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Hi MJWHM,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
As you probably have read by now the Affinity suite is being developed from scratch - it is not intended to be an upgrade or direct replacement to the Serif Plus line. This was done because Serif's Plus software codebase was starting showing its age and imposing limitations on its expansion. Affinity apps were developed with cross-platform in mind from beginning, a common file format that can be opened in any of the suite apps and to take advantage of the latest technology/API available on modern hardware/OSs. Since there's no feature parity between the old and new suite some of its features don't have yet an equivalent function/match in the new Affinity line or were implemented in a different way so even if there was an importer a few things would be lost anyway. Exporting the documents from the Plus line as PDF (SVG, PSD where applicable etc) isn't certainly an ideal solution as it also leads to some loss but the difference from a dedicated importer isn't probably that big to justify the time spent developing it. So what we advise is to keep using the old line for projects you have started there (it still works as usual as long as the OS supports it) and slowly transition new work to the new Affinity suite whenever possible. Hope you understand.

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52 minutes ago, MEB said:

Hi MJWHM,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
As you probably have read by now the Affinity suite is being developed from scratch - it is not intended to be an upgrade or direct replacement to the Serif Plus line. This was done because Serif's Plus software codebase was starting showing its age and imposing limitations on its expansion. Affinity apps were developed with cross-platform in mind from beginning, a common file format that can be opened in any of the suite apps and to take advantage of the latest technology/API available on modern hardware/OSs. Since there's no feature parity between the old and new suite some of its features don't have yet an equivalent function/match in the new Affinity line or were implemented in a different way so even if there was an importer a few things would be lost anyway. Exporting the documents from the Plus line as PDF (SVG, PSD where applicable etc) isn't certainly an ideal solution as it also leads to some loss but the difference from a dedicated importer isn't probably that big to justify the time spent developing it. So what we advise is to keep using the old line for projects you have started there (it still works as usual as long as the OS supports it) and slowly transition new work to the new Affinity suite whenever possible. Hope you understand.

 

You should never had retired PagePlus if as you said is true (especially as it has epub3 support this doesn't).

You share nothing with adobe but allow their file imports with best endeavours, because you want to capitalise on their users, but not your own!

 

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15 minutes ago, GreyEyes said:

You should never had retired PagePlus if as you said is true (especially as it has epub3 support this doesn't).

You share nothing with adobe but allow their file imports with best endeavours, because you want to capitalise on their users, but not your own!

I'm afraid I agree with GreyEyes on both counts. I'm sticking with PPx9 and will be open to AP when it is as good. I was really dazzled by the previews, but AP is still in alpha, not beta. The idea of cross platform and close integration of the suite is ambitious and a great idea.

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Hi GreyEyes,
It's not that simple. There's no resources to keep two similar lines going on at the same time. It wasn't an easy decision but the only way to keep things running in the long term.
We do provide PSD support (not all features are supported though), Ai file support - only if there's a PDF stream present (which is now an open standard) otherwise we are not able to import them and we are working to provide IDML files support (InDesign), however I don't think this is a fair comparison. These are more than just Adobe formats, they have become a standard in the industry and are being used/shared across multiple apps. There's no way to ignore them. As I tried to explain above even dedicated importers for our formats would have limitations as there's no feature parity between the two Serif lines.

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14 hours ago, Salt said:

Affinity Publisher seems not too different from PagePlus in its use so should not be too difficult to learn.
However, I have been using PagePlus since the 1990s, currently on X9 which is excellent and more stable than its predecessors, and consequently I have created thousands of ppp files -  single page posters, numbered event tickets, merged membership cards, small publications (up to 44 page booklets), etc. All done without charge for various small local and national organisations and charities. I use many of these ppp files as templates for new work so not being able to open them directly in Affinity Publisher is quite a blow.  Yes the pdf route sort of works but the result takes a lot of editing time to achieve my original layout, especially where I have applied a lot of effects which seem to come out as curves in AP rather than text. If Affinity could support the import of ppp files more faithfully I'm sure it would attract many more PP users but for now I will probably use it only for brand-new work and stick to PP for my regular work.

That's what they are banking on. How about staying with PPX9 until Windows doesn't support it or until all the PPXP functions are incorporated into AFP rather than paying for them again through upgrades?

