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musiberti

Wrong layer concept for an layout application

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On 9/4/2018 at 12:58 PM, musiberti said:

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.

I agree with you, APub should get something like global levels.

But they are not as important as you want us to believe. And your tone of voice is pretty absolutistic. Unfortunately, you are not the only one in this forum who considers his wish to be the most important of all.

We should not throw out the child with the water bath (German proverb). The global levels should only be an additional functionality and not replace the current level concept. In reality, the layers in InDesign can't do much. I am very happy that the layer concept of APub works the same way as in AD and AP. I can do things with APub layers that I can only dream of in InDesign.

Just as you accuse @walt.farrell of not designing long documents (which is probably true), I can assume that you have less to do with creative design. Otherwise you would appreciate the current layer concept in APub more.


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Yes, the current "layers" are really the objects on the page, plus things like group layers to organize them, adjustment layers, etc.

The "layers" of a traditional page layout solution are different in scope and behavior and there is a place for both.

The "global layers" should probably act as containers for the per-page object layers, with the global layers being at the "top" and shared among all pages, with the per-page layers appearing underneath them for the currently active page.

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I go here with @Michail and @fde101 that the current layer system is the right solution from a file design point of view.

Having the same layers in all Affinity apps just feels right.

And as you can see as a preview with "Edit in Photo": when the Photo and Vector Personas kick in this will make sense to everybody.

It's nowhere a mess. Never used InDesign or Quark, but this layer concept in Publisher felt right to me from the beginning.

Disclaimer: I don't understand what "global layers" should do, but since I just finishened a huge book project that I will use as master/template for the follow-ups I'm confident that I won't need that.


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Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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11 hours ago, Steps said:

I don't understand what "global layers" should do, but since I just finishened a huge book project that I will use as master/template for the follow-ups I'm confident that I won't need that.

Version management. Language versions. 

Yes, you can do most publishing jobs without layers but there are some jobs that without layers you must do separate file versions which complicates version control a lot.

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21 minutes ago, Fixx said:

Version management. Language versions. 

Yes, you can do most publishing jobs without layers but there are some jobs that without layers you must do separate file versions which complicates version control a lot.

Thanks for summing it up. I just read trough the very long related thread. Serif said it's coming, so I'm fine with that. :-)


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Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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To be honest I don't think Global Layers is the right term to use even though I think it might have been my suggestion way back. What we need are user definable layers so users can organise what is viewable/printable at any one time. The existing Layers panel is an object order system which is useful in itself but not really adequate. Anyway I guess that Serif are working on it so fingers crossed.


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Other than the fact that screen/print visibility is not separate, you can already use group layers to accomplish what you are talking about... except that they are not shared across pages/masters.

The key piece that is missing is the ability to create layers that are shared across pages/masters but with content that differs... thus "global" layers in that they are shared throughout the document rather than being "local" to a specific page.

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Have you tried Master Pages aka Symbols? You can toggle the Sync option to customize master objects on individual pages. The big problem, I think, is not having a clear indication whether sync is on or off (you have to check the icon, and even that is a bit low in contrast), and not being able to re-sync attributes. Being able to set some attributes to be desync'ed by default would also help.


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Late-comer to this party, but musiberti you hit the nail on the head with your comment "As a layout artist you see your project as a whole. Not as a collection of single pages."

The way it is now it would be a nightmare to set up larger documents. I often create a "background" layer where background colors, textures and elements can be worked on independently from the rest of the design. Then I can lock it, and work on the main content, keeping the background undisturbed. Sometimes my setups could expand to 3 or 4 layers, just to keep more complex layouts easier to manage.

Or sometimes I have a "shell" that is needed for the proofing process with customers but needs to be turned off when printed. Turning the layer off and on is much easier to do on a document-wide layer.

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If I understand you right, Jeremy, what you are describing, is not necessarily the task of layers, but of (existing) master pages. Document-wide layers are mainly needed for differently designed sets of elements per page, while master pages are needed for uniform sets of elements for more than one page. Please keep in mind, that you can apply more than one master to a layout page.

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No you don't understand. I'm not talking about anything necessarily uniform across all pages, except for the layer itself. Nor is a master page something you can disable or enable.

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2 hours ago, Jeremy Bohn said:

I often create a "background" layer where background colors, textures and elements can be worked on independently from the rest of the design.

Hmm :)

2 hours ago, Jeremy Bohn said:

Or sometimes I have a "shell" that is needed for the proofing process with customers but needs to be turned off when printed. Turning the layer off and on is much easier to do on a document-wide layer.

This is as well doable with a master page, which can be temporarily „unassigned“.

Nevertheless: These use cases are not the main application areas for layers.

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13 minutes ago, Jeremy Bohn said:

No you don't understand.

It would be more kind, if you tell exactly what you mean. To say „No, you don’t understand“ is a little bit too simple.

15 minutes ago, Jeremy Bohn said:

Nor is a master page something you can disable or enable.

Really?

 

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@mac_heibu

I understand the utility of Document-wide Layers to be the organization of alternate logical groupings of content or layout elements that can be toggled on or off across the entire document (e.g., toggling off an English text layer, and toggling on a French text layer; or toggling off a blue themed background treatment, and toggling on a green themed background treatment).

In the case of alternate languages for a document, the texts would be placed on their respective document-wide layers in the body of the document.

In the case of alternate background theme treatments, a set of master pages would be set up for typical page layouts within the publication (TOC, Chapter Title, etc.), but the alternate color theme treatments for the set of master pages would be set up on their respective document-wide layers (e.g., Blue Theme layer, Green Theme layer). 

Do you see it differently? 

If so, how so?

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@Jeremy Bohn

I do not really understand why the discussion continues even after MEBs official statement on the first page that global layers will come.

We will get both eventually: Master pages and global layers.

After reading all of the discussion about that I understand need for both. So Serif did.

They will certainly come up with a good idea how the current layer system can stay the same (and it really should) and global layers come in addition.


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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