OT: Affinity Publisher launched

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benwiggy
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OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by benwiggy » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:09 pm

I hope it's ok to mention that Affinity Publisher has been launched today. It's an amazing DTP package, and as well as producing beautiful front matter, it can also import PDFs from Dorico as editable objects. (As can its sister app, Affinity Designer.)

If you want graphical elements in your scores, this is a useful stop-gap until Dorico can provide everything!

(I'm not affiliated: just a happy user.)
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Romanos401
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by Romanos401 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:32 pm

caveat emptor: I was one of the beta testers, and I used this extensively to produce a 70 page worship aid for the Easter Triduum. As of my last attempt (a few weeks ago) their rendering engine is far from perfect, particularly as regards lyrics and hyphens. You'll likely have to double check any pages you import to make sure nothing needs to be tweaked to appear as it did in Dorico originally. The bounding boxes it creates for elements are often too small which pushes things to the next line down. Extending boxes can sometimes fix this, but some fiddling is required.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by VIPStephan » Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:18 pm

What’s especially awesome is the StudioLink technology where you can use the tools of Affinity Designer or Photo in Publisher. So, you could theoretically open a PDF exported from Dorico in Affinity Publisher and add and edit advanced graphics created in Affinity Designer or Affinity Photo live in the document. :-)

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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by benwiggy » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:56 pm

Romanos401 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:32 pm
their rendering engine is far from perfect, particularly as regards lyrics and hyphens.
Sadly, you're right: However, if you outline the fonts in the PDF, then it imports it perfectly, and you can still edit the individual elements. You can do this with Acrobat or GhostScript.

I'm sure they'll improve it: a UK dev team, responsive to users, with a grand vision for revolutionary new apps. Sounds familiar!
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Romanos401
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by Romanos401 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:15 pm

Benwiggy, I'm not familiar with what you mean (outline the fonts). How do you do this in adobe? I'd certainly do it before my next big project if it will save me time in the long run.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by benwiggy » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:41 pm

Outlining is converting font vector data into graphical vector objects. (Command Shift O in Illustrator!)

With Acrobat DC, there is a Preflight profile to Outline all fonts. It's actually not easy to do in Versions Xi and X -- I swear it used to be easier in versions before that.

If you use GhostScript, you can use the following command:

Code: Select all

/usr/local/bin/gs \
	-dNOPAUSE \
	-dBATCH \
	-dNoOutputFonts \
	-sDEVICE=pdfwrite \
	-sOutputFile="$outputfile" \
	"$inputfile"
Mac installers for GhostScript are here: https://pages.uoregon.edu/koch/

I'd be happy to make up some little Automator Quick Actions or Droplet apps that will do things like Outline fonts, convert to PDF/X-3, etc, for anyone.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by Waldbaer » Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:51 pm

benwiggy wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:41 pm
...
I'd be happy to make up some little Automator Quick Actions or Droplet apps that will do things like Outline fonts, convert to PDF/X-3, etc, for anyone.
If you could do an Automator action for outlining, I'd greatly appreciate it! I did not try it before (because I did not know it's easily possible and don't have Acrobat and I'm not into ghostscript), but this might also help in the rare cases where people have problems opening my exported music PDFs (these often look like font problems). Until now, I always rendered these PDFs as image-PDFs (simple Automator workflow - let me know if somebody wants it), which does the job reliably but kills the vector (of course) and blows up file size.

If it helps importing into the Affinity apps (Photo works quite nice, too; I used this a few times to combine parts of different PDFs into a new still vector PDF, e.g. to insert solo changes from another part into mine), this would even be better.

I did not try Publisher in the Beta, but I'll definitely take a look now; thanks for reminding me!

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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by benwiggy » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:55 am

Waldbaer wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:51 pm
If you could do an Automator action for outlining, I'd greatly appreciate it! .... I'm not into ghostscript.
GhostScript is very useful and capable, but lots of people are put off by having to use the command line, and are unsure how to install it. The link in my earlier post is a page of Mac installer packages, making it easy to install.

