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Rahel

Let's be honest

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Affinity Publisher is meant to be DTP software, or so I thought.

In terms of page design, for brochures etc, Affinity Designer does a much better job.

In terms of book publishing, Apple Pages does a very much better job. Even Libre Writer would.

I decided to test it by recreating from scratch a newsletter which I designed in 1994 (using MS Publisher which came on three floppy discs). I was able to do that and allowing for a little messing around while getting used to Publisher's way of doing things, it was not difficult. I haven't used MS Publisher since the mid nineties and I never once missed it until performing this test.

Affinity Publisher beta seems to be a hacked down version of Designer with Add Page / Master Page features but with no viable word processing function. In simple terms, it has no unique purpose.

It has taken years for Publisher beta to arrive and now that it has, I for one am left wondering what they have been working on because this cannot possibly be it.

I do appreciate this is only the beta version but no one would pay money for software which does not seem to know what it is for.

To end on a plus note, Affinity Designer and Photo are the best software packages of their type I have ever used and I am including Adobe and everything else in that comparison. A huge well done to Serif for producing those two. All I need now is for them to come up with a similar package for DTP.

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Is it just word processing you miss? I think it is not much needed in page layout app.

Granted, there is a lot of other features missing.

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Even Adobe InDesign isn't word processing software. It's layout software. Affinity Publisher still has spellcheck - which Designer and Photo have as well - and several handy orphan features. It took Adobe forever to add their spellcheck feature to Illustrator. I'd say Affinity is still ahead of the game.

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@ Fixx No, not just that. It is the ability to export to EPUB or other book formats.

At present, I can export a book from Pages (or similar) as a PDF, import it easily into Publisher, do whatever I want with it, then I can only export it as a PDF, not as an ebook of any type. The simple question is why? It is an obvious requirement.

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2 minutes ago, Rachel S said:

@ Fixx No, not just that. It is the ability to export to EPUB or other book formats.

At present, I can export a book from Pages (or similar) as a PDF, import it easily into Publisher, do whatever I want with it, then I can only export it as a PDF, not as an ebook of any type. The simple question is why? It is an obvious requirement.

True, export to other file types (like Designer & Photo can do) would be great. I'm going to make a wild guess that this will be implemented by the official release. We do have to remember this is the beta, and they specifically said there are many things that will be included in the final version that simply aren't available in the beta release, such as integration with the Designer & Photo personas.

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@Loquos That much I know. I was not suggesting it should become a WP but it should have some function.

My post was about the uniqueness of Publisher - there is none. The video tutorials are little different from what is in the Designer Workbook.

I can do lovely page layouts in Designer. I can write books with Pages.

Publisher, as it stands is of little use for those who already have those two packages and one of those is free with the OS.

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I think Publisher's big thing is in the multipage layout - I would not want to do massive 30+ page layouts in Designer! Publisher in this respect is like Designer on steroids.

As someone who is currently having to fork over money for a monthly subscription so I can handle 100+ page layouts with InDesign, I'd be happy to pay for Publisher - once it's fully launched! :-)

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4 minutes ago, Loquos said:

I think Publisher's big thing is in the multipage layout - I would not want to do massive 30+ page layouts in Designer! Publisher in this respect is like Designer on steroids.

This is the one - Designer is great for single page elements, but I wouldn't use it multipage. You can use Word or Pages for multi-page books but I've always found them far less effective than DTP packages especially when they get multiple elements or you're trying to hit a POD printshop's publishing specifications. So far, Publisher looks like it's ticking all those boxes for me.

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To be fair, I think Publisher is set up to compete against inDesign and Quark rather than other DTP. I have used inDesign for the best part of 15 years and for most designers, the only thing holding us back from switching to Affinity Photo and Designer was "the complete suite". Print designers rely on inDesign every single day so it made sense to stick with the Adobe Creative Cloud (that being the industry standard). I don't expect Publisher to do anything amazing (yet), but it hopefully fulfils the need of most print designers looking to leave Adobe behind.

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Hi there to you guys,

I've been waiting a long time for AP to come out.  I have Designer and Photo already and they are amazing.  
I've been doing book layout design for books my wife and I write and up until now I've been using Adobe InDesign CS6 which has worked extremely well.  I like their "book" feature where you compile individual chapter files until you are done and then compile the book up through the book feature.  There the table of contents is implemented, synchronising of styles, etc and then the entire book export to pdf and ePub. 

