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Some Thoughts/Requests After Some Time With Publisher


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First off: thank you for Publisher! I’ve been waiting for this and it’s been great to take a crack at building stuff. Secondly: apologies for the thoughts below. As I learned with Designer, there’s probably a way to do half of this stuff, I just haven’t been able to find it yet.

Layout

  • Guides - I’m not seeing a way to specify the exact placement of guides. It seems like this should be in the dynamic menu bar (the section that gives you font information when you click on a text box) or the Transform tab. I could be missing it.
  • I Need the ability to lay out columns from a page level. A mode where I can set margins and page columns and see them updated in real time is a must. I’ve closed 98% of my Affinity Pub projects over this missing so far.
  • The ability to quickly change document units. I can do this in InDesign by right-clicking on the rulers. The ability to switch from Inches to Picas (thanks for adding those!) and such would be huge.

Typography

  • The mixed text styles window is kind of driving me crazy. The ability to have separate character styles and paragraph styles, and to be able to sort them in folders and such would make this more usable usable.
  • I’m not sure how I feel about “show samples” being on by default. My palette felt really chaotic until I discovered that. I could see it maybe being beneficial.

Picture Frames/Images

  • The ability to drag-and-drop images into picture frames.
  • Along those same lines, a “Paste Into” ability for these frames.
  • Some controls for the images inside frames such as “fit to frame” “fit frame to content” “fill frame (proportionally)”

Misc

  • Preview for ctrl-W is ok. I’m glad it was added, but I REALLY need it as W. I’m completely used to this from InDesign, and it doesn’t seem like “W” is currently occupying any sort of role.
  • The ability to add hyperlinks to text. It sounds like this is on the roadmap and is more difficult than anticipated. Holding out for this.
  • InDesign has a hyperlinks palette. I use this for interactive PDFs and my resume. Right now, only properly formatted URLs are rendered, but I
  • I'm just another voice amidst a sea of them, pining for a way to import InDesign files (although I know that's being worked on).
  • I’m a little unclear on how Publisher documents are actually handled. With InDesign, you’re able to design a whole document, and link out to content (images, vectors, etc.) you want to place inside, which keeps the file size quite low. At the end you can export a package that has your original file, fonts, images, a PDF, etc. When I place an image in Publisher, is it being linked? Embedded? Am I going to end up with a ton of huge Publisher files?
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Hi StrawDogDesign,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
Thanks for your feedback. Some notes about your points:

Layout
You can specify guides positions using the Guides Manager (menu View ▸ Guides Manager...). You can also change the units right-clicking the unit label located in the origin/cross of the rulers (top left) in Affinity Publisher.

Picture Frames/Images
You can drag and drop images on top of picture frames to insert them there. You can also use the Place Image Tool or the File ▸ Place... command to perform the same action (make sure the picture frame is selected).

There's already a few scaling controls for images inside picture frames (click the Properties button in the context toolbar with a picture frame selected), however those you mention are not available. They were requested quite a few times already and may end up being added later too.

Miscellaneous
You can change the shortcut to "W" in Affinity Publisher Preferences, Keyboard Shortcuts section. Set the first dropdown to Layout and the second to View then look for the Preview command in the list below. 

You decide if you want the images embedded or linked when you create a new document - check the Image Placement Policy dropdown in the New Document dialog right below the Document Units dropdown. There's also an option to Automatically update linked resources when modified externally in Affinity Preferences, General section. You can also control/manage each one individually using the Resource Manager (menu Document ▸ Resource Manager...).

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3 hours ago, MEB said:

You can also change the units right-clicking the unit label located in the origin/cross of the rulers (top left) in Affinity Publisher.

Does not seem to work in 1.7.0.145 on Windows.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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8 hours ago, StrawDogDesign said:

I Need the ability to lay out columns from a page level. A mode where I can set margins and page columns and see them updated in real time is a must. I’ve closed 98% of my Affinity Pub projects over this missing so far.

You can set margins overall when you create the document. To have different margins on individual pages you can either set them up on a Master Page that you apply to specific document pages, or you can adjust the margins of any page/spread using File > Spread Setup... or by right-clicking on the page/spread and choosing Spread Properties....

For columns, you can draw Guides on a Master Page applied to a document page, or on a document page directly, or you can use a Text Frame with columns and gutters setup via the Text Frame panel and/or the context toolbar. If you need the same setup on multiple pages you can turn a model text frame into an Asset.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1065 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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4 hours ago, MEB said:

You can also change the units right-clicking the unit label located in the origin/cross of the rulers (top left) in Affinity Publisher.

How did I miss this?! It also updates the transform box too. Brilliant.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.6

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

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10 hours ago, MEB said:

Hi StrawDogDesign,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
Thanks for your feedback. Some notes about your points:

Layout
You can specify guides positions using the Guides Manager (menu View ▸ Guides Manager...). You can also change the units right-clicking the unit label located in the origin/cross of the rulers (top left) in Affinity Publisher.

Picture Frames/Images
You can drag and drop images on top of picture frames to insert them there. You can also use the Place Image Tool or the File ▸ Place... command to perform the same action (make sure the picture frame is selected).

There's already a few scaling controls for images inside picture frames (click the Properties button in the context toolbar with a picture frame selected), however those you mention are not available. They were requested quite a few times already and may end up being added later too.

Miscellaneous
You can change the shortcut to "W" in Affinity Publisher Preferences, Keyboard Shortcuts section. Set the first dropdown to Layout and the second to View then look for the Preview command in the list below. 

You decide if you want the images embedded or linked when you create a new document - check the Image Placement Policy dropdown in the New Document dialog right below the Document Units dropdown. There's also an option to Automatically update linked resources when modified externally in Affinity Preferences, General section. You can also control/manage each one individually using the Resource Manager (menu Document ▸ Resource Manager...).

Thanks MEB! I'll have to dive back in and test some of this out later. Clicked all over those rulers, guess I didn't make it quite to the cross. Would it be possible for the team to make the rulers actionable for this as well? That's just where my brain (and I'm assuming a bunch of other brains) go to.

 

6 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

You can set margins overall when you create the document. To have different margins on individual pages you can either set them up on a Master Page that you apply to specific document pages, or you can adjust the margins of any page/spread using File > Spread Setup... or by right-clicking on the page/spread and choosing Spread Properties....

For columns, you can draw Guides on a Master Page applied to a document page, or on a document page directly, or you can use a Text Frame with columns and gutters setup via the Text Frame panel and/or the context toolbar. If you need the same setup on multiple pages you can turn a model text frame into an Asset.

Yeah, I suppose my concerns with those two options are:

1. Margins done this way seem very guess-and-check, especially since I can't see them done live. In InDesign you can pull up 'Margins and Columns' and get a live-updated, visual feel for what your layout is going to be like and see margins, columns, and gutters all interacting.

2. Guides seems to be the go-to solution to this, but what I can do in a couple seconds and couple clicks in InDesign would take quite a bit longer in Publisher. I also play with my layouts as I go, so setting up a bunch of guides and then deciding I should, for example, add another column is another costly change.

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