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1. Text import

After fifteen minutes with the beta , it transpires to me, that Publisher lacks import or placement of text or table data. Even if I am an idiot and the morning is early, this essential step in digital typesetting should have jumped into my face. Not even pulling a text file from the file manager into the Publisher interface does do anything. If data import is not yet implemented into the beta, it should have been! How are users supposed to test a typesetting program without anything typed?

Being an author and being a typesetter are two different professions, which do not overlap. A typesetter does not copy and paste any text. He does not write anything on his own into the layout, because it is not his name, which will be on the title of the publication. A typesetting program without data import is worthless.


2. XML Workflow

If you publish a new publishing program in 2018, it's all about XML workflow. Nothing else really matters in these days and in the future. The application has to be able to import proprietary XML as well as standardized XML like DOCX, ODT and HTML. A scripting language will be needed, and this can only be Python (not Javascript as in Indesign).


3. File format .afpub
To my horror, the file format .afpub itself turned out to be binary, as if we were living in 1990. It has to be a container with XML! This would have catapulted you ahead of Indesign, which does have all the other XML features apart from the indd file itself. No professional publisher will store layouts in an inaccessible file format.

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this is 100% true!

XML import with advanced ability to trigger in-app-functions is absolutely necessary (e.g. create text-frames, assign text-, object & table-styles)! And of course scripting.

If you can't automate workflows with Affinity Publisher it's relatively useless tbh.

Also you need to separate your text styles and make them manually sortable. Style grouping needs to be improved! I'm talking templates with ~1000+ styles for complex science books. 

 

Tables & Frames:

I can't find a way to anchor tables or frames into running text. This is also a must-have! 

 

You need to cover those areas and improve in topics where InDesign is historically weak. Otherwise Affinity Publisher will just be a low budget tool for creating pamphlets. Make it suitable for bigger projects, listen to community feedback & you'll conquer the market :)

 

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Hi BellesLettresMagazine, RainerSchmu,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
Thanks for your feedback. Regarding your points just a few notes: to import text files (txt, rtf only), create a text frame then go to menu Text ▸ Insert Text from File.
There's plans to add support for .IDML files later. I have no info on other formats at the moment. The Affinity format is proprietary and was developed to address the needs of the suite (cross platform, efficiency/speed, able to be opened by any app of the suite, etc). Currently there's no support for inline graphics/anchors to objects - this should come later during the 1.x cycle of the app along with better support for long documents and other features. This is the first version - we are aware there's still a lot of work to do/things to refine/expand or rethink  - but all that takes time. We don't expect Publisher to compete with any high-end desktop publishing app during its first years. Please bear with us while the development moves forward.
Thanks.

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On 8/31/2018 at 6:39 AM, BellesLettresMagazine said:

Publisher lacks import or placement of text or table data

It would make sense to use Place command also to text content, but no, that is buried in Text menu and is active only with text tool active.

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22 hours ago, RainerSchmu said:

You need to cover those areas and improve in topics where InDesign is historically weak.

Nice to have you on board but you should have checked what other people have already said about missing functionality in Publisher.

Everybody is aware that Publisher has some way to go to reach feature parity with other more established software.

Rome was not built in a day.

I'm sure you will be able to contribute constructively in your posts here. :) 

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I would like to add my vote on the request for automation features.

  • structured text formats XML, JSON
  • scripting e.g. AppleScript, Javascript, VBA (cross platform script executions is not for us, Mac only)
  • Find and replace e.g. GREP, on attributes: like colour, style etc

A small but important list for considering the application for our daily jobs. So my vote for a rest API … I would simply love it!

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