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What is the current state of file linking in Publisher?


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I tried linking a Designer file, but Publisher will always embed it. This is unintended behaviour IMO. Is that something that will be addressed in future updates?

A dedicated pallette/list of all linked and embedded files is also needed to keep track in larger projects

Edited by Rocketdrive
Resource manager is for keeping track of linked/embedded files
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If you are looking at the layer types they all say "embedded" even if they are linked as they are considered the same type of layer either way.

There already is such a list - "Resource Manager" at the bottom of the Document menu - and that will also tell you whether a particular resource is actually embedded or linked.

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Alright, the "Resource Manager" is a good start, I never noticed it. Thanks @fde101 for pointing that out.

Now I was able to change all files from "embedded" to "linked" via Resource Manager (RM). However:

  • in the layer pallette they still show up as "embedded"
  • the file size is unchanged: prior to linking it was around 70 MB, and is the same after linking.

So, my question stays :)

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1 hour ago, Rocketdrive said:

in the layer pallette they still show up as "embedded"

The Layer panel is not telling you whether they are physically embedded or not. It's just telling you the kind of layer you have. Affinity has used the term embedded for two purposes, which is confusing.

When you create a document you can specify your preference (embedded vs linked) for all the files you add to that document. But whichever you choose, it appears that Affinity keeps a copy of the file in the document. Serif knows about that. We don't know how it will ultimately behave, when Serif is finished with the beta process.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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I've got a hunch the storage of the file is related to the undo history that is kept and the "special" way that the Serif team explained that their files are stored... for example if you have an embedded image and convert it to linked, what does it fall back on when you undo that conversion?

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  • 11 months later...
2 hours ago, Johnny Chin said:

So is this still the same? What’s the point of link if they still save in your publisher file and as huge as embedded?

The recent 1.8 beta has made some changes in this area.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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Maybe it is worth noting that not only in 1.8 beta, but there is also improvement in the release versions that have come out since the thread was started last December. If I remember the recent history, when this thread was started, all "linked" resources were actually embedded. That is not the case anymore, but certain types still are embedded in the current 1.7.3. To be specific, I think it is Affinity documents and PDFs. Raster graphics are not.

Someone correct me if have the filetypes wrong, because I haven't much paid attention to this.

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3 hours ago, garrettm30 said:

Someone correct me if have the filetypes wrong, because I haven't much paid attention to this.

Basically, in 1.7.3, only JPG, TIFF, and PNG files are truly Linked. Everything else, as far as I can tell, is also Embedded even when Linked is requested. However, all kinds of Linked files can cause Publisher to notify the user if they are updated, and all can be automatically updated by Publisher if the user has chosen that Publisher Preference.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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17 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

Basically, in 1.7.3, only JPG, TIFF, and PNG files are truly Linked. Everything else, as far as I can tell, is also Embedded even when Linked is requested. However, all kinds of Linked files can cause Publisher to notify the user if they are updated, and all can be automatically updated by Publisher if the user has chosen that Publisher Preference.

 I see, so there's no point to use Affinity Publisher at this point because there's no real integration between the trio Affinity Apps because I just want to drag and drop my AD files into AP as pages. Plus I need to convert the pdf to ePub3 in the end too.

So I have to convert my AD files to pdf first right? What setting is best to retain most of the quality(images, vectors and text, for text hope it's truly text and not outlined vector shape) to be imported into InDesign or Affinity Publisher?

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9 minutes ago, Johnny Chin said:

 I see, so there's no point to use Affinity Publisher at this point because there's no real integration between the trio Affinity Apps because I just want to drag and drop my AD files into AP as pages. Plus I need to convert the pdf to ePub3 in the end too.

So I have to convert my AD files to pdf first right? What setting is best to retain most of the quality(images, vectors and text, for text hope it's truly text and not outlined vector shape) to be imported into InDesign or Affinity Publisher?

You can only drag/drop your Designer files into Publisher if you have 1 page per Designer file (not your situation), or if you convert the groups in your Designer files into Artboards. If you do that, then when you Place a Designer file into Publisher you will be able to choose which one of the Artboards is shown (that will probably improve in the future). And to get additional Artboards you can Place the Designer file additional times, selecting (again) one Artboard to show.

There is quite a lot of integration between the 3 applications. Each can Open the other's files, and when you own Publisher and Photo or Designer you will be able to use the main Persona of the Photo or Designer application (or both) directly in Publisher.

