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Mark Oehlschlager

Custom Page Sizes for Gatefold Spreads & Narrow-Page Inserts

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I don't see a features roadmap for Publisher on the forum, so I don't know whether or not this specific request has been acknowledged, but it would be highly desirable for Publisher to be able to account for custom page sizes that deviate from the standard trim size for a publication.

For example, a book or magazine may include a four-panel fold-out, or an eight-panel gate-fold for a special map or illustration.

For another example, a book or magazine may occasionally include a half-page insert for an advertisement or a special overlay.

I realize that this may not get rolled into the very next version of Publisher, but I would appreciate knowing that the Affinity team is aware that this is a requested feature, and that there appears somewhere a published roadmap of planned features for Publisher.

Thanks.

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Custom page sizes are already available.  You set the finished page size when creating the document, or from Spread Setup later, and different spreads can have different page sizes.  The available options for the size of the paper that you actually print on is determined by the printer driver.

Spreads of more than two pages have definitely been requested and indications have been that this feature is unlikely to materialize in the initial release.

The Affinity team has already indicated several times that a roadmap thread will be created for Publisher after 1.7 is released.

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@fde101

So, likely that this won't happen in the first release, but let me point out that the use case for this is in preparing books and magazines for professional offset printing. The trim size of the book/magazine and the dimensions of either foldout pages or narrow half-pages would be described in the AF Publisher file, and not determined by a desktop printer driver.

Also, if you imagine a right-facing page (recto) folding out to the right (when open, two panels facing, two panels on the reverse side), then you can see that this impacts two spreads:

Spread 1: a single left-facing page/panel to the left of the spine; and two right-facing panels to the right of the spine representing one side of the foldout.

Spread 2: two left-facing panels to the left of the spine, representing the reverse side of the foldout; and a single right-facing page/panel to the right of the spine.

Currently, setting this up is not possible. But this is the feature that I am requesting.

I would just add that currently Publisher will allow one to modify the dimensions of a specific spread, but it always assumes a perfectly symmetrical spread. That doesn't work for the asymmetry that occurs when shifting from two-panel leaves to four-panel leaves and then back to two-panel leaves.

Hope to hear from the Affinity team on this, and I do look forward to the first official release of the application.

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9 hours ago, Mark Oehlschlager said:

The trim size of the book/magazine and the dimensions of either foldout pages or narrow half-pages would be described in the AF Publisher file, and not determined by a desktop printer driver.

Correct, and that is how it is now.  You can set custom page sizes when creating a document or adjust them in Spread Setup later.  When creating the document you can save custom sizes as user presets.

The size in the printer driver is used when you are printing it yourself, and determines the size of paper that is loaded into the printer; it would not necessarily be relevant when you are sending it to a professional print shop.

 

9 hours ago, Mark Oehlschlager said:

Currently, setting this up is not possible. But this is the feature that I am requesting.

Correct, and this has already been requested several times on the forum:

 

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I am a professional print product designer.

I consider the option to have more than 2 pages on a spread and to have different page sizes on either side of the spine a must-have feature. It is basically necessary to efficiently design fold-outs or any kind of folded print product.

If Affinity Publisher does not / willl not have such a feature -- that is basically a deal-breaker, since the competitive products have it.

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12 minutes ago, fde101 said:

I don't believe QuarkXPress does...

It doesn't. A much requested feature that hasn't ever been added to date.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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16 hours ago, Paul said:

It is basically necessary to efficiently design fold-outs or any kind of folded print product.

You can do that in a million of other ways and you certainly don't need more than 2 pages per spread to do that.

So, it's a nice feature to have but most certainly not a must have feature.

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@Seneca

Currently, how would you set up a gate-fold in a book/magazine in Publisher? Going in, one has the asymmetry of a 1 vs 2 page spread; then a 2 vs 2 page spread; and finally a 2 vs 1 page spread.

I haven't yet figured it out how to accomplish this in Publisher.

As for an internal half-page, I suppose one could draw a dashed line on either side of a leaf to indicate the narrower trim size for the page.

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3 hours ago, Mark Oehlschlager said:

Currently, how would you set up a gate-fold in a book/magazine in Publisher? Going in, one has the asymmetry of a 1 vs 2 page spread; then a 2 vs 2 page spread; and finally a 2 vs 1 page spread.

 

For an 8 x 10 page size you would have to have one spread of 12 x 10 pages one of 16 x 10 pages and finally again one of 12 x 10 pages. Then comes the fun part of marking the spreads with guides every 8 inches. Doable but tedious and definitely Not Ready for Primetime.

Almost be easier to do in Designer.


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@Old Bruce

Not sure I follow your dimensions there. A typo perhaps?

At any rate, Publisher forces perfect symmetry in its facing-pages documents. I don't know how one could achieve the asymmetry required to specify a fold-out.

If you've got a work-around in mind, could you illustrate it with a screen shot or video?

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18 hours ago, Mark Oehlschlager said:

I don't know how one could achieve the asymmetry required to specify a fold-out.

This would most likely need to be done in a separate document then collated/sorted into place after printing.

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@fde101

It may be that the solution lies in the way that Serif define artboards in Designer. Designer makes it possible to group separate artboards in order to create a multi-panel document. 

Not really sure about that from a coding point of view, but from a laymen's point of view it seems that treating the facing pages of a master-page spread as independently sized artboards, with the ability to group two or more artboards on either side of the spine would be the way forward.

CC: @MattP @AdamW

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1 hour ago, Mark Oehlschlager said:

It may be that the solution lies in the way that Serif define artboards in Designer.

That would be great if artboards and spreads could be combined, but you cannot have both in the same document.

Whether you create one page in Publisher and place guides to represent the separation of the pages, or create a group of artboards in Designer, it would still be a separate document to work at this point.

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@fde101

I concede that I have no expertise in coding or app development, but if artboards can be defined as pages (which seems logical and self-evident: a page/canvas upon which to compose),  and this conceit is implemented across all three apps in the Affinity suite, then the definition of what constitutes a page in all three apps would be consistent, and Publisher could then define a master-page spread as a special grouping of independently sizable "artboard/pages", and multi-panel fold-outs on either side of the spine could be constructed of grouped "artboard/pages".

 

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10 minutes ago, Mark Oehlschlager said:

if artboards can be defined as pages (which seems logical and self-evident: a page/canvas upon which to compose)

 

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@fde101

Interesting. It looks like Affinity's original architecture has created a cul-de-sac here. Solving the problem would appear to require rethinking both the definition of artboards across the suite (as interchangeable units of composition) as well as the definition of spreads in Publisher.

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10 hours ago, Mark Oehlschlager said:

Solving the problem would appear to require rethinking both the definition of artboards across the suite (as interchangeable units of composition) as well as the definition of spreads in Publisher.

No, they just need to expand the capabilities of spreads to support more than two pages and to allow differing page sizes.  In the meantime it is an inconvenience more than a problem.

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On 3/7/2019 at 9:14 PM, Paul said:

I am a professional print product designer.

I consider the option to have more than 2 pages on a spread and to have different page sizes on either side of the spine a must-have feature. It is basically necessary to efficiently design fold-outs or any kind of folded print product.

If Affinity Publisher does not / willl not have such a feature -- that is basically a deal-breaker, since the competitive products have it.

Ditto


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