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On 10/14/2020 at 8:49 PM, whitewolf7070 said:

Well, despite the lack of the "Span column" feature, I made the move to Affinity Publisher five issues ago for our monthly publication. I love it. Great decision. First month of transition was a challenge, but after that, it has gone fairly smoothly. Haven't really missed the Span Column feature, once I got used to simply putting in a Text Box for each headline. Still looking forward to it being added, but it has not been the deal-breaker for us that I thought it would. Great program, Affinity!

Hi, that would be feasible if you'd have an easy way to alter content of frame without altering formatting of text.
I can imagine I'd spent time with preparing frame for title, for subtitle, for perex and for text as a template (with formatted paragraphs as title subtitle perex and text) and then, in the future, reuse it - by dragging 'n' dropping document file to Publisher to that 'template' frames - it would only replace the text and let formatting in place.
Otherwise - in my type of work, several articles with same structure (title, sub, perex, text) on every page - would be too tedious without Span columns to create from scratch again and again.

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Columns in text boxes is good, but option to Span columns, so that a title can span the 2 columns of text it's above, without having to make a separate text box for the title please.

And span columns isn't just useful for headings. They can also be used for pull-quotes and more.

I realize that everyone has a wish list, but spanning columns is not a wish-it's a requirement. Creating a separate frame for a heading (for example), linking that frame to one that follows creates te

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Column Span YES!

Here's my work around for column spanning.

  1. Create a paragraph tag for the text/paragraph you want to span and uncheck No Break in Positioning and Transform.
  2. Create a column break tag for the bottom of the column that matches the current text/paragraph settings for the text to force it to the next column.
    (This tag also helps you find column overflow problems)
  3. Create a top of column tag and set its Below Paragraph spacing to match the paragraph immediately below the text/paragraph you created the No Break tag.
  4. Now you can quickly use tags to manage column span and break in an easy and efficient manner.
  5. Hope this helps! :)

I've had a smile on my face while reading the comments from all the old Corel Ventura users in this forum.

Believe it or not I used Ventura Publisher when it was first introduced by Xerox back in 1986. Back then my desktop was the ONLY stand-alone PC desktop in an organization full of Mainframe terminals. I was always amazed by Ventura's ability to handle virtually every type of document and/or publication I threw at it, especially very large documents (500pgs+). SGML tags blew me away and it did not take me long to harness their power. I had office automation groups teach basic tagging to users that regularly sent me large documents for design and importing these pre-tagged documents into Ventura saved an incredible amount of production time, literally hours spent tagging document elements.

I stuck with Ventura until the mid 2000's when I sadly had to move to Adobe CS for production and compatibility reasons.

The last Adobe CS version I purchased and still use is CS6, the final stand-alone version. I refused to pay a monthly subscription for my software.

Since Adobe CS stand-alone versions were end-lifed I've had been looking for an alternative and thank the gods for Affinity! I have been very pleased with Affinity's Design Suite and only hope more professional designers give this amazing software a try.

Edited by mliving
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Many thanks mliving,

I'll have a go in the morning.

But why is it so difficult to mimic what was so easy in InDesign CS6. At least now I can create style sheets so customers can "just use them" rather than struggle, or create a page full of multi frames!

I too was on Ventura from the early days of DOS. I joined the Ventura User Group and even offered myself as a prize at a few major meetings in London, offering to give a day's training to the lucky prizewinner. Which went very well and became a firm friends and colleagues.

Like you I moved on I needed something for much more integrated page layouts ... but first to Pagemaker, QuarkXpress then InDesign beta then through the CS series and now ["thank the gods"] Affinity Publisher. 

Cheers Peter

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I think we old Ventura Users needs to start a support group :-). I also was a member of VPUG. The lady who published the magazine, her name was Nancy, I think. Very nice lady. Once you groked the framing concept VP was very intuitive. One thing I still miss is the non-contiguous paragraph tagging. What a great tool! I could just highlight separate subheads in the magazine text by holding down the shift key, then click on the paragraph style tag and bang, it was done. Same with Span Columns paragraph style tags (hint). So many advanced features. Sad it's gone, but glad Publisher is here! Much better alternative than InDesign. 

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My first Xerox Ventura GEM workstation in the mid 80's was comprised of a 80386 PC with a Wyse 700 monochrome monitor and a Xerox 4000 laser printer cost $35,000!

Xerox allowed me to use the setup for a month as a trial because they really wanted to sell these setups.