Part of your problem is that you did not design your files using Artboards, which complicates things and is not what the integration is designed to handle, and is not (I believe) the way Serif expected/intended you to use Designer. Rather than converting to PDF, just convert your groups to Artboards.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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2 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

You can only drag/drop your Designer files into Publisher if you have 1 page per Designer file (not your situation), or if you convert the groups in your Designer files into Artboards. If you do that, then when you Place a Designer file into Publisher you will be able to choose which one of the Artboards is shown (that will probably improve in the future). And to get additional Artboards you can Place the Designer file additional times, selecting (again) one Artboard to show.

There is quite a lot of integration between the 3 applications. Each can Open the other's files, and when you own Publisher and Photo or Designer you will be able to use the main Persona of the Photo or Designer application (or both) directly in Publisher.

 Part of your problem is that you did not design your files using Artboards, which complicates things and is not what the integration is designed to handle, and is not (I believe) the way Serif expected/intended you to use Designer. Rather than converting to PDF, just convert your groups to Artboards.

Ok I can try, but the AD files I don't have artboard selected at the very beginning, how do I add artboard at this point? Thanks for helping me so much, I'm truly appreciated. I thought I can combine the book within one day because theoretically i completed the book at AD, just need to combine, but it's been a week or so, besides struggling with other life stuffs, I thought this can be done easily...

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9 minutes ago, Johnny Chin said:

Ok I can try, but the AD files I don't have artboard selected at the very beginning, how do I add artboard at this point? Thanks for helping me so much, I'm truly appreciated. I thought I can combine the book within one day because theoretically i completed the book at AD, just need to combine, but it's been a week or so, besides struggling with other life stuffs, I thought this can be done easily...

I suggest you start by looking at the Artboards Tutorial that Serif has provided: https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/tutorials/designer/desktop/video/301627979

Around 4 minutes in (but I would watch the whole thing) you'll see how you can create an Artboard the same size as (and from) a selected object. You could simply select one of your groups and turn it into an Artboard that way. Do it for all of them, and then you'll be able to work with that file easier in Publisher.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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16 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

I suggest you start by looking at the Artboards Tutorial that Serif has provided: https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/tutorials/designer/desktop/video/301627979

Around 4 minutes in (but I would watch the whole thing) you'll see how you can create an Artboard the same size as (and from) a selected object. You could simply select one of your groups and turn it into an Artboard that way. Do it for all of them, and then you'll be able to work with that file easier in Publisher.

Ok thanks a lot, but suddenly come to my mind that, even with the artboard and I can paste the page one by one from AD to my APu file, they will still embedded and not linked right? Hence the file will still be huge and make APu super slow to use right?

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@Johnny Chin You can open a Designer file (.afdesign) with Publisher. If the file consists of artboards they will be converted to pages/spreads, if You wish so.

Integration is very good, it is advisable to read through some tutorials and manuals in order to understand what is possible.

I had my doubts about larger file size when I noticed they were larger than what I was used from Indesign. But in the real world, it hasn’t been a problem for my workflow.

1692106726_AffinityDesignertoPublisher.jpg.1c9b6b9d3c40572f11b36de9e258abf8.jpg

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9 minutes ago, Rocketdrive said:

@Johnny Chin You can open a Designer file (.afdesign) with Publisher. If the file consists of artboards they will be converted to pages/spreads, if You wish so.

Integration is very good, it is advisable to read through some tutorials and manuals in order to understand what is possible.

I had my doubts about larger file size when I noticed they were larger than what I was used from Indesign. But in the real world, it hasn’t been a problem for my workflow.

1692106726_AffinityDesignertoPublisher.jpg.1c9b6b9d3c40572f11b36de9e258abf8.jpg

I see, but I have 158 of pages, without link, it reached 5gb just after 10 pages, I not sure if hide them will improve the speed but so far if I move the cursor, it soon immediately for few minutes, can’t do like this.

I not understand open AD files within APu because I want to import my AD files which each one only consist the few pages that need to put onto the APu files to become a 158 pages book, what can open AD files on APu do? Sorry, I just not understand.

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You could just try it.

Opening the file effectively converts it to native publisher elements. Maybe Publisher will then handle it differently, maybe it will be easier.

Can You specify what "reaches 5GB after 10 pages"? RAM? File size?

