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Affinity Publisher - Sneak Preview


TonyB

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Been scanning through last dozen or so pages to catch up; looks like no additional sneak-peaks since December but hopefully we'll get a beta in the next couple months. As someone who uses InDesign on a regular basis to make a living, it's a little disappointing that INDD / IDML import wasn't a "Release 1 feature," but I understand it's a complex undertaking to get it right. I'm not even sure Adobe has gotten it right yet. :)

 

It's obvious release 1 is more about setting a foundation for the future than grabbing InDesign converts to the cause, and that's OK. Can grab the coverts later when it's a more stable, full-featured app. 

 

InDesign today is a good document layout and design application, with a set of features that's already about as deep as it needs to be. Certainly miles ahead of Quark or PageMaker in their best days. Where it falls short (aside from Adobe's stupid licensing scheme) is performance and stability with larger documents, and ease-of-use when it comes to simple things like renumbering text across multiple pages or sections, and having a dictionary system that isn't dumb as a brick. Too many visits to InDesign Secrets to find an obscure workaround to things that shouldn't require workarounds. But I'm OK sticking with it for another year+ until AP is a more mature product.

 

However for the second major release, there is no justification for me — and I would guess for many others — to buy Publisher until such time as we can open INDD or IDML files with it, and reliably work with the content in those files to re-save as AP format. PDF import won't cut it because — unless Serif can work some magic I can't currently foresee — all the text flow information, paragraph and character style information, object editability, etc is lost. Put another way: PDF is basically a "low IQ" container format. Doesn't really matter what app you're using, working backward from a rendered PDF to get back to a "live source document" type setup, is a PITA. I wouldn't even contemplate that workflow, I'd just wait until there was proper InDesign import available.

 

Beyond that I think most of what I'd look for is already planned for 1.0?

  • Something akin to master pages
  • Simple TOC creation and style editing (another area where InDesign is needlessly complex)
  • Robust pagination and sectioning options with easy access to change same
  • Standard vector toolset for creating custom paths and shapes that can define content flow + graphic clipping
  • Robust Stroke / Gradient / Fill / Transparency options
  • Round-trip editing (right-click graphic, go to app, edit, save come back, change is shown)
    • PSD, TIFF, AI, native Photo files, native Designer files
  • Intelligent text flow and text wrap options
  • Robust character and paragraph editing / style setup options (including robust kerning, support for all major font types, etc)
  • Easy options for changing default bullet and numbering (and their style options), anywhere on any page.
  • Robust find-replace (by selection, page, document)
  • Robust font replacement / automation
  • Intelligent dictionary that actually learns WTF I tell it to learn more than 50% of the time.
  • Strong PDF export options for print and web browsers

That would be a pretty good start. Anything past that is gravy for my workflow.

 

Things I can wait for:

  • Robust table support
  • Very long document support (as in 100s of pages)
  • Automation stuff 

 

Things I couldn't care less about: 

  • Converting print design documents into web pages or iPad books. If I need to build web pages I use the right tool, ditto iPad books.
  • Turning Publisher into an Illustration program / with similar toolset so you don't have to go into an illy program (bad idea)
  • probably others i can't think of
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Just to add a bit here:

 

Hey Guys !

 

Please, is Serif planing to add something similar to this the below in coming release of APub ?

5ad2afb91f3fe_ScreenShot2018-04-15at2_31_46AM.png.94a709e71cccb3362ef5e713129a316c.png5ad2afbc2e448_ScreenShot2018-04-15at2_32_43AM.png.08c5cd79477161d0f9e3af2678619d6a.png

 

i personally use "Apple Keynote" to do my small quick animations as it has good transitions etc... but having even a generic stuff like that can be nice (just asking if).

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7 hours ago, Arnaud Mez said:

Just to add a bit here:

 

Hey Guys !

 

Please, is Serif planing to add something similar to this the below in coming release of APub ?

5ad2afb91f3fe_ScreenShot2018-04-15at2_31_46AM.png.94a709e71cccb3362ef5e713129a316c.png5ad2afbc2e448_ScreenShot2018-04-15at2_32_43AM.png.08c5cd79477161d0f9e3af2678619d6a.png

 

i personally use "Apple Keynote" to do my small quick animations as it has good transitions etc... but having even a generic stuff like that can be nice (just asking if).

Personally I would opt for a stable basic layout program. You can add bells and whistles later.

