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The current aproach of File -> Save as is the worst... It's like GIMP's very annoying feature.

 

Save as should allow to save all known formats - JPG, PNG, TIFF, etc.

So there are hundreds of forum posts regarding the save as and export commands, it's still not the best way, instead it's the most annoying ever.

 

Save as should allow the user to save the file in whichever format he wants. When data loss may occur a warning dialog is good enough. By saving a document as means changing the working file name and changing the working file path.

Export should save a file to another place, but the app should not change the working file and the working path.

 

 

Forcing users to do it in a cumbersome way to "save as" their work is highly annoying. Practically Affinity Photo is useless for me right now. Anyway, who uses such a software for professional purposes is completely aware of the file format limitations!

 

Please open any other software and see how it's working:

- "Save" saves the currently opened document. If was not saved before, invokes the "Save as..." dialog.

- "Save As" offers a list of known file formats to save the document. After saving, the file name/path is updated. Here, if the chosen format does not supports all extra data, a warning is enough. After saving the app sould keep all the extra data (layers, etc). After saving, a "file saved flag" should be set to not bug the user upon exiting the app that the file wasnt saved.

- "Export" offers a list of known file formats to save the document. After exporting, the file name/path is NOT updated, the "file saved flag" isn't altered.

The above workflow is the best. Implementing another way only annoys the user and renders the software unusable.

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1 hour ago, Icefront said:

The current aproach of File -> Save as is the worst... It's like GIMP's very annoying feature.

 

Save as should allow to save all known formats - JPG, PNG, TIFF, etc.

So there are hundreds of forum posts regarding the save as and export commands, it's still not the best way, instead it's the most annoying ever.

 

Save as should allow the user to save the file in whichever format he wants. When data loss may occur a warning dialog is good enough. By saving a document as means changing the working file name and changing the working file path.

Export should save a file to another place, but the app should not change the working file and the working path.

 

 

Forcing users to do it in a cumbersome way to "save as" their work is highly annoying. Practically Affinity Photo is useless for me right now. Anyway, who uses such a software for professional purposes is completely aware of the file format limitations!

 

Please open any other software and see how it's working:

- "Save" saves the currently opened document. If was not saved before, invokes the "Save as..." dialog.

- "Save As" offers a list of known file formats to save the document. After saving, the file name/path is updated. Here, if the chosen format does not supports all extra data, a warning is enough. After saving the app sould keep all the extra data (layers, etc). After saving, a "file saved flag" should be set to not bug the user upon exiting the app that the file wasnt saved.

- "Export" offers a list of known file formats to save the document. After exporting, the file name/path is NOT updated, the "file saved flag" isn't altered.

The above workflow is the best. Implementing another way only annoys the user and renders the software unusable.

------------------

 

Your observations are right on target.  I don't go as far as saying that Save, Save As and Export make the app useless, but I agree they are weirdly annoying, although I can certainly work around this and other issues. Good post,Icefront, I'm sure the AP team will get on this in due time. 

 

 

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Question here is that Save and Save as are supposed to work with file formats that the app can handle natively. Designer and photo only works with its own native format (afdesign and afphoto), so any other format can be used only as an export option. You can't open and save a pdf directly on Designer, or a jpg on Photo. Must be saved on native format.

 

Illustrator, for example, let you Save as eps, pdf, svg… because it can work natively (that is, open and save directly in editable way) on those format. And photoshop can save on any format, but only if the file have compatible features with the target format. In fact I find more confusing to use "save as" in photoshop because it creates a copy if the open document has certain features, not really saving the file.

 

I find the current workflow on Designer correct and logical. I work in a single file with multiple canvas and options in export persona. I would love that Designer could work natively on EPS and PDF, but i suppose that this is the Adobe advantage of being creators of that formats and having it implemented on the ai file format.

 

P.S.: not going back to Adobe in any case.

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1 hour ago, Daltonism said:

Your observations are right on target.  I don't go as far as saying that Save, Save As and Export make the app useless, but I agree they are weirdly annoying, although I can certainly work around this and other issues. Good post,Icefront, I'm sure the AP team will get on this in due time. 

 

While others find logical this kind of save/save as/export workflow, I found annoying and slows down my workflow significantly.

- Export doesn't follow the opened file's directory. What? Opening 10 tiff files from 10 different directories and saving as jpeg needs way more clicks and browsings. Do we need this?

- Open a layered file and save as jpeg. Me and 99% of the users are completely aware of the fact that jpeg has no layers. That is why a layered file is saved to a jpeg.

