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musiberti

Wrong layer concept for an layout application

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As a layout artist you see your project as a whole. Not as a collection of single pages. For the latter one better uses a illustration app like AD.
I consider it's a big mistake adopting the level concept of AD and AP for AP.  Most layouters use layers primarily for alternative designs, which can then be faded in and out with a single mouse click. Exactly this is not possible with AP and its current layers concept.
I know, it is difficult to change, because AP should be compatible with AD. But maybe you could bypass the problem by offering the option to mark selected layers as cross-project. This could be a publisher-only function.

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1 hour ago, musiberti said:

Most layouters use layers primarily for alternative designs, which can then be faded in and out with a single mouse click. Exactly this is not possible with AP and its current layers concept.

Why do you say that it's not possible?

Can you give an example?


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, April 2018 Update (1803), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz
Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 and 1.7.0.209 Beta
Affinity Designer 1.6..5.123 and 1.7.0.209 Beta
Affinity Publisher 1.7.0.221 Beta

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For example, I have a catalog with a colored frame below the prices. I usually place these frames all on a single layer under all prices on every site. Then I place different frames with another graphic style on another layer. When I now activate or deactivate these layers, all pages of the entire document are changed at once. If the customer made his choice, I change the style of the price-design in the whole document with just one mouse click. In Affinity Publisher, I have to edit each page, create layers, select ... It costs a lot of unnecessary time.

If you are working professional for paying Customers this workflow is a must. No one pays you for the time it takes to complete a process that should be completely automatic.

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I think Musiberti is right. The problem is that the Layer function seems to be part of the page, whereas it needs to be part of the document so changes can be made on multiple pages by single clicking  on the Layers panel. We need something like "Global" layers.


Windows 7 Pro, I5 3.3G PC 16G RAM

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Yes! Global is the right word!

I don't really like the layers concept of Affinity, but I can live with it. I think it would be enough if it were possible to transform an existing layer into a global layer. Or if, when creating layers, we have the choice whether they are globally applicable or only for the current page.

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Aren't Master Pages effectively Global Layers?

They appear as a Layer on every page and if you modify them on one page it affects all other pages


Due to the ongoing Brexit negotiations, punctuation, spelling and grammar will be used sparingly until further notice.

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14 minutes ago, carl123 said:

Aren't Master Pages effectively Global Layers?

No. That's another workflow. You would need a lot of master pages that all differ only minimally (the prices in a catalog are not necessarily on each page in exactly the same postion!). The overview would be lost quickly. In addition, this would only work in a document where all pages are based on the same master page. Unfortunately, this almost never happens in reality.

Apart from that, the master pages of Publisher are currently too limited in their functions.

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Master Layers are definitely not Global Layers. The idea is that each page on a Global Layer has different content and this content can be turned off or on for the whole document with a single mouse click. InDesign implement this but I don't think PagePlus does.


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Pleeeeeaaaase Affinity, give us global layers that work across all sites of a document. Professional layouters can live without site-specific layers (all Adobe-users and Quark-Users do that!), but almost nobody would work seriously without global layers. 

A layout application has different requirements than an illustration app. Avoiding much-needed features just for easy compatibility is the wrong approach.

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I seldom use (global) layers in InDy as I have noticed I can do without. Usually layers are needed for language versioning.

Then also I believe many users like layers and utilise them ;)

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Language versioning is also a typical use for layers, right. But you can not do this effectively without "global" layers. I use layers for a thousand things, mostly for variations in design and content. But nothings works with these odd site-specific layers that Affinity offers. These layers are complete useless for any serious layout purposes.

In Indesign you can ONLY use global layers. Site-specific layers does not exist in ID (and I do not miss them either). You are always working with layers in InDesign, because unlike AP,  Indesign always has at least one layer.

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3 hours ago, musiberti said:

For example, I have a catalog with a colored frame below the prices. I usually place these frames all on a single layer under all prices on every site. Then I place different frames with another graphic style on another layer. When I now activate or deactivate these layers, all pages of the entire document are changed at once. If the customer made his choice, I change the style of the price-design in the whole document with just one mouse click. In Affinity Publisher, I have to edit each page, create layers, select ... It costs a lot of unnecessary time.

If you are working professional for paying Customers this workflow is a must. No one pays you for the time it takes to complete a process that should be completely automatic.