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Hi beegeeblueboy,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
As explained we can't afford support two different lines of similar software at the same time. The Plus line was showing its age and getting problematic to expand. Keeping it while it's supported by Windows could take years and we are not necessarily implementing/replicating PagePlus funcionality in the same way - there's now a chance to do/implement things better whenever possible and that's what we are trying to accomplish taking advantage of a new codebase/technology/APIs available nowadays.

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22 minutes ago, MEB said:

. So what we advise is to keep using the old line for projects you have started there (it still works as usual as long as the OS supports it) and slowly transition new work to the new Affinity suite whenever possible. Hope you understand.

Or look for a different supplier. If you have invested huge amounts of time an money in stuff only for it to become useless, it makes you think seriously about the reliability of new stuff from the same supplier. My 570-page (A4) book was admittedly in chunks, but I don't want to have to try to work from the somewhat odd pdfs that Pageplus provided to get new thing developed. .The more I see, the less I like. I have frequently used autoflow on PPX as I have edited text to suit the page, or fitted more stuff in. In Affinity it seems that you write your text in an external program and create an autoflow box. Firstly, I cannot see how to create such a box. Autoflow is in the Help files, but they don't say where to find it. Secondly, I want to ensure that I can insert a picture and adjust the text (or vice-versa) to improve the look of the books. It is useless having text boxes that do not interlink and reformat if you add some text, and worse than useless if your images cannot be included where you want them and at the size you want.

I have just pasted some text into a text box - but it did not fit. It also does not want to autoflow like Pageplus. I did finally find the tiny little triangle that sets autoflow, but you have to draw each new text box on every page it seems.  I realise this is a Beta, but I am truly not impressed positively. In addition, there is no obvious way to pin or anchor (say) an image to a specific bit of text.

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1 hour ago, SashaUK said:

I'm afraid I agree with GreyEyes on both counts. I'm sticking with PPx9 and will be open to AP when it is as good. I was really dazzled by the previews, but AP is still in alpha, not beta. The idea of cross platform and close integration of the suite is ambitious and a great idea.

I don't see the need for 'cross-platform'. I use different programs for different purposes. This is reinventing the wheel. Why try to pretend to the facilities of a word processing package when there are examples out there which do it well, and far better than AP? Why not stick to what is needed - a program that creates publications...?

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1 hour ago, MEB said:

there's no feature parity between the two Serif lines.

Then what is the point of AP? If it is not going to do what PPX9 does, it is not worth the bother. If AP does not perform as an excellent publishing program it is simply missing the point of why we bought PP in its different forms previously.

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Hi MJWHM,
We are aware that Affinity doesn't work nor support all features you find currently in PagePlus - that's why a dedicated importer wouldn't help much either as there would be compromises too. And we never said that it was intended to be a replacement or upgrade for PagePlus (or any other desktop publishing app either - we are a few years away from getting there). But starting from scratch opens up a new range of possibilities - while cross-platform support may not be of much use for you personally and that's fine - it now offers the possibility to exchange documents between users on different platforms, helping to expand Affinity's use/market and that's something that will end up benefiting all users and its development.

 

11 minutes ago, MJWHM said:

Then what is the point of AP? If it is not going to do what PPX9 does, it is not worth the bother. If AP does not perform as an excellent publishing program it is simply missing the point of why we bought PP in its different forms previously.

The idea is to create a great desktop publishing app - even better than PagePlus if possible - and starting from zero will help us in quite a few ways. We are not simply there yet and since we've just start coding it there's no feature parity between the two. That's what I meant.

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That's what they are banking on. How about staying with PPX9 until Windows doesn't support it or until all the PPXP functions are incorporated into AFP rather than paying for them again through upgrades?

The way I figure it, I would rather be an early adopter. Firstly, Serif software isn't expensive compared to many others, and there is often a discount on first release. I don't have to pay for a monthly subscription which is far more expensive that the occasional purchases of upgraded software with Serif. If I don't want to upgrade when a new paid for version comes out, I don't have to do so if I don't want to, or can wait a little while.  However, I generally find there is some feature with Serif releases which makes it well worth upgrading: because it will save me time, make work easier and/or improve my work. I'd rather support a company through occasionally buying a new release that meets my needs, than be tied in paying through the nose on a monthly basis (and don't forget those payments can increase too).  