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13 hours ago, Cineman said:

Been scanning through last dozen or so pages to catch up; looks like no additional sneak-peaks since December but hopefully we'll get a beta in the next couple months. As someone who uses InDesign on a regular basis to make a living, it's a little disappointing that INDD / IDML import wasn't a "Release 1 feature," but I understand it's a complex undertaking to get it right. I'm not even sure Adobe has gotten it right yet. :)

 

It's obvious release 1 is more about setting a foundation for the future than grabbing InDesign converts to the cause, and that's OK. Can grab the coverts later when it's a more stable, full-featured app. 

 

InDesign today is a good document layout and design application, with a set of features that's already about as deep as it needs to be. Certainly miles ahead of Quark or PageMaker in their best days. Where it falls short (aside from Adobe's stupid licensing scheme) is performance and stability with larger documents, and ease-of-use when it comes to simple things like renumbering text across multiple pages or sections, and having a dictionary system that isn't dumb as a brick. Too many visits to InDesign Secrets to find an obscure workaround to things that shouldn't require workarounds. But I'm OK sticking with it for another year+ until AP is a more mature product.

 

However for the second major release, there is no justification for me — and I would guess for many others — to buy Publisher until such time as we can open INDD or IDML files with it, and reliably work with the content in those files to re-save as AP format. PDF import won't cut it because — unless Serif can work some magic I can't currently foresee — all the text flow information, paragraph and character style information, object editability, etc is lost. Put another way: PDF is basically a "low IQ" container format. Doesn't really matter what app you're using, working backward from a rendered PDF to get back to a "live source document" type setup, is a PITA. I wouldn't even contemplate that workflow, I'd just wait until there was proper InDesign import available.

 

Beyond that I think most of what I'd look for is already planned for 1.0?

  • Something akin to master pages
  • Simple TOC creation and style editing (another area where InDesign is needlessly complex)
  • Robust pagination and sectioning options with easy access to change same
  • Standard vector toolset for creating custom paths and shapes that can define content flow + graphic clipping
  • Robust Stroke / Gradient / Fill / Transparency options
  • Round-trip editing (right-click graphic, go to app, edit, save come back, change is shown)
    • PSD, TIFF, AI, native Photo files, native Designer files
  • Intelligent text flow and text wrap options
  • Robust character and paragraph editing / style setup options (including robust kerning, support for all major font types, etc)
  • Easy options for changing default bullet and numbering (and their style options), anywhere on any page.
  • Robust find-replace (by selection, page, document)
  • Robust font replacement / automation
  • Intelligent dictionary that actually learns WTF I tell it to learn more than 50% of the time.
  • Strong PDF export options for print and web browsers

That would be a pretty good start. Anything past that is gravy for my workflow.

 

Things I can wait for:

  • Robust table support
  • Very long document support (as in 100s of pages)
  • Automation stuff 

 

Things I couldn't care less about: 

  • Converting print design documents into web pages or iPad books. If I need to build web pages I use the right tool, ditto iPad books.
  • Turning Publisher into an Illustration program / with similar toolset so you don't have to go into an illy program (bad idea)
  • probably others i can't think of

I personally would like to have robust table support as it is used more and more for enhanced tab function.

Also in Indesign a lot of people use tables instead of tabs for layout. To be able to move a cell up and down and left and right would also be welcome.

 

For fonts I use Extensis Fusion 8.

Easy font management and easy on and off for projects.

For some programs also auto activation. Unfortunately not yet for Designer and Photo. Although I asked Extensis to support those applications. We'll see.

But it's also very easy to activate manually.

 

It has been revamped and it's really fast and stable now.

 

"Round-trip editing (right-click graphic, go to app, edit, save come back, change is shown)

  • PSD, TIFF, AI, native Photo files, native Designer files"

 

I think this part is allready taken care of in a special way by Serif:

Direct Designer and Photo integration?! Would be something rather special indeed.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Arnaud Mez said:

Just to add a bit here:

 

Hey Guys !

 

Please, is Serif planing to add something similar to this the below in coming release of APub ?

5ad2afb91f3fe_ScreenShot2018-04-15at2_31_46AM.png.94a709e71cccb3362ef5e713129a316c.png5ad2afbc2e448_ScreenShot2018-04-15at2_32_43AM.png.08c5cd79477161d0f9e3af2678619d6a.png

 

i personally use "Apple Keynote" to do my small quick animations as it has good transitions etc... but having even a generic stuff like that can be nice (just asking if).

Cut them some slack, dude. The app  is not even out yet.

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On 13-4-2018 at 1:48 PM, dpwhittaker said:

My one hope for the Publisher application is that the drawing and text tools will function consistently between the new application and the existing ones.  It's so frustrating that in the Adobe products, the drawing/text tools function differently between applications.

That's because they bought some products and didn't develop them themselfs. 