- Many times I simply don't want to save my work in the native file format. No other software is reading those files. Saving a tiff is good enough, maintains the layers and other software reads the composite tag (flattened version of the image). Instead, exporting to a tiff keeps the work being unsaved, because - it was exported.

 

The open/save of a software is quite important. Regardless of how good is the app, the actual Save/Save as method renders impossible to work daily with hundreds of files spread across multiple folders.

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Hi,

I wrote a similar topic last week, it's illogical and slows down your work process.

How many time has anyone here gone to "Save As", located a path to save, then pressed the pointless dropdown menu at the botom of the file dialogue to find only one option, Affinity's native format.

Then you have to go back and start all over again and choose "Export" instead.

The Affinity brand is popular to those that can't afford an Adobe subscription, but no other software can read its file proprietary format. Archiving work in Affinity Photo's native format is disastrous for future purposes currently.

It just feels like Serif is forcing its own branded file format onto the user when it's users are being treated as dumb that they don't know the difference between a destruction format and a re-editable one. Affinity Photo is aimed at professional/semi users who do know what they are doing.

It's these small and simple things that Serif are so fixed on, that prevents Affinity competing with Photoshop - which is the point, isn't it?

 

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4 hours ago, JayH said:

it's illogical

 

It is not illogical - on the contrary.

After years of groping, I switched to the same way in my applications. Unambiguous separation of native formats from exported is simply better.

The only problem is that you have learned some workflow *). This has nothing to do with logic.

 

For me is important, that Affinity respects the same logic for all applications.

What can be seen as illogical when editing the photos (it can be done with some restrictions in several formats), even more important for Designer, where "vector" can really work only in native format.

 

*) I recommend that you change the keyboard shortcut for Export - replace it with a keyboard shortcut for SaveAs, and you will always jump direct to Export.


Affinity Photo 1.6.5.135, Affinity Designer 1.6.5.135. Affinity Store.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1809, Build 17763.195.
Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.

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9 hours ago, JayH said:

How many time has anyone here gone to "Save As",

 

Not many times. It very easy to get used to cmd-alt-shift-S.

Personally I feel it would not make any difference to me if in Save As you could select different format. Only difference is indeed which file you are left open, original or a copy.

Professional work flow would demand that you keep your document in affinity format until piece is ready, then export as common format. Preferably archive both.

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There's always going to be those that disagree, but one thing that must be considered is the millions of people across the globe that use Photoshop.

I've never heard anyone complain about how Photoshop do "Save As". It doesn't confuse anyone.

Gimp on the other hand that uses the same concept as Affinity Photo has mountains of post for many many many years regarding having to use "Export" instead of "Save As".

Plus if you wish to atract long time Photoshop users, then sticking to common methods of workflow is important.

I've used Photoshop for 25 years and it erks me no end that something that is so standardised in other software, for some reason Serif has to break all the rules, for what? What does it achieve?

 

 

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Well, I have been using Photoshop since version 2 and I repeat that for most users save as/export difference does not matter. There are some far more pressing user interface differences.

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On 1/27/2018 at 9:01 AM, Fixx said:

Well, I have been using Photoshop since version 2 and I repeat that for most users save as/export difference does not matter. There are some far more pressing user interface differences.

 

Wrong. Very wrong. If you think there is no difference, then you are using PS for one file per day? Or as a professional, working with 100+ files a day?

 

PS way:

Open a JPEG photo. Make changes (crop, retouch, resize, etc.) and then save the work in progress to a lossless format, like PNG or TIFF. Hit Save as, chose PNG/TIFF and continue working until finished. No layers, text, just the plain image. Close, hit Save when asked - do the same 100 times.

 

AP way:

- Export to PNG - involves finding the original JPG's directory

- The Save command is still unavailable so further saves aren't possible, only exporting, which keeps asking if I overwrite the PNG

- So close the original JPEG file and find the exported PNG, open it, but this way you lose all the undo states

 

I'm a software developer also, I studied and had feedback on the so called "User experience" an "Usability" topics, not from one user, not from 10...

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I can't count how many times I've opened a bitmap not on my normal filesystem (someone iMessaged it, I dragged it from a browser, I pasted it, etc) and went to crop it, resize it, or do some other light editing work and then, when the time came to save it, I was unable to save it on my desktop because Save As forces me to convert it to an Affinity Photo document.

 

Or I've opened various bitmaps with the intent of creating some type of simple composite image… even if I flatten it, I can't save it as a bitmap anymore.

 

A lot of the work we do involves some tedious temporary image editing tasks that we have no desire to keep a master document behind. We're just converting something into something else and moving on.

 

With other software titles throughout history, Save As let you save this modified final output file and never look back.  Affinity Photo doesn't let you do this. Instead you have to export. Which is a tedious effort compared to Save As. Not only that, but after you make your export, you have to discard your master document.