I am not sure what Affinity Publisher will be able to do in that department.  InDesign has a very good layout ability in terms of spacing of words in a block of text.  Word Processors do not possess such ability.  Text spacing and layout in Apple Pages is not on a par with InDesign.  I was hoping that Affinity Publisher would offer better layout of block text than InDesign.

I am still checking Affinity Publisher out at the moment and hope that we'll see something amazing coming forth with the release of the commercial version soon.

Regards.... 

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2 minutes ago, Rory Mole said:

...up until now I've been using Adobe InDesign CS6 which has worked extremely well.  I like their "book" feature where you compile individual chapter files until you are done and then compile the book up through the book feature.  There the table of contents is implemented, synchronising of styles, etc and then the entire book export to pdf and ePub. 

I haven't had the time to play with it yet, but I did notice Publisher has a 'book' feature, plus sections, etc. I too have a job I work every year where the sections are imperative to keeping everything organized before compiling the final book. I'll try to find some time over the weekend to set up a dummy file and see how it works. But things like Index and Table of Contents already appear to be part of Publisher! :-)

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Played around with it yesterday a bit, Have used ID up to CS5.5 and now QXP up to 2017. I am looking for solid long book publisher (1000 pages), particularly with figure numbering feature like what Virginia Systems had with InSeq plug-in. QXP does not have it (yet) so tempted by any purchase option. The linking of textboxes is too convoluted. The dedicated linking tool in QXP is much better. Have to look at Masterpages and whether it will generate automatic text boxes for long flows. Lots to explore ...

Re word processor, look at Mellel. Particularly the search & replace feature is fantastic and on super steroids, and does auto-numbering of figures/tables. 

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Apple Pages is good if you are happy with uncomplicated typesetting but it cannot handle advanced expert typesetting. At present, as far as I am aware, only InDesign and QuarkXpress can do that. I have recently abandoned InDesign, because I refuse to go subscription and cloud. Currently I use QuarkXpress. It remains to be seen whether AffinityPublisher will match or surpass ID or Q. AB

PS: Oh, Mellel: did not know about that. Looks good.

Edited by ABP
PS update

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@ABP

Indeed, that was why I was keen to import work from Pages (currently possible via PDF only) into Affinity Publisher where I can improve whatever I want with regard to typesetting. As I mentioned a couple of times, The problem is that I can only export it back to PDF rather than any of the popular digital book formats.

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Rachel, please be a little bit more patient and a little less judgmental.  Anybody who has used both Pagemaker and InDesign for "word processing" and book publishing as I have (30 years) has probably been as frustrated and hobbled as I have with Pages.  That is just about the most frustrating "word processing" software known to man.  For starters, who needs to be presented with Helvetica, 12 point Regular, every time he/she opens the darned thing, no matter whether the document was formatted in, say, Cochin 11 pt?  Or whatever.

This is a BETA.  Affinity Photo is superb!  I tried for days to draw out an eye from a faded, orange, and grainy 1870 photo of an ancestor with Photoshop.  No luck.  Still Popeye.  Affinity Photo got to work and bingo!! Two beautiful eyes.  And not shaded sepia, either.

I predict that Affinity Publisher will be equally wonderful when the finished product is ready.  We are just being given the opportunity to try it out to help catch the bugs. And the very polite opportunity to suggest things we might wish to have in a perfect world.  Not to write "War and Peace."

And by the way, have you ever tried to reach anybody about a problem with InDesign or Pages?  You-Know-Where would freeze over first.  The Affinity people are grand!!


21.5 iMAC Retina 4K display. MacOS Sierra v. 10.12.6 (which I am not changing).  3.1 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz.  Memory 8 GB 1867 MHz LPDDR3.  1TB Fusion Drive.  Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 1536 MB.   iPad Pro 12.9, iOS v. 12.3.1, Apple Pencil.  Affinity Publisher 1.7.3, Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3. 

Magic mouse.9_9

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Affinity Photo is indeed superb, as is Designer. My two favourite programmes in fact.

It is a beta. I did mention that and I have made suggestions for features in the appropriate forum as requested by the people at Serif.