What is Your physical output size in cm? You should optimize the images You use in the book to that output size. If, for example, the printed output size is 20 x 30 cm, a full page image shouldn't be bigger than 2360 x 3550 pixels. If the original is bigger, and You scale it down in Designer so that it fits, I guess that Designer will still keep the original, using more space than necessary.

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If you insist on keeping the data in your Designer files, Johnny, then you will need to wait for 1.8, where you can (it seems) truly Link Designer files.

In addition, if a Designer file contains 3 pages, you will need to include it 3 times, one for each page. This may also change in the future, possibly in 1.8 or possibly later, as Serif have indicated their intent to (someday) allow placing of multiple pages/artboards at a time. Today, each Place will only let you choose 1 page/artboard.

Your best approach, right now, in my opinion, is to copy the data from your Designer files and paste it onto separate pages. Or, in 1.8, you will be able to Open your Designer files in Publisher, let Publisher convert the Artboards to pages, save each Designer file as a .afpub file, and then import the pages from each .afpub document into a new Publisher file.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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10 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Or, in 1.8, you will be able to Open your Designer files in Publisher, let Publisher convert the Artboards to pages, save each Designer file as a .afpub file, and then import the pages from each .afpub document into a new Publisher file.

Opening Designer files in Publisher is already possible and what I suggested before. Artboards are converted in spreads/pages and elements are editable in Publisher.

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11 minutes ago, Rocketdrive said:

Opening Designer files in Publisher is already possible and what I suggested before. Artboards are converted in spreads/pages and elements are editable in Publisher.

Yes, but you can't merge the documents until 1.8. And without the ability to merge, or without copying/pasting data between files, Johnny will still have to Place the Designer files into his new Publisher document.

My initial recommendation (and still current recommendation) has been for Johnny to copy the Designer data and paste into new pages in Publisher. That can be simplified in 1.8 by merging documents, but that requires the process I mentioned (which you quoted).

Edit: to be clear, Johnny has multiple Designer files, with multiple "pages" in each, that need to end up in one Publisher document.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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1 hour ago, walt.farrell said:

Yes, but you can't merge the documents until 1.8. And without the ability to merge, or without copying/pasting data between files, Johnny will still have to Place the Designer files into his new Publisher document.

My initial recommendation (and still current recommendation) has been for Johnny to copy the Designer data and paste into new pages in Publisher. That can be simplified in 1.8 by merging documents, but that requires the process I mentioned (which you quoted).

Edit: to be clear, Johnny has multiple Designer files, with multiple "pages" in each, that need to end up in one Publisher document.

ok thanks again sir, but how about ebook? I will convert the final pdf book into fixed layout ebook later so no matter what, i guess i will still use InDesign. Is it better to combine the book with Publisher first?

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6 minutes ago, Johnny Chin said:

ok thanks again sir, but how about ebook? I will convert the final pdf book into fixed layout ebook later so no matter what, i guess i will still use InDesign. Is it better to combine the book with Publisher first?

Sorry, Johnny, but I can't help with that. Except to say that I would probably try Calibre or another tool, since I don't use InDesign. And if doing that I would find it easier to have everything in one file to start with.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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2 hours ago, Rocketdrive said:

You could just try it.

Opening the file effectively converts it to native publisher elements. Maybe Publisher will then handle it differently, maybe it will be easier.

Can You specify what "reaches 5GB after 10 pages"? RAM? File size?

What is Your physical output size in cm? You should optimize the images You use in the book to that output size. If, for example, the printed output size is 20 x 30 cm, a full page image shouldn't be bigger than 2360 x 3550 pixels. If the original is bigger, and You scale it down in Designer so that it fits, I guess that Designer will still keep the original, using more space than necessary.

I can run other program without problem, but APu just slow, yeah my AD is not rasterised, so every images in the file are not native res but higher res, I don't downres them because I want to retain as much quality as possible before export as the print and ePub3 books

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3 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

Yes, but you can't merge the documents until 1.8. And without the ability to merge, or without copying/pasting data between files, Johnny will still have to Place the Designer files into his new Publisher document.

Walt You're right. I was assuming that one can copy/paste spreads between docs once the AD files are natively in AP. Your approach makes much more sense now.

@Johnny Chin use the tools that work best for You. If You have Indesign and it does what You need then use it. Either way good luck with that project of Yours :)

 

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