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Span Columns


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5 minutes ago, PGT7 said:

I hunted with glee when Affinity's latest Publisher drop [1.9.1] came along but Span Columns was missing.

IMO we should expect it after v.2.

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Both. :)

All the latest releases of Designer, Photo and Publisher (retail and beta) on MacOS and Windows.
15” Dell Inspiron 7559 i7 Windows 10 x64 Pro Intel Core i7-6700HQ (3.50 GHz, 6M) 16 GB Dual Channel DDR3L 1600 MHz (8GBx2) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4 GB GDDR5 500 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD UHD (3840 x 2160) Truelife LED - Backlit Touch Display
32” LG 32UN650-W display 3840 x 2160 UHD, IPS, HDR10 Color Gamut: DCI-P3 95%, Color Calibrated 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort
13.3” MacBook Pro (2017) Ventura 13.6 Intel Core i7 (3.50 GHz Dual Core) 16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 1536 MB 500 GB SSD Retina Display (3360 x 2100)

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1 hour ago, PGT7 said:

All this is so simple achieve in InDesign

Fair enough, but it wasn't there in InDesign 1.x either. Neither in 2.0. Neither in CS, CS2, CS3 or CS4. Heck, it wasn't there until CS5! We all had to find other ways to work around it back in the day.

MacBookAir 15": MacOS Ventura > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // MacBookPro 15" mid-2012: MacOS El Capitan > Affinity v1 / MacOS Catalina > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // iPad 8th: iPadOS 16 > Affinity v2

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Here is a link to "InDesign new features guide" how the features were added since version 1.0 just to see that the most wanted features were not included in the very first versions:

https://creativepro.com/indesign-new-features-guide-updated-for-cc-2019/

All the latest releases of Designer, Photo and Publisher (retail and beta) on MacOS and Windows.
15” Dell Inspiron 7559 i7 Windows 10 x64 Pro Intel Core i7-6700HQ (3.50 GHz, 6M) 16 GB Dual Channel DDR3L 1600 MHz (8GBx2) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4 GB GDDR5 500 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD UHD (3840 x 2160) Truelife LED - Backlit Touch Display
32” LG 32UN650-W display 3840 x 2160 UHD, IPS, HDR10 Color Gamut: DCI-P3 95%, Color Calibrated 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort
13.3” MacBook Pro (2017) Ventura 13.6 Intel Core i7 (3.50 GHz Dual Core) 16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 1536 MB 500 GB SSD Retina Display (3360 x 2100)

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Anyway…

Another day, another workaround: 

 

The trick:

 

The example doc: apu_span_workaround4.afpub.zip

To me it seemed that the benefit of using pinned text frames as "spacers" is that you can create them relatively easily by using the headline paragraph style, and thus align quite quickly, even without using baseline grid alignment.
But technically it can be any object of any size. The text wrap remains intact even when they're hidden (uh… is it a "feature" or a bug?) so it doesn't really matter.

What also helps if you have matching leading values, like base text grid 12 pt, headline leading 48 pt etc.
If that's not possible, you may need to align the base text to baseline grid.
Also be aware that there are some bugs in Text Frame > Vertical Position, and > Baseline Grid settings. It still doesn't behave as one would expect from the values you enter.

Edited by loukash
replaced *.mov with *.mp4

MacBookAir 15": MacOS Ventura > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // MacBookPro 15" mid-2012: MacOS El Capitan > Affinity v1 / MacOS Catalina > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // iPad 8th: iPadOS 16 > Affinity v2

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Thanks all for your replies. I wanted to avoid starting a personal subscription to InDesign for my own book project but this layout would require its use. Every tool has its limitations and InDesign also has one that is annoying. InDesign's "Keep within top/bottom column boundaries" option ignores text wrap for text before the anchor which leads to images overlapping text. Affinity Publisher handles this situation properly.

I'm just trying to figure out the tradeoffs so I don't get too far into the project and regret my tool selection. I will build 20 pages in both apps this week as a test. Thanks for your help!

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.4 from this forum - expanded 300-page PDF

My system: Affinity 2.4.0 for macOS Sonoma 14.3.1, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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1 minute ago, MikeTO said:

InDesign's "Keep within top/bottom column boundaries" option ignores text wrap for text before the anchor which leads to images overlapping text.

Yep. That can be very annoying at times. As I halted at CS5.5, I'm surprised that in the current version it's still an issue though.

But…

1 minute ago, MikeTO said:

Affinity Publisher handles this situation properly.

Um… well… hm… I wouldn't necessarily call that "properly" either:

 

MacBookAir 15": MacOS Ventura > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // MacBookPro 15" mid-2012: MacOS El Capitan > Affinity v1 / MacOS Catalina > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // iPad 8th: iPadOS 16 > Affinity v2

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10 hours ago, MikeTO said:

Thanks all for your replies. I wanted to avoid starting a personal subscription to InDesign for my own book project but this layout would require its use.

Depending on how long you expect to be working on your book, you might want to take a look at QuarkXPress as well.