Sorry, I still don't understand the issue. For example, I've attached a small .afpub file which has two document pages, each based on two Master pages. One of the Master pages has two differently colored rectangles as the background, and the document pages have text over those rectangles. I can easily change the colored background of the entire document by simply making one or the other rectangle visible in the Master page, and all pages change at once.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, April 2018 Update (1803), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz
Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 and 1.7.0.209 Beta
Affinity Designer 1.6..5.123 and 1.7.0.209 Beta
Affinity Publisher 1.7.0.221 Beta

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@ Walt.farrell: We do not need global layers for static objects, as commonly used in master pages, but for flexibel variations in design and content. These can not be activated simply by changing the master page. Am I right in assuming that you are not a designer or layouter? I really hope that some people from Affinity also work in the industry, because if Affinity stays with the current concept, the publisher will not succeed and its users will be limited to hobbyists and occasional users.

Your Example is not working in the real world, Walt.

Maybe someone is here with better english skills who can explain the issue?

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The moderator Chris_K replied in another thread "Each page has it's own set of layers. This is intended behaviour".

Sorry, this is not a behaviour. This is a terrible mess! I can not believe that Affinity knows so little about the needs of its target audience.

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walt.farrell: 

I added a video to another thread that should give you the idea of how layers work in Indesign. This is indeed a very different concept, and I fear I have to agree that per-document layers would be useful for a layout application.

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/66333-publisher-some-thoughts/&tab=comments#comment-343411

I often place different sets of guides to different layers and switch them on and off as needed. This is different from applying different master pages to a given spread, for I certainly want to keep my master page while using a different set of guides on this spread. There are so many use cases for per-document layers that it would certainly be useful to have some equivalent here.

I assume though that the introduction of per-document layers instead of per-spread layers would cause problems to the overall framework of the Affinity apps and create compatibility issues in the file format. But there could be a simple equivalent for global layers, namely tagged layers. If you introduce the concept of layer tags together with an easy way to assign layers to tags and to control layers that have the same tags in one place, then this would be a compromise for those people who are missing per-document layers.

Thanks for considering,

Alex :)

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Okay, for easy reference, here is a better video. As I explained in this other thread, layers in Indesign are not per-spread items, but per-document entities. That means, the same layer can contain objects that are placed on different spreads. Therefore, you can hide all these objects by simply toggling the visibility of the layer they belong to.

This is demonstrated in my video below. There are three shapes on different spreads, and all of these shapes are assigned to a per-document layer called “Red Rectangle Layer.” There is a rectangle on the first spread and an ellipse as well as a triangle on the second spread.

Now, the Layers Panel shows (a) the per-document layer as well as (b) the objects contained on the current spread, which is activated by clicking an item on this spread. Therefore, you will see the ellipse and the triangle appear in the list, when the second spread is the current one, while you will see the rectangle appear in the list, when the first spread is the current one. However, my layer still contains all of these items, so toggling the visibility button will hide or show all my shapes, not only the shapes on the current layer.

 

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Many thanks for your demonstration videos, Alex.

Tagged Layers may be a good and working compromise. But I don't know if it would really be that difficult to offer global layers. These layers would not have to be recognized by AD and AP, because they are not needed there so urgently. Although I would be happy about that too. Maybe Affinty should just change the layer concept everywhere. That would be the best way without compromise.

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1 hour ago, musiberti said:

I can not believe that Affinity knows so little about the needs of its target audience.

I rather suspect they know but current layer behaviour was already in the AP/AD code base....

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1 minute ago, Fixx said:

I rather suspect they know but current layer behaviour was already in the AP/AD code base....

I am afraid as well. But they have to change it. Otherwise Affinity becomes ridiculous with the release of the final version. Then we can give up dreaming of an Adobe alternative.

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Same here,

my work depends on "global" layers aka the InDesign layers.

Example: a brochure which I design for 6 different languages:

  • masterpages used for different types of pages (cover, intro, detail,…)
  • layers used for different content (languages) and backgrounds. I have al my pictures and backgrounds in one layer, text on the others, so I can easily switch which brochure I can edit or export to PDF.

This is really necessary if we want to use aPub for long and complicated documents.

 

 

Schermafbeelding 2018-09-05 om 15.19.04.png

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In the thread "Affinity Publisher is not a copy of InDesign - no massive fail!", at last, a moderator on the theme of "Global Layers" made an appearance: 

Bildschirmfoto 2018-09-05 um 15.33.53.png

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23 minutes ago, musiberti said:

...at last, a moderator on the theme of "Global Layers" made an appearance: 

 

24 minutes ago, musiberti said:

That gives reason for hope.:)

No less than the head of development at Serif (unless Tony's role has changed)...though all that shows is the moderator badge.


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

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Plus one on this topic.  My first step with every new publication is to create a base set of global layers.  Creating them page by page is impractical. I have a 14 page document I'm testing today.

The global layers should also apply to the Master page.

A check box for "page" or "global" under layer settings would solve the problem and keep the unique Affinity approach.

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