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I briefly mentioned this yesterday, but appreciate that the site was very busy.  Will the new Publisher include a book publishing facility as in Page Plus?  As Serif will not be supporting Page Plus any longer their needs to be a full replacement.

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I would hope that Affinity Publisher copes with long books just as well as PagePlus does, but what about collaborative projects like the Affinity workbooks?


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I find that making each chapter a separate file prevents a lot of confusion. For example, scanning through 150-200 pages at a preferred viewing size (big) can be tedious.

All the "Book" utility in InDesign does for me--aside from allowing focus on one chapter at a time--is keep track of page numbering across chapter files, as well as some TOC and index stuff. It would be nice if Publisher had something similar.


Beginning to believer be, in all things Affinity.

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@Dave Harris, Not splitting the chapters into separate files would be a real pain to manage, especially if you are working on a team of writers.  I worked on technical documentation that was hundreds, if not thousands, of pages long.  Having to load that file each time I wanted to work on it would have been an enormous pain. Having book building functionality to control pagination and numbering was critical to managing those chapters plus the Tables of Contents and Indexes.  

I just downloaded the Public Beta and I'm still working my way through the application, but how are you going to handle chapter and page numbering? Figure and Table numbering?  What happens when I need to slide a new chapter in between Chapters 7 and 8 and I have another 9 chapters after 8?  

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Not having a book function is going to make Publisher almost impossible to to manage more complex documentation and books with. In short, not worth the time or effort. Aside from team work, it is indeed hardly practical to work with hundreds, if not thousands, of pages divided in many chapters and/or sections.

Word can manage this (urghh!), and if Publisher is ever going to be taken seriously as a layout tool, it will NEED far better complex structured document tools. Tools which are now not available.

But even before adding book functionality and structured document features, Publisher's handling of pages, master pages, multi-spreads/foldouts and simple sectioning needs a LOT of love first.

No-one said this first version was going to be the end-and-all of layout software: it is much too early in the game as of yet. I am patient. I will wait. I did so with InDesign during Quark times, and I will do so again. Time will tell.

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3 minutes ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

Word can manage this (urghh!),.....

 

You just made me throw up a little bit. I still have nightmares of trying to do a book using Word. :D 

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6 minutes ago, Michael117 said:

You just made me throw up a little bit. I still have nightmares of trying to do a book using Word. :D 

Yeah, I wasn't certain whether I dared to mention Word's book function. ;)

Long time ago I did some book work in Word, and it made me swear out loud All. The. Time.

That's when I decided to switch to Framemaker two decades ago (or so?). Nowadays InDesign's structured document features are good enough for the technical manual and long document stuff I still work on once or twice a year. Although I've been using quite a lot of Sphinx as well lately for documentation. Really like it.

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1 minute ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

Yeah, I wasn't certain whether I dared to mention Word's book function. ;)

Long time ago I did some book work in Word, and it made me swear out loud All. The. Time.

That's when I decided to switch to Framemaker two decades ago (or so?). Nowadays InDesign's structured document features are good enough for the technical manual and long document stuff I still work on once or twice a year. Although I've been using quite a lot of Sphinx as well lately for documentation. Really like it.

I've used FrameMaker since 1990 when we were running it on Sun IPCs networked to a Sun Server. I *think* that was version 3 of Frame back then.  I recently used Quark for a small book, and really don't like how they do stuff.  It made me swear out loud.  I've never used InDesign and I'm really against Adobe's move to a subscription based approach to their software.  And I'll have to check out Sphinx, I've not heard of that one before.

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Sphinx is not quite as straightforward because it is not a visual tool, and is actually Python based. The document structure is basically the file structure, and files are written using reStructuredText . It's a command line based environment. But for manuals and in particular (online) help systems it rules in my book. Versioning is very simple too with GIT. Publishes to pretty much any format you want.

However, Sphinx is not for anyone. If you're afraid of any kind of coding, Sphinx will not be for you.

http://www.sphinx-doc.org/en/master/contents.html

A more readable starter's guide (Blender manual is built using Sphinx):

https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/dev/about/contribute/index.html#getting-started

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23 hours ago, Dave Harris said:

We hope that Publisher will be able to cope with long books without having to split each chapter into a separate file.

