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On 6/21/2019 at 7:31 PM, Adriandw said:

I produce publications for three non-profits - I’m using a copy of InDesign which I purchased as a component of CS6 several years ago - neither I nor the non-profits could justify the monthly charges for the latest InDesign. I’d love to switch them all to Affinity Publisher but without Span Columns (and cross-references for longer documents) it wouldn't be a complete solution and therefore I’ll hold off persuading them to adopt it (although I have purchased my own copy).

I am exactly in the case of Adriandw.

I just tried v180 beta, and opened some idml I had created under ID. It works rather well, but I was very disappointed to see that spanned columns (in ID) are not yet spanned (in APub), even in v1.8.

I am afraid to have to wait v2 and then to pay v2 to have that feature absolutely essential for any professional publisher, even for non-profits organisations.

So, please, add span column feature in v 1.x

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It's funny, the importance of key features like Span Columns that are vital to everyday users, seem to be obtuse to programmers. Then, when users point out the need for these key features, programmers seem to get their back up and refuse to put them in on some kind of "principle." The late, lamented, Corel Ventura Publisher had the span columns feature back in the 1990s. SMH  Because of this lack of one basic feature, I am still using Adobe InDesign

I also don't use Adobe Illustrator because of 2 simple feature quirks: 

1) You can't align strokes on text to the outside, meaning that you always have to have strokes impeding in on the text. That is insane. I use this technique quite a bit for super-imposing text on noisy backgrounds. Yes, there are kludgy workarounds, but users shouldn't have to figure something like this out. Yet, AI programmers refuse to implement this basic feature. Nothing but sheer stubbornness can explain it after all these years. 

2) And this second one is the worst of the two: When selecting objects in AI, EVERYTHING your cursor touches is selected, including the background. That's insane. When you do many projects, as I do, you reuse elements rather than recreating them each time. You want to quickly select just a particular group of elements without selecting everything else, With Illustrator this is impossible. AI users have complained bitterly about this for DECADES, yet, there is still no option just to select those things INSIDE a selection box.  Again, nothing but sheer stubbornness or hubris on the part of programmers can explain it after all these years. It is the single biggest reason I use Affinity Designer, rather than AI. 

That said, I hope that Affinity programmers don't fall into the same, "we know better" arrogance as the Adobe programmers. No "span columns" is one of those worrisome things. 

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14 minutes ago, whitewolf7070 said:

Then, when users point out the need for these key features, programmers seem to get their back up and refuse to put them in on some kind of "principle."

Where have you seen anything from Serif saying they won't add a column-spanning feature?

Users are asking for many functions, and the Serif staff have only so much time to spend. We have already seen progress in the Publisher 1.8 beta on a number of frequently requested functions:

  • Merging Publisher files
  • Importing data from InDesign (IDML file support)
  • XLSX (Spreadsheet) import
  • Improvements in the handling of Linked document files
  • Collecting used resources
  • Remembering Find/Replace strings for later reuse
  • Improvements when moving pages in a Publisher document, or when reapplying Master pages
  • And more, plus a bunch of bug fixes.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 2004 (19041.388),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.864 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.864 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.863 Beta.

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On 11/21/2019 at 11:32 PM, walt.farrell said:

Where have you seen anything from Serif saying they won't add a column-spanning feature?

Users are asking for many functions, and the Serif staff have only so much time to spend. We have already seen progress in the Publisher 1.8 beta on a number of frequently requested functions:

  • Merging Publisher files
  • Importing data from InDesign (IDML file support)
  • XLSX (Spreadsheet) import
  • Improvements in the handling of Linked document files
  • Collecting used resources
  • Remembering Find/Replace strings for later reuse
  • Improvements when moving pages in a Publisher document, or when reapplying Master pages
  • And more, plus a bunch of bug fixes.

For me the lack of pdf pass through tops everything on that list. Spanning columns had never occurred to me as a issue as I would just create a text frame to the size I want. I certainly do this when I want to insert a quote.

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@walt.farrell I agree, it's great to see Serif coming out with so many incremental enhancements to Publisher.
I wasn't expecting IDML import so soon and that function will help me free myself from dependence on InDesign. 

I'm hopeful that it won't be too long before they implement column-spanning.

For me and others, it's worth occasionally emphasising the importance of column-spanning as input into Serif's prioritisation.

@Catshill On a short, single-page document, you're right, the lack of column spanning is easily worked around.
On a long document with two or more columns, it's common practice to use a full-width heading between sections/chapters.
As I go through iterations during the preparation of the document, I can't

Quote

just create a text frame to the size I want

because the size and also page break locations will change as the document develops.

If anyone has an easy workaround to that problem, I'd love to hear it.

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4 hours ago, Adriandw said:

I can't

Quote

just create a text frame to the size I want

 

But that is how it was done before InDesign added Span feature.

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1 hour ago, Adriandw said:

because the size and also page break locations will change as the document develops.

If anyone has an easy workaround to that problem, I'd love to hear it.

Pinning the "spanning" text frame to the new section/chapter may help you. That would keep them together if the page breaks change.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 2004 (19041.388),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.864 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.864 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.863 Beta.

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33 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Pinning the "spanning" text frame to the new section/chapter may help you. That would keep them together if the page breaks change.

My thoughts exactly

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19 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

Pinning the "spanning" text frame to the new section/chapter may help you. That would keep them together if the page breaks change.

@walt.farrell Many thanks for your suggestion.

