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Story editor - mandatory


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  • 5 months later...
On 8/29/2019 at 2:07 AM, CDSstan said:

I agree, a story editor is so important! I'm finishing a 28-page project and have spent the last hour zooming in on every page to check for problems. A story editor would have halved the time at least. Also, when I export a file I sometimes get a message that there is overset text. The dialog box only give me two choices: cancel or continue as is. A third choice that would be nice to have is 'go to story editor' to find the overset text.

Exactly. And then imagine 100+ pages...

  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” ― Confucius
  • Not an Affinity user og forum user anymore. The software continued to disappoint and not deliver.
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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...

I am just now migrating from PagePlus to Affinity and am realising that Affinity has been released while still  in development. So many features still to be added, like a WritePlus type function. How long will it take until Affinity Publisher is a fully functioning product, rather than an annoying halfway house?

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1 hour ago, MoiraH said:

I am just now migrating from PagePlus to Affinity and am realising that Affinity has been released while still  in development. So many features still to be added, like a WritePlus type function. How long will it take until Affinity Publisher is a fully functioning product, rather than an annoying halfway house?

Why don't you just continue working with "PagePlus"?!

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On 7/9/2020 at 1:23 PM, Michail said:

Why don't you just continue working with "PagePlus"?!

PagePlus is now a retired, unsupported product that can only be found on eBay and in city markets together with VHS movies and used coffee machines. Caveat emptor.

PagePlus still works but I wouldn't advice anyone to use a legacy program that saves in a format even Serif doesn't support anymore. PagePlus files cannot be imported into Publisher.

Further - we don't know if a story editor is coming - and will it be satisfying, if it will come. It is simply time to jump ship - or gamble and wait for perhaps years for who knows what.

I have participated in quite a few huge migration projects - we always had a bridge between an old product and new mature product - this situation though it pretty shitty and by no means elegant. It is also proof in itself that Serif doesn't serve the corporate market.

  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” ― Confucius
  • Not an Affinity user og forum user anymore. The software continued to disappoint and not deliver.
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  • 3 weeks later...
52 minutes ago, MoiraH said:

still hope more functions are added over time

That’s an entirely reasonable hope. Many of the functions in recent versions of PagePlus are only there because it was in development for three decades.

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  • 1 year later...

Another +1. Came here to see if the feature was in a menu or something and I wasn't seeing it.  Doing it IN Publisher is the right answer for all the above reasons. But also having Word, .txt, .rtf, and Pages documents as outside-editable resources would be a start for now, so if you edit it in the external file it updates in Publisher. Of course that won't work forever and you'd have to embed it eventually when adding index, cross-references (once they're available), etc. to the text.  

Any case, the "story editor" feature is what I needed today, and I'm looking forward to its return. It's a big difference for magazine production.

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Just to break this down because it's not clear to me, there are three separate requests in this thread. One is the ability to edit a story inside of Publisher in a streamlined tag-based editor without rich formatting to allow focusing on the words. PageMaker introduced this feature eons ago to overcome slow hardware, not to allow users to focus, but the feature because popular in all of the apps that copied it for its focus benefits. I can't speak for Serif and I've never used PagePlus, but I suspect WritePlus was introduced for the same reason.

Another request is to edit the story in a standalone editor akin to Adobe InCopy or Quark Copy Desk, a rich formatting companion word processor designed expressly for multiple authors to edit external content. This is ideal for newspaper and magazine environments because there is no formatting loss when editing the content externally.

The third request is to edit the story in third party apps such as MS Word or Apple Pages. This is the most complicated because the importing and exporting has to be perfect for round-trip editing without formatting loss. The layout app also has to offer style mapping which Publisher currently lacks. Then there are the sync issues - even Office 365 has issues with people editing the same text simultaneously, especially over laggy corporate network connections.

I think it might be useful to be clear which features are being advocated for. For my personal needs, I'm working as a single user so I only need the ability to focus. I write my draft in a text editor without any formatting because I'm easily distracted (I'm wasting time right now!) but I would appreciate the ability to focus on the text at a later time without losing the formatting so a built-in story editor would be ideal for me. However, it's a low priority feature for me compared to cross reference support. 🙂

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo 2 for macOS Ventura 13.0, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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3 hours ago, MikeTO said:

I write my draft in a text editor without any formatting because I'm easily distracted (I'm wasting time right now!) but I would appreciate the ability to focus on the text at a later time without losing the formatting so a built-in story editor would be ideal for me.

It’s not just about having unformatted text to focus on. For any text that flows between linked frames, a story editor obviates the need to move from frame to frame to find the particular text span that you want to edit.

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3 hours ago, Alfred said:

a story editor obviates the need to move from frame to frame to find the particular text span that you want to edit.

Today, modifications will be done directly in the layout app on the last re-reading. It's important for newspaper and magazines, since when you modify the text, you need to stay around the length that'll fit the area allowed to the text.