The Automator action needs GhostScript to work. The advantage is that you can use it in the GUI without having to remember commands line options.
I'll let you know when I have something.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by mati » Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:30 pm

I'll let you know when I have something.
It would be fantastic, benwiggy! Thanks!
I tried to compile action for Automator with your code, but I make some syntax errors…

In the meantime, I found this little app that works reliably (ghostscript needed): https://pages.uoregon.edu/noeckel/compu ... ontBegone/

p.s.: I agree that AffinityPub is already a truly remarkable application.

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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by benwiggy » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:32 pm

Here's a screenshot of the Automator workflow you need to create. You'll need to install GhostScript from here first.

1. Create a new Quick Action
2. Set the workflow options to match those in the screenshot.
3. Add "Run Shell Script" action (set options to match screenshot)
4. Paste in the following text.

Code: Select all

for f in "$@"
do
# Sanitize filename and save with new name
f=${f//\\}
filename="${f%.*}"
filename="$filename"" NoFonts.pdf"

/usr/local/bin/gs \
	-dNOPAUSE \
	-dBATCH \
	-dNoOutputFonts \
	-sDEVICE=pdfwrite \
	-sOutputFile="$filename" \
	"$f"
echo $f, $filename
done

5. Save as "Outline Fonts" or similar.

You can then apply this on any selected PDF file in the Finder.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by mati » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:29 pm

Thank you so much! It works perfectly.

Tried to implement it in Keyboard Maestro too, but obviously something of the specific KM syntax escapes me. If any KM guru is reading, every suggestion is welcome!

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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by Waldbaer » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:07 pm

Thank you very much! It works just as you described. On one test file that I downloaded from the web, the results looked considerably different than the original, but when I ran it on a Dorico export, I could not find any obvious differences in the output. File size gets a lot bigger, but is still smaller as with rasterizing/JPG at 200 or higher DPI (on my test file close to half as big as 200dpi/Q45/bw JPG). I'm sure this will come in handy!

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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by benwiggy » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:53 am

UPDATE!

I've discovered that Dorico's SVG files import perfectly into Affinity Designer and Publisher. All the fonts are outlined automatically in the import. EPS files also work well, though there's no direct method for creating those. PostScript files of Individual pages also work, though multiple pages get pasted on top of each other.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by Jode » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:25 am

benwiggy wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:53 am
I've discovered that Dorico's SVG files import perfectly into Affinity Designer and Publisher. All the fonts are outlined automatically in the import.
This is extremely valuable information. Thank you VERY much, Benwiggy. :-)

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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by mati » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:04 pm

I had already checked the option (however thanks benwiggy!) but there’s a Caveat…

The 8va dashed line, for example, changes in appearance and I didn’t verify if other symbols can be modified in the passage of format (SVG).
Already this change would not have been acceptable to the publisher, so I rejected the option.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by benwiggy » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:38 pm

OFFS! Serif have been made quite aware of the strength of feeling about this on their forums, so we can only hope it will be addressed in the future.

Looks like I'll have to keep Illustrator CS6 running for a bit longer.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by Romanos401 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:27 pm

benwiggy wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:38 pm
OFFS! Serif have been made quite aware of the strength of feeling about this on their forums, so we can only hope it will be addressed in the future.

Looks like I'll have to keep Illustrator CS6 running for a bit longer.
After my last major update I finally lost access to my old CS5 suite... what a shame it was too... Suffice it to say I won't be replacing it any time soon. It cost $600 a decade ago even with a student discount (down from the $2500 price, if I remember correctly). I got nearly a decade out of it so I suppose I got my money's worth.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by UMahnken » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:24 pm

How compares Affinity Publisher to Adobe Indesign? I never had problems importing PDF's from Dorico to Indesign. Indeed Indesign cannot import SVG, but that's no limitation in this case.

