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ShelleyAlexa

When are we likely to see an Affinity Beta of the Pageplus replacement?

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I teach computer applications for seniors, including Desktop Publishing using PagePlus for their literary aspirations - Publisher simply doesn't cut it.  My concern is that I am teaching an application program that will shortly be replaced.  While I understand the reluctance to talk launch dates, I am wondering is anyone has any insight into whether I should be concerned: both in terms of release timing and backwards compatibility. 

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Hi ShelleyAlexa and welcome :)

Unfortunately we don't have an ETA for Affinity Publisher at the moment, when we have more information we'll be sure to let everyone know. 

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ShelleyAlexa,

 

You've been given the official Serif answer to questions about the release date of Affinity Publisher.  However, PagePlus will continue to fully function for some time yet and Serif have stated that they are likely to release a patch if a future change to Windows renders the program unusable.

 

However, the question of "backwards compatibility" is rather more fraught, if you mean whether PP files will open in the new APub; on the basis that Designer cannot open DrawPlus files natively, nor Photo with PhotoPlus files, it seems unlikely that Publisher will be able to open .ppp files.  Almost certainly the route to access PP files in APub will be to export from PP as pdf, as it is for DP to AD.  Clearly, Photo can open standard image files like jpg so "backwards compatibility" is, perhaps, less of an issue (unless you have a large number of images stored in .spp format).

 

HTH

Jeff


Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics

 

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher.

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I teach computer applications for seniors, including Desktop Publishing using PagePlus for their literary aspirations - Publisher simply doesn't cut it.  My concern is that I am teaching an application program that will shortly be replaced.  While I understand the reluctance to talk launch dates, I am wondering is anyone has any insight into whether I should be concerned: both in terms of release timing and backwards compatibility. 

 

 

Thank you for your responses. I guess we're stuck with PagePlus for this year at least.  Very disappointing.

 

If the mature Microsoft Publisher "simply doesn't cut it", then the first few versions of the entirely new Affinity Publisher are also likely to disappoint. Even though development of PagePlus has ceased, recent versions will continue to function for many years to come.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.3.155 • Designer for iPad 1.7.3.1 • iPadOS 13.2.2 (iPad Air 2)

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ShelleyAlexa,

 

I completely agree with you, Microsoft Publisher doesn't cut it. As someone who has worked in design and prepress for many years, I don't know how much money I've made rebuilding people's layouts that were originally built in Microsoft Publisher (because the files aren't CMYK, it doesn't support separations, etc) and so you would think I would be happy to see people using it as it makes me money. While I have made money from it (and continue to), I still recommend to everyone who will listen to avoid Microsoft publisher. It will cost you more in the long run to use it than it would to buy a decent page layout app. I don't know much about PagePlus as I've never used it nor have I ever encountered it "in the wild". Most professionals use either Indesign or Quark Xpress to create their layouts from my experience (and those are the apps that I use as well when I build layouts for clients). I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of interesting solutions Affinity Publisher brings to the game. I agree with Alfred, Affinity Publisher (while no doubt better than Microsoft Publisher) will be a work in progress for a few years until they get things ironed out. 

 

Best of luck,

Hokusai

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...Microsoft Publisher doesn't cut it. As someone who has worked in design and prepress for many years, I don't know how much money I've made rebuilding people's layouts that were originally built in Microsoft Publisher (because the files aren't CMYK, it doesn't support separations, etc) ...

I think that back in the day I made more money fixing Postscript errors than Publisher issues so they would RIP.

 

Publisher can output CMYK PDFs and has been able to for many versions. We always double-fried those pdfs, creating seps via Acrobat up until pdf rips were a thing and then just ripped the pdfs.

 

But it isn't color managed and one could (and most all of them were) built such that rgb images could be really poorly converted. For some the only option was to use Acrobat to send the images to PS and edit/fix them and they would be replaced in the pdf. As a service bureau, we changed some customers, but most often just dug in and did it without direct billable hours.

 

The good ol' days often weren't. We have it pretty cushy today.

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If the mature Microsoft Publisher "simply doesn't cut it", then the first few versions of the entirely new Affinity Publisher are also likely to disappoint. Even though development of PagePlus has ceased, recent versions will continue to function for many years to come.

 

I'd say that's mostly due to MS never really trying to break into the pro publishing scene. Publisher was good enough for it's intended market, the home market/intraoffice crowd, and they felt no need to step things up beyond that.