From what I've seen of the beta for Affinity Publisher, I will definitely be purchasing the initial commercial release. If for any reason I cannot run PP9 in the future, I will have had more time to convert essential files to Affinity and update them, plus new files will already be produced in Affinity Publisher. All my files worked in PP9 are saved to pdf in any case before publication (it's the format required for the platforms I upload my work to), and at some point I will need to update my documents anyway, so I won't lose anything by switching to Publisher sooner rather than later and will have a lot to gain.

And while I know we are still in early stages, there are aspects of the new software which will work much better for me than PagePlus9. I've found it much more intuitive to use, and some of the features will really improve my workflow. Yes, there is some way to go before the software reaches it's full potential; but I think it is well worth being part of the journey.

 

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37 minutes ago, MEB said:

Hi MJWHM,
We are aware that Affinity doesn't work nor support all features you find currently in PagePlus - that's why a dedicated importer wouldn't help much either as there would be compromises too. And we never said that it was intended to be a replacement or upgrade for PagePlus (or any other desktop publishing app either - we are a few years away from getting there). But starting from scratch opens up a new range of possibilities - while cross-platform support may not be of much use for you personally and that's fine - it now offers the possibility to exchange documents between users on different platforms, helping to expand Affinity's use/market and that's something that will end up benefiting all users and its development.

 

The idea is to create a great desktop publishing app - even better than PagePlus if possible - and starting from zero will help us in quite a few ways. We are not simply there yet and since we've just start coding it there's no feature parity between the two. That's what I meant.

In effect, what you are saying is that you are abandoning the ability to run and returning to the ability to crawl, because crawling can be done anywhere. In time you hope that you will have found a way for everyone to walk, but it may or may not be as well as they can now. Seems cock-eyed to me. Jam tomorrow.

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On 8/30/2018 at 6:26 PM, GreyEyes said:

You are supposed to support your customers and carry them on your journey.

There will be many who've invested years in producing work that they'll eventually lose when the legacy packages cease operating.

It might be a business decision down to viability, yet it could cost you more in the long term, if people have to start afresh, why not go elsewhere, as they'll have lost trust in you.

Why not offer an independent developer(s) the opportunity to work on a legacy conversions tool under your guidance if you are unwilling.

I think this says it all for a lot of users.

I started with PagePlus 2 (it came on the front of a PC magazine).

Do not get me wrong I have no complaints about pageplus it has does everything I want.

But to blatently refuse to support pageplus files shows a complete and utter disregard for all those loyal pageplus customers.

I personally (and I suspect many thousands of others) simply do not have the time to mess about exporting a PDF and then make it look somthing like the original.

Until Serif show some consideration and common sense and implement the handling of Pageplus files I will not be looking at Affinity any further.

 

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I'm in the same situation...
I'm using Page Plus since 2 years, each and every day for my work...
Knowing that Affinity Publisher couldn't open the *.ppp file disappoints me a lot... :-(

 

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13 hours ago, MEB said:

Hi beegeeblueboy,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
As explained we can't afford support two different lines of similar software at the same time. The Plus line was showing its age and getting problematic to expand. Keeping it while it's supported by Windows could take years and we are not necessarily implementing/replicating PagePlus funcionality in the same way - there's now a chance to do/implement things better whenever possible and that's what we are trying to accomplish taking advantage of a new codebase/technology/APIs available nowadays.

HI

There is no need to support two different lines of similar software at the same time. The moment Pageplus users can transfer their files to Affinity Publisher then you only have to support the latter. 

The pdf import is a no-go! Even if the time should come that PP can no more run on Windows, there are plenty of free and cheap pdf editors that can do a better job than AP can do currently. So please do not use this argument to placate current PP users.

Serif is making this issue of converting from PP bigger than it really is. Text import from PP and in fact from any RTF compatible Word processor can be copied and pasted into AP, including the text styles and all formatting intact. So how incompatible are they really?

What I would love to see is that AP master pages get sorted out. At least we would be able to recreate our current PP templates on AP.  Currently I cannot even create a text box on the master page in AP that will automatically replicate in the publication. Sort this out and sort out autoflow and it is game on! 

I would rather manually recreate my master pages and paste a 200 page text document into it than fool myself with a pdf import. 

