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3 minutes ago, Arte said:

This is what you could call a "killer feature" :P (albeit in the opposite way of how it is normally used as it could kill use of Publisher instead of promote its use).

I'd probably just reimport the whole thing into a new document with the proper page size, frames etc. if possible, but if not possible this kind of stuff is plain utterly frustrating.

More or less that's what I'd do now: Delete all but the first two pages of each chapter (to not loose the chapter head but keep the page with the content master), fix the frame positions on page one and two of the chapter, add enough empty pages, auto-extended the second page, remove unused empty pages. Repeat for each chapter.

BTW: "auto-extend" is a manual process. I'd like to mark text frames as truely "auto-extending", so that changing the line height by 5% does not force me to check every chapter. Might already be possible: Odd-page masters: Any page that has an odd-page -master assigned (chapter head) automatically gets its spread extended by an empty even side if the previous non-empty page is on the odd side.

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8 hours ago, JGD said:

Not at all, I'm afraid. If you have to typeset a 300-page book, with a single column on each facing page, but still have to manually create and link 300 text frames instead of just creating two of them and link them on your master page, how is that a good user experience?

In InDesign, QuarkXPress or even, I'm guessing, older stuff like Aldus PageMaker, all you had to do was create your boxes on your master pages,

No need to use master pages for this, text autoflow works in all of them just fine. It is just if you want to have several text boxes / page, readjust after setting the text that manual work happens. (BTW you can have columns within text box).

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7 hours ago, Arte said:

This is what you could call a "killer feature"

More like DOA ('dead on arrival' here in Canada).


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.7.2 | Affinity Photo 1.7.2 | Affinity Publisher 1.7.2 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.7.2.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.7.2.151 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.2.458

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8 hours ago, Daniel Höpfl said:

[snip]

BUT: This auto-fills empty pages [/snip]

And therein lies the only major, absurd, unacceptable limitation of Affinity Publisher. You can't place text into text frames from master pages, period.

What are those good for, then, pray tell? Dividers? Box backgrounds? Page numbers? Give me a break… If you can't create a master column/box/grid layout and fill it out with pre-written text en masse, and just create some pretty page decorations instead and have to do all the typesetting work by hand, that's not a DTP app; it is, as I said, a glorified vector editor. Conversely, if you can just place your text in empty pages and then have to manually apply masters to them, it's yet another extra step you shouldn't have to take; again, that feels like you're fighting against Publisher, instead of having it work for you.

For the record, Adobe Illustrator also allows you to flow content between different text frames, so… might as well create the small leaflets/booklets Publisher is only good for in Ai instead, and keep using InDesign for serious DTP work (not that I wouldn't do all of that work in InDesign anyway… Ai is still pretty dismal when it comes to typesetting and performance after having only a few linked files). :P

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1 hour ago, Fixx said:

No need to use master pages for this, text autoflow works in all of them just fine. It is just if you want to have several text boxes / page, readjust after setting the text that manual work happens. (BTW you can have columns within text box).

Ok, I'll give it a look, then. Maybe it already works for really basic stuff. If so, I'll stand corrected.

That still probably doesn't change the fact that the philosophy for editing those after the fact (including parameters like, say, baseline grids, styles, etc) is a bit contrary to all other DTP apps (basically, if you want to change your document, you edit your master pages and styles, and boom, there you go; if your content exists outside master page objects, are you supposed to just change system-wide document settings and pray for that not to screw up your document in certain pages? That may be a recipe for disaster, because it doesn't allow for finer control on a per-master basis).

I get it, it probably removes an extra step, but it doesn't adhere to conventions and may make your work even harder in more complex documents. I'm all for challenging preconceived notions, but there are some sacred tenets in raster/vector/DTP apps that would be better left untouched. And the devs at Serif have a history of reinventing the wheel in some pretty debatable ways, like… that crazy artboard/layer implementation on AD, about which I've been complaining for months now.

[Edit: yeah, I just tested what you suggested. Great, if I set up my text columns on a regular page, outside of the master page, it works… but I still can't change them after the fact and have the text reflow accordingly, I'd still have to delete all pages after the first, redo my layout, and repeat that command. Sorry, but that doesn't pass muster…]

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I don't think anyone here disagrees that the use of linked text boxes on master pages is the superior solution for this, and the Affinity team has reiterated several times that master page functionality for Publisher is currently incomplete.

I'm sure that will be coming, it just isn't here yet.  The autoflow suggestion is about the best "for now" option we can suggest until more complete master page functionality is available.

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On 12/6/2018 at 5:21 PM, fde101 said:

I don't think anyone here disagrees that the use of linked text boxes on master pages is the superior solution for this, and the Affinity team has reiterated several times that master page functionality for Publisher is currently incomplete.

I'm sure that will be coming, it just isn't here yet.  The autoflow suggestion is about the best "for now" option we can suggest until more complete master page functionality is available.