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1 hour ago, Tourmaline said:

Personally I would opt for a stable basic layout program. You can add bells and whistles later.

 

Serif haven’t shown the slightest inclination to add animation features to any of the Affinity apps. If they have a change of heart, I think a DTP app would be the least likely target for the addition of such capabilities.

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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for iPad • iPadOS 17.3.1 (iPad 7th gen)

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3 minutes ago, Alfred said:

 

Serif haven’t shown the slightest inclination to add animation features to any of the Affinity apps. If they have a change of heart, I think a DTP app would be the least likely target for the addition of such capabilities.

Is not animation an entirely different ballgame? You really need a specialized tool for that. The only one that had that put together was JASC the original developer of Paintshoip and the companion Animation shop. At that it was a separate program although it integrated with PSP nicely

Affinity Designer 2.2.2075 & beta 2.3.1.2212 Affinity Photo 2.2.2075  beta 2.3.1.2212Affinity Publisher  2.2.2075 & beta 2.3.1.2212

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5 minutes ago, Rick G said:

Is not animation an entirely different ballgame? You really need a specialized tool for that.

 

Adobe Photoshop can be used for simple animations. Serif’s own PhotoPlus and DrawPlus also offer animation features, and the latter even includes keyframe animation. I agree that you need a specialized tool for anything remotely sophisticated, but I don’t think that’s what other contributors to this thread are suggesting.

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Not to mention, the animation tools in Photoshop are awful. At least PhotoPlus and DrawPlus had a more familiar method.

And yes, there would be no need to add animation in Publisher. Keynote is for slideshow presentations. Publisher is for printout publications.

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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Animations are totally different area and if I can choose, better will be solo software like aftereffects compatible with aphoto or adesign file format. But... Publisher release time was pushed for years, and Photo with Designer is missing so much important features (selection depend on parameters etc.) It will be nice, if Serif will develope animation and filmic software, but I don't know, if it is actual topic..

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It's too huge of an app, any 2D anim or video editing tool...not as ever changing context as the extensively debated web design wysiwyg tool, but the market status in those worlds is super demanding, of very high level, super complex, takes a lifetime to develop a really solid animation tool that could at least try to survive among so much fierce and specialized (for decades) competition. Some have said, addition as a light feature, so, not a pro thing...IMO, that's a dangerous road, a mix of "styles" of doing things. Affinity seems to be heading to the serious, advanced hobbyist, the freelance professional, and companies of any type, without leaving out, in any sense, home or basic users (but they are not just basic tools for basic users, by any stretch). 

Going back to products niches/target users (basic users only) with a scope like the legacy products had (still has ! These products are still on sale, just there seems not to be enough super high level staff to produce 20 products at a time), IMO could be a wrong decision now, business-wise. Most of all because also, these UIs are SUPER intuitive, so the basic user is covered, just like before (it was not harder to learn, those UIs than these. If anything, I like these much better ,they have a pretty easy learning curve) . So, adding a half baked feature, wouldn't feel professional at all, and reviewers could have there a weak spot to attack (and competition often pays some to do exactly that.. ) You can't fit a really good animation UI into an already full UI made for other purposes. If anything, most graphic apps, specially animation, at times do benefit in working with two desktop screens, as you need a complex UI setup. Again, no way; at least if you are trying to do things right. But that is definitely not my main point. Main is that they have already too much in their plate, with AD, AP, the tools for tablets, APub beta, and some other stuff they have some how ventured that could be done. Producing extra software, even if we read 'there is no plans for that', I wouldn't understand from it that will be impossible for ever. Only that unless some magic huge funding arrives out of nowhere, enabling to pay a couple of armies of seasoned ninja coders, chances of seeing the next Affinity Premiere or Affinity Effects (J/K, who knows if that might have already probs with trademarks stuff)) are not too likely, any time soon. But even when saying that "we don't have plans for that", some people understand that there could be a close future possibility of it, if giving pressure in the forums (?) (in stats, is close to nothing, I mean, in numbers). Different case is when someone spots a bug, or gives any sort of feedback, that is extra useful, as far as I've seen working inside some software development companies.

 

And I don't think is a bad thing to ask for new apps... It shows that you like the way of doing of the company, and/or its UIs, and/or the usage philosophy and workflows it provides you. I just mean that given the certain size of a company, one needs to have realistic expectations (not a prob if not, but is a bit of a waste of own's energy, too...) in terms of number of the top, pro market level, applications that it can create, produce, give support and maintain at a time...I have been working somehow doing 2D animation, 3D animation and video editing. And we are speaking about tools that provide very complex workflows, with demands of extremely complex functionality here. And super duper high levels of quality, accuracy, complexity expected, etc, etc.

