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Fix the colour palette system


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I love Publisher :) but IMHO it has the worst colour system I have ever seen (in over 30 years). :44_frowning2:
How did LAB, RGB and CMYK end up on the same palette when I only work in CMYK and the publication was set for CMYK? I NEVER work in LAB.

image.png.e9726919ce7d8496615775619abd91b8.png I have 68 colours like this: image.png.08986db0a6608a57b5f4c691371914b4.png"Rick 13-EN_No Photo 2 is the name of the publication. Useless as colour information for an in-document palette.

It should be simple to create my own custom CMYK palette but instead it's horribly complicated, if not impossible. It's a monumental time waster. Why can I change a colour in this dialogue but not in that one. And then I can only change it in THAT dialogue, but not this one. A lot of things seem too clever by half in Publisher but colour handling is a serious fault in an otherwise pretty good app.

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It is perfectly valid that documents may contain a mix of different color spaces - for example, vector design elements might be in CMYK while photos taken with cameras might be in RGB - and if the designer wants to match a color to something from one of those photos, maybe a frame or something, it might be best to stick with RGB for that color.

The reason is that modern high-end printers will treat colors differently if they are in the different color spaces, and the RGB color space can handle a wider range of colors that cannot be accurately represented in CMYK.

With printers that use more than four colors of ink (HP Indigo digital presses for example), forcing everything to CMYK would actually limit the quality of the final output because colors which are in the photo may be reproducible by the printer but would be lost in the process of preparing the document to be sent to those printers.

If matching a color from an RGB photo, that particular color might need to remain RGB as the printer might handle the RGB differently and give it a slightly different mix of inks when printing than the CMYK would get, so if the document contains a combination of CMYK elements and RGB elements, then a mixture of different colors on the document palette is correct and desirable.

Some of those presses (again using the example of the HP Indigo) can also mix in specialized spot color inks that would also need to be included in the document, for metalic or other effects to be added to the final document, so it is not just CMYK and RGB either.

 

While it might be a nice option to be able to configure a document palette such that all colors added to it are forced to the document color space, the flexibility of being able to mix color spaces is a good thing in general and adds the flexibility of being able to prepare documents for those high-end output devices.

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If this flexibility results in faults, for instance ...

... different CMYK values in "Swatches Panel" versus "Color Panel" for the predefined HSL swatches of the palette "Colors"
... different color spaces & values for the predefined swatches of the palette "Greys" in "Swatches Panel" versus "Color Panel": K-only versus 4-c
... different vivid color appearance between an object's CMYK fill versus the same as swatch in "Swatches Panel"
... output/export of K-only as 4-c
... converting K-only into 4-c when handling different color profiles between document and resource

then I really rather prefer bit less flexibility.
And more usability.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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I just discovered that "Global" colours are the only type of colours where if you change the spec of an already used colour, say add a bit of cyan, all the objects carrying that "Global" colour will change accordingly. Global colours seem to be specific to a document and are not "global" in the sense of being universal to all documents or all the affinity apps at that point in time. Exporting a palette of Global colours  does make them available for other documents or apps via "import palette".

I would have used the term "linked colour", "coupled colour" or better still "Editable Colour".

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  • 1 year later...

I was never a super power user of InDesign, since I mostly used it one time a year for a calendar. But I could make the calendar with relative ease. Now I'm trying to do that with AfPub. So far it's not been an easy transition.

I typically like to set two or three colors (CMYK for offset printing in Europe) for each month which are used for text color, borders, and the background behind the calendar table. The color swatches I used to make in InDesign were created by means of the Color Picker Tool (dropper) from the nature picture used that month.

I can't even figure out how to change all colors in the document to CMYK. Can you help? Then I might have some more questions…

Thank you!

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I have another issue with colors. I sent a preliminary PDF to the printshop for advice. They responded saying that the black color used for text need to be changed to "K", not left as "CMYK". I would have thought the text was in RGB, since I think that's what AfPub defaulted to. And, when I printed a page of the calendar to a color laser printer, I see that the black text in the monthly quotation did not come through as real black. It seems there is overprint – perhaps the background on which it is superimposed is changing the black to non-black. Any thoughts?

EDIT: possibly relevant thread:

 

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Colour Palettes.pdf

11 hours ago, ETC said:

...

I typically like to set two or three colors (CMYK for offset printing in Europe) for each month which are used for text color, borders, and the background behind the calendar table. The color swatches I used to make in InDesign were created by means of the Color Picker Tool (dropper) from the nature picture used that month.

I can't even figure out how to change all colors in the document to CMYK. Can you help? Then I might have some more questions…

Thank you!

Assuming you are using v. 1.8.5.703 (probably not much different in older versions), I attach a PDF with graphics and explanations. The text is all taken from the Affinity Publisher help files which I encourage you to read. Sometimes I find there are too many bells and whistles in Aff products so use what you need and skip the rest.

 

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On 6/30/2019 at 12:24 AM, Lagarto said:

Part of the problem may of course be that we expect Affinity apps to behave identically with Adobe apps.

