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Word count in Affinity Publisher


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37 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

They do not comment on what features they might include, nor when they might include them. Replies in this forum from Serif are usually reserved for greeting new forum members, or correcting mistakes, or for soliciting additional information if a request is unclear.

Yep. Which I find really weird, since they also do the public beta testing here. There are other companies also that do development in a similar fashion, the difference that you can check what requests are there already or who to ask your bug-related questions. Whatever.

39 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

(They also discourage tagging a Serif staff member who has not already been involved in a thread.)

I know. It might warrant some attention to the feature, or they might stay quiet, idk. I possibly won't get any reply, or a generic one, and I will continue using Publisher knowing, that I need to pay attention when I use it, because it has some drawbacks to my workflow. Like not having Select same in Designer for 6 years. Based on that, I won't hold my breath.

It is just really frustrating, because I admire the fluidity of all the apps which I use on both platforms. Simply I don't know what to expect: is word count coming in v2 or some next decade? I just simply don't understand why the mystery - if there was a roadmap (yeah I know, policies), I would just take a look at my missing features and move on. I just make these really annoying bumps into walls that I forgot about, and I need to waste time migrating to other software, even though I have all my renderings done in Photo and I really like doing that.

But hey, I know I'm one in a million, and I guess I'm clearly not in the target group of Designer and Publisher, and I've just started hitting the boundaries of the latter.

MBP 15" + iPad Pro 10,5"

macOS High Sierra 10.14 | iOS 13 | latest Affinity Photo & Designer & Publisher (and Betas)

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8 hours ago, furtonb said:

But hey, I know I'm one in a million, and I guess I'm clearly not in the target group of Designer and Publisher, and I've just started hitting the boundaries of the latter.

Their marketing is very fond of using the term "professional" - a market segment they are not actually ready for with their current products and algorithms - and a market segment they simply didn't penetrate at all. For obvious reasons - those reasons.

  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” ― Confucius
  • Not an Affinity user og forum user anymore. The software continued to disappoint and not deliver.
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15 hours ago, Jowday said:

a market segment they simply didn't penetrate at all

I wouldn't say this, I'm sure it's ideal for purely graphic design at this state - (illustrations and such).

Off-topic:

I'm an architect, my primary domain is also visual, but the sources are different: drawings and vector illustrations are generated from a model or drawn from scratch in ARCHICAD or Rhino, I'm not creating them in Designer. I would use it to touch up or recolour stuff, add details, etc.

I do my postproduction on renderings in Photo, it actually works a lot better with 32bit images than PS (I have no other reference, I was too lazy to learn to use other tools).

I also create a lot of text based documents, that vary on the scale of "shallow beauty" to "scientific writing": specifications, descriptions, summaries to competitions, right now my thesis. Usually I can work with importing stuff from .txt (I write a lot in iA writer lately) to Publisher (referencing is already taken care of in the .txt, either by me or a colleague), or just do the whole thing in Pages, where type and formatting also looks "okay-ish" with little effort. Right now I'm authoring everything, it's not just a matter of quickly formatting imported material, this is where Publisher falls short, and I cannot use Pages completely as it dies badly from huge imported PDFs... speaking of which: Object level display quality is something that would worth implementing someday.

In my personal experience something is always better to do in a certain package: the ease of creating tables and diagrams (iWork does this wonderfully), built-in referencing (Word or LibreOffice Writer), regex handling (Google Sheets), then throwing all the source documents together (only a few things are missing from Publisher to fit my needs).

I'm a self employed freelancer in the need of "professional" graphic tools, but not a constant need. There are weeks that I won't open Photo, and there are ones when I have it open 0-24/7. There are days that I spend finalizing a competition layout in Publisher, and a month passes with a cumulative use of 20 minutes of it... I guess there is a "barely visible" range of users that are neither professional graphic designers by trade nor amateurs.

on-topic again:

That's why I don't really understand how such an essential feature like displaying the word count can be omitted, it's present virtually everywhere.

MBP 15" + iPad Pro 10,5"

macOS High Sierra 10.14 | iOS 13 | latest Affinity Photo & Designer & Publisher (and Betas)

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55 minutes ago, furtonb said:

why I don't really understand how such an essential feature like displaying the word count can be omitted

Hi @furtonb,

think of it like this: the feature is not omitted but they gave it a (low) priority that it has not been included yet.

