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seyed

Export to PDF fails to preserve layers

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Hi,

I recently migrated from illustrator, so I'm not sure if my question is even valid. I built up a document with layers, but after I exported it to PDF using the PDF (export) profile, and opened the generated PDF file, every info on the layer arrangement is lost. Acrobat also doesn't show the layers. I appreciate your help.

 

export.jpg

exported-but no layer.jpg

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You need to actually create Layers in the Layers Panel and place/create the objects into those layers.

 

Yeah, it's confusing because Serif saw fit to call any/every object a layer, but they are not. They are objects.

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Take a look at this file and it's exported PDF

Untitled.afdesign

Untitled.pdf


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6 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Your file has artboards, no layers.

 

The attached AD file and resultant PDF has layers.

 

Mike

4-layers.afdesign

4-layers.pdf

If you open the PDF in Affinity Designer (ADe) the arrangement is the same as the .afdesign document, the pdf also has 4 pages


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56 minutes ago, MikeW said:

There are no layers in your AD file nor in the resulting PDF. Period. 

 

Open my PDF in Acrobat or Reader. There are layers in the PDF.

I know Mike, I should have explained more o.O I was just showing how Artboards work and how you can have variations on a theme by copying over all of the objects to another Artboard to simulate different approaches to the same problem. Also to show how Artboards simplify PDF page export.


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Just been playing with an online app called Draw.io, I have used Seyed's design to play with it and then I exported what I made to SVG and tweaked it in Affinity Designer (ADe), another tool in my arsenal lol!

5ab6b4b360cde_ScreenShot2018-03-24at20_26_52.thumb.png.2220e88f232069572ab65e1ec5ac3de8.png

 

Untitled Diagram-5.svg


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On 3/24/2018 at 4:28 PM, firstdefence said:

Just been playing with an online app called Draw.io, I have used Seyed's design to play with it and then I exported what I made to SVG and tweaked it in Affinity Designer (ADe), another tool in my arsenal lol!

 

 

 

Actually really nice sketch ;), Thanks.

I knew about artboards, but not about layers, and thanks to you and MikeW I just got it.

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On 3/24/2018 at 8:39 AM, MikeW said:

You need to actually create Layers in the Layers Panel and place/create the objects into those layers.

 

Yeah, it's confusing because Serif saw fit to call any/every object a layer, but they are not. They are objects.

Thanks Mike, it was really confusing, I really thought I had some layers because they were there in the layers' panel :D. Your 4-layer file was really helpful.

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Technically, in Affinity every object is on its own layer, so there would be nothing wrong with calling them all layers ... except that as a consequence it means in Affinity a "Layer" is not the same thing as a "layer."

 

Gee, I can't imagine why anybody would find that at all confusing. 89.gif


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If you think everything is a layer it can be confusing but the layers are named clear enough.

 

5ab8df35c8ea5_ScreenShot2018-03-26at12_51_52.png.5c7eeca50bbbc654fa04ada0d2277203.png


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3 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

If you think everything is a layer it can be confusing but the layers are named clear enough.

So in your screenshot, which Layer (the capital L kind) is the diamond or cog in? o.O


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It's on its own "Object" Layer, aptly named (Cog), I could put it under a Parent Layer so that I can have a collection of objects and filters or I can have them under a Group Layer. Personally I prefer Group Layers.

 

one thing that does bug me is the use of colour id for a "Layer Layer" and the minute line that shows that colour, just colour the whole Layer or have a clear block of colour indicating its coloured designation. As it is its next to useless.

This would be better, I'm quite liking the gradient one actually.

5ab8f2709f517_ScreenShot2018-03-26at14_14_48.png.22f68b4e44927f10a82ec0a8211789f3.png

 


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26 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

It's on its own "Object" Layer ...

No, in the terminology used by Affinity, it is on its own layer (the uncapitalized generic name for any type of layer object), not its own Layer (a specific type of object 'container' layer denoted by the capital L). And considering that any layer type can be assigned a user-defined name which can be quite long, neither the "(Layer)" nor any other suffix may be visible in the Layers panel, so you can't assume it will always be clear what any type of layer might be.

 

More prominent color coding of "(Layer)" layers might help, but you still have to assign them manually to each layer, plus if the Layers panel is relatively narrow similar gradients would be hard to distinguish from one another. Besides that, the layer color is also what determines the color of the bounding box & other selected item indicators on the canvas, so gradients would not be very workable for that.


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I think if AD ever gets actual pages (as in more than one) it should start a new page-based document with Layer 1 and objects could only be on/in a user-specified layer.

 

That's really how APub should be and so if/when AD also gets multi-page capabilities, it ought to apply to it, too.

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OK, it seems that Mike has discovered how to make PDF layers within AD. I did manage to do the same, the procedure is to create an empty layer and paste inside the goods. It appears as a layer in Acrobat.

 

PDF layers are a latecomer in PDF technology, normally objects appear in PDF file jus as the writing app happens to write them, usually separate but not as distinctly defined LAYERS. Usually it just does not matter, I guess layers feature was some CAD crowd idea.

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If everything is a "Layer" be it a Curve, Shape, Text and/or Image - rasterised or otherwise what is the point of a Layer, I.e and empty container, what advantage or feature does a Layer have that a layer does not? 

Maybe I'm not getting it but I don't know what the fuss is with Curves, Shapes, Text, Images being layers, I always assumed they were layers anyway, separate and distinct from each other. 

 

I know Illustrator has Layers they would be better called pages or sheets because they are like sheets of a document, in Affinity they are the sum of its parts and not bound by the dimensions of the document size. I see that as a Plus. 


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Layers have been part of a PDF for, well, a long time. My first experience with AD and layers was like any other software. Needs discrete, real layers with objects on them. Even Serif employees have confounded layers (small l) and discrete layers (cap L) in the past. Calling objects layers is stupid and Serif shouldn't have invented such terminology to describe a "layerless" state/capability with real layers.

 

Illy's layers are nothing like pages. Illy's artboards are, well artboards like AD's and can export like pages in a PDF.

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I really don't know what to think about the best way to resolve the Layer/layer confusion. For one thing, the panel is named "Layers" so logically everything & anything in it should be considered a layer. As it is, it is also conceptually consistent with the layer metaphor as a layered stack of objects. In fact, I don't see anything wrong with the top level container being the document itself, so in a sense forcing everything to be in a 'second tier' container, whatever its name, seems like an unnecessary & often undesirable complication.

 

If nothing else, consider the pasteboard or whatever you want to call the area that is outside of any page, artboard, or canvas that is often used as a scratch area for things that should not appear in one of those container types.


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Items on the pasteboard can be in a layer proper or outside of a discreet layer. That doesn’t matter to me. In fact, in lieu of bleed indication, it is handy that a rectangle can be outside a discreet layer. 

 

But drawn or placed items are not equal to a layer. If it can confuse people including Serif, it's silly. 

 

For now I'm through harping on this subject. 

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1 minute ago, MikeW said:

But drawn or placed items are not equal to a layer.

In Affinity, they are all layers, or more correctly all in a layer of some type. They are in the Adobe apps as well, even though they don't always use that terminology. Either way, it is going to confuse some users, which is why I said I don't know the best way to resolve this.


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