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In the current round of the contest of who will be the next Master Chef layout application the jury sent Affinity Publisher into the infamous Pressure Test.

Ingredients:
- 432 pages PDF, Greyscale, 6 merged manuals all made in Indesign
- about 240 embedded images inside the PDF
- ca. 100 tables
- ca. 1.200 vector graphics, some of them from a time when Windows 3.1 was the top notch operating system
- 12 used fonts

Aim:
- Making a Master Chef worthy manual

Observations from the jury:
+ Import lasted about 5 minutes, about same time for first saving
- Rearranging pages, like inserting and deleting pages takes too long
+ Most text frames looked like the original
- Tidying of recurring unwanted objects very time consuming
- Tables not 100% the original with misplaced text. Tables are not reconstructed, but destroyed to its every single stroke
- Text sometimes strangely combined. Means headlines combined with flowing text combined with captions
- Linking text frames and formatting leads to unexpected results as overflowing text in next frame suddenly shrinks although correct formatted
- + From time to time application not responding, but coming to life again after some time. Contents shown blurry, but can be revived mostly by sending the print keyboard shortcut
- + Very seldom crashes
++ Small file size. PDF 17 MB, Publisher 67 MB. Jury expected a much bigger file
- Snapping has to be completely disabled, otherwise very laggy
+ Vector graphics 99,9% looking as the original
+ Working gets faster the more you tidy the document

Overall rating from the jury:
Although some drawbacks and extra work, Affinity Publisher has to take place on the balcony for the next round. Overall speed could be better, but the jury is heavily impressed with abilities of this not mature application.

I hope you enjoyed the meal. ;)

 


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Windows 10 | i5-8500 CPU | Intel UHD 630 Graphics | 8 GB RAM | Latest Retail and Beta versions of complete Affinity range installed

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Thanks for sharing. That was interesting.

Besides Publisher being still in its early youth, I can't help but feeling they are expecting more than is fair. If I understand correctly, they are trying to convert a PDF into an editable document.  I'm sure it can improve, but even when Publisher is mature, I doubt it will be able to flawlessly convert any document outside of its native format without inconsistencies. To be fair, InDesign can't even do that much, even with PDFs it output itself. It can faithfully place a PDF into a document, but it can't convert a PDF to INDD.

Unless Mark$ware is brought in, Publisher has the upper hand when it comes to converting PDFs.

Maybe I have misunderstood their approach, but my knee-jerk reaction is that any software will underperform if it is asked to start with output from some other software, as compared with designing in its own environment from the beginning.

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