They introduced a while ago the preflight feature. I mention this becaus it is something that relies on observing and analysing document content live. If something goes wrong preflight icon turns red or yellow immediately. I assume word count would work similarly and it seems the technology itself is there already. Its just that they did not include the code yet.

d.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/21/2020 at 6:57 PM, Jowday said:

Their marketing is very fond of using the term "professional"

So...  what do you suggest?

 

Maybe...

Quote

We make software with a large number of features which are useful to many people but are missing just enough functionality that each user who believes himself to be a professional will discover something that it doesn't do and complain about the missing feature causing our software to not be "ready" for "professional" use.

While many people are getting significant work done with the product including people for whom the work they are doing is indeed their "profession" (the nature of being "profession-al"), the existence of even one user with requirements we don't provide for prevents us from marketing the products as being truly "professional" until such time as our software has become so bloated with every feature imaginable that it is too unwieldy to get any meaningful work accomplished with it in an efficient manner and new users are completely overwhelmed with the sheer scale of the user interface and its feature set causing it to have a massive learning curve.

Once we have reached that point we can call the software professional and consider it competitive with other similar software in the industry, matching their pricing structure and giving a large portion of our user base reason to look elsewhere for solutions that are useful to them.  

Until then, please consider testing our software as for many (though admittedly not all) users and use cases it is currently an effective tool for getting meaningful work accomplished efficiently.

 

Hmm, after reading that... maybe I missed my calling and I should go into marketing?

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2 hours ago, fde101 said:

I should go into marketing?

No, the text is much tooooo long. :-) Simply let chimpanzee count the words (they do it very quickly) or use apps that have the features you need.

 

2 hours ago, fde101 said:

they are doing is indeed their "profession"

like the POTUS

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16 hours ago, RyanJEC said:

Frame Word Count (Selected Frame)

I think it would be more useful to have a Story Word Count, where a ‘story’ is a set of linked text frames. If the selected frame weren’t linked to any others, the result would be a Frame Word Count.

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  • 2 months later...

I am not suggesting that because a professional user is missing a useful feature they expect Serif to jump to attention and add it in. All software has limitations and areas that need work arounds, including InDesign, Word (especially Word!), etc, and software developers have to prioritise their responses to requests.

But where I do think Serif have shot themselves in the foot, is in not using real world professional users to help them create a better product. If I was producing a new app, I would give my eye teeth to have a large band of professionals falling over themselves to help me go in the right direction in the way that we, who give up our time to help this be a better product, do. (I am a professional - I make money from creating books, magazines, newsletters, brochures, marketing material, etc. I mostly have to use InDesign because of the vital missing features in Affinity Publisher).

I suspect that part of the problem might be that the people who check and report back on what is posted on the forums do not have the in-depth DTP experience to read and fully understand the arguments being put forward. This results in them treating the posts numerically, that is to say just looking at the numbers who want a particular feature, rather than the quality of each request and the experience and status of the person posting.

Like many others, I have been hoping that Affinity Publisher could be an Adobe replacement, in the same way that ADesigner and APhoto are. And it could be, if only Serif would show a little humility and admit that they do not know everything and that they could learn something from older and wiser heads.

Excellent though it is, Affinity Publisher cannot possibly be an InDesign replacement until it has flowing tables, F&R and GREP customisable presets, spanning over columns, and - of course - word count. These are fundamental, everyday features of our lives. It is as if a car designer was asking for feedback about a new model and ignored people who pointed out that they had forgotten the steering wheel. There are a dozen other items I could think of they could implement, but they are the ones that my colleagues and trainees consistently point out as holding them back from using Affinity Publisher for anything other than a quick 4 page brochure. As part of my ongoing IT consultancy work I constantly monitor products such as these, and I have been suggesting these features right from the very first beta, in many, many posts, but I have never, not once, had an acknowledgement or reply suggesting anyone is listening or cares. I say this in sadness, not in anger, because I can see how much better Affinity Publisher could be.

Having been rather rudely rebuffed by a moderator for my last post, I resolved to give up on Affinity and not waste any more of my (unbillable!) time, but I couldn't resist just one more post. But that's it now. Good luck Affinity, I wish you well.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/13/2021 at 4:34 PM, captain_slocum said:

But where I do think Serif have shot themselves in the foot, is in not using real world professional users to help them create a better product.

Bingo.

Quote

I suspect that part of the problem might be that the people who check and report back on what is posted on the forums do not have the in-depth DTP experience to read and fully understand the arguments being put forward. This results in them treating the posts numerically, that is to say just looking at the numbers who want a particular feature, rather than the quality of each request and the experience and status of the person posting.

Bingo.

