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I gave iStudio Publisher a try a while ago, but it was not capable of generating proper print-ready pdf-x documents. It had a promising roadmap, but development has not advanced for several years.

 

I think, iCalamus, although the not so fancy UI (but still improved somewhat in v2) might be the best player around right now, in the afordable  price segment/basic demands.

 

Scribus is quite competent for being free (as in open-souce). But here again, the UI is not so engaging.

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Hi all

Although this won't help window users I have noticed a piece of software on line called " iStudio Publisher for mac" which at first glance looks a fairly fully featured page layout programme given that it costs very little. It is not going to be a replacement for InDesign but it may help to come away from Adobe until Affinity Publisher is released. I have no experience of using this software but considering it only costs twenty odd pounds it has to be worth a punt if you really can't wait for Affinity Publisher.

 

I hoped that iStudio would fulfil my needs as APu doesn't appear anywhere on the horizon but man is it slow - even on my fat nMP...

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Scribus is being used now in quite some serious things... I happen to just have found a print on demand printer, but one that seems to do things right, professionally (happens not so often), one that has an established name in its field, and while digging in its docs, to check well all specs and ensure things get printed right... It does provide a really extensive guide on how to prepare stuff for them, which indeed is actually a manual for preparing stuff for print.  They make for their customers the guide for two applications: InDesign and Scribus.  had not time to read stuff, and as I was not concerned to do the compositing -just some art- , didn't read it more than some skimming. But got  impressed about what Scribus has ended up being. Not an ergonomic interface, i fully agree. but is open source -free- and multiplatform. This includes Mac OS X. IMO, the ideal thing will be Affinity Publisher, as in any suite, nothing talks better to the compositing tool that the vectorial package and raster one of the same developer. Plus we all love these easy to access and learn as well as fast interfaces. But meanwhile, instead of directly going for some costly solution, or wait and wait, (and complain a lot to Affinity, which with 20 developers, is already doing too much...) , could be a solution to give a deep, patient try to Scribus. (realizing though that it is a free option, with some limitations. ). And then purchase A. Publisher at the time it comes out. Learning never hurts (too much  ;) )


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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Ah Scribus, like the 2 other big oss projects (Blender, GIMP) has a, how should I say it? - PITA GUI

 

I really wonder why oss software always sucks at the user interface. Often so much to make the software unusable when you are no masochist...

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Well... I'm no masochist... ;D

 

Indeed, was the pain of purchasing a (OUCH) 1200 euros (by the time, the costs to reach my country increased crazily the final price) application like Deep Paint 3D, that later got ended, and no more updates, later on after purchasing XSI Foundation (500 euros), and then seeing how after an Autodesk tactical purchase (it was interested in making Max(mostly) and Maya the main 3D packages) the software saw there its last days (a monopoly, dunno if sounds familiar...). If I was masochist I would have never looked as a viable extra (so, to add as an extra weapon. Only Blender+Wings are replacing fully the matter in my case, for 3D area) alternative open source tools. I agree, though, seems UX is not a subject in a lot of those. But I am doing for several years pro work with Inkscape, Blender and Wings 3D. Blender has improved the GUI enormously but still is a totally different UI philosophy. Wings 3D is instead way easy to learn and use (but is only a modeler). Inkscape: Being my main complain there that there's simply no cmyk solution, and, reading their docs, certainly not a priority. In Gimp is even less of a priority. Gimp has strange manners to do things if you come from Adobe PS, but is not unusable.  But Inkscape is not that hard to learn and quite nice for pure vector drawing. I could show you renders done with Blender 3D just some months ago by me, in a printed product now heading the shelves, modeling done in Wings, and Blender renders quite realistic and functional (but that would be too off topic). I have handled very little Scribus, but quite some people are using it. If a big printer is doing full manuals for it, and the other only manual is for InDesign, that's something. Of course, being free is beating other options.  And yes, in my very few moments of handling it, yes, certainly a harder UI than anything else, myself having used XPress, and the old ALDUS Page Maker. But from what I read and hear, Scribus is quite powerful. Again, I've proposed it just to use it while publisher gets produced, as Afinity Publisher's integration with Designer and Photo will be much better  than with anything else, commercial or open source. And I expect also a really friendly UI, as are the ones in Photo and Designer.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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Just tried the current version of Scribus: At least the Mac port is a pita. Nonnativ gui, ugly icons and multiple crashes in a few minutes. Perhaps it is better under Linux - A Mac developer would (rightfully) get skinned alive for delivering such junk.

