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anchoring tables (and images) into the (reflowable) text

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having a tables feature (with proper styles) is great

 

but I can't figure out how to anchor the table into the text .. so that if the text moves, the table moves with it .. I guess the same question applies to inserted images..

 

this is what I meant earlier on here an on twitter - Publisher needs to be more than Designer with pages .. it needs to take into account workflow for longer texts .. so if I add a word on page 3, and that causes text to move all the way down to page 293, the images and tables etc need to move too..

 

 

is it the case that I just can't find how to do this?

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 11.36.48.png

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3 hours ago, Dave Harris said:

It won't be in 1.7, so it will be a lot more than weeks. I can't say whether it will be in 1.8.

why not make your dev and issue tracker public? get users to discuss it .. that way you're more in touch with what users want and not designing by committee....?

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I have posted on the other similar thread to the same effect. Not having inline graphics and tables is just a non-starter. I like what I have seen of AP so far, but this really is a deal breaker. I know that is an overused phrase, but it is just not possible to create a 100 page booklet with graphics and tables unless they flow with the text. Imagine you had to add a paragraph at the front of the booklet - you would have to go through 100 pages adjusting the graphics and tables, which is not just time consuming but very prone to error. So this is an absolutely essential feature and I would not even countenance using AP without it. Please pass this on to your design team.

Now I know that this feature is not in the app, I will no longer waste any more of my time testing it until I am notified that the feature will definitely be in there from the start of the finished product.

 

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2 hours ago, captain_slocum said:

I have posted on the other similar thread to the same effect. Not having inline graphics and tables is just a non-starter. I like what I have seen of AP so far, but this really is a deal breaker. I know that is an overused phrase, but it is just not possible to create a 100 page booklet with graphics and tables unless they flow with the text. Imagine you had to add a paragraph at the front of the booklet - you would have to go through 100 pages adjusting the graphics and tables, which is not just time consuming but very prone to error. So this is an absolutely essential feature and I would not even countenance using AP without it. Please pass this on to your design team.

Now I know that this feature is not in the app, I will no longer waste any more of my time testing it until I am notified that the feature will definitely be in there from the start of the finished product.

 

agreed - it is a massive oversight and would have been picked up by proper user research. lets hope it gets fixed soon. ive been telling them for months not to just make a Designer with pages...

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It's not an oversight. We know it is important to some users. It's just that implementing it would have delayed the Publisher launch by another 6 months or so, and it is already late enough. We felt Publisher was useful enough to some (other) users to be worth releasing without it.

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Well, that is hugely disappointing. I had so hoped that I, and the  people I collaborate with could all switch to APublisher. But it is not to be. InDesign it is for the foreseeable future then. What a shame. I use ADesigner and APhoto all the time, so had high hopes for APublisher. How on earth did you miss such a vital feature?! Did you consult with real world users who make their living from DTP? If you had, you would have made inline graphics and tables a must. You had a glorious opportunity to stick one to the big boys and you blew it.

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On 8/31/2018 at 8:49 AM, captain_slocum said:

Well, that is hugely disappointing. I had so hoped that I, and the  people I collaborate with could all switch to APublisher. But it is not to be. InDesign it is for the foreseeable future then. What a shame. I use ADesigner and APhoto all the time, so had high hopes for APublisher. How on earth did you miss such a vital feature?! Did you consult with real world users who make their living from DTP? If you had, you would have made inline graphics and tables a must. You had a glorious opportunity to stick one to the big boys and you blew it.

I agree with this - some of us have been urging them to engage with users right from the beginning, be open about their development road map .. instead we get an arrogant message saying they have 25+ years experience and know better than us .. design by committee is an old old cliche now .. user research and open development has been thing for ages.

