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Jens Koopmann

Why (unfortunately) Publisher cannot replace Page Plus for me

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I was really looking forward to Publisher as a future proof replacement auf Page Plus X9 and was very excited when the first beta came out.

Unfortunately I have to conclude for myself, that Publisher makes creating my documents much more complicated than Page Plus, which is why I won't jump on the train - at least for now.

But let me explain why...

Page Plus has been my DTP software in the past few years whenever I needed to layout photobooks, which also contained text. So my publications are very image centric.

I love Page Plus, because I can preload all my images into the Source File Pane where they are always at my hand, whenever I want to insert one into the publication or whenever I want to exchange an exitisting picture. Also I can always see which images I already used and which ones are still available. It behaves a bit like photobook-software provided by Photobook-Companies in regard to image handling, but it also provides all advantages of a fully featured DTP-Solution.

Unfortunately Publisher is no way near that for my purposes. The fact that I cannot place Images in a workspace without placing them immediatly into the document simply is not very comfortable. Also exchanging photos is not as intuitive. At last I can never see which images I already used, which is kind of bad if your looking at publications with 100-200 pages full of images.

So for now I will (have to) stick with Page Plus, but I hope Publisher will become a full replacement in the future.

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Edit : never mind


Windows 10 Pro 64-bit - Intel Core i7 5820K 3.30 GHz - NVIDIA GTX 1070 - Samsung SSD 850 Pro 1TB - RAM 64 Go

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16 hours ago, Jens Koopmann said:

I was really looking forward to Publisher as a future proof replacement auf Page Plus X9 and was very excited when the first beta came out.

Unfortunately I have to conclude for myself, that Publisher makes creating my documents much more complicated than Page Plus, which is why I won't jump on the train - at least for now.

But let me explain why...

Page Plus has been my DTP software in the past few years whenever I needed to layout photobooks, which also contained text. So my publications are very image centric.

I love Page Plus, because I can preload all my images into the Source File Pane where they are always at my hand, whenever I want to insert one into the publication or whenever I want to exchange an exitisting picture. Also I can always see which images I already used and which ones are still available. It behaves a bit like photobook-software provided by Photobook-Companies in regard to image handling, but it also provides all advantages of a fully featured DTP-Solution.

Unfortunately Publisher is no way near that for my purposes. The fact that I cannot place Images in a workspace without placing them immediatly into the document simply is not very comfortable. Also exchanging photos is not as intuitive. At last I can never see which images I already used, which is kind of bad if your looking at publications with 100-200 pages full of images.

So for now I will (have to) stick with Page Plus, but I hope Publisher will become a full replacement in the future.

Sorry can you explain what do you mean by this?

Unfortunately Publisher is no way near that for my purposes. The fact that I cannot place Images in a workspace without placing them immediatly into the document simply is not very comfortable. 

How does PP do it? I am an avid PP user and cannot follow your point.

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Sorry for my late response, but have a look at the attached screenshot from PagePlus.

It shows a panel in which you can import all files that you would like to use in your publication. If you have done that, they are always at your disposal, when you work with your document.

Do if you draw a picture frame, you can then go to your imported files and just drag and drop the picture into the frame. As a result, this picture will get a little marker with a "1" showing, that it is already used in this publication (as shown in the screenshot). All pictures will remain in that kind of browser, whenever you open that specific document you imported them for.

This is very handy and time saving if you have publications with many pictures.

Unfortunately Publisher has no such feature and therefore makes handling of images much more complicated.

 

2018-10-07 21_35_49-PagePlus X9 - [Bordeaux.ppp].jpg

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It seems you don't have instructions for placing images.

If I have no indications, I usually place all images in the margin or outside the pages as vignettes, and position them all later (if not, I can easily add a note about which ones I couldn't use) . But it's a workflow for few pages, when working on a longer set of pages without indications, I print a contact sheet (or a screenshot of the vignettes) and mark each one until I use all of them. It's usefull to scribble notes and position them at the best places depending on text.

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Drat my beta ran out... ;) I don't use Publisher for this sort of thing but I'm intrigued now. I'm gonna buy it anyway because our last book was typeset in InDesign and that's stuck on a Mac that's draw its last breath! :/ (Just out of warranty too, thanks Apple.)

So it's going to be "Here! Take my money" (or rather Mr Bank's money) as soon as the final hits the ground.

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12 minutes ago, marcdraco said:

Drat my beta ran out...

Perhaps you have been running an old version of the beta? In that case, you should be able to download/install the current beta version and keep playing :)

This is the post with download info for the current beta for Mac, I believe. The current one is always "pinned" at the top of the Publisher Report Bugs forum for each OS.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1903 (18362.356), 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.7.3.481 and 1.8.0.486 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.7.3.481 and 1.7.3.475 Beta

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I've grabbed it Walt, I was just hanging on until V1.0 hit. :)

However, Jens does have a very valid point which took me by surprise. There's no asset/resource/clip manager where you can drop (say) 100 photos into draw and just pull and place them as you need. I just assumed it would have one - I thought the iOS 12 assets would be a sample of clip art but I was clearly mistaken.