 

Serif, on the other hand, wants to court that pro scene, and has both InDesign and Quark to serve as a baseline goal. With that in mind, I imagine it won't be a lack of features that holds Affinity Publisher back at first, but the fact it's a new and untested player to a scene that relies on their time weathered, trusted old standards. Like Photo and Designer, it'll offer up enough on its first release to tempt a lot of people away from Photoshop, but the fact it'll likely be a little buggy when compared to the Adobe suite (which has been around since dinosaurs), and that it'll have to earn its reputation among the pro set will keep it from exploding right out the gate. 

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MikeW,

 

I know that Publisher can export CMYK PDF's but the problem was and is that normally someone who is a steadfast Publisher user doesn't have the knowledge (and often doesn't care) to use CMYK images in the first place, so while it can output CMYK files they normally don't because they lack the understanding of what CMYK is and why we don't print using RGB. I completely agree with you, the converted images often didn't turn out so good. We just ask the customer to send us a PDF file and the images and then we rebuild them in Quark Xpress or Indesign because that way we know that we have CMYK images and the bleed is correct. Many of the problems that I ran/run into with Publisher files were simply that the users were unaware of how files should be properly built (they can't for some reason grasp the concept of bleed even though we explain it to them quite simply). Of course I experienced this with people who used Pagemaker (Ragemaker) back in the day, and Quark Xpress, and Indesign today but it seems to be less than with people who use Publisher. I also worked on fixing a ton of Postscript errors too (and for some reason it seemed that Ragemaker was often the culprit).

 

It's my personal dislike of Microsoft Publisher and its horrible reputation in the design and professional printing world that makes me worry that Affinity is making a mistake calling their layout app "Affinity Publisher". I, and many others here, have brought this up but the developers don't seem worried about it. I just know too many prepress guys who hate (Microsoft) Publisher and anyone who is a professional designer would never even considered using it as it is too amateurish. I know if I was building a new kind of revolutionary ship, I sure wouldn't call it the Titanic. Just my opinion of course.

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Most presses don't care what made a pdf as long as it's built right.

 

It's the job shops that still insist on using Illustrator or CorelDraw as an imposition tool that will care.

 

And as long as the pdf is correct, the POD places won't care either.

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...

Serif, on the other hand, wants to court that pro scene, and has both InDesign and Quark to serve as a baseline goal. With that in mind, I imagine it won't be a lack of features that holds Affinity Publisher back at first, but the fact it's a new and untested player to a scene that relies on their time weathered, trusted old standards. Like Photo and Designer, it'll offer up enough on its first release to tempt a lot of people away from Photoshop, but the fact it'll likely be a little buggy when compared to the Adobe suite (which has been around since dinosaurs), and that it'll have to earn its reputation among the pro set will keep it from exploding right out the gate.

There will be a lack of features to begin with.

 

Both ID and QXP have bugs. Some go back to the beginning of ID and QXP. Others with each release. Serif's APUB won't be any different in that respect.

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Most presses don't care what made a pdf as long as it's built right.

 

And as long as the pdf is correct, the POD places won't care either.

Mike,

 

I completely agree with you. Most printers, or at least all the ones that I've worked for or have used, just require a PDF that is built at the right size and with bleed (if necessary) and CMYK or if using spot colours they are set up correctly. But this doesn't explain why so many (Microsoft) Publisher users seem to make more errors with their PDF's than users of other software. I worked for a number of printers and prepress shops and all of them charged more to jobs that came in from Publisher because 9 out of 10 of them required tweaking and often times they required complete rebuilds. I have always done the imposition work using Quark Xpress or Indesign and a specialized plugin for it. I've never seen it done with Illustrator or Corel Draw. 

Hokusai

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Thank you for your responses. I guess we're stuck with PagePlus for this year at least.  Very disappointing.

Look on the bright side - you don't need to learn a new program for a while  :) It's possible that the new Affinity offering won't be a better choice for you anyway!  PagePlus is a very competent hobbyist's tool while still being easy to use - if AP is intending to compete with Quark Express etc it's likely to have an intimidatingly steep learning curve.


AP user, running Win10

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Look on the bright side - you don't need to learn a new program for a while  :) It's possible that the new Affinity offering won't be a better choice for you anyway!  PagePlus is a very competent hobbyist's tool while still being easy to use...

 

Yeah, but when teaching it is nice to be able to use a current application, not one that is abandon-ware.

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