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#51871 - 06/21/19 06:38 AM Affinity Publisher
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
I'm curious if any of you have had a chance to look at Affinity Publisher, particularly those with experience in design and desktop publishing who might comment on how this inexpensive program compares to those of the past by Adobe and Quark.


https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/live/
https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/publisher/
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#51877 - 06/21/19 02:02 PM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: deniro]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I have been using the Affinity Publisher beta for several months now and I just installed the release version. Although I am in no way a Publisher, or InDesign guru I can safely say none of the Affinity products are a knock off of anything from Adobe and does their magic their own way. The biggest complaint I have seen about any of them has been "why doesn't it support the pick your command like Adobe?" or "Why doesn't Publisher do XXX like InDesign. In most case the current Affinity product release accomplishes the same end result but via a different command or menu or series of steps. I am more of a dabbler than power user (much less guru) and it has been a long time since I used InDesign, but from my limited experience I believe Affinity Publisher is a viable competitor with Adobe InDesign.[/I] I have zero experience with the Quark product(s) so I cannot comment there.

Like all very powerful software products there is a significant learning curve but Affinity offers several well done video tutorials. They also offer comprehensive training Workbooks for Designer and Photo and a Publisher workbook is also promised. There is also a very active and lively Affinity user community. I suspect for someone coming from Adobe the re-learning curve may not be as steep, bit it is likely filled with pitfalls due to assumptions/expectations based on prior experience.

My hope is Affinity will turn its talents to developing a viable competitor to Adobe Dreamweaver next.
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#51885 - 06/22/19 07:06 AM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
At $40 it looks like a steal.

I'm strictly a dabbler. I haven't done anything like it for many years since I discovered how nice Freehand made my documents look. I had a version that I borrowed from my sister. Printed text looked professional, and I was only using an HP inkjet. It struck me at the time that there was an advantage to producing such nice looking text. I had to give it up when I upgraded my system, but I haven't seen such nice print since then. I have Pages, but when I print documents they look ordinary.
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AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#51888 - 06/22/19 02:58 PM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: deniro]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I couldn't have said it better myself.

If you do get Affinity Publisher, I encourage you to carefully go through the video tutorials..
  • Once to learn what you are looking for and te get a feel for the possibilities.
  • A second time more slowly and taking time to try the features out on your computer.
  • A third, fourth, fifth, or whatever time focusing on what you are wanting to do now — right now
  • Invest in the Publisher Workbook when it becomes available
Down with ordinary documents and up with extraordinary ones!

FWIW I love Numbers and the results I get from it and when I was teaching I was totally dependent on Keynote and used it to the envy of my Windows using colleagues.
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#51890 - 06/22/19 04:00 PM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
I like Numbers, but the search and replace is unforgivably slow. I like Pages, esp. now that they finally got page numbering correct. That took how long? Fifteen years?

Too bad Affinity offers no demo to download.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#51893 - 06/23/19 10:29 AM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
Is there anything else you have used for text layout, whether small time or big time program? I thought about taking a look at Scribus or some version of Latex. Both free, though I have no problem paying for good software.
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AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#51894 - 06/23/19 04:17 PM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: deniro]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: deniro
Is there anything else you have used for text layout, whether small time or big time program? I thought about taking a look at Scribus or some version of Latex. Both free, though I have no problem paying for good software.

I have tried several App Store offerings including iStudio and Swift Publisher and found them in some ways superior to Pages. Adequate for home or perhaps very small business maybe, but not worth my effort to produce the caliber of output I wanted.

I found I could get closer to what I wanted with NeoOffice. Like MS Word it is ill suited to text layout/desktop publishing but if you know it well enough it can produce acceptable, but not great results. (It is amazing what you can force fit if you use a big enough hammer 😁 ) At least you aren't saddled with having to shovel your way through and use a bunch of glitzy templates that are the stock in trade of so many desktop publishing apps.

I have also explored some open source/freeeware apps, but their learning curve was steep and their documentation either too scanty or targeted toward knowledgeable pros using Windows so like the App Store products they ended up in the trash folder.

