Jump to content
Paul Churchill

Affinity Publisher file import from PagePlus - PLEASE ?

Recommended Posts

I was so excited to begin using Affinity Publisher, but I am back to my old trusty Page Plus X9.  I am disappointed that Serif is abandoning Page Plus, much less that they didn't just bring out a Mac version.  I know they want it to be compatible with Affinity Design and Photo, but I find it more cumbersome than Page Plus and don't know if it is worth the effort to change over.  Just sayin'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/26/2016 at 1:21 AM, Fairportfan said:

If i am unable to directly import my PagePlus documents, i guess PPX9 will be the end of a long association with Serif

And you think you will find a 3rd party product that will import them?

Think of the Affinity range of products as being from a different company and it starts to make more sense.  Not quite accurate, but it is a different team in effect, and intentionally a fresh start.

 

On 11/3/2017 at 12:34 PM, TonyB said:

Affinity Publisher V1 is unlikely to support footnotes, contents or indexes.

That seems like a rather odd set of omissions, but I certainly do hope they make it very soon after...

 

On 5/13/2018 at 8:11 PM, Bhikkhu Pesala said:

it would not be beyond the ability of any decent coder to create an import filter,

or a tool to translate it to RTF which would make it compatible not only with Affinity Publisher but with a bunch of other tools also?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/9/2014 at 9:24 PM, Andy Somerfield said:

I don't see why PDF is an insufficient transport format.. if both ends write / read PDF properly, it isn't..

But yes, what we're really saying is no - sorry..

AndyS

I once had to import a bunch of PDF files into PagePlus. I did not open them in PagePlus. I opened them in PDF-XChange Viewer, copied and pasted the text, and flowed that through a story in a copy of one of my previous PagePlus books, which I used as a template for the layout. Finding and replacing all of the carriage returns and applying paragraph styles was tedious, but still a lot easier than fixing a PDF file opened in PagePlus. 

Do think again about importing WritePlus files if you want any of your old Serif customers to migrate to Affinity Publisher. There is currently not one good reason: Publisher has fewer features, has a fairly steep relearning curve, and does not even import RTF satisfactorily. Recreating index marks, footnotes, cross-references, and inline graphics is just too much work to make it worth trying. 


AMD A10-6800K, with Radeon HD Graphics 4100 GHz

8 Gb on Windows 10 64-bit build 17763.316 •  My Free OpenType Fonts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Bhikkhu Pesala said:

Recreating index marks, footnotes, cross-references, and inline graphics is just too much work to make it worth trying. 

You can't re-create them until you can create them.

Until Publisher implements those features it obviously won't be importing them.  That is one of the reasons that was recently cited by Serif for not having Word document import support yet:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is why PDF is not suitable to convert between formats.  Converting to PDF requires rasterization of images and changing fonts to outlines - which it also screws up where there are transparencies involved.  In this case I did it to the latest PDF 1/x5 and as you can clearly see the design has completely changed making it impossible to switch.  Please can you release your format or better still import pp9.  I want to buy your new products but until I can move the large number of designs I have in pp9 then it's not practical to recreate them all over again.  It cannot be more than a couple of weeks work (speaking as a developer) to write the import plugin given you know the spec intimately and it is probably quite similar to the new one internally as that was already so flexible.  Why alienate all your thousands of previous customers when they could provide an easy source of revenue?    

ppCapture.thumb.PNG.fc7478d0040b773ab7aaea49c2fc5fcc.PNG

afCapture.thumb.PNG.b58099548fd7b1c4c94044f38d3373bc.PNG 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There definitely is a transparency/color issue there! That must be frustrating.

Since the Affinity programs were originally built for macOS instead of Windows, I wouldn't count on the programs being similar internally. I think that if it was feasible in a reasonable amount of time, they would make importing work.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/6/2014 at 4:43 AM, TonyB said:

We have no plans to import any documents from any of the old Serif Plus range of applications. You can however use PDF files as a method of moving content to Affinity.

