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Uba

Thank you and some general thoughts and comments from long time InDesign user

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Mac OS 10.14.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.0.283

First up – a big thank you for providing the beta of Publisher to try out! 

I've been a 'for-print' graphic designer for over 30 years (now retired) and long time user of InDesign (since version 1.5), and I must say I'm mightily impressed with Affinity Publisher so far. You've obviously put a great deal of thought into this, in fact into your all app designs (I also use Affinity Photo and Designer, which are brilliant) – congratulations!

Publisher has lots of great features, is fast, elegant and clever. Well worth waiting for. Pretty much everything I tried has worked smoothly and correctly, even testing in a 400+page document opened from a PDF. Well done!

I must admit I haven't read every one of the hundreds of posts by other users, so my apologies if I double up on comments/suggestions.

Here are a few things I've noticed so far after only a relatively short time exploring the app:

  1. I see other posts about the difficulties with importing/placing .docx files. It will be great when this option is available as it's a very common format for text files supplied to designers. Converting to .rtf seems like a good workaround for now though.
  2. Publisher will allow me to select more than one image via the Place command to import into a document, but when I do that, it causes the app to crash.
  3. The hide/show overflow text "eye" doesn't appear when clicking on the RHS arrow on a text frame if using filler text. 
  4. Using the dark UI I find it a little hard to distinguish the individual palette headings (I'm using a 15" retina MacBook Pro). Whilst I like the overall look of the dark UI much better, the lighter version is easier (for me) to work with at this size.
  5. When I switched (via preferences) to the lighter UI with a document already open, it crashed Publisher.
  6. Some of the tutorials are a little blurry, so that at the size they are on my 15" laptop, I can't read the items the presenter is clicking on. They're still useful tutorials for getting started with the app though, just the same. Some familiarity with Designer and Photo has been helpful for getting to know Publisher too.
  7. A few features that would be nice (apologies if they already exist and I just haven't found them yet!):
  • The ability to save 'find and replace' searches for future use would be very handy.
  • Following on from the first request, the ability to execute and then save/script a series of steps (a bit like how Photoshop can save Actions), particularly for formatting imported text would be handy for repetitive tasks. I'm thinking of things like: converting to typographer's quotes, stripping out end-of-line return characters, removing extra spaces at ends of paras etc. – all the "fun things" that potentially come in via imported text files and can cause problems down the track at prepress…
  • Is there a way to automatically add linked text frames and new pages when placing a long text document rather than manually adding a frame/page at a time? This would be very useful for book and magazine work in particular.
  • Hitting the "C" key in Designer and Publisher switches to the crop tool. Publisher doesn't seem to have that option? (BTW I think the crop tool would have to be one of my favourite features of the Affinity apps!)
  • Is it possible to make a global change of a font using Font Manager (or elsewhere?) so it doesn't have to be done on an individual basis and also means that no occurrences of a font get missed? Especially with an imported file where not all text may have styles allocated. I see I can locate each occurrence of the font via Font Manager, but it would be nice to be able to make a global change in that same window rather than, for example, via individual styles. 
  • Can imported styles (eg from Word or other text documents) be "mapped or translated" to existing styles already set up in a Publisher document to save reapplying them all?
  • Being able to save master templates would be really useful. For example, for magazine design where the same grids, styles, presets etc get used repeatedly.
  • Will there be a way to globally set colour management options across all 3 apps (Publisher, Designer and Photo) so they are all synchronised? This is pretty crucial if using the suite and outputting to commercial prepress/printers.
  • Some sort of "flightchecker" test/report that can be run on files destined for commercial print output (eg checking for final image resolution, colour profiles, font types, overflow text, etc). I realise most of these can be done in various places (eg Font Manager, Resource Manager etc), but having them all together in one window would be useful.
  • Is it possible to incorporate custom print presets/PDF export presets supplied by a commercial printer/prepress? Where does Publisher store the included presets? (On Mac and PC)
  • Is Affinity/Serif considering a new app that could be a alternative for Acrobat Pro? That would be fantastic if you did!

Thanks again.

 

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4 hours ago, Uba said:

 

  • Is there a way to automatically add linked text frames and new pages when placing a long text document rather than manually adding a frame/page at a time? This would be very useful for book and magazine work in particular.

 

Great write up with lots of good suggestions.  The one item above is possible currently.  To automatically create linked text frames hold down the Alt/option key when clicking on the flow icon on the right of the text frame.

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5 hours ago, Uba said:

Publisher will allow me to select more than one image via the Place command to import into a document, but when I do that, it causes the app to crash.

Known bug with the current build that has been reported in other threads.

 

5 hours ago, Uba said:

The hide/show overflow text "eye" doesn't appear when clicking on the RHS arrow on a text frame if using filler text. 

Filler text is like a gas, it expands (and shrinks) to fit its container, so there is never any overflow with it.  Right-click on the text and choose "Expand Field" to convert it to normal text, then shrink the box, and the eye will appear.

 

5 hours ago, Uba said:

The ability to save 'find and replace' searches for future use would be very handy.

This has been brought up on other threads, too.  It would sometimes be helpful, yes.

 

5 hours ago, Uba said:
  •  Hitting the "C" key in Designer and Publisher switches to the crop tool. Publisher doesn't seem to have that option?

Looks like the Vector Crop tool does not have a shortcut assigned by default.  You can set one in preferences.

 

5 hours ago, Uba said:

Is it possible to make a global change of a font using Font Manager (or elsewhere?) so it doesn't have to be done on an individual basis and also means that no occurrences of a font get missed? Especially with an imported file where not all text may have styles allocated. I see I can locate each occurrence of the font via Font Manager, but it would be nice to be able to make a global change in that same window rather than, for example, via individual styles. 

While it would theoretically be much better to assign styles to all of the text, this would be a helpful capability at times, I agree... and I don't think that capability is there right now unfortunately.

It should be possible to do this with Find/Replace, but that seems to be broken at the moment...

 

5 hours ago, Uba said:

Can imported styles (eg from Word or other text documents) be "mapped or translated" to existing styles already set up in a Publisher document to save reapplying them all?

It should also be possible to do this using Find/Replace

 

5 hours ago, Uba said:

Some sort of "flightchecker" test/report that can be run on files destined for commercial print output (eg checking for final image resolution, colour profiles, font types, overflow text, etc). I realise most of these can be done in various places (eg Font Manager, Resource Manager etc), but having them all together in one window would be useful.

Yes, it would.

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On 3/30/2019 at 1:21 AM, Uba said:

4. Using the dark UI I find it a little hard to distinguish the individual palette headings (I'm using a 15" retina MacBook Pro). Whilst I like the overall look of the dark UI much better, the lighter version is easier (for me) to work with at this size.

I agree with this. While over all I prefer dark mode, the individual palettes kind of blur together and need better defined edges.

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58 minutes ago, Jeremy Bohn said:

I agree with this. While over all I prefer dark mode, the individual palettes kind of blur together and need better defined edges.

Thanks for your thoughts Jeremy.

In the dark UI, I reckon making the palette headings a darkish grey instead of black might make them stand out a little more. Or a subtle colour tinge could maybe work ?

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32 minutes ago, Jeremy Bohn said:

Maybe it even needs just a bit more contrast. See attached.

Yes, that could definitely be helpful.

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