 

Also, as a freelance and employee (as one switches the situation often), I don't see the point in waiting for....everything, even some days of delay can destroy any project or client connection. I'd just grab ANY of the so many free or mid cost apps already available, (or high end if one is fine with that way of doing, and finances allow) and many are wonderfully evolved and mature, solve my problem for whatever the gig or work at a company, and to the next project .I recon I do learn stuff as I get certain request. IE, I learnt to configure deeply certain e-commerce solution -bit too far from the profile of someone that pushes pixels and polygons-  just because a gig like that arrived... With software tools, the same. I tend to purchase, of spent the needed time with a free tool whenever my work needs it, rarely before. (years ago I was A LOT more geek about these things. )

 

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On 15-4-2018 at 2:53 PM, Bri-Toon said:

Not to mention, the animation tools in Photoshop are awful. At least PhotoPlus and DrawPlus had a more familiar method.

And yes, there would be no need to add animation in Publisher. Keynote is for slideshow presentations. Publisher is for printout publications.

If you really had to add it, then Designer or Photo would be a better choice, certainly NOT Publisher.

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3 hours ago, SrPx said:

 

It's too huge of an app, any 2D anim or video editing tool...not as ever changing context as the extensively debated web design wysiwyg tool, but the market status in those worlds is super demanding, of very high level, super complex, takes a lifetime to develop a really solid animation tool that could at least try to survive among so much fierce and specialized (for decades) competition. Some have said, addition as a light feature, so, not a pro thing...IMO, that's a dangerous road, a mix of "styles" of doing things. Affinity seems to be heading to the serious, advanced hobbyist, the freelance professional, and companies of any type, without leaving out, in any sense, home or basic users (but they are not just basic tools for basic users, by any stretch). 

Going back to products niches/target users (basic users only) with a scope like the legacy products had (still has ! These products are still on sale, just there seems not to be enough super high level staff to produce 20 products at a time), IMO could be a wrong decision now, business-wise. Most of all because also, these UIs are SUPER intuitive, so the basic user is covered, just like before (it was not harder to learn, those UIs than these. If anything, I like these much better ,they have a pretty easy learning curve) . So, adding a half baked feature, wouldn't feel professional at all, and reviewers could have there a weak spot to attack (and competition often pays some to do exactly that.. ) You can't fit a really good animation UI into an already full UI made for other purposes. If anything, most graphic apps, specially animation, at times do benefit in working with two desktop screens, as you need a complex UI setup. Again, no way; at least if you are trying to do things right. But that is definitely not my main point. Main is that they have already too much in their plate, with AD, AP, the tools for tablets, APub beta, and some other stuff they have some how ventured that could be done. Producing extra software, even if we read 'there is no plans for that', I wouldn't understand from it that will be impossible for ever. Only that unless some magic huge funding arrives out of nowhere, enabling to pay a couple of armies of seasoned ninja coders, chances of seeing the next Affinity Premiere or Affinity Effects (J/K, who knows if that might have already probs with trademarks stuff)) are not too likely, any time soon. But even when saying that "we don't have plans for that", some people understand that there could be a close future possibility of it, if giving pressure in the forums (?) (in stats, is close to nothing, I mean, in numbers). Different case is when someone spots a bug, or gives any sort of feedback, that is extra useful, as far as I've seen working inside some software development companies.

 

And I don't think is a bad thing to ask for new apps... It shows that you like the way of doing of the company, and/or its UIs, and/or the usage philosophy and workflows it provides you. I just mean that given the certain size of a company, one needs to have realistic expectations (not a prob if not, but is a bit of a waste of own's energy, too...) in terms of number of the top, pro market level, applications that it can create, produce, give support and maintain at a time...I have been working somehow doing 2D animation, 3D animation and video editing. And we are speaking about tools that provide very complex workflows, with demands of extremely complex functionality here. And super duper high levels of quality, accuracy, complexity expected, etc, etc.

 

Also, as a freelance and employee (as one switches the situation often), I don't see the point in waiting for....everything, even some days of delay can destroy any project or client connection. I'd just grab ANY of the so many free or mid cost apps already available, (or high end if one is fine with that way of doing, and finances allow) and many are wonderfully evolved and mature, solve my problem for whatever the gig or work at a company, and to the next project .I recon I do learn stuff as I get certain request. IE, I learnt to configure deeply certain e-commerce solution -bit too far from the profile of someone that pushes pixels and polygons-  just because a gig like that arrived... With software tools, the same. I tend to purchase, of spent the needed time with a free tool whenever my work needs it, rarely before. (years ago I was A LOT more geek about these things. )

 

If you want a really good video editor, grab this one:

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/nl/products/davinciresolve/

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In the decades of activity I have seen too many software aspire to do everything.