When doing corrections, I'd rather work in the real frames, to be able to modify the flow or adjust some lines to have a result graphically nice.

I never worked with someone using this feature, they'd rather use Words before the layout work, and specialized apps for checking spelling (those usually have plugins for ID and other major apps). If the feature is interesting, I didn't find it visually nice in ID.

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1 minute ago, Alfred said:

You wrote that deliberately, didn’t you!

Just for you! ;)
(I usually re-read after posting — yes, before is better —, and correct typos and add the missing spaces that my capricious space key omitted... when i'm not correcting the phone spellchecker additions. Since it's correcting half my mistakes and adding half erronous words, it's a difficult choice to disable it.)

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Thanks, MikeTO, for teasing out the issues.

I've written over 20 books using the non-WYSIWYG story editor in InDesign. I receive draft layouts from the publisher, then flow text into stand firsts, body, box-outs and captions. The biggest advantage is that story editor copy is displayed big and easy to read whether it's editing the 17pt stand-first or 8pt caption in itals. With eyesight not being what it used to be, that's a huge convenience. And of course, to counter one of the above comments, it's perfectly easy to write to length because text over-flow is shown.

So, what I'd like is a non-WYSIWYG non-format story editor for a text thread in Affinity. I'd like the font used in the story editor to be selectable and sized, and to be independent of what is used in the text thread. No need for text formatting. The only formatting needed is a first-line indent or extra half line space to separate paragraphs.

Thanks, anyway for a super application. I'm so happy I can leave the Adobe quagmire.

Tom Ang

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I was saying that IF there is not this "reveal codes" style editor — thinking back to WordPerfect <5.0 before there were WYSIWYG editors — then the best idea would be to have an import similar to how you can bring in a file from other Affiinity apps and edit the original source document and have it update in Publisher. That could be a separate request regardless -- yes. 

Right now there's "flags" on say index entries. But no way to show which text has styles applied to it (cf InDesign's story editor for an example) which resembles the old "Reveal Code" feature of WordPerfect. It has always been absolutely essential to see if say there's a period or even a carriage return that hasn't had a style properly applied to it.  Otherwise you have to go through the whole document re-applying paragraph and character styles to everything to make sure it's correct.

I've worked with paste-up era folks who could spot under a 1pt misalignment of text breathing over my shoulder. When you're working on the Merrill Lynch Annual Report (or similar) that's what happens.  I'm not working on anything that stringent right now, but if doing magazine layouts etc. you really want to be meticulous.  This type of feature is what makes this a "home design app" vs a "pro design app".

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16 minutes ago, Criss said:

... This type of feature is what makes this a "home design app" vs a "pro design app".

I believe that statement is a bit of an over-sell.

I've mostly done books, financial/annual reports, etc., over my career and likely can count on one hand, maybe both hands, the number of times I've used QXP's or ID's story editor. I personally wouldn't divide applications into home/pro based on a story editor being present or not.

I have no objection at all should Serif include this feature in the future as enough people believe it a needed function. If I kept a list of things I would like included and a story editor was on that list, it would be one of the bottom-most items.

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This is up there with cross-references for me. I'd rank cross-references first, though — because that's a user-end functionality of the book. It affects a lot more people than the design team.  I'm having to refer readers to the index.  But I'm grateful there's indexing.  This is a designer or design-team end issue, quality control & usability for both writing and editing stories.

If you care more about other features, why are you here arguing with people who want this feature? lol When I hit snags and come here looking for a feature I need and it doesn't exist, I am going to add my 2¢ to the topic, not look for people advocating for other features to tell them their concerns aren't good enough.  Your input is appreciated. I'll see you over on the advocating for cross-references thread I hope.

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3 minutes ago, Criss said:

If you care more about other features, why are you here arguing with people who want this feature?

Not arguing, only pointing out that there are three unrelated feature requests in this thread to help others clarify exactly what they're requesting.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo 2 for macOS Ventura 13.0, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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  • 3 months later...

I need a story editor to view overset text when I am updating a new issue of our newsletter. All the text boxes are linked to save me time when the length of an article varies from issue to issue. I use the story editor to just delete 1 of the articles in the long stream of the newsletter. I don't know how to select text across multiple spreads to delete it. 

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Using the text caret select the first word you want to delete. Use the scrollbar to scroll to the page that has the end of the linked text, now hold down the Shift key and click on the last word you want to delete. Delete.

You can also go in reverse.

There is also the ability to hold down the Option key (on Mac, don't know about Windows, probably Alt) along with the Shift key and then use the Down arrow to extend the selection a paragraph at a time. Shift + Option + any number of Down Arrow key presses.

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Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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11 minutes ago, spinko said:

PS.: I just googled PagePlus to find that it is in fact a Serif App ! I don't understand is why so many features that are in PagePlus are still not present in Publisher ?

Because Affinity Publisher is a new app, "built from the ground up" not an update, or new version, of PagePlus. 😉

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