I'm coming from the Corel world, not the Adobe world, and I also find Affinity color palettes clumsy and color management both meagre and unclear.

And if both Corel and Adobe users are agreed on something (anything!), there is probably some merit to it.

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2 hours ago, SamSteele said:

Assuming you are using v. 1.8.5.703 (probably not much different in older versions), I attach a PDF with graphics and explanations. The text is all taken from the Affinity Publisher help files which I encourage you to read. Sometimes I find there are too many bells and whistles in Aff products so use what you need and skip the rest.

 

The PDF didn't upload so I'll try PNGs of each page.

Colour Palettes_1.png

Colour Palettes_2.png

Colour Palettes_3.png

Colour Palettes_4.png

Custom Letter doc 01.PNG

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3 hours ago, Lagarto said:

... But they are horrible as they are now.

- Adobe users have the benefit of being offered most of the time step-by-step instructions ...

Gould be better, IMHO. The plethora of options in AFF leads me to keep going back to View > Studio >...  repeatedly in a project. And why they separated leading from Character type size is beyond me. Specifying type was always 12/15, size/leading. Size and leading always go together.

I have to say I learned a lot from Adobe's good instructional material back in the day, but AFF does the job—eventually.

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On 9/16/2020 at 3:43 AM, ETC said:

I was never a super power user of InDesign, since I mostly used it one time a year for a calendar. But I could make the calendar with relative ease. Now I'm trying to do that with AfPub. So far it's not been an easy transition.

I typically like to set two or three colors (CMYK for offset printing in Europe) for each month which are used for text color, borders, and the background behind the calendar table. The color swatches I used to make in InDesign were created by means of the Color Picker Tool (dropper) from the nature picture used that month.

I can't even figure out how to change all colors in the document to CMYK. Can you help? Then I might have some more questions…

Thank you!

Just wondering ETC, was what I posted of any help? Not what you needed? 

Cheers.

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Sorry, @SamSteele & @Lagarto , that I disappeared for a few days. Due to my work schedule, I can only come back to the AfPub project I'm working on at intervals between other work. I hope to get back to the calendar project next week and follow through and see what I can do. Then I plan to report if I was able to accomplish what I wanted to do :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have moved on. I hired someone via www.upwork.com to do the work, since it was over my head. I did finally figure out some of the color stuff, but there was still a lot in AfPub that I didn't have time to learn. So I've outsourced it for now. Maybe little-by-little I can learn in the future without deadlines for a calendar …

Thank you, everyone, for your kind help!

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There are many things I like working with affinity, color palette is not one of them. I do agree that the color palette system is horrible to work with. Would be great to have the ability to create folders and add your own swatches like in illustrator. 

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3 hours ago, Carlos NZ said:

... Would be great to have the ability to create folders and add your own swatches like in illustrator. 

It's awkward but it can be done. Everything happens in the Swatch box. See "Colour palettes" in the Help  and screenshot below.1130969616_AffPubSwatchPalette.PNG.b7770910be5be8a909c1d0a8c6d49b63.PNG.

To save a colour or gradient to a palette:
  1. On the Swatches panel, select a palette from the palette pop-up menu. (You can also create Custom Palettes.)
  2. Do one of the following:
    • -click an object, then from the pop-up menu, click Add to Swatches and choose to add colour from fill, stroke or both.
    • Select Add current fill to palette, or Add current colour to palette as a global colour if you would also like to make this colour a global colour. Use the Stroke/Fill colour selector to target the colour.
To edit a saved swatch:
  • Double-click a saved swatch.
To delete a saved swatch:
• Right-click the swatch you want to remove and choose Delete Fill from the pop-up menu.

More follows in the Help.
  •  
  •  
  • Right-click the swatch you want to remove and choose Delete Fill from the pop-up menu.
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Hi SamSteele, thanks for your help. However it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I knew you could add your own swatches to the palette, however the swatches go in the mix of the pre-existing ones, and it can be hard to spot the one you want because many times the color can be similar of what you have in the standard palette.  Creating a custom palette would help, however the user would need to keeping switching in between the custom palette and the standard color palette. I would like to have the ability to save my swathes under the standard palette but separated from the standard ones. That would be a lot easier to work with speeding up the work flow. I have attached some samples of how ti could be. It could be arranged by folders, or just simply separated.

sample-2.jpg.15e6939c5f21a6245a9c01b188f93edd.jpg       sample-1.jpg.b7392cc4e9f13cf6528f1d039bedd538.jpg

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17 hours ago, Carlos NZ said:

... I would like to have the ability to save my swathes under the standard palette but separated from the standard ones. That would be a lot easier to work with speeding up the work flow. I have attached some samples of how ti could be. It could be arranged by folders, or just simply separated.

I see what you meant. 

My workaround: I add a couple of "No Fill" markers as colours which always pop up at the LH top corner of the Colours swatch palette and any custom colours I add come to the left of those markers. That separates my colours from the existing swatches. Inelegant but it works for me.299517808_Swatches-Nofillmarkers.PNG.6487919eceaa3cb8d7f78180717b0289.PNG

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