 

Life was so much more streamlined when you'd open the bitmaps, edit, flatten, Save As, quit. Boom. Your final output is where you want it and you have no detritus to manage.

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3 hours ago, cal.zone said:

Life was so much more streamlined when you'd open the bitmaps, edit, flatten, Save

 

There is no problem in APhoto - open bitmaps, edit bitmaps, Save bitmaps (Export is not necessary at all).


Affinity Photo 1.6.5.135, Affinity Designer 1.6.5.135. Affinity Store.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1809, Build 17763.195.
Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.

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It only works for me if it’s one bitmap and I want to save it to the exact same file system location. Which is rarely the case when making edits because either you want to preserve the original and make a copy or you want to save it to an accessible location (dragged items are not normal file system objects and you can’t access them after saving and closing them). And of course it won’t work at all if you make a composite graphic. 

 

So 90% of the time I have to export when Save As would be the CORRECT approach. 

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Just adding to the chorus. I get the logic of Affinty Photo's save vs export but it's WAY LESS CONVENIENT than Photoshop's workflow.

 

In Photoshop. Save As, pick jpg, then edit, Ctrl-S, edit, Ctrl-S, edit, Ctrl-S

 

In Affinity Photo I always have to go through the export path which is really distracting. Affinity tries to pride itself on being better than Photoshop in many ways. This is one where it's worse. Here's hoping they'll consider changing it.

 

Photoshop does warn you if you've got a multi-layer file that saving to a non.PSD will lose data. But if you have a single layer file it just works for jpg and png and a few other formats.

 

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I agree that the way Save / Save as is implemented is a PITA. Not to mention different to almost every other piece of Windows software, be it from MS or anyone else. Export should be redundant with it's features rolled into Save As. Save should overwrite the existing file; same name/location/file type, same as almost every other piece of software.

The only use I have for Export is to batch convert all of the AFPhoto files to JPEGs when I've finished editing. It's quicker than trawling round the export dialog and up and down the folder tree on every photo.

Please fix it. It can't be hard? Can it?

JH   

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But what if one had never learned the Photoshop way, would it still be an issue? I can't tell you how many times I hit save as on PS and forgot to mess with the little drop down box. I would go to do large format print looking for the JPG only to find I missed it and saved it as PSD. At least when I export I know what I'm getting. Seconds is all it takes to export. If that is an issue, maybe try adjusting work flow instead. There is always room for improvement, but who's to say it is on Affinity's side?

 

 

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I'm a Mac user. When i look at the way Apple's own apps, such as Keynote, handle this, it is exactly the same as AP/AD currently do. Save As is for Keynote format only. If you want to export to PowerPoint, PDF or other formats, you use Export To… I prefer the consistency of the platform.


Affinity Photo/Affinity Designer | macOS 10.14 Mojave | MBP13 2013

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I ended up paying for Photoshop in October over this issue. I needed to edit a few 100 png files. In photoshop I just double click the file in the finder, make the edits, flatten Cmd-Shift-E assuming I added a layer, then Cmd-S, Cmd-W. Repeat for each file. With Affinity's workflow that would have taken 4-5x longer.

Keynote's example is arguably irrelevant since people rarely use keynote to edit say powerpoint files or PDFs. They only export. Where as it's extremely common to want to edit a jpg or a png, the native formats of the web and well as several other things like say Unity or Unreal or GameMaker.

TextEdit, another apple Apple app opens .txt files and saving still saves as .txt files. You're not required to pick "Export to Text" every single time even though the default format of TextEdit is .rtf. TextEdit will also Save As using .doc, .docs, .xml, and a few other formats. When you save again it continues to save as that format. No need to keep picking export

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23 minutes ago, greggman said:

With Affinity's workflow that would have taken 4-5x longer.

Why? If you open png / jpg / tiff / ... you can save it with Ctrl + S (Save). No need export.


Affinity Photo 1.6.5.135, Affinity Designer 1.6.5.135. Affinity Store.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1809, Build 17763.195.
Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.

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1 hour ago, Pšenda said:

Why? If you open png / jpg / tiff / ... you can save it with Ctrl + S (Save). No need export.

Right. As long as you're willing to flatten the image and overwrite the original, as @greggman describes doing with Photoshop, a simple Save will work in Photo, too. Export is only needed when you want to preserve the original file.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1809, 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 and 1.7.0.333 Beta       / Affinity Designer 1.6..5.123 and 1.7.0.333 Beta    / Affinity Publisher 1.7.0.330 Beta

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A +10 from me.