Dl3SUt3XgAQ1Gzb.jpg-large.jpeg

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I think you're misunderstanding. Serif could have had this feature in by now, but then any of the other features like advanced paragraph & text frame options, tables, TOC and baseline grids would be missing, and you (or others) would be complaining just the same. Try to see the bigger picture. It's just not viable to try to implement every feature in parallel, instead of getting a few features implemented to a minimum level of functionality, and then moving onto other features and iterating. This way there are parts of the application that are actually usable and can be tested. We're simply at a point in the timeline of Affinity Publisher's development where not all features are implemented, but Serif is giving us a sneak peek and taking our feedback. That's all it is, a sneak peek. Obviously they know the importance of this feature and I'm personally also disappointed by its absence, it's just not implemented yet. Alternatively they could have waited another 2-5 years - would you have preferred that? It's a privilege to get early access and you should be mindful of that.


Complete Affinity suite; Mac 10.9; kbd & mouse; casual user since 2014.

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Hawk: The absence of inline graphics and tables makes InDesign unfit as a professional tool. So would not having the other features you mention of course. But you are creating a false dichotomy - it is not a case of choosing between essential features. If it really would take another 2 - 5 years to create a professional DTP app (where did you get that figure from?) then either they should hire an extra software engineer or throw in the towel.

The important point that I and others have made is that Affinity did not ask us professionals what was essential in a DTP app. They cite their 25 year experience in DTP (with the dreadful Serif!) but ignore the collective experience of many real world users such a myself who have been using DTP to make a living since its dawn.

Nobody expects the first iteration of new software to be perfect. (When InDesign first came out it did not have tables.) And I know I speak for others when I say we have nothing but goodwill towards the Affinity team's efforts, and that we do not wish to nit-pick. But there are certain elements that have to be in place if an app is to be seen as a viable replacement for an existing go-to app. Without inline graphics and tables (something a developer colleague assures me is quite easy to implement - even the humble Notes on the Mac has it) APublisher just becomes another village fete poster app.

Our motives for these posts is not to have a pop at Affinity, but to help them in their endeavours, which we applaud. We understand that this is a beta and that 1.0 will look different, but we are dismayed that a moderator has said this is not on the immediate feature list.

As for having the beta to play with being a privilege, I think the boot is on the other foot -  Affinity should feel privileged that there are seasoned designers out there freely giving their time to make the app viable.

I suspect that privately there are red faces over this, and (assuming they read these posts!) hope that wiser counsels prevail and that this issue is given the priority it deserves.

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29 minutes ago, captain_slocum said:

Our motives for these posts is not to have a pop at Affinity, but to help them in their endeavours, which we applaud. We understand that this is a beta and that 1.0 will look different, but we are dismayed that a moderator has said this is not on the immediate feature list.

As for having the beta to play with being a privilege, I think the boot is on the other foot -  Affinity should feel privileged that there are seasoned designers out there freely giving their time to make the app viable.

 

Exactly this.

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2 hours ago, captain_slocum said:

But you are creating a false dichotomy - it is not a case of choosing between essential features.

I think you misunderstood my point. During the early development of a software it is a dichotomy. You either try to develop every feature simultaneously (suicide) or you have a small list of features you develop, and add & remove items on that list. How you choose which items to add to that list depends, and obviously important features take priority. But obviously there's a period between the beginning of the development and some point in time during which not all important features are implemented, and my point is that we happen to find ourselves in that time.

2 hours ago, captain_slocum said:

If it really would take another 2 - 5 years to create a professional DTP app (where did you get that figure from?) then either they should hire an extra software engineer or throw in the towel. 

This is also a false dichotomy. And adding more cooks isn't always the answer.

2 hours ago, captain_slocum said:

The important point that I and others have made is that Affinity did not ask us professionals what was essential in a DTP app. They cite their 25 year experience in DTP (with the dreadful Serif!) but ignore the collective experience of many real world users such a myself who have been using DTP to make a living since its dawn.

This is untrue and you know it. Serif obviously knows their audience and the competition, they're not morons. It's evident from the other two apps they've already created and how they communicate. You're just unhappy with the product in its current state, and are not acknowledging the actual phase of development we're in. "Alpha," "beta," "release," "v1.7" are arbitrary labels, and I've seen software at vastly different levels of quality from each other at each of these "stages". They're just organizational constructs that have nothing to do with the product itself. If we merely assume that Serif are competent, (and that's all we have to do), then we just have to look at the current state of the product (and our expectations of the finished product) to determine its progress in development.