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For those who have not forgotten:

"Affinity Designer is available for open beta testing right now, with Affinity Photo due very soon and Affinity Publisher launching in 2015."

 

https://affinity.serif.com/blog/welcome-to-affinity/

 

So "earliest end of 2017" meaning not before sometime in 2018, means three years later than originally anticipated.

 

I'm well aware of how software, particularly if not hacked together, often takes considerably longer than anticipated, but also given that supposedly the big thing about the Affinity software line is, that it's all built on the same engine, and only has application/task specific UI, one wonders how much developer resources were side tracked with the iOS and Windows variants.

 

Thankfully I don't have to do much publishing to do, that I can't either get done with Pages or Affinity Designer, but I want to be able to leave Adobe permanently in the dustbin of history, and that's not happening, until we have Designer, and maybe a Webdesign app based on it...

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 until we have Designer, and maybe a Webdesign app based on it...

 

For a Webdesign app I found this which is well on it's way to becoming an Adobe replacement for web design.  https://pinegrow.com/

 

There is a 3rd party plugin available for it also that gives animation support for making scroll effects, triggers and targets, fly-ins and usual web page animation stuff.

It has some features that I wish Dreamweaver had, when I was using it. I look at it as a hibred  between Muse and Dreamweaver if you come from Adobe world of products. Only reason I mention this is that Serif has said they do not have any plans to make another webdesign app so I had to go looking else where.  I am a Windows user so all the good webdesign apps typically are Mac based such as Tumult Hype. Pinegrow is one of if not the only really good Adobe alternative I have found for Windows.  Unless someone else has found something that has similar features that compares that is Windows based. It is designed off of a platform that works on Mac, Windows and I believe Linux too.

 

For the DTP stuff I just bought X8 and X9 of PagePlus so until Affinity Publisher comes out I think I am good for now on that end. When Affinity Photo comes out of beta and is released I will buy that also then I am 100% covered for Graphic creation and Photo Editing, Publishing and with Pinegrow webdesign.  I am not sure what else I need to replace coming out of Adobe.  Audio editing there is Audacity and for Video there is FXHome HitFilm Pro and the free version of Black Magic Divinci Resolve. Which I have those as well.  For the most part I think for me these replace what I was using Adobe Creative Cloud for.

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For a Webdesign app I found this which is well on it's way to becoming an Adobe replacement for web design.  https://pinegrow.com/

 

If you like Pinegrow, take a look at Atom.

 

Atom and Pinegrow Web Editor, the Perfect IDE for the Web


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.1.404 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.1.143 • Designer for iPad 1.7.1.1 • iOS 12.3.1 (iPad Air 2)

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For a cheap and cheerful Mac based DTP app I've used Swift Publisher in the past, and despite a naff looking UI it did the job ok, and didn't cost much to buy. Only thing is they release new versions rather than continued updates, so it can cost a bit over time.

 

To be honest I'm pretty impressed with the print features in Affinity Designer, so I'll be using that for leaflets and simple print jobs.

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If you like Pinegrow, take a look at Atom.

 

Atom and Pinegrow Web Editor, the Perfect IDE for the Web

 

I use Brackets. Someone said it has same ability but I don't see it yet on my end.  Either way all you have to do is save the file and it will auto refresh in Pinegrow.  The Atom plugin just does it without saving the file first I think.  No big deal, it works no matter the external editor used, you just have to save the file first. I am sure a plugin will be made for Brackets and other editors at some point.

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Will any of the Affinity product line be able to read in the older product line? IE Designer import in DP files etc? This is my main concern. I literally have thousands of files I would rather not have to convert.

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Will any of the Affinity product line be able to read in the older product line? IE Designer import in DP files etc? This is my main concern. I literally have thousands of files I would rather not have to convert.

 

Have you tried to open any of your files in Affinity Designer?   I noticed that it can open PDF files and allow to edit the text, which I find odd for a graphics software but I guess the code base is going to be shared between the Affinity Line which I can see with Designer and Photo.

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I haven't used it for myself, but Xara Page & Layout Designer seemed to have gotten excellent reviews. On TopTenReviews of 2016, it made it in 2nd place with Serif PagePlus appearing in first.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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I haven't used it for myself, but Xara Page & Layout Designer seemed to have gotten excellent reviews. On TopTenReviews of 2016, it made it in 2nd place with Serif PagePlus appearing in first.

