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First, let me say that it is great, at last, to see the Publisher beta. From a first glance, it looks very promising, so my congratulations to all at Serif. There are of course, bound to be some bugs and issues, but this looks like an application I could eventually come to use as a staple of my daily work.

Automatic text frame

For me, as a long time user of both InDesign and QuarkXpress for the design and production of books, magazines, reports and other long, multi-page documents, the most immediately conspicuous omission (at least as far as I can see) is any way of defining an automatic text frame in the initial 'New document' set up, so that not only is a default text frame with required dimensions and margins included from the start on the initial master page, but also so that, with the help of a key stroke, a long text pasted into a text frame can acquire a predetermined paragraph style and will generate automatically the additional pages required to accommodate that text - and with the text frames already linked in a single flow.

With a relatively small document, it is, admittedly, no great problem to define a text frame on a new master page, and then manually to link the pages. With a long document, however, the availability of a customisable automatic frame within page margins defined in the New Document setup, can save a lot of trouble. I don't mind too much having to set up a Master page with a text frame on it (though it is of course simpler if this can be created simply in the Document setup); the bigger UX issue is whether ongoing text flow can be established at that point, without the need constantly to link frames manually from spread to spread.

Styles palette

One thing I don't much like the look of is the congested 'Styles' palette - which appears to be already populated with a huge and confusing stack of options that I haven't asked for and don't want. This is worryingly reminiscent of is the dreadful nightmare of trying to handle styles in Microsoft Word - a recipe for certifiable insanity, and something that in my experience as both a designer and an editor, very few Word users ever attempt.  Word has its merits for editing, but it is terrible for design, so Word-like features in software intended for design are a cause for caution and concern. Here, the merit of the InDesign and Quark approach is that there are no styles at all until I define styles that I actually want. That means I don't have to plough down through thousands of fathoms of options that are to me meaningless in order to locate the few that I need and have created or customised. I can have only the styles that I need, defined as I need them, in the sequence I want them, with keyboard short cuts, exactly as it suits me, in a lightweight, uncluttered palette. I hope very much that Publisher's developers will give more thought to this. The use of well-formulated stylesheets is abslolutely the key to efficient page layout in long and complex documents, and how long it takes to find the one I want in a palette (or even to confirm a keyboard shortcut I have assigned) can have a bigg effect on the speed of working.  The present mess of styles is a serious minus for me, and it also seems contradictory when there is no predefined default master page. If that starts with a clean slate left to the user to define as the user needs, why not take the same approach with styles?

louismac

 

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I agree wholeheartedly with Louismac!  


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1. Automatic Text Frames

You can autoflow text by holding Shift and clicking the Flow arrow on your first text frame.

This will generate pages for you, and will pick up any styling applied to the first text frame.

If you regularly use a default frame size / font / style etc build it once and save it as an asset. It is now available with a single drag in every new document.

2. Getting rid of default text styles

Click Detach and Delete All Styles in the menu of the Text Styles panel.


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I agree as well about a "primary" text frame placed on a master page.

In fact, if I create a new publication I fully expect a master page is created at the same time (and get rid of the margin bug for it as well).

First thing I did was to delete the styles as Aammppaa wrote. And if desired, you can create any styles you do like for initial publications and save the defaults. The only reason I can see usefulness for all those text styles at an new install is they can show people new to layout software how they are built.

Same goes for the swatches intended for print publications. One of the first things I did also in AD was to make 100% K actually that, and built a default palette I use in AD and now APub.


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

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Thanks, Aammppaa, for those helpful pointers – I've just experimented briefly and I can see that your suggestions work, which is encouraging. Very pleasing to see that stack  of unwanted styles vanish at a single command, and I can see that creating new paragraph stylesheets is pretty much like doing the same in InDesign or QXP, so I'm now happy on that score. The text autoflow you suggest does also work, so that's good, too, but I still think that having, in the New Document setup, the option of an auto frame within the defined margins – including asymmetric mirrored margins in a facing-pages document - is a good deal more convenient. It is really quite a fiddle to get the same result that just ticking a checkbox achieves in ID or QXP. 

Another thing I find unduly laborious is the matter of toggling the visibility of guides, margins and frame edges, but as this is a new topic, I'll put my thoughts in a separate post.

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12 hours ago, louismac said:

Another thing I find unduly laborious is the matter of toggling the visibility of guides, margins and frame edges, but as this is a new topic, I'll put my thoughts in a separate post.

Have you tried View menu > Hide All Guides (default shortcut ctrl+W) for that?


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7 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Have you tried View menu > Hide All Guides (default shortcut ctrl+W) for that?

On Windows, the Mac Ctrl modifier is usually translated to a horrible combination of button presses that I can't use on my laptop's touchpad. I was pleased to discover that the default shortcut for 'Hide All Guides' is simply Ctrl+Shift+W. :)

 


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Thanks. When I submitted my post, the options, View menu > Hide All Guides (and shortcut ctrl+W) were simply not available for reasons I can't explain (the same was true of Find in the Text menu, and the cmd-F shortcut). I had relaunched, and this had made no difference, but when I quit and relaunched again, and answered 'No' to 'Do you want to preserve an unopened document?' I found that the missing options were now present. Something a bit buggy there, but a good result. Thanks to all for helpful suggestions.

Louismac

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I'm quite pleased that they have included some sample text styles. It's useful to be able to see how they are constructed and fit together, since there are some significant operational differences to the way text styles work in InDesign, which I am much more used to. I've already modified a couple to suit my needs and am grateful that I didn't have to build them from scratch. Any that I don't currently see a use for are easily removed.

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