Don't get me wrong, there are definitely certain notions we associate with each label, and there's some theory about what they should mean, but in practice people have wildly different ideas what is alpha, beta, etc. A missing important feature could arguably mean alpha, beta or 1.0, depending how the developer sees it. In this specific case, Serif deemed it not necessary for 1.0 and although the reasons are perhaps not entirely known to us, I assume their goal for 1.0 is to have it usable for small projects like brochures, which it seems like it will be.

At worst you can say that the choice of label is odd, and potentially damaging to Serif's reputation. But this is not a criticism of the product itself, or the competence of the development team as programmers, designers, etc, but rather their communication/marketing/business strategy.

Maybe I am misunderstanding and that's what you mean all along...

2 hours ago, captain_slocum said:

But there are certain elements that have to be in place if an app is to be seen as a viable replacement for an existing go-to app.

It's clear to me from their communications on this forum that they do not intend APub to be a viable replacement for everybody. But it may be for some, and it may be a nice entry level alternative for budding amateurs especially. Think long-term, think like a business person. You wanna reel them younglings in, and the sooner the better, so while they're still learning the app and becoming more ambitious, you're developing it further. Also, they won't have as many expectations going in, and every new update will feel all the more like an upgrade. In the end the goal is still to create a comprehensive product for everyone, but it makes sense from a business perspective (to me as a layperson anyway) to get in early.

Keep in mind APub was already delayed. They just didn't want to wait any longer and it's understandable.

2 hours ago, captain_slocum said:

(something a developer colleague assures me is quite easy to implement - even the humble Notes on the Mac has it)

Yeah, they just need to copy-paste 20 lines of code, right?

The Affinity team has made it clear that they don't want to just take existing paradigms and add a little bit of polish. They're trying to understand how and why people actually use those features, and how to better serve those ends. This requires thinking a little bit outside the box, and carefully weighing a lot of options, and unless your friend knows exactly the variables involved, and the internal structure of Affinity, his opinion is not necessarily insightful. Even just a single detail can massively complicate the solution to what might seem like a simple programming problem on the surface.

It's safe to say that Affinity is a little bit more complex than Notes, and sufficiently different from other apps that their solutions wouldn't necessarily transfer over easily.

To sum it up, you're basically just dissatisfied with the current state of the app at the current point in time, which really just means that Serif, to you, is working too slowly, and I can kind of agree with you there. But we don't have all the details, and in the end quality is king, and if time is what Serif needs, then so be it. Pressuring them about things they already know isn't gonna make them work faster. They might re-prioritize this feature specifically now, but it would be a trade-off and somewhere in another thread someone like you would remain unhappy... The answer is patience.

To finish I just want to quote @Dave Harris 's earlier post because it actually underlines several of my points so well:

On 8/31/2018 at 8:36 AM, Dave Harris said:

It's not an oversight. We know it is important to some users. It's just that implementing it would have delayed the Publisher launch by another 6 months or so, and it is already late enough. We felt Publisher was useful enough to some (other) users to be worth releasing without it.

Btw, I'm sure your input here is appreciated and I appreciate your perspective too, but we clearly can't have all the things we want from APub at this time – that's non-negotiable – so let's try not to be to negative about it. It ain't gonna help.


Complete Affinity suite; Mac 10.9; kbd & mouse; casual user since 2014.

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+100 to this. creating 50+pages documents. This is really killer feature. And not for few people, but for people who intend to use it in profession. If you change one sentence in middle of the document, you have to manually reposition all photos, images, icons. Omg. Either use end of page as workaround, or i have to kill myself in agony ;)...

And, as i have few programmers under me, and im also programming, i dont really think simple anchoring in text is for months development... 

Dont want to be negative, just, please, give it priority, since this software is really great, but at the moment just for few-page documents without much graphics in it.

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I have come back to this after a bit of respite from it because I do care about whether or not this software is going to be successful.

Re-reading Hawk's reply to my post, I don't want to go over old ground endlessly, but there is one important point that I think, Hawk, with the greatest of respect, you have misunderstood. It could be my fault as I have posted in two different threads about the issue and I may not be clear about what I said, where.