 

Many 3d modeling software has become gigantic and confusing because over time they have attacked too many things.

 

See also Photoshop ... for graphics, for photographers, for illustrators, for 3d. in the end they become complex, confused with interfaces for some modern things and for other archaic ones.

 

Perhaps it is better to satisfy a certain sector of the creative world, to do it well and to update it with criteria and without overdoing it.

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11 minutes ago, Filo63 said:

In the decades of activity I have seen too many software aspire to do everything.

 

Many 3d modeling software has become gigantic and confusing because over time they have attacked too many things.

 

See also Photoshop ... for graphics, for photographers, for illustrators, for 3d. in the end they become complex, confused with interfaces for some modern things and for other archaic ones.

 

Perhaps it is better to satisfy a certain sector of the creative world, to do it well and to update it with criteria and without overdoing it.

 

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51 minutes ago, AT.HA said:

4 months since the preview ,-)

Any news about the beta?

Thanks a lot.

Summer was the announcement. That can be until September 21st

I have friends that don't believe SPRING has arrived as they are still shoveling snow

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Affinity Designer 2.2.2075 & beta 2.3.1.2212 Affinity Photo 2.2.2075  beta 2.3.1.2212Affinity Publisher  2.2.2075 & beta 2.3.1.2212

Windows 11 Pro Version    22H2
OS build    22621.1928
Processor    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10700 CPU @ 2.90GHz   2.90 GHz
Installed RAM    16.0 GB (15.7 GB usable)
System type    64-bit operating system, x64-based processor

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3 hours ago, Tourmaline said:

If you really had to add it, then Designer or Photo would be a better choice, certainly NOT Publisher.

My response to this is the same as Rick G's response to Filo63.

Don't get me wrong, people. I love having animation tools, but each tool belongs in certain group. It's actually really good that Serif is working on keeping everything under certain limitations. When industries don't, it overwhelms those who are just starting out. Maintaining a balance is actually a very wise approach, not in just software but marketing in general. You know what they say, less is more.

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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8 minutes ago, Rick G said:

I have friends that don't believe SPRING has arrived as they are still shoveling snow

cat-cheerful-face-smiley-emoticon.gif

Oh I know, and it's awful.

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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23 minutes ago, Rick G said:

Summer was the announcement. That can be until September 21st

I have friends that don't believe SPRING has arrived as they are still shoveling snow

cat-cheerful-face-smiley-emoticon.gif

 

14 minutes ago, Bri-Toon said:

Oh I know, and it's awful.

 

I was reading about winter storm Xanto at the weekend. It seems that huge swathes of northeastern US (Upper Midwest and Great Lakes) have been hit by heavy snow. Minneapolis/St Paul has had about 15 inches, and Green Bay in Wisconsin has had 2 feet.

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4 minutes ago, Alfred said:

I was reading about winter storm Xanto at the weekend. It seems that huge swathes of northeastern US (Upper Midwest and Great Lakes) have been hit by heavy snow. Minneapolis/St Paul has had about 15 inches, and Green Bay in Wisconsin has had 2 feet.

Yeah and it's no good. It is mid April, and yesterday, I was actually freezing cold wearing a fleece. I actually needed a winter jacket, and the day before was so nice. Crazy weather.

Anyway...

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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5 minutes ago, Alfred said:

I was reading about winter storm Xanto at the weekend. It seems that huge swathes of northeastern US (Upper Midwest and Great Lakes) have been hit by heavy snow. Minneapolis/St Paul has had about 15 inches, and Green Bay in Wisconsin has had 2 feet.

We've had 10-13 inches where we live in Northwestern Michigan (lower peninsula), and it's heavy, dense stuff. Also significant amounts of ice (frozen rain, ice pellets, sleet). For us it started last Wednesday, then took a break until Friday, and hasn't stopped since then. (It has been downgraded, for us, to a Winter Weather Advisory (compared to the earlier Watches, Alerts and Warnings) and may be over by 5am EDT tomorrow. Of course, it was originally supposed to end by 8pm Saturday, then 8pm Sunday, then sometime this morning, and now it's tomorrow morning. So who knows when it will really be done :) )

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15 minutes ago, Alfred said:

Green Bay in Wisconsin has had 2 feet

 

That reminded me of this, reported somewhere in the UK four months ago:

 

Two-feet-of-snow.jpg.3c451fd68eba04c06259b133055cfe53.jpg

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