I would have gladly used InDesign but it was too pricey for my budget and/or needs and then then Adobe went to the software rental business model and I simply could not justify the annual cost. The same could be said for Photoshop. Then Affinity came along and I climbed on their bandwagon early. I have started with Version 1 or earlier of Affinity Photo, Designer, and now Publisher and so far I feel I have been well rewarded for being an early adopter. As I said, I keep hoping they will come up with an alternative to Adobe's Dreamweaver.
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#51896 - 06/24/19 01:35 PM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: joemikeb]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
This afternoon I came across a new Desktop Publishing app that is in the same price range as Affinity Publisher, but targeting less professional users called iCalamus 2. It is available from the App Store but you can get a demo version direct from Lemke Software Gmbh. I was attracted to it because it comes from the same developer as the long time MacOS standby app Graphic Converter.

I have only played around with it for a few minutes but my very initial impression is that it is designed for the non-professional user and in that sense is not a competitor with Affinity Designer or Adobe InDesign but it appears to have a lot of potential for the non-professional user with a lot of advanced layout features and options. I have a couple of friends who are not particularly satisfied with Pages or other amateur level apps they are using and I will certainly recommend their taking a look at Calamus 2.
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#51940 - 07/01/19 08:35 AM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
Can I extract text from .pdfs with Publisher?
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iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
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AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#51949 - 07/01/19 04:24 PM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: deniro]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: deniro
Can I extract text from .pdfs with Publisher?
  • If there is a OCR layer in the PDF you can select a portion or all of the text and copy it to another document. But that is inherent in PDFs and in either MacOS or iOS can be done in any app including Preview, Pages, Notes, Word, and virtually every app including Publisher.
  • If there is NO OCR layer in the PDF publisher can cut and paste a section of text as a graphic image but it is not editable.
  • Affinity Publisher does NOT have OCR capability and can neither create an OCR layer or edit a PDF. For that you will need an app such as Adobe Acrobat DC (the cloud based version) $14.99 a month with a one year contract, PDFPen pro 11 $124.99, PDF Pen 11 $74.99 PDF OCR X Enterprise Edition $24.99, or any one of a number of other OCR capable apps available from the App Store.
NOTE: IMHO price is exponentially proportional with functionality and capability. FWIW I am still using PDF Pen 10 as I don't need the additional functionality of PDF Pen Pro 10 or 11 and it still serves quite well even under Catalina so I not found a reason to upgrade to version 11 — yet. 😉
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#51950 - 07/01/19 05:40 PM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
Well, I've tried several ways. Copying from Preview to Pages retains formatting even when I try to paste the text without it. This leads to seemingly endless tinkering that is a huge waste of time. I was hoping to get the raw text but I realize it's tricky.
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2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#51951 - 07/01/19 07:35 PM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: deniro]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: deniro
Copying from Preview to Pages retains formatting even when I try to paste the text without it.

Have you tried to remove formatting with a utility like Plain Clip*? It's free/donationware.

*) Since Plain Clip is a ‘faceless’ app, it works a bit differently from what you may be used to. Launching it strips the formatting of whatever you have copied to the Clipboard, after which it quits. You won’t see it, or its effects until you Paste what’s on the Clipboard. You can customize the stripping process in the prefs, which are accessed by holding the Shift key when launching PC. I keep Plain Clip in the Dock and click its icon there when I want to remove the formatting from whatever I have on the Clipboard, but there are other ways to invoke it (see the FAQ). Neat!

PS, I have no relationship with Plain Clip’s maker Carsten Blüm other than that of a happy user.
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#51991 - 07/04/19 03:17 PM Re: Affinity Publisher [Re: alternaut]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Look at the alternatives to Adobe listed in The best alternatives to Adobe InDesign for iOS and Mac. Affinity Publisher is listed, but there are alternatives that might be suitable. I have no experience with any of them.
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Moderator:  alternaut, cyn