I tried pinning a text frame with the latest beta, but the beta locked up and I had to force quit the app.
Could you explain how pinning would help in my case?
In this screenshot from InDesign I show a page with a heading "Stained Glass" which spans columns.
The text before that heading is in panels marked 1 and 2, and the text below it in panels 3 and 4.

The page is a simple two-column text frame and I have not had to split it into two frames to achieve the desired effect.

If I added some text to the section before the "Stained Glass" heading, the text in sections 1 & 2 would rebalance; the Stained Glass heading would move down, and some of the text in section 4 would move to the next page.

How would I achieve that reflow of text in Affinity Publisher without splitting the single two-column text frame?

SpanCol.thumb.png.9574ba9d1b7cfbfe07693e16a79a066a.png

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Just started to use the Affinity software in an attempt to move away from Adobe. In my first project with Publisher I ran in to this one. So another vote for being able to span text across columns.

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It's clearly not a priority feature for the team to add. People have been asking for it and pointing out its necessity for basic magazine and newspaper work for a long time now. Several people have pointed out that it's the one lacking feature that keeps them from moving from InDesign. Still no change. Like me, if you need this feature — as many do — you will have to stick to InDesign. Sad. 

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1 hour ago, whitewolf7070 said:

It's clearly not a priority feature for the team to add. People have been asking for it and pointing out its necessity for basic magazine and newspaper work for a long time now.

I'm sure it is a priority, just not as high a priority as some would like when compared to other things that people are also crying out loud for.

Right now the second major release (1.8 up from the first 1.7 release) is in beta, and they are still adding features to the betas, so it's not like they have let this slip for a long time now either in the grand scheme of things.  They won't get it all in at once so they need to pick and choose.

I think it's too soon for you to make the assumption that this is particularly low on the totem pole, but I would expect that this is much easier to work around than some of the other problems people are seeing and it may be prioritized accordingly.

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19 minutes ago, fde101 said:

I'm sure it is a priority, just not as high a priority as some would like when compared to other things that people are also crying out loud for.

Right now the second major release (1.8 up from the first 1.7 release) is in beta, and they are still adding features to the betas, so it's not like they have let this slip for a long time now either in the grand scheme of things.  They won't get it all in at once so they need to pick and choose.

I think it's too soon for you to make the assumption that this is particularly low on the totem pole, but I would expect that this is much easier to work around than some of the other problems people are seeing and it may be prioritized accordingly.

@fde101 I agree, you can't draw the inference that this is a low priority feature, just that it's a lower priority (and/or more difficult to deliver) than some of the other welcome enhancements that we have seen since Publisher was first released.
However, although some posters have suggested that there are workarounds, I haven't been able to make any of them work.

My workaround is to avoid a multi-column layout where I would need Span columns, or use MS Word.

In Word you can insert a section break (continuous), switch to single column mode, add a heading, and then insert another continuous section break to switch back into two-column mode. That's not as flexible as what InDesign can do, but it's better than nothing.

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Column spans are absolutely essential to my work as well. I'm impressed with Publisher overall, but this is a key feature that I was quite surprised hasn't been included yet. Please include in an upcoming release!

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22 minutes ago, welshhokkers said:

 Completely impractical otherwise.

Not practical but not completely impractical neither.

See dominik's workaround below. I checked it. Here it works.

But, yes, column span would be a very practical feature.

On 4/27/2019 at 7:25 PM, dominik said:

Span columns seems to be possible with the newly introduced Pinning feature. I would love to hear from the experts (and the other, too) if is what you've been asking for.

  1. Create a document with a text frame that has multiple columns ... and some text in it.
  2. Create another text frame that spans across at least two columns.
  3. Set text wrap to 'Jump'.
  4. Set pinning to 'Float'. Anchor the text frame to where you want it to be placed.
  5. Add some text and style it in the way of a quote or header.

If you now add (or remove) some text above this floating text frame it spans across two columns. Maybe it needs some fine tuning but this looks promising to me. What do you think?

d.

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I'm sorry @jjk, but have a look at the posts which follow @dominik's workaround.

Most of us are looking for the equivalent of the "span column" paragraph setting in InDesign and this workaround doesn't do that.

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On 6/25/2019 at 7:20 AM, Fixx said:

What is splitting? This thread was about spanning text columns (with values 1, 2, 3...), and I think splitting applies only to table columns/cells.You can already add columns to text frame if you want..

Splitting is basically the same idea as spanning, except in reverse. You split selected text into two (or more) columns in a single column text frame. It's perfect for when you have a bullet list you want to take up as little space as possible with.

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On 4/4/2020 at 10:16 PM, jjk said:

Not practical but not completely impractical neither.

See dominik's workaround below. I checked it. Here it works.

But, yes, column span would be a very practical feature.

Unfortunately, that's not even close to what we're talking about. Creating and anchoring (pinning) frames IS impractical when you have dozens or even hundreds of cases of its use in a single document. If it can't be applied on the fly in the text flow of a multi-column text frame, then it's simply not a viable workaround.

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Yup +1 for both Splitting and Spanning. It would be annoying if Span didn’t come with a splitting option!

I often import documents that began life in Word. They can have 1000s of pages, so having to split or span columns by hand is just not practical at all. 

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+1 for me. I used this feature a lot in InDesign for my book publications - body text is all two columns, but section headings and introductions span the the two columns. Adding in additional text boxes for headings across 80 pages when page reflows break the order of things is horrible for table of contents etc. 

I genuinely hope that the ability of a paragraph style to span columns is in the near future for Publisher! 

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