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What I cannot understand is that people who made 500 pages book, did not write the text in an external wordprocessor and then import it in PagePlus. I started with Quark Xpress 3.0 on a Macintosh back in 1991. All my long text was typed in a wordprocessor then imported in textframes in Quark.

I really cannot understand why people are so difficult and don't accept the explanation from Serif which sounds reasonable. When you are happy with PagePlus, what keeps you from continue using it? I do not understand the disappointment because it is clear that Affinity Publisher is on the right track.

Many times it is better for long lasting documents to have a fresh make over. The advantage is that you can adapt them to the new features and possibilities. But also refreshing new techniques. Also in the convertion process there will be flaws and the risk of mistakes of the past taking over.

I also have many PagePlus documents which is the reason PagePlus X9 is still on this laptop. However, when I need them in Publisher, I will recreate them and import the text from the wordprocessor documents. This is also a good way to learn the ins and outs of Publisher.

I agree with Serif, NO PagePlus convertion. We live in the present, the past is done!

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As far as I'm concerned, I'm not speaking about a 500 pages book.. but about 500 articles of a few pages... that sometimes need updates (I'm a lawyer and I write about law)

And some more little books (100 or 150 pages), with some specific design and internal links between the pages.

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Bad_Wolf said:

What I cannot understand is that people who made 500 pages book, did not write the text in an external wordprocessor and then import it in PagePlus. I started with Quark Xpress 3.0 on a Macintosh back in 1991. All my long text was typed in a wordprocessor then imported in textframes in Quark.

I really cannot understand why people are so difficult and don't accept the explanation from Serif which sounds reasonable. When you are happy with PagePlus, what keeps you from continue using it? I do not understand the disappointment because it is clear that Affinity Publisher is on the right track.

Many times it is better for long lasting documents to have a fresh make over. The advantage is that you can adapt them to the new features and possibilities. But also refreshing new techniques. Also in the convertion process there will be flaws and the risk of mistakes of the past taking over.

I also have many PagePlus documents which is the reason PagePlus X9 is still on this laptop. However, when I need them in Publisher, I will recreate them and import the text from the wordprocessor documents. This is also a good way to learn the ins and outs of Publisher.

I agree with Serif, NO PagePlus convertion. We live in the present, the past is done!

We shouldn't criticize what we don't understand.

Not everyone can import their text in one go.  If for example you have a newspaper or magazine layout with one master template that covers let's say 64 pages and you have many fragmented texts to enter, you would obviously look for a way to import your existing document into the new format. 

It is fine to say keep on using PP. This is exactly the problem. How long will PP still be viable? No-one can promise you that it will be 10 years, or 5 years or even  2 years. Many of our old favorite DTP programs doesn't work on the current Windows anymore. There is no stres if you knew Serif would offer upgrades, but now that they don't, you know that your software has a limited lifespan and that sooner or later you will have to redo all your hard work. 

This is a trust issue. If Serif can drop their customers once, they will do it again. Why would anyone in his right mind support Affinity Publisher when Pageplus stop working?

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How long will PP still be viable? No-one can promise you that it will be 10 years, or 5 years or even  2 years. Many of our old favorite DTP programs doesn't work on the current Windows anymore. There is no stres if you knew Serif would offer upgrades, but now that they don't, you know that your software has a limited lifespan and that sooner or later you will have to redo all your hard work. 

Even if Serif continued to develop Pageplus, it still has a limited lifespan. Operating system, software standards and computer architecture changes mean that any programme with years old core software runs the risk of being sidelined by not being able to run on new machines and/or operating systems. It's frustrating enough when you invest in a new computer, only to discover that it won't talk to your reliable printer. So not only to you have to buy a new printer, but you find it is much more temperamental. How much more frustrating to discover overnight that you can no longer use your DTP software, and worse than that have no way of even opening your existing documents.

Serif are doing the right thing. Page Plus is still available and stable for users to access their existing documents for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, they are working to produce new software, written to the latest standards for the future. They are making sure that Page Plus users have a way to future proof their work. Yes it's frustrating that it isn't possible to open Page Plus files, and certainly won't be for the near future. Once they have developed Publisher to a certain point, who knows, perhaps they may be able to find a way to migrate Page Plus files.

I would rather go with a plan which takes into account the risk of current software being unusable in the future, allowing me to plan ahead, than risk the alternative.