 

That's interesting. I took a look at their product and watched the video on their page but it seems PagePlus X9 does all that too and it is now only $25.00. I used Xara Draw and 3D way back years ago but it was too limiting compared to other options.  I sort of look at Xara as a me too company that focuses on that one niche tool that they build their software around to compete with the big boys but don't quite get there. At least that is my impression from using their software from years ago, I haven't worked with any of their software in years and probably won't be starting now.

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Just say no to Xara p&ld. Really, don't trust that review. It is a small subset of XDP.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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For a cheap and cheerful Mac based DTP app I've used Swift Publisher in the past, and despite a naff looking UI it did the job ok, and didn't cost much to buy. Only thing is they release new versions rather than continued updates, so it can cost a bit over time.

 

To be honest I'm pretty impressed with the print features in Affinity Designer, so I'll be using that for leaflets and simple print jobs.

 

I have also used Swift Publisher for smaller works and I actually liked the simple and strait-forward UI. But as Oval said, it's merely to play with. You can't produce anything that will comply with printing standards. Instead of fixing that with new versions, they choose to deliver a lot of templates and clip-arts, wich I could not care less about.

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A toy.

 

No, I was able to produce print-ready artwork for leaflets, stationery and banners with it. It looks awful, and from a usability perspective there are big improvements to make, but calling it a toy is inaccurate.

 

I've been working as a designer for over 30 years, and have used pretty much every DTP bit of software out there. I used to teach advanced Quark techniques to print and design studios, so I'm familiar with pro software.

 

Swift isn't a piece of pro kit by any stretch of the imagination and will try the patience of a saint, but when a job came in and I needed a quick software fix on a Mac laptop that didn't have existing DTP software on it, for a dollar (it was part of a MacHeist bundle) it did the job - and the finished printed results looked as good as anything produced in Quark - or any other software for that matter.

 

You're not going to be using it for full colour magazine jobs, but for someone on a budget who wants to knock out the odd flyer it could fit the bill.

 

I haven't used it for a year or so as I'm back on my normal machine, and it was a one-off job anyway, so there are probably better options available now, but it's no toy. The quality of the results are in the hands of the user.

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OK, SP is not a toy, it is just indiscutable for professional typesetting. This is the Affinity forum and we are * discussing "high quality, next-generation design apps for professionals” here. Without basic features like optical margin alignment and baseline grid it is not economically to get high quality typography. And even if someone uses SP as a toy or for small pieces: The programmers wanted, but were not able to correct a simple bug within three years, don’t care about features that are unusable in foreign languages.

 

 

* also

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 This is the Affinity forum and we are discussing "high quality, next-generation design apps for professionals” here.

 

Others have mentioned iStudio Publisher, which is in a similar price bracket so thought I'd share my own experience.

 

This is one of my first few posts on this forum - I didn't expect such an aggressive reaction to what I thought was a helpful suggestion. Is this how you normally treat new users on here?

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I didn't expect such an aggressive reaction to what I thought was a helpful suggestion. Is this how you normally treat new users on here?

Sorry, just used helpful facts. Their last two small fixes for SP were in 2015 and one in the beginning of 2016! It should not be forbidden to tell the truth. But it is a problem to use shortened content and change the whole meaning.

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This is the Affinity forum and we are discussing "high quality, next-generation design apps for professionals” here.

Silly me. I though we were discussing anything Affinity app users, be they professionals, amateurs, or just occasional users, might find helpful. Did I miss a memo or something?  :unsure:


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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“This is the Affinity forum and we are discussing "high quality, next-generation design apps for professionals” here.”

 

Silly me. I though we were discussing anything Affinity app users, be they professionals, amateurs, or just occasional users, might find helpful. Did I miss a memo or something?  :unsure:

 

Torn from the context! SP is not used to generate high quality for typesetting because it lacks features like mentioned here. SP is a toy in this relationship. This was discussed with monzo. Not what amateurs don’t want. This topic is about APu which will have those needed features. Belight claims that those features are only (!) available in InDesign. :lol: All professional apps have these needed features for high quality results, SP never had.

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If you had said, "This topic is about high quality, next-generation design apps for professionals," your context might have been clearer. As stated, the context seemed to be about the entire forum.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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