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nomi02118

current impressions and some ideas

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I have been working on a  personal boo project with Publisher now for a while and overall, it went from OK to really liking some of the features and the experience. At the same time i was reviewing Quark 2018 and Indesign CC2018 so I've been busy! I am looking forward to the official release of Publisher and know, like the other Affinity products will take a little time to get truly up and running as new features are added.

A few features I think are pretty important:

Better find and replace options 

Indesign (idml) import - Quark 2018 includes this and while I know Affinity isn't including it right away - it's really important

I work on a magazine which means many people on the same document, Quark does this well but Publisher should also.

Layout programs often have an edit original feature for images, this might also be useful for text, writers and editors can be updating documents, it could save a lot of time and allow for more fluid workflows. 

More options for customizing Pdf exports for finicky printers

Import text that automatically adds enough pages to accommodate and flows naturally. Hand making text columns and hand flowing the text brewer them on a long document is torturous. Indesign can do this in a  very clunky way and Affinity would win over a lot if indesign book designers with a more elegant workflow. 

Those are just my note so far, working on a project has really let me get to know the software and how I'll end up using it much more than just playing with it now and then. 

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3 hours ago, nomi02118 said:

Import text that automatically adds enough pages to accommodate and flows naturally. Hand making text columns and hand flowing the text brewer them on a long document is torturous. Indesign can do this in a  very clunky way and Affinity would win over a lot if indesign book designers with a more elegant workflow. 

 

We've got that already, with elegance in spades!  From the Help menu, take a look at Text > Text Frames > Flowing text in frames

AutoFlow is your new best friend.

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13 minutes ago, GaryLearnTech said:

We've got that already, with elegance in spades!  From the Help menu, take a look at Text > Text Frames > Flowing text in frames

AutoFlow is your new best friend.

It certainly is! Thanks for pointing that out to me! It's dead easy! 

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Just now, walt.farrell said:

Any specific thoughts on what's missing? With the exception of supporting regular expressions it seems pretty complete to me.

Sure, I use it in my work to find all the numbers in a document and replace the font. I know this sounds odd, but I have several clients who we use one font for text and another for numbers. last time I tried doing this in Publisher it couldn't happen. Also I will import a large text document with regular quotation marks but have to change them to double straight ones (my personal favourite) or to guillemets since here in Quebec we often have text in English and French. My needs may not be all that common I admit! 

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Thanks. Without regular expressions support I don't think there's a good way to change the font for numbers.

Changing the regular (curly?) quote marks to straight ones or guillemets seems like it should work now, though. What problem do you have with that?

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Just now, walt.farrell said:

Thanks. Without regular expressions support I don't think there's a good way to change the font for numbers.

Changing the regular (curly?) quote marks to straight ones or guillemets seems like it should work now, though. What problem do you have with that?

I already changed them all in my document so I haven't re-tried that again. When i did originally it just did not do anything. Granted that was a couple updates ago. I did discover I could use preferences to change the entire document to use the quotes I wanted and that seemed to work when I imported new text. I have to say overall, the typography in Publisher is excellent right out of the gate. 

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It just occurred to me now - if you're on a Mac, it might be worth checking out TextSoap from Unmarked Software.  They have a demo version you can try.  It could handle your numeric font substitutions, at least for now.  I've had it for some years but only made light usage.  I'm no expert on regular expressions, but I was able to knock up a custom 'cleaner' which said: identify any digits and apply specific formatting.  Here's the configuration for that cleaner:

image.png.cb4dab89ad6674d89342128284f52dac.png

 

I then pulled in some text (it might look familiar) into Publisher and tweaked it slightly.  I selected the text in the text frame and, since I didn't bother applying a keyboard shortcut to the cleaner, I used the menubar item to apply it, with the following result: 

image.png.3b7b0164970591cb04baaa12c1fc8a13.png image.png.f08ed468f12f1c78c66ec4a05483361e.png 

I think perhaps the only downside here is that it won't be able to apply paragraph or character styles that you define in Publisher.  The formatting changes above are what I think Serif refer to as local changes.

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2 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

Changing the regular (curly?) quote marks to straight ones or guillemets seems like it should work now, though.

That should be easy sadly there is no way to go the other way "... ..." to ... ...”. Bare Bones Edit has a separate function for this, deals with apostrophes too, there is some very clever coding going on in there and I really doubt  I could come up with a GREP string to do it reliably if at all.