You imply that I am being unreasonable to expect the beta to have all the important features in it - but that is just not so. I don't expect that. I was an early adopter of Final Cut Pro X and there was all sorts of problems with a professional work flow. We were saying, oh no, where's the XML support, where's this, where's that etc, Apple are going all consumer with this. But now FCPX is superb, I wouldn't go back to Avid or Premier Pro for a big clock.

But regarding Affinity Publisher, I had a reply from (I think) a developer who told me that inline graphics and tables was not being contemplated any time in the future. Had they said - hey, we understand, it's an important feature, but we need to get the bare bones out there first - in the way that Apple did with FCPX - that would have been very different.

So perhaps you can see where I'm coming from. By all means add inline graphics in a later version, but don't say it isn't ever going to happen. Just admit that it is an important part of a serious DTP package and put it in the pipeline. As Grapher says, it really is not technically difficult. Even Apple Notes has it. In fact I can't think of a single app with a word processor in it that doesn't; the graphic is seen as just another character.

You might wonder, given that I have to have Adobe Creative Cloud anyway for all sorts of reasons, why I care about this. Well, I do a lot of work with communities and education and they can't afford an Adobe CC subscription. When I am trying to set up charitable and not-for profit organisations with a good, cheap, multi-platform, shareable, print based system for newsletters, journals, historical documents, magazines, whatever, there is surprisingly little out there. So come on Affinity, admit you've taken your eye off the ball on this one and put in-line graphics on the agenda.

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Posted (edited)

Any serious DTP application MUST include automatically-flowable anchored/linked images.  DTP by its very nature often involves many images, and as an author of heavily documented books, as well as books having large numbers of images, over a period of more than thirty years, any version of Affinity Publisher without automatically-flowable anchored/linked images is a complete non-starter for me.  I will not, in that case, even waste my time trying to play with the product.  Reflowable tables, on the other hand, is more niche, and those could potentially and more reasonably wait for a later release, though in the end, these too are a must.  I am disappointed that AP's developers / architects have been so foolish as to think that AP could succeed without this vital feature from the very start, which will make their product nothing more than a glorified Word Processor for text-heavy "documents" without any substantial number of images.  Simply put, this is a terrible developmental oversight, and needs to be rectified as quickly as possible; in fact, it should be the very next feature Affinity adds to AP.

Edited by thuckabay

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@thuckabay

Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums :) 

Sorry, I am unclear what terrible developmental oversight have we actually missed in your opinion .This thread was last posted to in November but the inline and pinned images/objects feature has been in the beta since 26 April, most people who tried this feature think it does what they need. You still have time before we launch Affinity Publisher to waste your time playing with try the Free Affinity Publisher beta on MacOS or Windows and see if it is suitable for you.


Patrick Connor

Serif (Europe) Ltd.

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4 hours ago, Patrick Connor said:

@thuckabay

Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums :) 

Sorry, I am unclear what terrible developmental oversight have we actually missed in your opinion .This thread was last posted to in November but the inline and pinned images/objects feature has been in the beta since 26 April, most people who tried this feature think it does what they need. You still have time before we launch Affinity Publisher to waste your time playing with try the Free Affinity Publisher beta on MacOS or Windows and see if it is suitable for you.

And it works brilliantly....High five to the Serif team!!!

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Given that inline and pinned images/objects have been added as features, I must apologize for my oversight.  I have ordered Affinity Publisher and look forward to it living up to its promise.  Thank you!

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A handsome apology thackabay, but your original post was quite understandable - I had no idea either that they had done what we were asking for, as I had stopped updating the beta just before April, having been told by a staff member there was no intention at all to implement inline object flow.

It is very heartening that the essential feature that myself and many others have been requesting has been implemented - they do listen. Full marks to them for correcting their oversight.

And disappointing that Patrick Connor should post such a disrespectful and petulant reply. I respectfully suggest it is not a good idea to be rude to the people who post on this forum and who might buy your product. Frankly, I expect more from a staff member. A simple "You will be pleased to hear we have now implemented the feature you requested" would have sufficed.

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