, something that wasn't feasible with app-based help.

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18 hours ago, Dan C said:

these functions are able to be separated from one another, and the request to return the menu Search feature is currently logged with our development team.

This.

So after clearing up that this does not interfere with the decision to move help to the web, can we please get just the search for menu items back?

Thank You very much in advance!!

 

  • Main machine: iMac 2019 (21,5-inch 4k, 6core), 64GB RAM, 1TB nvme + 2TB ssd, running on Mac OS 14 Sonoma;
  • Display setup: 28" 5k Display (primary) + 21,5" iMac4k-Display for studio panels (secondary);
  • Keyboard layout: german apple extended keyboard (aluminium);

 

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Thanks for the clarification Dan C.

One of the main advantages of the search field in the Help menu is to be able to quickly find a menu item in any menu. It's immensely helpful for apps with lots of menu items or when a user and a developer think differently in terms of menu hierarchy.

Removing it not only removed a valuable function of macOS, it also removed a system-wide behavior used by and expected by users.

Hoping it will find its way back in the apps very soon.

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Thanks for the comment Dan,

FWIW, I want to put my vote in for its return. It's a wonderful built in function of MacOS X, and as others have pointed out, an absolute gem of a feature to find something specific in menus. I use it more than I use menus.

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6 hours ago, Dan C said:

We are not the only creative, or multi-platform application to take this approach - and the majority of their users seem to have no issue with an online only helpfile method.

That does not make it the best approach for the Affinities, & is it obvious from comments in this topic that quite a few of your users do have issues with it. Others may have issues with it as well but have not responded here for various reasons*.

EDIT: * An obvious reason for people not complaining here about this issue is if they do not have web access they can't go online to comment about this.  Another is that many users do not want to create user accounts to participate in online forums like this one.

Also, consider that because laptop computers are portable, they may be used where there is no internet access. Likewise, both desktop & laptop computers are sometimes used in businesses where internet access is prohibited or restricted for security reasons. Again, this affects both Mac & Windows users, so it is not just about the sorely missed search field feature of almost all (!!!!) Mac apps that allow users to quickly find & use menu items.

Regardless, if the new 2.5 approach is to move all the help to the web, then the system requirements should mention that internet access is required to access it, & that probably also should be mentioned on the 'What's new in 2.5' web page. This at least will let users know in advance if they want to update & lose the built-in help or possibly take other measures to preserve at least some of it in offline files.

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V2.5.2 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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Removing the help menu was a completely nonsensical decision that has already made rollback. While there may be benefits to a web-based system, it doesn't help me find a command buried in the giant array of possible menu items. Nor does having a Mac application behave differently than all of the other ones help my productivity.

Did anyone honestly believe that removing a feature that has been present for years and is present in every Mac application wouldn't result in user disapproval?

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Yes, please, bring it back. The Mac Search field is incredibly useful to immediately find something in the plethora of commands.

There are things (like this or the absence of an app frame) that we Mac users consider as a given, and make the work slow down enormously if altered.

Paolo

 

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Just found this thread, and never commented before.

Please reinstate the help search box for quickly selecting menu items. It is loosing so much of my time. Afraid I'm going to have to find a way to downgrade and hope I can still open my files.

Please Please Please Please Please

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1 hour ago, MrsYarnold said:

Struggling to go back a version to get this menu search back. The Mac download only seems to have the current 2.5 version.

The links in the FAQ take you to pages that provide the current and former releases:

E.g. https://store.serif.com/update/macos/designer/2/ takes you here:

image.png.63f18058f6d4f05ef2f8179e463164c8.png

Note that these are for users who originally installed from the Affinity Store, not the Mac App Store (MAS). MAS users can also use them, if you've linked your MAS purchase to your Affinity Store account, but I'm not sure you'll have all your custom content in that case.

-- 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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On 5/24/2024 at 8:50 AM, R C-R said:

Again, this affects both Mac & Windows users, so it is not just about the sorely missed search field feature of almost all (!!!!) Mac apps that allow users to quickly find & use menu items.

It does not affect Windows users. The Help on Windows is still supplied within the application files, and displayed from those local files.

 

-- 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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