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Being one of those designers who works individually I am really cheesed of (I would like to use a stronger in my comment!) with Adobe pricing policy and therefore looking for alternatives to their products. Looking forward to Affinity Publisher being launched in the future, sounds as though it could tick all the boxes. Will it allow the opening of InDesign files without an additional plugin? Will it recognise Adobe eps files too? Hopefully if it does, then being able to interface with my past work files will be the killer for Adobe bandits.

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I think that is a very tall order, almost expecting the impossible from Serif that they can have Affinity Publisher just open InDesign files with no issues. Adobe has proprietary stuff in their apps and Serif can't be expected to just magically somehow figure out how to make it all work when they import those files. 

 

I get that people don't want to lose the ability to open up files, years of work that they did with Adobe apps but Serif shouldn't be held responsible for decisions that we made. We chose to use Adobe's products, but if we don't use their products anymore then, yeah, we won't be able to open those files anymore. If you want to still open those files then you are going to have to keep paying for those Adobe CC apps.

 

To me moving over to Affinity means that I am only interested in the here and now and the future (using the Affinity line of apps) with no concern of past work (Adobe). To me that is the only way it makes any sense to move from Adobe to the Affinity line. Others may have issues with that viewpoint, but it seems to me that people want to have their cake and eat it too. They don't want to pay for Adobe CC, want to save money by moving over to the Affinity apps, but then also expect to be able to open all of their past work in various Adobe apps, and also be able to continue to work seamlessly with people that use Adobe apps. As I said earlier, that is a very tall order, nearly impossible in my opinion.

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Back when InDesign 1.5 startet, I was working in the graphic-dep. of a local printing company. Quark was "state-of-the-art" and all jobs where done in Quark (or Publisher). Adobe was able to open Quark 4.0 and below documents, as well as Publisher. That was done by reverse engineering (as far as I can remember). If that wouldn't have worked, I doubt that Adobe would have had such a success with InDesign. Publisher was obsolete back than already, but after some months of testing, the whole company switched from Quark to InDesign.

So right now I'm desperatly waiting for news on Affinity Publisher and a beta to test… 

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Let me add my €0,02: expecting Serif to fully support all native .indd files is wishful thinking… But InDesign can currently export XML-based .idml format files (and used to export the equally XML-based .inx format files up until CS3), which should be easier to interpret or reverse-engineer by the Serif team.

 

And since InDesign itself can open old files and most people who have a sizeable library of .indd files either have access to an older version of InDesign or can pay one month of an Adobe CC subscription without issue, converting all of your stuff from .indd/.inx/.idml to .afpub would be, in a best-case scenario, as easy as running a batch processing script.

 

The only real issue I foresee with that kind of mass migration stems from Affinity Publisher's announced lack of a counterpart to Adobe Paragraph Composer on v.1.x; most of your converted .afpub documents won't look the same as the original (and they never would, even if and when Serif can come up with their own advanced typesetting subsystem) and will end up with a lot of overset text or other weird artifacts, I reckon… Personally, I do a lot of manual fine-tuning to tracking on a line-by-line basis to get rid of orphans and widows, so I'm dead sure most of mine would be (nay; will be, but I'm willing to live with that since I'll just be reusing layouts for new content) utterly screwed up after conversion.

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InDesign 1.5 didn't convert all the Quark-docs correct either. You always had to have an eye whether it converted the doc correctly or not. But at least you had a base to start from. Luckily I don't have a lot of changes on old docs, mostly are new anyway, but sometimes it would be helpful (and more cost-effective) to build from an old doc rather than building from scratch. 

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Just being able to extract images and text from an old ind. file and then to recreate a new document in a Serif Publisher environment is good for me. I am certainly not expecting a like for like doc to magically be available ,that is a wish too far. It is rare to go back to older work and not have to reformat it in some way. Certainly in the days I migrated from Quark to InDesign it wasn't too time consuming to amend my work in the new software at that time. My main wish is for Affinity Publisher to be available early 2018 and break away from expensive Adobe products. The Adobe model is for those in big industries and forgets about those of us who are either on lower income streams or retired and still need to produce artwork for fun or even charitable projects.

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It's pretty much the same situation as with drawing programs. Corel Draw can ostensibly "open" Adobe Illustrator files. Adobe Illustrator can ostensibly "open" Corel Draw files. But caveats are encountered in both directions because both programs have their own proprietary constructs for which the other has no corresponding construct. Sometimes those objects just get deconstructed to their more fundamental constructs (blends, for example, may become stacks of individual path, which is what they really are "behind the curtain" anyway.) Other objects may simply not import. It's always been that way.

One might anticipate that the situation is more complicated with page layout applications than with vector drawing applications. But is it? Both genres contain basically three kinds of objects: vector paths, raster images, and text objects. Most drawing programs can also thread text across many text frames.

But frankly, I wouldn't care if Affinity Publisher was released with no ability to import InDesign or Quark XPress or any other proprietary file formats of competing page layout apps. Serif may have more innovative things in mind for the page-assembly genre, just as it has for vector graphics and raster imaging.

The most important issues regarding Affinity Publisher are two things: Speed to market and full feature set. Both are far more important than delaying the product release in a no doubt tedious and resource-robbing effort to import files directly from the formats of very long-in-the-tooth and grossly overpriced legacy programs, because the page-assembly element is the current void. Corel has perfectly serviceable alternatives to Illustrator and Photoshop. Canvas is also superior to Illustrator in many ways, but it's not a page-layout program for long, bookish documents. Raster imaging programs are everywhere. But page layout program are not.

With the momentum of Serif's two highly popular home runs, the Affinity trio is poised to be the much desired clean-and-tidy single-vendor publishing suite. Capable, modern, affordable, and from a congenial source. But the third piece is crucial. Time is of the essence. I say let's forget looking back to legacy files. Let's look forward to a better way to build pages.

Affinity Publisher should be (and no doubt will be) able to import the appropriate data exchange formats for content. Your legacy documents can export their content to those formats.

I've been doing this stuff professionally for over 30 years now. PageMaker, XPress, InDesign. But truth is, there have been very few times that I had to bother with trying to directly "open" from a previous program. When I adopt a new program, the one I'm using doesn't immediately vanish. (I've never agreed to rent mission-critical graphics software and never will.) I still have my paid-for license to the program in which my legacy files were created. I can, if necessary, export the content to appropriate basic exchange formats, and re-assemble them in the new program. Few projects are "eternal." Those which are, are worthy of a clean rebuild in the new platform. The vast majority of past projects withered on the vine and are archived as print-ready PDFs. New projects are initiated cleanly in the current program of choice.

That's the way it will be for me when Affinity Publisher is released. And if it's quality is comparable to that of Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo, I won't look back.

JET

 

 

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