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Affinity Publisher on Windows 7 (64 bit, German) behaves as follows:

  • The attached screenshot shows parts of the Layers panel of a document page (not a master page). The used master page (plus its own objects) are also visible in the page layers. The master page 'layer' is locked and cannot be selected on the page with the mouse. Fine.
  • If the master page layer is unlocked, this page's master page layer can be selected, deleted (both fine) and moved, rotated, scaled (the latter three seem strange to me). Apart from deleting the master page layer, I would never want to do any of the other things, but, well, it probably doesn't hurt to be able to do the other things. The master page itself is not changed by any of these actions, which is wonderful.
  • But, whether or not the master page layer is locked, I can select the objects of the master page layer from within the document page Layer panel and do moving, deleting, rotating etc. with them, and this is not only page-local, but directly affects the contents of the master page itself.
  • This is highly dangerous, because this makes it possible to completely ruin the master page contents by wrong clicking on some document page layers.

I therefore recommend changing this behaviour in one (or more) of the following ways:

  1. When attaching a master to a document page, do not only lock the master page layer itself, but also all its sublayers.
  2. When changing any object from within the master page layer, do not reflect these changes into the original master page, but work only with page-local copies and leave the master page completely unaltered. This way, it would also be possible to override (or delete) some master page objects at a local page level, similar to what can already be done in PagePlus.
  3. Inhibit any transformations of the master page layer, as this seems to be jolly useless and quite unintuitive. E.g., rotating the master page layer wreaks havoc with guides defined on the master.
  4. Another possible solution would be to not display any master page layers in the document page Layer panel at all. This would loose you some functionality suggested in (2), but if you don't plan to add that functionality, anyway, it would be better (and much less dangerous) than the current implementation.

Of course, all actions must still be possible with the layers of the master page itself - I'm only talking about the master page layer which is visible from within a document page...

Andreas Weidner


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I would agree with point 1; you shouldn't be able to change the master page if you're not editing the master page. If you need a slightly different master page then copy an existing one and change that instead.

As for point 2, I agree that you should be able to 'detach' the master page into a local (to the page) copy if you want to edit it for a specific page, the master page layer - for this page only - just becoming a normal page layer. However, you should still be able to move the master page layer up and down the layer stack (useful for things like page backgrounds and numbering) without 'detaching' it.

I agree with point 3; I can't think of any reasonable reason off the top of my head why someone would want to rotate a master page, but I'm not an expert.

I don't like point 4 because it would stop the user from being able to move the master page layer up and down the stack (as mentioned earlier). Unless you mean that the master page layer should still be displayed and movable but the layers within it are not displayed (which would be okay).

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Hi anweid,

1. This behaviour (selecting an object in a locked layer directly from the Layers panel and edit it) is similar in all apps of the suite and is intentional. If the user selects them from the Layers panel we assume he (deliberately) do want to change them. Locking the objects individually (additionally) prevents moving and/or transforming them on canvas (but you can still change their attributes - fill, stroke for example). Neither of these things can be done if you try to select the object directly on canvas - no matter if the object was individually locked or belongs to a locked layer - to prevent accidental changes.

2. This area is still being developed. Currently if you delete the master page layers from individual pages what you are effectively doing is removing the master from those pages (they are not linked anymore to the master) as if you right clicked the page in the Pages panel and selected Clear Masters.

Regarding the current link between objects coming from the master pages and regular pages ( where editing them - no matter the place - updates the others accordingly) this is currently working as designed. The idea is that objects that repeat along all/some pages of the document should be created in the masters and these masters applied to the individual pages. Objects/content specific to each page should be created on the respective pages individually (not on the masters). This will be expanded/improved as development moves forward to allow the type of workflows you are describing (detaching, using masters as "templates" rather than linked/replicated objects etc).

3 and 4. This is related with the point above. There's still refinements to be done here.

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