Now it does have a placed asset manager, which is fine, but I can't find "bin" (as they're called in some of my video software). When I'm editing video, I have 100s (or more ugh) clips in a bin or sets of bins, or nested bins... and I can grab and use them as needs be.

Quite an oversight really - I'm pretty sure InDesign CS4 (which is what I was using two years ago, and was old then) has this facility.

 

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You can drag and drop images (photos, logos, clip art…) from a folder to your pages.

If they are ordered in folders it should be easy, you won't have to create new assets with all of them, and it can be shared ressources on a server.

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I also liked the preloading of pictures under their own section in PP. The solution mentioned by Wosven is the one I use and it works very well.


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

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Of course and as Woven has alluded to me separately, this is just version 1 (beta) so Serif's team is playing catchup. This may be a case of them not being able to see the wood for the trees and leaving out this "feature" because they weren't happy with the results. I gather that's why Designer doesn't have a Trace Bitmap facility (c.f. Potrace in Inkscape). Quality control like this is rare these days as publisher rush to get software out there. I don't think it's unfair to mention Adobe and Microsoft as two of the worst offenders in this regard. Props to Serif if this is the case and either way, I appreciate their willingness to share beta software so publicly so we can all have at it. It's a good business practise that others could learn from. 

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On 10/2/2018 at 9:31 PM, Jens Koopmann said:

It behaves a bit like photobook-software provided by Photobook-Companies in regard to image handling, but it also provides all advantages of a fully featured DTP-Solution.

Unfortunately Publisher is no way near that for my purposes. The fact that I cannot place Images in a workspace without placing them immediatly into the document simply is not very comfortable. Also exchanging photos is not as intuitive. At last I can never see which images I already used, which is kind of bad if your looking at publications with 100-200 pages full of images.

So for now I will (have to) stick with Page Plus, but I hope Publisher will become a full replacement in the future.

Thanks for posting this. I wish I had read this before. Would have saved me some time until I discovered that right now I don't want Publisher, but PagePlus (even if abandoned).


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1903). Intel Core i7-9700K @ 3.60GHz, 32 GB memory, NVidia RTX 2080
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471, Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471

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1 hour ago, Steps said:

I wish I had read this before. Would have saved me some time until I discovered that right now I don't want Publisher, but PagePlus (even if abandoned).

It helps to save time and effort to do a research before beta testing + requesting and demanding up to complaining. Here is just one offer of various overviews, comparisons, tests - this includes PP:

https://strawpoll.de/layout-software


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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9 hours ago, thomaso said:

It helps to save time and effort to do a research before beta testing + requesting and demanding up to complaining. Here is just one offer of various overviews, comparisons, tests - this includes PP:

https://strawpoll.de/layout-software

"Demanding up to complaining"? Are you serious?

I suggest features that I think would be useful. Maybe strongly suggest. Thats not demanding. At least I did not mean that. I had to explain my point over and over since some people did not read careful what I wrote in the first place.

And pointing at some serious usability flaws is not complaining. I try to make them visible so Serif is aware. It is up to them them to decide if the leave it this way. 

You are one of the people that think suggestions here should only be counting missing features InDesign has.

EDIT: And most of the software on your link is really outdated or even not suitable for photobook creation, so I skip those sites. I did some research upfront. This is how I found Publisher. If you are aware of any other software that might serve my purpose, please give me a hint. I'll try out. Thank you.


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1903). Intel Core i7-9700K @ 3.60GHz, 32 GB memory, NVidia RTX 2080
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471, Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471

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On 10/2/2018 at 8:31 PM, Jens Koopmann said:

The fact that I cannot place Images in a workspace without placing them immediatly into the document simply is not very comfortable. Also exchanging photos is not as intuitive. At last I can never see which images I already used, which is kind of bad if your looking at publications with 100-200 pages full of images.

I hesitate to pitch in on this discussion; it seems unfortunate that we never know we needed anything until it was made available, even with a hundred page document I would make a simple folder linked to my work with images and then as I used them would assign them to a sub-foolder called inserted and a notebook ticking off as required.  After all, how on earth did we publish just 10 years ago?  Sometimes, and I am guilty of this very much so, I would get all stressed because something did not work the way it was supposed to or I was told it could, and inevitably the longer route was so much simpler, less complicated and more organised.  For me the resource manager, similar to adobe IDD list of imagespanel, is more than sufficient if I name my images with a nomenclature and sequence commensurate with the project in hand.  I am not critical of Jens (dat zou ik niet doen Jens), just simply chipping in as if we were discussing over een lekker kopje koffie.


Microsoft - Like entering your home and opening the stainless steel kitchen door, with a Popup: 'Do you really want to open this door'? Then looking for the dishwasher and finding it stored in the living room where you have to download a water supply from the app store, then you have to buy microsoft compliant soap, remove the carpet only to be told that it is glued to the floor.. Don't forget to make multiple copies of your front door key and post them to all who demand access to all the doors inside your home including the windows and outside shed.