For some big books generated from databases, it's important to be able to manage separate files, since contents is given depending of exterior parameters than final book layout.

In example, I've got such a document, separated in 24 parts. Those 24 parts a sub-divided in 5 (4 differents clients + final general index). We begin with the more static parts, the last ones being those with a lot of change depending of previous parts already done. The more difficult one is the index.
To distinguish those 4 parts, we use the same layout with different colors and tabs.
That's not something that'll be soon done in APub, since it's generated from a web database, with code that generates basic IDML to order and apply styles before I import them in the final documents, and use plug-ins and a lot of scripts, but a book feature can be usefull for different complex documents.

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2 hours ago, Medical Officer Bones said:

Sphinx is not quite as straightforward because it is not a visual tool, and is actually Python based. The document structure is basically the file structure, and files are written using reStructuredText . It's a command line based environment. But for manuals and in particular (online) help systems it rules in my book. Versioning is very simple too with GIT. Publishes to pretty much any format you want.

However, Sphinx is not for anyone. If you're afraid of any kind of coding, Sphinx will not be for you.

http://www.sphinx-doc.org/en/master/contents.html

A more readable starter's guide (Blender manual is built using Sphinx):

https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/dev/about/contribute/index.html#getting-started

I think it's a hoot that we started out with using vi to edit text entering markup codes and then running those text files through a processor (nroff/troff) to get a finished document, improved to WYSIWYG, and now have gone back to editing text files with markup codes.  Next you'll be telling me that we can create graphics using the PIC language and a processor.  HA

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Others here have requested more robust Book features, which I agree with. There is a need to go beyond just the magazine format and perfect binding. As a bookbinder using hand-stitched signature units, I also need control of the number of pages in a folded signature unit when printing. The "Book" option in the Print dialog box makes provisions for only 4 pages per signature unit. We need minimal options for 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32 signature page unit configurations. Others may need more, But these are the signature units I use the most based on paper weight specifications.

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7 minutes ago, Portals Between said:

Others here have requested more robust Book features, which I agree with. There is a need to go beyond just the magazine format and perfect binding. As a bookbinder using hand-stitched signature units, I also need control of the number of pages in a folded signature unit when printing. The "Book" option in the Print dialog box makes provisions for only 4 pages per signature unit. We need minimal options for 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32 signature page unit configurations. Others may need more, But these are the signature units I use the most based on paper weight specifications.

Then I would assume you are using an imposition application, either standalone or provided by your RIP. That is the proper way to do imposition even if some application provides some sort of imposing--they will never have all the capability of a dedicated imposition application.

Mike


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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I use InDesign's Booklet option for printing in the program itself to configure the signatures and then export to PDF for printing. Why have a "Book" print configuration for only 4 pages at a time? That would require a huge effort to work around.

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On 9/1/2018 at 5:00 PM, Portals Between said:

Others here have requested more robust Book features, which I agree with. There is a need to go beyond just the magazine format and perfect binding. As a bookbinder using hand-stitched signature units, I also need control of the number of pages in a folded signature unit when printing. The "Book" option in the Print dialog box makes provisions for only 4 pages per signature unit. We need minimal options for 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32 signature page unit configurations. Others may need more, But these are the signature units I use the most based on paper weight specifications.

I assume there are also a lot of diy-bookbinders out there who would appreciate a mobile option on the signature page unit configurations. 

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On 9/1/2018 at 6:27 AM, Michael117 said:

I think it's a hoot that we started out with using vi to edit text entering markup codes and then running those text files through a processor (nroff/troff) to get a finished document, improved to WYSIWYG, and now have gone back to editing text files with markup codes.  Next you'll be telling me that we can create graphics using the PIC language and a processor.  HA

Don't forget TeX in its various flavors... still going strong.

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On 2/4/2019 at 3:26 PM, fde101 said:

Don't forget TeX in its various flavors... still going strong.

Yep, I used LaTex to lay out and manipulate a text book that we commissioned from the Ohio State University's Radio Frequency Engineering dept.  I turned it into about 5,000 html elements, jpgs and pages to be used for a self-paced training site for Bell Labs' incoming wireless engineers.  

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