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1 hour ago, GaryLearnTech said:

It just occurred to me now - if you're on a Mac, it might be worth checking out TextSoap from Unmarked Software.  They have a demo version you can try.  It could handle your numeric font substitutions, at least for now.  I've had it for some years but only made light usage.  I'm no expert on regular expressions, but I was able to knock up a custom 'cleaner' which said: identify any digits and apply specific formatting.  Here's the configuration for that cleaner:

image.png.cb4dab89ad6674d89342128284f52dac.png

 

I then pulled in some text (it might look familiar) into Publisher and tweaked it slightly.  I selected the text in the text frame and, since I didn't bother applying a keyboard shortcut to the cleaner, I used the menubar item to apply it, with the following result: 

image.png.3b7b0164970591cb04baaa12c1fc8a13.png image.png.f08ed468f12f1c78c66ec4a05483361e.png 

I think perhaps the only downside here is that it won't be able to apply paragraph or character styles that you define in Publisher.  The formatting changes above are what I think Serif refer to as local changes.

Thanks for the link! We will see how the final version of publisher comes out, but this might be a good option if I switch to it for my main clients. 

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9 hours ago, Old Bruce said:

That should be easy sadly there is no way to go the other way "... ..." to ... ...”.

Problem is how to separate first " from the end ". Maybe first quote mark always has space before it so you can search "space-quote mark". Personally were where I live both marks are the same (nothing this upside down nonsense).

I see I can copy-paste invisibles to search box now, great!

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7 hours ago, Fixx said:

I see I can copy-paste invisibles to search box now, great!

For the most part you shouldn't need to copy/paste them. Click on the magnifying glass in the search box and you should get a dropdown list of them (assuming that you're on Windows or the Mac bug was fixed):

invisibles.png.2630deb012bb05ea5142e5e57598ff17.png

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7 hours ago, Fixx said:

Problem is how to separate first " from the end ". Maybe first quote mark always has space before it so you can search "space-quote mark".

Unfortunatey it's not always that simple. For example, a " at the beginning of the line doesn't have a space before it. Without regular expression support in Find/Replace going from straight quotes to some other form is, I think, impossible. With regular expressions it's merely difficult :) 

(But once you have straight single quote marks (') and straight apostrophes, it takes more work than you can do with regular expressions, and actually needs some text analysis to perform the conversion to curly marks.)

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And we have files coming in from "people who 'don't' always" use quotes correctly. This is why I use BBEdit to prep the text. Its GREP Search and Destroy Find and Replace is so good.

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5 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

For the most part you shouldn't need to copy/paste them. Click on the magnifying glass

But I prefer to copy&paste. That way I do not even have to know what invisibles I have pestering my text and also I can catch combinations easily.

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8 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

For the most part you shouldn't need to copy/paste them.

Some of us wrote regular expressions like another language… having to use a menu and clicking on something is like using a undo and a redo button instead of using shortcuts.
I hope we'll be able to write  expressions without this menu (coding a button or a special item instead of using usual regular expressions seems convoluted and limited… the same as when I used QXD and only had custom expressions for new line and new paragraph).

And if using usual regular expression is added to find & replace, it would be easier to add it to other paragraph styles like initial words. We would only need custom expressions for specifics "objects": frame break, odd page break, next page number, etc.

Magnifying glass/menu should be an help for inserting those or a reminder.

And if one day we're able to use scripting to do easily the usual x search and replace needed in some text, it'll would be easier too.

 

Copy/pasting is a good trick since sometimes there's special character you don't always know how to write… and it's fast.

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11 minutes ago, Wosven said:

Some of us wrote regular expressions like another language… having to use a menu and clicking on something is like using a undo and a redo button instead of using shortcuts.
I hope we'll be able to write  expressions without this menu (coding a button or a special item instead of using usual regular expressions seems convoluted and limited… the same as when I used QXD and only had custom expressions for new line and new paragraph).

At the moment, though, your choice is between finding one occurrence of some character and using copy/paste to insert it into the Search (or Replace) box, or using the menu.

While I agree with you that typing \t is easier than using the menu, most of the other characters don't have that kind of shortcut (yet?), and using the menu is, to me, much faster than finding one of them and then copying/pasting it into the box.

I have no idea when, if ever, we'll get regex support in the Affinity applications.

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11 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

using the menu is, to me, much faster than finding one of them and then copying/pasting it into the box.

Case is usually that you see a problem, and use copy&paste to find/replace to remove all instances of that problem. Of course if you know what invisible to remove without looking you can use menu.

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