Digging up this old thread has been helpful to see that Serif has been upfront about this for at nearly 5 years at least.

 

On 11/3/2017 at 7:34 AM, TonyB said:

Affinity Publisher V1 is unlikely to support footnotes, contents or indexes.

Turns out we got better than promised on two out of three counts.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Serif don't even have to do the work themselves - just release the PPX  file format information to the forum then I'm sure someone else will do the work.

Sadly, they don't seem to see any commercial benefit in supporting old customers - can only hope that it does not come back to haunt their bottom line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, IFGW said:

just release the PPX  file format information to the forum then I'm sure someone else will do the work.

So, suppose you knew the PPX file format. You won't know the .afpub file format, so what else would you convert the PPX file to in order to allow Publisher to import it?

PDF? The user can already do that, and your conversion to PDF probably wouldn't be able to import any better than the PDF that PagePlus can already create.

I suppose it might facilitate the creation of a batch converter to take a lot of old PPX files and get them to PDF format for importing, but I think that's about all.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.145), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 and 1.7.2.424 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 and 1.7.2.424 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 and 1.7.2.422 Beta

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, IFGW said:

just release the PPX  file format information to the forum then I'm sure someone else will do the work

Currently,  the only open standard(?) PPX exports are *.pdf & *.rft. 

The latter (rtf) is the only one where you end up with any text formatting metadata (and even then Serif failed to update their rtf exporter to the last rtf spec, so not all available rtf fields are populated, so it depends what software you load the file into as to what metadata you can "see" or access).  

Armed with the PPX-xml format spec, a converter to an open source document format could be developed making your old PPX files accessible to any number of other programs, complete with all the hard won formatting metadata NOT contained in a pdf "image".

I don't think a "third party" effort for PPX>afpub would be justified, as that remains a commercial decision for Serif.  However, if an "open" translator from say PPX>odt were available, then Serif could have a commercial incentive to accelerate the development of an (open) document import utility for affinity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, IFGW said:

and even then Serif failed to update their rtf exporter to the last rtf spec, so not all available rtf fields are populated, so it depends what software you load the file into as to what metadata you can "see" or access

Serif also has not updated their RTF importer to handle as much data as their DOCX importer handles. So converting to DOCX would be better than converting to RTF, if one new the PPX file format.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.145), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 and 1.7.2.424 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 and 1.7.2.424 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 and 1.7.2.422 Beta

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/11/2019 at 9:27 PM, walt.farrell said:

So, suppose you knew the PPX file format. You won't know the .afpub file format, so what else would you convert the PPX file to in order to allow Publisher to import it?

PDF? The user can already do that, and your conversion to PDF probably wouldn't be able to import any better than the PDF that PagePlus can already create.

I suppose it might facilitate the creation of a batch converter to take a lot of old PPX files and get them to PDF format for importing, but I think that's about all.

Unfortunately, the problem would still remain.  The pdf file just doesn't handle transparencies properly - something always gets lost.  If anyone has any suggestions for improving that then I would love to hear. 

As for being written on the mac, as far as I know it was developed cross platform first and looking at the DLLs (system files) it was probably written in .net core (no obvious java files) so they would very likely have taken the original file format concept or an improvement on it.

Simply renaming the ppx with a .zip extension gives access to the full package but this fails with the afpub.  It could just be because they use a different compression/encryption approach rather than an internal change in structure. Looking at a file size comparison however for near identical contents the affinity file is significantly larger for just a grid, a text section and a tiny picture.  This might be a way to extract some of the contents to rebuild them in an affinity file but that is such a faff.

Ultimately I have been a loyal serif customer since the first couple of versions, spent hundreds and would like to continue spending hundreds more in future (as would many other of their customers).

Is the refusal not to create an import mechanism down to technological restrictions or the marketing team because they don't want to be associated with the old serif market in an attempt to look like a different company so that the mac users don't consider it an inferior product (although pp9 still has a lot more features than the current publisher version). This would be a terribly sad waste of so much goodwill built up over years. :-(

ppx format.PNG

sizes.PNG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×