InDesign is currently $20.99 a month (US) and if you stop paying you stop using it.

QuarkXPress is on sale right now for $750 for a 3-year Advantage plan, which means updates for 3 years, then if you stop paying you keep using the version you have (the license is perpetual, it is only the updates you pay the subscription for).  Compare to $755.64 for 3 years of InDesign.

InDesign is currently cheaper for less than 3 years, but again, you lose access to it if you stop paying.

Not sure what your current situation is or how long you expect to use the product.

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45 minutes ago, fde101 said:

InDesign is currently $20.99 a year (US)

A month.

MacBookAir 15": MacOS Ventura > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // MacBookPro 15" mid-2012: MacOS El Capitan > Affinity v1 / MacOS Catalina > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // iPad 8th: iPadOS 16 > Affinity v2

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I decided to do my book project in Affinity Publisher. While Span Columns would be a huge convenience, you can't span columns automatically in a long book and expect useful results (edits might push a spanned column to start in the right column) so for a book you can only decide to use it in the final stage of composition. Therefore it's something I can do manually.

I chose Affinity Publisher for my book over InDesign due to InDesign's poor handling of inline images - it is happy to either push the image below the bottom of a column or align it to the bottom but overlap text before the anchor. Also, I prefer the image manipulation UI of Affinity Publisher to InDesign.

fde101: It's been a decade since I last used Quark XPress so I would have needed to test it as well. But Quark isn't interested in personal users - you can't download a trial version without first scheduling a call with a salesperson. I didn't want to speak to a salesperson just to try the product. Crazy.

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.4 from this forum - expanded 300-page PDF

My system: Affinity 2.4.0 for macOS Sonoma 14.3.1, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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59 minutes ago, MikeTO said:

 you can't span columns automatically in a long book and expect useful results (edits might push a spanned column to start in the right column) 

In my experience with InDesign, and with a two column layout, if you add a new heading with span columns set, it automatically balances the text columns above that point.

Then the heading spans both columns and the text flow starts below that in the left hand column.

There may be other side effects of spanned columns, the point you raised would not be a concern for me.

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44 minutes ago, Adriandw said:

There may be other side effects of spanned columns

Oh yeah! At least in CS5.5: CPU hog on redraw!

MacBookAir 15": MacOS Ventura > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // MacBookPro 15" mid-2012: MacOS El Capitan > Affinity v1 / MacOS Catalina > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // iPad 8th: iPadOS 16 > Affinity v2

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tables are an incredibly awkward way to insert two column text under a single heading. For that matter, there are times when you want body copy to span two columns, and then have a 2-column bulleted list below it. There are all sorts of applications for this... I would hope that version 1.9.x could include such an often requested feature. These little baco bits of capability are what keep many of us from truly leaving Adobe products - in this case InDesign.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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On 3/16/2021 at 7:17 AM, loukash said:

Fair enough, but it wasn't there in InDesign 1.x either. Neither in 2.0. Neither in CS, CS2, CS3 or CS4. Heck, it wasn't there until CS5! We all had to find other ways to work around it back in the day.

True, but it was in Ventura Publisher (GEM) on the PC in 1987 or so, so the notion of spanned columns and no-linefeed-new-paragraphs is not new...

 

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34 minutes ago, Clayton King said:

on the PC in 1987

Haha, back in 1987, the closest I ever got to computers was still my white Sinclair Cambridge Programmable Calculator which I got as an xmas present from my English uncle in the late 1970s. At the art school in 1987, we'd still lay out everything by hand on cardboard. But we had a Diatype in the classroom, yay! :D

MacBookAir 15": MacOS Ventura > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // MacBookPro 15" mid-2012: MacOS El Capitan > Affinity v1 / MacOS Catalina > Affinity v1, v2, v2 beta // iPad 8th: iPadOS 16 > Affinity v2

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/28/2021 at 1:53 PM, loukash said:

Haha, back in 1987, the closest I ever got to computers was still my white Sinclair Cambridge Programmable Calculator which I got as an xmas present from my English uncle in the late 1970s. At the art school in 1987, we'd still lay out everything by hand on cardboard. But we had a Diatype in the classroom, yay! :D

That's hilarious. We still did the old Compugraphic typeset output with a waxer on artboard with vellum and tissue overlays. I was happy to discover this newfangled way of doing things.

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/1/2021 at 11:02 AM, Clayton King said:

These little baco bits of capability are what keep many of us from truly leaving Adobe products - in this case InDesign.

Yup. I'd love to leave InDesign behind but without being able to span columns that just doesn't work for me. They just dropped update 1.10, which I'm sure has nice performance upgrades, but performance had not been a problem for me with Publisher. What I need is proper column spanning. Being able to have split column bullet lists would also be nice, but that's not such a big deal. 

Edited by David Rourke
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I would have loved if Publisher had taken from web design. Add a 'div' section with one column spanning 100% of the page width, and make it follow by a 'div' with two columns of variable width, totaling 100%.

Flexible, and ready to single-source for print and web.

Paolo

 

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