  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” ― Confucius
  • Not an Affinity user og forum user anymore. The software continued to disappoint and not deliver.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Seconding the word count request! I'm an editor who also designs books. And although I do most of my editing outside Publisher before I begin designing, the two roles often do merge and I'll be editing while preparing the design. So basic editorial tools such as being able to do a word count, character count or line count (especially number of lines in a selected text frame) would be a real boon.

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On 2/13/2021 at 6:17 PM, loukash said:

Doesn't work on line (= paragraph) count yet. Not sure why but I guess I can work around it somehow.

Ha! The Keyboard Maestro Paragraph count now works in APu 1.9.2 beta, thanks to the new preference option "Normalize breaks on copy plain text".

That all said, it should be definitely built in, without having to resort to 3rd party workarounds via clipboard character counting.

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Most of these posts are 'more in sorrow than in anger' because respondents, almost all loyal to Serif, cannot understand why something so basic could be omitted. Is it that users of Publisher are expected to have completed their text in a word processor like Libre Office first? Or is it that Serif are more committed to colourful creative design than to those of us who try to express what they want to say mainly through words?

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Former... Serif did not foresee workflows where word/character counting would be important. Character count is usually done in word processing. When I have had to specify story lengths I have simply copied sample story from layout to word to do the counting.

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2 minutes ago, Fixx said:

Former... Serif did not foresee workflows where word/character counting would be important. Character count is usually done in word processing. When I have had to specify story lengths I have simply copied sample story from layout to word to do the counting.

It's true that all/most editing would be done outside the Affinity suite – that's certainly my experience – but there are definitely instances where being able to quickly and conveniently count the number of words, characters or lines you're dealing with (without having to copy text to an external app or refer to the content in a different document) is very helpful in the design process. When I'm setting lengthy song texts and translations, to give just one example, the exact number of lines that will fit vertically on a page becomes significant and is something I'm assessing constantly when setting up styles for a book. 

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  • 1 month later...

+1 for word count in Publisher. I create documents in Publisher and need to track word count as I go. Atm I have to repeatedly copy & paste text into another app to do that. Not such an issue with a 4 page doc, but some are 150+ pages, then it’s a problem.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Word and character count are fairly essential for working with actual writers. If you are working on captions or panels or sidebars or anything like that you can't send a writer an afpub file or a PDF and ask them to guess how many words you need to fill the right slot. They'll never manage it. 

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Hi @John Morrish, welcome to the forums!

 

On 6/10/2021 at 9:03 AM, John Morrish said:

how many words you need to fill the right slot

This is something of a crude metric to begin with and at best might get you in the ballpark, as words vary in length, and even if you came up with a reasonable average of some kind, it would still not account for differences in fonts, the impact of hyphenation, leading, kerning, ligatures and the like.  It could also vary by language if you are working on a document that will be translated into multiple languages, in which case all bets are off.

That said, I'm not sure what else you could reasonably provide them with that would be any better.

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This feature request is an example of where making the app scriptable would be useful. It would be easy for some of us to write a script to do this if only it was possible to write something like document.articles(1).text.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo 2 for macOS Ventura 13.0, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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Seems to me like many people commenting and shooting down reasonable requests are Sunday design enthusiasts with no real world design experience. I work for a big international company (purposely not saying the name but the devs are most likely aware of their big clients) and we're trying to adopt all Affinity apps on a massive scale but many of my (and not just mine) suggestions or feature requests are dismissed by the community. Features (mostly UX stuff, not even tools) based on other software (and not just Adobe) which are proven to work. It really puzzles me sometimes whether Serif wants to target professionals or is Affinity going to end up being just a better version of Photoshop Express and the like.

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6 hours ago, Heres Johnny said:

many of my (and not just mine) suggestions or feature requests are dismissed by the community

My reaction to the above is, not to worry about "some" members of the community. There will always be someone who will not like this or that suggestion. What matters is that you put forward your suggestions based on your needs/experience and it's up to the Affinity team to pick it up and implement it. This shopping list, however, is quite long. 🙂

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On 6/10/2021 at 9:03 AM, John Morrish said:

Word and character count are fairly essential for working with actual writers. If you are working on captions or panels or sidebars or anything like that you can't send a writer an afpub file or a PDF and ask them to guess how many words you need to fill the right slot. They'll never manage it. 

Agreed. Client wanted to add a chart so I wanted to let them know how much text we need to cut to make it happen. I copy text, paste into a free online word counter... really? Seems trivial, but it's really inefficient.

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