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Ed A

Designer Layers / Artboards and how they work in Publisher

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Hi all!

I’ll cut to the chase. I make customisable kid’s books - currently with Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. Right now, the child’s character is an Illustrator file placed at multiple points throughout an InDesign document (the book) and I go through and change layer visibility (annoyingly I have to do this manually on each page) depending on the visual options selected. Finding and replacing text is easy.

I’ve been trialling Designer and the Publisher beta and am really impressed, but I have a question for those more in the know:

Is there a quick way to choose which layers in an imported linked file into Publisher are on / off? So far I’ve been clicking to edit the linked file from within Publisher but if, for example, I wanted to switch on a particular hair style and colour layer, I’d have to do this for each artboard, defeating the object of saving time. Throughout the book, the character might change clothes so I’ve used artboards to different but was hoping common layers like skin, hair, eyes etc. could be shared and quickly switched on / off for everything quickly.

It looks like artboards in Designer are like a traditional group and a Designer file with multiple artboards doesn’t share layers. Is there any way to change this or another way of doing things / thinking about this?


My initial thinking / solution:

Tweak my Designer file so it has an artboard for all common features needed on each page and other artboards for other layers that only need to be visible on certain pages? This way, I could place a Designer file a few times in the same location in Publisher and have different layers on / off overlaid on each other. Seems a bit of a clunky workaround though.

Publisher question (sorry, wrong forum but related to this): when you import multiple instances of a Designer file and want to be able to play with its layer visibilities throughout, can you set some layer overrides in some instances of an imported file and not others?

Thanks so much in advance (and sorry for the long post! Just really like Affinity and want to change over!).

Edited by Ed A
Added a potential solution / workaround.

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Hi @Ed A,

AT the moment, in Publisher, when you place a document you can only choose which artboard you want to display. If you want individual layers on/off, you would have to Edit the file as you mentioned. 

I will move this to feature requests. 



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Ok thanks Gabe.

Yes it would definitely be great to have shared layers between artboards and to be able to toggle their visibility when linked in to Publisher.

For now, a workaround could be making an artboard with all the common features throughout the document, and just copy and paste duplicates  on top of this in publisher then changing their visible artboard.

Can linked files be re-named or 'tagged' at all?

Thanks again,


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Is that renaming done within the app or on your local drive? You can rename within the app. If you rename a linked file on the local drive, you will be prompted to relocate it next time you open the document. 

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Ah no, sorry, I meant that if you import / link multiple instances of a Designer file into Publisher and, for example, stack those instances on top of each other on the same page (let's say you have an artboard with a face on and another artboard with a moustache on and you overlay them), in the layers panel can you rename the file or give it a tag or something do it's easy to select the right instance of the imported Designer file?

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