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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by Romanos401 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:21 pm

UMahnken, this is what we are discussing. I have rendering errors when I import PDFs (typically involving lyrics). Benwiggy is stating that on the AP forum people have been vocal about these problems so hopefully a maintenance update will address these issues now that the software will be in the hands of more users.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by David Tee » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:47 pm

Romanos401 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:27 pm
benwiggy wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:38 pm
OFFS! Serif have been made quite aware of the strength of feeling about this on their forums, so we can only hope it will be addressed in the future.

Looks like I'll have to keep Illustrator CS6 running for a bit longer.
After my last major update I finally lost access to my old CS5 suite... what a shame it was too... Suffice it to say I won't be replacing it any time soon. It cost $600 a decade ago even with a student discount (down from the $2500 price, if I remember correctly). I got nearly a decade out of it so I suppose I got my money's worth.
Me too. Exactly the same boat. I've had program issues with Adobe for the past few years and have now given up on most of the 5.5 suite. In the past 6 months I've switched over to Serif for all three of their programs and am slowly coming to grips with them. There's quite a learning curve but I think they'll cover all that I need. I'll stick with Adobe for Lightroom but that's it. Phenomenal value-for-money for Affinity Publisher IMVHO...

These days I find myself much more concerned about Apple and the inevitable moment when my 2012 Mac Pro won't cut it any longer. Time to start saving...
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by Romanos401 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:00 pm

David, me too. I did, however, just purchase On1. I still have Lightroom but I'm starting to sideline it too. It is soooooooo sloooooooow sometimes I just can't take it. On1 is slow too, but the pace of development is much faster and it is ultimately a much more capable program. As for AP, I agree: it IS powerful, especially when you consider the price vs what you get. Adobe makes you pay through the nose and AP directly competes with InDesign for a fraction of the cost. It's amazing, really. I did a 70 page program for Easter with the beta and it performed quite admirably, even in beta stage. Unless there's some earth-shattering breakthrough from Adobe, I don't think I'll be looking to them for much of anything any longer. As for computers, I'm also going to need to update soonish. My iMac was relatively well future-proofed when I bought it (SSD and 32gb ram) but the slower clock speeds and fewer cores compared to modern Macs makes me salivate for a new one. My work computer is even more anemic but I don't have much flexibility there.

I must admit I was peeved when I hired on at my current job last august. I warned them that I was an atypically heavy computer user and would be running programs that required a more powerful machine. The tech person said, "well, I have a new Mac mini that I was going to use as a server but perhaps we can use it for your office instead." (Great! I thought...) She hemmed and hawed and didn't get me a computer for literally over a month. I had to bring a personal computer from home (which is inexcusable tbh). Finally get all set up and guess what, navigate to the about my Mac page and discover she dumped me with an old 2014 model that just happens to have more ram than the other computers. Gee, thanks.   :x Now I'm stuck with a computer that takes over a minute (seriously) just to open up excel. But, I work for a non-profit so there's little I can do until the thing truly bites the dust.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by benwiggy » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:53 pm

The new Minis are very capable -- they Geekbench score above nearly every previous Mac Pro (2013 and earlier, except 12-cores). This one, 6-core i5, won't even break into a sweat running Dorico, Logic, Affinity and Creative Suite, plus 10s of Safari pages and Handbrake running in the background!
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by David Tee » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:03 pm

Good to know - thanks.
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Re: OT: Affinity Publisher launched

Post by mati » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:28 pm

I think Affinity Publisher is really great, even if some core functions are still missing (footnotes, endnotes). In the end it's the very first version…
But yes, it doesn’t have a PDF passthrough feature.
I wrote on the forum and contacted support about it and they confirmed that the implementation of this functionality is not trivial but it will come, sooner or later.
However benwiggy has kindly provided the code which is a viable workaround (at least for Automator + GhostScript) until the function is integrated.

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