That “best ‘for now’” you speak about is just not good enough. Sorry. If I were on the Serif team, on a management position, I'd drop everything else for the moment (save, perhaps, stability work; Publisher just crashed on me right now) and focus on that one feature for now (assuming, on a worst case scenario, that the devs can only focus on one issue at a time; I do believe they have a more complete team and can walk and chew gum at the same time, and tackle more than one feature at once). It might be limited in other ways at v.1.7.0, sure, but at least it would work as a proper DTP app from the get-go. Trust me, DTP pros and reviewers will completely eviscerate the Serif devs otherwise. :\

Also, another problem with not getting it right from the very beginning is the fact that you start training your users in using workarounds (sort of like little “vices”)… What if you need to change the interaction model later on? Yeah, you introduce changes which may confuse your users. Not an ideal situation either, if you ask me…

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7 minutes ago, JGD said:

That “best ‘for now’” you speak about is just not good enough.

Pretty much a deal breaker for me, I could maybe justify buying it if that was the only thing but the lack of anchored images in text flow as well just puts it out there on the watch and wait list.

I too am amazed at the fact that Master Pages were not working 'properly' from the very first. I do believe there will be a lot of very upset customers if that is not in the first commercial release.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.7.2 | Affinity Photo 1.7.2 | Affinity Publisher 1.7.2 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.7.2.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.7.2.151 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.2.458

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Let's not forget that this is a "Beta" version, that means bugs and incomplete or missing features. It should not be compared right now to software 20 years old or more. But...let's hope.... 


Window 10 - 16 Gb - Intel I7 - 8700 - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060

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7 hours ago, AlainP said:

Let's not forget that this is a "Beta" version, that means bugs and incomplete or missing features. It should not be compared right now to software 20 years old or more. But...let's hope.... 

It should be compared. Because in the not too distant future, it will be released and then potential users will need to decide whether they are going to buy it. It does not matter how old the software is to the user, just whether it serves their purpose well.

I purchased Photo and Designer day 1... Sure there were things missing that have been added since. But not mind boggling how can that be stuff. The current lacks in Publisher (no proper master pages and no anchored images that flow with text) are what I would call showstoppers for anything but the simplest of projects. Sorta like if Photo couldn't initially open JPG's! 

I might end up buying Publisher day 1 too... because I have had such good use of Photo and Designer that I feel like supporting their efforts, but not because I have any intention of using the software in the near term. Since I know what is going on with it, I can be patient, wait a year, and use other software in the meanwhile. I think it would be frustrating to have to depend on Publisher as is.

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I really liked how Corel Ventura Publisher (yes, I'm old ...) implemented master text frames: Instead of an object on the master page, the "main text frame" that flows through the document was determined by the page margins (you could have different page margins for each page and / or master page, giving you lots of flexibility on how to flow text through a layout in different forms and shapes).

First time I used it, it felt a bit like using MS Word, because I couldn't just drag a frame on my master page and use it, but over just a couple of days I really started liking it and stuck with Ventura for about 5 years, until it became clear, that Corel wasn't going to update it any more.

This way of having an auto-text frame in the background could probably be added to Publisher without completely reworking the master pages and how they work, because the page margins are independent on a non-existent / non-accessible layer.

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On 12/7/2018 at 11:21 AM, Jens Krebs said:

I really liked how Corel Ventura Publisher (yes, I'm old ...) implemented master text frames: Instead of an object on the master page, the "main text frame" that flows through the document was determined by the page margins (you could have different page margins for each page and / or master page, giving you lots of flexibility on how to flow text through a layout in different forms and shapes).

First time I used it, it felt a bit like using MS Word, because I couldn't just drag a frame on my master page and use it, but over just a couple of days I really started liking it and stuck with Ventura for about 5 years, until it became clear, that Corel wasn't going to update it any more.

This way of having an auto-text frame in the background could probably be added to Publisher without completely reworking the master pages and how they work, because the page margins are independent on a non-existent / non-accessible layer.

Judging from the description other users made here (I still haven't had time to fully test that, sorry), that appears to be the case in Publisher, too. And the column manager, plus the shaded column guides, really do seem to match InDesign. But that comes down to philosophy; it makes Publisher work too much for you in bad ways (as in work for you in the creative phase of the process, and not in the boring, later parts).

As a professional app, it should allow you extremely fine control, even if it means a bit more work on your part. I know this sounds paradoxical and in contradiction of what I said before, but if you look at Designer and Photo, they also share that philosophy with their Adobe counterparts; both easy/intuitive and advanced/hard precisely where they should. Publisher, on the other hand, seems to be shaping up to become the new [Microsoft] Publisher. Ohhh boy…

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I just want to add to this discussion that it probably would have been better if you had master-page functionality before releasing the beta. It's really fundamental to a publishing application to be able to add new pages to a document that are based on a master, and then edit those pages without it retroactively applying those edits to the master and all previous pages based on the same master!

I also want to say that I understand the extraordinary amount of work that goes into this, and I'm pulling for your success. We're all looking forward to the day when we no longer have Adobe in our lives. I think that day will come sooner if you nail down the basics first, and master pages is one of those basics.

Thanks.

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Perhaps the readers of this thread would like to try our initial attempt at adding the Master Page text frame and picture frame behaviour and features discussed here.

Please create new bugs forum threads for any bugs you find or post in this discussion/suggestions forum for missing features.


Patrick Connor

Serif (Europe) Ltd.

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