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56 minutes ago, Bad_Wolf said:

What I cannot understand is that people who made 500 pages book, did not write the text in an external wordprocessor and then import it in PagePlus. I started with Quark Xpress 3.0 on a Macintosh back in 1991. All my long text was typed in a wordprocessor then imported in textframes in Quark.

I really cannot understand why people are so difficult and don't accept the explanation from Serif which sounds reasonable. When you are happy with PagePlus, what keeps you from continue using it? I do not understand the disappointment because it is clear that Affinity Publisher is on the right track.

Many times it is better for long lasting documents to have a fresh make over. The advantage is that you can adapt them to the new features and possibilities. But also refreshing new techniques. Also in the convertion process there will be flaws and the risk of mistakes of the past taking over.

I also have many PagePlus documents which is the reason PagePlus X9 is still on this laptop. However, when I need them in Publisher, I will recreate them and import the text from the wordprocessor documents. This is also a good way to learn the ins and outs of Publisher.

I agree with Serif, NO PagePlus convertion. We live in the present, the past is done!

I don't believe you have understood my concerns. I will include an image if I can do so to show why I think this is not just a backward step, but a step back to the stone age - and I speak as an archaeologist! Of course I wrote the text in an external word processing package - if you look, you will see that I specifically argued that Affinity is reinventing a wheel. I then imported it into PagePlus (as early as 5 I think) and over time expanded and changed it. For example, a new piece of information is learned and can be added easily. That has a knock-on effect for every page and for every anchored image thereafter (I can't see how to anchor images, either). So, in a 500 page book the power of PP was that it coped! And so did the Index. It seems this is not even considered worth bothering with in AP because (and I quote AP Help) "AutoFlow is a "one-off" operation. If you add more text to a story while editing, or have reduced the size of a frame, you may find that an overflow condition crops up. In this case you can decide whether to initiate an autoflow again or use a text sizing option. If you reduce the amount of text in the story, empty frames will remain on the page." 

To produce my text I linked images to the entries and therefore changing anything meant changing everything afterwards - which happens fairly well in PP.  Just imagine the pleasure you would have reformatting every page by hand.

As for living in the present not the past, I can only say that you are doomed to repeat the past if you do not study it, and furthermore that the past affects everything in the present.  

330768206_GlevumPageforSerifAPForum.thumb.JPG.1f8eb5d958c17ca3eded28a9fd255896.JPG

 

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14 minutes ago, kazrbutler said:

They are making sure that Page Plus users have a way to future proof their work.

Not especially. PagePlus users are apparently being treated no differently to anyone holding a pdf file.......

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Not especially. PagePlus users are apparently being treated no differently to anyone holding a pdf file.......

Page Plus users would be in a much worse position in the future if Serif weren't producing Publisher. Perhaps you would rather wait until some point in the future when some change outside Serif's control means the software is no longer usable, you haven't access to your Page Plus documents, and are without an affordable replacement available.

I  consider myself responsible for future-proofing my business. This means accepting that things outside my control are changing, and doing something about it. In my case, I will contribute what I can to the beta work, make suggestions as to what options I need. Then I will start producing new documents using Publisher once it is available for sale, and start to migrate the old ones. I find it preferable to see this as an opportunity to update my document styles and workflow, rather than burying my head in the sand, clinging to the old software and moaning about how I am being treated. 

Serif do listen to their users, which is more than can be said for a lot of the software producers out there.

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If I understand correctly, most of the developers of the Plus range left Serif long ago. It is a new team which is creating and maintaining the Affinity range. So who is gonna create those convertors?

I read the replies here on the forum and I respect the concerns of people who have a lot of documents created in PagePlus. I think the already suggested compromise before, maintaining your documents created in the past with PagePlus, use Affinity Publisher for the new documents will be a very good future proof idea. You can even use an older computer keep running PagePlus without updating the system. When it runs fine now on that system, what keeps you continue running it.

We can moan and  grieve about the funeral of the Plus range. However, if we use that same energy to adapt our ways of working to the Affinity range, we will travel a very long way in a bright future.

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12 minutes ago, Bad_Wolf said:

If I understand correctly, most of the developers of the Plus range left Serif long ago.

I don’t know about the other PagePlus developers, Chris, but it’s clear that @AdamW and @Dave Harris are both actively involved in the Affinity Publisher project.


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