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Newbie question: What is Publisher designed to do?

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I come from a background in layout and illustration of college science textbooks, before Desktop Publishing existed. I have never used InDesign, Quark, etc., so discussions of their features, terminology, or usages do not mean much to me, nor do I have much idea how my needs might be met by a DTP.  Most seem to be overpriced or over-featured for my list of basic wishes. I am hoping that AfPub is trying to be the so-far-missing program between a user like myself and the expensive world of InDesign.

My basic needs are listed below. Will I be able to meet them with AfPub when it is fully released? For example, I love the two-page, accurately margined and paginated spread, and the indexing. Will the rest be there? My needs seem, to me, to be a basic set for a DTP,  but are they?

I want to produce what will eventually be a number of long (open-ended 100+ pp.) text documents. I want them to be rather profusely illustrated with captioned, numbered Figures, Charts, Maps, etc., probably at least one such per page, more likely more. 

The documents are, however, primarily text, so I need the text to be easily editable, and the text linkages to be continuous, at least through each section or chapter. Not sure how text boxes would work for this.

I want the illustrations to be grouped with their captions, and not to interrupt the flow of the basic text. I want to control the flow of uninterrupted text around the illustrations. I am trying to present information, not “artiness.” The illustrations are also intended to present information, not artiness.

I want to be able to control the scaling and/or proportions of the illustrations as I import them. Importing from Photo and Designer seems good, and I look forward to that.  

I want to be able to generate TOC,  and Tables/Lists of Figures, charts, maps, etc. automatically.

i want to be able to control pagination, so that I will be able to stitch together various parts as I work on them. I need to work on parts or sections out of order, so some dynamic numbering is important.

I want to have indexing. 

I want text styling for the various levels of body, captions, headings, and so forth. I want to be able to create the styles easily, and for them to be conveniently displayed for quick usage.

I want running headers/footers, controlled by assigned heading levels in the text.

I want an outline, dynamically created by headings, for organization and navigation.

i want to be able to produce footnotes or endnotes, and possibly to cross-reference material. Perhaps a bibliography.

i want to be able to lock (and unlock) finished portions so that their layout will be undisturbed by later editing in the document. 

I want to be able to create a new document based on these elements in a finished document, so that I will not have to recreate all the styles, page layout, etc. A template, or other ability to call out the formatting and styles of an existing document in a new document.

i see elements of my needs all throughout what I have seen in AfPub, but somehow the basic process of creating a continuous, illustrated, long text document seems missing to me. Or am I missing something that is there, or going to be there, and I am simply waiting on a manual to guide me into it? So far, I see elegant brochures, but not my usage; but if so, why is a feature such as indexing already available?

Will AfPub work for me?

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Short answer: Until Affinity tell us what is going to be in version 1, nobody can tell you.

Longer answer: much of what you require is already there, some is likely to be added in time for version 1.0, some (perhaps all) will be added in later updates.


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I would say the short answer is Aammppaa's longer answer.

My longer answer is download the beta and give it a whirl. Most of what you want to be able to do is present in the beta. I doubt you can do the Outline nor Headers/Footers either but I'm confident they will come.

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Affinity Designer 1.9.3 | Affinity Photo 1.9.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.9.3 | Beta versions as they appear.

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3 hours ago, mycroft said:

Thank you Aammppaa and Old Bruce. Sounds as though it will suit my needs well. I appreciate your replies, as some of the discussion in the forum gave me doubts. It is what I had hoped it would be, and I am enjoying my exploration. 

Bet you love it!  And don't give up because you can't find out just exactly what you want to do at first blush!  Publisher is actually quite sophisticated, and there are an enormous number of  goodies hiding behind some rather innocent looking icons on your desktop.  Also, you might try setting your desktop to the lighter version -- if even temporarily.  I have found that it is far easier to figure out where everything is when the background is a much lighter gray rather than the darker interface.   Go up top left to "Affinity Publisher Beta," click on that and then on Preferences.  You will get a box with a bunch of options and above them is a very little box probably  saying "Tools" with an arrow beside it.  Click on the arrow, and scroll down to User Interface.  You can then adjust the sliders to achieve the level of grayness you wish.   

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