Apple - Like entering your home and opening the oak framed Kitchen door and finding the dishwasher right in front you ready to be switched on, soap supplied, and water that comes through a water softener.  Ah the front door key is yours and it only needs to open the front door.

 

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3 hours ago, Chris26 said:

I hesitate to pitch in on this discussion; it seems unfortunate that we never know we needed anything until it was made available [...]  Sometimes, and I am guilty of this very much so, I would get all stressed because something did not work the way it was supposed to or I was told it could, and inevitably the longer route was so much simpler, less complicated and more organised.

True words, thank you.

If I would have started out with InDesign instead of printers photobook creation software the Picture Frame handling wouldn't bother me so much. If you learn it right from the start this way and never see an alternative option you wouldn't care. I think this causes of lack of understanding from others under my posts that suggest to do it else (or more to give a option to it else). So your words come really true.

But I think me and @Jens Koopmann have a valid point stating at this early phase of development problems other might have, too. This is not meant to bad-mouth Publisher, but to help Serif seeing where is room for improvement. For every person who is "complaining" (as @thomaso called my postings above) there are many else who will not say anything but silently evaluate Publisher to not useful to them.

This would be sad because after trying many other tools for photobook creation in the meantime I can say for sure that Publisher is a wonderful product that deserves high sales. I really like it. And for the things I don't like and want to see to change I take time to write them down, because I want to help development.

@jmwellborn and some others asked me to either take it or leave it. I think she is wrong, because this software just entered beta and this is an oppurtunity to see if one can change things to make it a better tool. She would be right if I would write into the InDesign forums to ask Adobe changing things. As InDesign is finished this would lead to nowhere. But I think (or hope) the situation here is different.

And of course I'm guided by my own interest: I want the ideal photobook creation software (that also gives me printable high-quality PDF) for the years to come as I plan many more photobooks.

I also like to see what other people think of Publisher and miss. We are free to discuss.

Edited by Steps
typos

Windows 10 Pro x64 (1903). Intel Core i7-9700K @ 3.60GHz, 32 GB memory, NVidia RTX 2080
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471, Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471

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@Steps You are missing the point.

You're simply beating a dead horse.

It isn't about your suggestions or comments.
Talking and discussing is making a point and if people didn't get it the first time,explain and done with it.

But you keep on rambling on the same subject(s) over and over and over to get your point across.
I think Serif is very much aware of the features people like to have implemented,they did it for so long in their legacy range.

Let's call  this the end of a discussion.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Win10(1903)Home / Photo / Designer / Publisher & latest (beta) versions

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@haakoo

Thank you for your clear words. I think you're right.

I was trying to hard because I wanted everybody to understand.
More often than not this is not possible. I should have just let it go.

I have explained enough regarding the Picture Frame issue.
The topic exists and some day they will change something about that or not.
It's okay for now.

Time to focus on other aspects. :-)


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1903). Intel Core i7-9700K @ 3.60GHz, 32 GB memory, NVidia RTX 2080
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471, Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471

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3 hours ago, Steps said:

asked me to either take it or leave it. I think she is wrong, because this software just entered beta and this is an oppurtunity to see if one can change things to make it a better tool. She would be right if I would write into the InDesign forums to ask Adobe changing things. As InDesign is finished this would lead to nowhere.

There, imho, you express a massive misunderstanding about software development and its marketing. Before software will go public with a beta version there were many thoughts and researches for needs and chances. These result in concepts + decisions for features, followed by concepts + layouts for navigation and interface. Then programing starts as the latest part. The beta mainly is necessary to check this last part, the code. That's why beta so-to-say yearns for bugs: Only if all major bugs got eliminated it appears useful to sell the software.

Since feature decisions are made already in a quite early concept phase it comes that feature requests are less important for the beta – but much more for any later release. In a public, commercial software it would be deadly if all features were implemented in its first release and same if it would be very buggy. In that way such a software is never finished – just to make sure clients will find reasons to buy upgrades.

In particular, for your InDesign comparison, you'll be amazed at how much effort Adobe is making to get feature requests that can be integrated into future releases so as not to lose existing customers as buyers. Just do a search for "indesign Feature Request" ... and wonder how many sites and results are displayed.


macOS 10.12.6,  Macbook Pro 15" + Eizo 24"

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13 minutes ago, thomaso said:

There, imho, you express a massive misunderstanding about software development and its marketing. Before software will go public with a beta version there were many thoughts and researches for needs and chances. These result in concepts + decisions for features, followed by concepts + layouts for navigation and interface. Then programing starts as the latest part.

That's true for the waterfall model of software development.

Today more and more companies go an more agile approach where they release a first version you can do a lot of things with and going further as users give feedback.

I'm not entirely sure which approach Affinity is taking, but given that Publisher feels like it's nearly finished you may sure be right that this is just a last stability testing phase before the final release and all suggestions will make it at best in v1.8.


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1903). Intel Core i7-9700K @ 3.60GHz, 32 GB memory, NVidia RTX 2080
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471, Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471

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