War and Peace? Didn't realise there was a word limit. I did load a 320 page novel into Publisher Beta - well impressed - just could not export it in a useful form.

Freezing over? Where did that come from? I have been in touch with them over various matters over the past couple of years.

I am perfectly calm and have been happily using Affinity Publisher for things it can do for the past two days.

 

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9 hours ago, Rachel S said:

Affinity Publisher beta seems to be a hacked down version of Designer with Add Page / Master Page features but with no viable word processing function. In simple terms, it has no unique purpose.

I consider EXACTLY that the advantage of affinity: it's tools are covering ONLY the tasks the user should execute inside the environment they needed. when I want to layout, I pick publisher, with the persona switch I can add a vector logo / illustration f.e. 

after I have read few comments here alike yours, I am wondering, why the users are complaining about this minimal and focused approach of affinity when as I understand correcly you f.e. (as I as well) come from over bulked adobe products which try to do everything. this comment is ment as a question, not a critique.

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Ebook and printed book are two very different matters. At the moment Publisher aims to create good quality pressready documents and as I see it accomplishes that quite well.

Ebooks are very different animals. They are HTML based and need to fit into variable user devices. Publisher may develop tools for it but it is always converting design to a very different environment.

At the moment I would use dedicated tools for ebook work. I prefer Jutoh for simple novel format ebook publishing.

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14 hours ago, michaelokraj said:

I consider EXACTLY that the advantage of affinity: it's tools are covering ONLY the tasks the user should execute inside the environment they needed. when I want to layout, I pick publisher, with the persona switch I can add a vector logo / illustration f.e. 

after I have read few comments here alike yours, I am wondering, why the users are complaining about this minimal and focused approach of affinity when as I understand correcly you f.e. (as I as well) come from over bulked adobe products which try to do everything. this comment is ment as a question, not a critique.

I exactly agree.

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1 hour ago, Fixx said:

Ebook and printed book are two very different matters. At the moment Publisher aims to create good quality pressready documents and as I see it accomplishes that quite well.

Ebooks are very different animals. They are HTML based and need to fit into variable user devices. Publisher may develop tools for it but it is always converting design to a very different environment.

At the moment I would use dedicated tools for ebook work. I prefer Jutoh for simple novel format ebook publishing.

I am sorry, but at present I fail to see how publisher is print oriented. Without proper bleed and slug implementation, I can't print a single thing. A lack of exporting options for print is another issue. No footnotes end endnotes is another thing I found necessary. along those line being limited to a 2 page spread limits this side further. This are all functions that would separate Publisher from software like Pages, which with the page layout option offers surprisingly a lot. 

Publisher needs to put itself on the level of indesign and quark express at least in my opinion. 

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A Beta is never perfect. It has bugs and shortcomings. Giving feedback is valuable to the developers so they can correct and change the software to the user's needs.

When Photo came out it wasn't perfect either, but it held a lot of promise. Like Rahel I've been using Designer not only for vector Logo and illustration work but also for poster designs and flyer designs and even making text balloons on comic book pages. I love Designer. However, it is not a DTP program: it lacks some valuable features for efficient print design. Even though the Publisher interface is very similar to Designer and many functions are the same, Publisher does have those features any graphic designer is looking for. Is it at Indesign level yet? In all honesty: No. But it does hold that promise of, between now and a couple of updates, becoming the DTP software of choice. The features I love most in the Affinity software are the interface, the multifunctional cursor and the layer system. I find that, once one gets used to this, it speeds up workflow quite a bit.

So I'm very hopeful for Affinity Publisher as the team has done a great job so far.

 

Edited by Franky Drappier
Grammar mistake

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15 minutes ago, Thisismandatory said:

Publisher needs to put itself on the level of indesign and quark express at least in my opinion. 

Yes, absolutely! Especially in a beta(!) of version 1(!!)

Just dream on! :)

And believe me: I am working in print industries for decades, and all, you think is absolutely necessary in a pre version one release was possible times ago without any special command/feature within an application. It simply requires a certain amount of work and creativity.

Understand me correctly: I don’t say, these feaures are unnecessary. But I say, expecting them in a version one of a new publisher is unworldly. And saying, it is not possible to use the app („… I can’t print a single thing!“) is … :)

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"Beta software is generally considered "complete" by the developer but still not ready for general use due to a lack of testing in the wild."


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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