This artifical separation of "Saving" and "Exporting" previously seen in GIMP or Audacity is a major annoyance and absolutely unnecessary.

You can show all export settings for a specific document type in "Save as" like Photoshop Elements or Microsoft Office does.

Also I don't think that anyone needs this seperation to be clear that obviously a JPG cannot hold all informations (like layers for e.g.) like the APHOTO format does. A separation is done to prevent a confusion that no one ever had.

Just my 2ct to this.


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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3 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

Right. As long as you're willing to flatten the image and overwrite the original, as @greggman describes doing with Photoshop, a simple Save will work in Photo, too. Export is only needed when you want to preserve the original file.

It appears to me that anything other than using 'Export' will not get you the file-type you are working on when you save it. I open a 16bit .tif file, and saving it produces an Affinity Photo file. The bit depth is unknown to me as is the compression algorithm. I would prefer to keep the work in progress as a lossless 16bit .tif file, which may also contain an alpha channel. The lack of persistence of the file path is also inexplicable. 

  

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34 minutes ago, jepho said:

It appears to me that anything other than using 'Export' will not get you the file-type you are working on when you save it. I open a 16bit .tif file, and saving it produces an Affinity Photo file. The bit depth is unknown to me as is the compression algorithm. I would prefer to keep the work in progress as a lossless 16bit .tif file, which may also contain an alpha channel.

Not completely true. If you Open a .jpg, .tif, or .png file you can edit it in Photo and Save it (overwriting the original file), as long as you have not created any new layers, or have flattened any that you created. What you cannot do is Save As and end up with a file of another name and the same file type. For that you must Export.

For your 16-bit TIFF question: It will be saved as 16-bit, as that is what it is. It will be saved as compressed, because Affinity compresses all TIFF files, but the compression is lossless. You will not lose any image data or fidelity.

In the 1.6 versions of Affinity the compression is LZW, which may actually make your 16-bit TIFF files larger when "compressed". Serif has changed the compression method in the 1.7 versions (now in beta) to a different lossless version that they believe will be compatible with more programs as it's the one that Adobe uses. They still give the user no choice about whether to compress, but I suppose they may, someday.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1809, 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 and 1.7.0.333 Beta       / Affinity Designer 1.6..5.123 and 1.7.0.333 Beta    / Affinity Publisher 1.7.0.330 Beta

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Posted (edited)

The issue is that Save As and Export are two different, yet equally important concepts:

Export assumes you care to retain your current file as-is and create a copy of some other format for use elsewhere.

Save as assumes you don't care to retain your current file as-is and instead want to convert it to a different format (or name). It can be used for versioning and (common with digital image editing) it can be used to implement a series of complex transformations to a file… only to decide you don't care to preserve layers or editing history, etc… and just want to save it and forget it… or to convert a work to a format other than the one that is native to the platform you're working with. This last example is extremely common for people who start work with files that are ultimately intended to go to a different application and never come back to the app used to start work. For example, you may not have MS Excel on your Mac but you need to create a spreadsheet that a co-worker will be using Excel to read and edit. So you would want to open Numbers to create the spreadsheet but then Save as an MS Excel file and not bother keeping the Numbers document.*

Export is entirely different because it assumes you do care to preserve the current file as-is (whether native format to the app or not).

In Photoshop, they have the "save as a copy" checkbox, which is effectively identical to using an Export function. It means you keep your current document as-is and create a new copy of a different format. Save as, on the other hand, assumes you're abandoning your current document and using it as a starting point for a new document of a different name and/or format. All changes get saved to the new document and the original document is effectively reverted to last saved (or, if never saved, there is no original document at all and you have simply used Save As to dictate to your software what your preferred destination format is for this file).

Having to use Export in Affinity effectively kills this entire workflow branch and forces you to always keep an Affinity Photo version (either on disk or in memory) while exporting your copy elsewhere.

 

* Note:

I'm not claiming you can do this with Numbers (you can't)… only that this is a perfect use case that Save as would cater to (so it should… indeed, IMO, any format you can Export to, you should be able to also Save as).

Edited by cal.zone
Clarification about Numbers Export/Save as capabilities

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1 hour ago, cal.zone said:

In Photoshop, they have the "save as a copy" checkbox, which is effectively identical to using an Export function.

Yes, but it's automaticly selected if I choose "JPEG" to be my destination format.

Also the "keep layers" checkbox is deselected and disabled. So I can see what happens.

After reading this discussion about the topic i still feel the separation between those in two distinct menus is entirely artificial and not user friendly at all.

In Photoshop as long as you did not save it as PSD it will still show the file as unsaved and ask on exit.

Please tell me why Affinity apps should not behave the same way.


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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