I did a demo of the system to the senior managers at the time and I showed them how fast I could import a 300 page budget document and format the entire document in a day. At that time our budget documents were printed on dot matrix printers the bound together in a huge book (11"x17"). I also showed them how I could import a pre-tagged document and drastically reduce the amount of time it would take to complete a document design.

They were really impressed and so began my career as an computer-based graphic designer! Fun times!

Ventura was unmatched in power and productivity for years. I used to laugh out loud at PageMaker and Quark users who would have to pay several hundred more dollars for their software and still not even come close to half the features of Ventura.

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I always find these requests interesting because I have never needed a span columns feature and cannot imagine a situation where I would need it.

Perhaps because I only use text frames to layout my designs and never use columns?

I am sure I am missing something but I cannot imagine what.

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48 minutes ago, Catshill said:

I always find these requests interesting because I have never needed a span columns feature and cannot imagine a situation where I would need it.

Perhaps because I only use text frames to layout my designs and never use columns?

I am sure I am missing something but I cannot imagine what.

Beside using span columns for the headlines in magazines, it is also usefull for books. I've done a book with a subtitles in the middle of the multicolumn text and I can say it is very interesting layout.

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18 hours ago, mliving said:
  1. Create a paragraph tag for the text/paragraph you want to span and uncheck No Break in Positioning and Transform.

Hi, sorry if I'm being a noob, but I'm not sure what you mean by a "tag"? I'm trying to do this exact thing, I've got as far as applying "No Break" to the headings, which does carry them across both columns, but the text in the second column appears over the heading instead of being pushed down the page below it.

Edited by PhilOsborne
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3 hours ago, Catshill said:

Perhaps because I only use text frames to layout my designs and never use columns?
I am sure I am missing something but I cannot imagine what.

Text frames are usually static unless you pin them – which by itself can cause quite a bunch of other issues in Publisher (been there done that, duh).
Whereas span columns can be anywhere within the linear text, and they will freely flow with it if you tell them to do so.

With InDesign CS5.5 I was using them whenever applicable.
For example, an annual brochure that I used to lay out; imported linear unformatted text into linked text frames, one simple text frame per page, all formatting done with text styles per keyboard shortcuts by simply jumping from one paragraph to the next:

indesign_span_columns.png.a82a7cefb3f83cf584bb3a8402d79609.png

(Alright, sometimes I had to "cheat" by adding a few blank paragraph breaks for correct vertical spacing adjustment. No big deal as far I'm concerned… :))

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29 minutes ago, PhilOsborne said:

Hi, sorry if I'm being a noob, but I'm not sure what you mean by a "tag"? I'm trying to do this exact thing, I've got as far as applying "No Break" to the headings, which does carry them across both columns, but the text in the second column appears over the heading instead of being pushed down the page below it.

Sorry Tags is an old expression for styles. You'll  need to create a style for the first line or paragraph of text that is under your No Break text. Ideally the first line should be empty, just a hard return.

Then adjust the Below Paragraph spacing to force the text below the No Break text and even with the text in the left column.

Regards, M@

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23 minutes ago, loukash said:

...
Whereas span columns can be anywhere within the linear text, and they will freely flow with it if you tell them to do so.

With InDesign CS5.5 I was using them whenever applicable. ...

You show split columns in your screen shot...which, to me, goes hand-in-hand with spanning columns.

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5 minutes ago, loukash said:

...

Even though: the more complex, the more CPU demanding is the reflow. But I'd expect Adobe have optimized it in the CC upgrades.

Not really. The feature is still memory intensive. It's just that computers are more powerful than when CS5 was introduced in 2010?

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Just now, MikeW said:

It's just that computers are more powerful than when CS5 was introduced in 2011

Yep, fully maxed MacBook Pro 2012 pre-retina 15" in action here…
Seeing quite a few beachballs when the text reflows or when I was applying color to text using the Colors palette, with ID utilizing only 1 CPU core.

However, I'd say that in that regard APu is likely in a better pole position here.

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Note concerning split/span columns.

Split columns is a poor imitation of Ventura's ability to have "side-by-side" paragraphs. That applies to both ID & QXP. Split columns, if Serif sees fit to implement split columns, they should haver offsets configurable (unequal column widths) if desired.

Span columns as available in Both ID & QXP, have certain limitations. Should Serif sees fit to implement them, how text flows following the span should be configurable.

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