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[But] you obviously haven't used Affinity Publisher or Designer or Photos. The PDFs are completely editable. Real PDF native workflow. (I seem to remember Adobe promising that some time ago.)...
And just to be clear, the Affinity apps are not converting the Adobe files. They are using the Adobe-exported PDF. So all those conversion problems? They land at Adobe's feet in the PDF process. And this is nothing like the InDesign-import-Quark debacle. (Markzware made plenty on that.)
I am having good results, thanks. We will be moving Affinity into the production arena. Any artists want to chime in here?
I'm glad you have a new and economical option that works for you. I'll wait patiently for proper IDML import.

After decades of working in publishing, I have yet to work with a shop that used PDFs for creating and editing book-sized print layouts of any complexity.

After-the-fact pre-press adjustments? Sure thing. But what you're describing sounds like you're trying to extract raw eggs from a loaf of bread.
 


I imagine anyone running an agency or corporate in-house design group will also factor in the need to once again convert a potentially large collection of legacy documents, to retrain staff, and to find suitably-equipped freelancers and vendors. It isn't just about the software's price tag. Back around 2004, my design department had a genuine need to find a better solution than the slow train wreck that had become the unstable, neglected mess of QuarkXpress 4 and its third-party plug-ins. Friends and colleagues at other companies confirmed this. Adobe's CS2, which gave every indication it was viable and ready, was a lifeline for a lot of people, and we convinced management to allow us to switch. Users fled Quark because they felt compelled to do so.

That situation doesn't quite exist now. As egregious as Adobe's CC pricing is, its stability remains far better than Xpress's eventually became. Its market presence remains strong, because few people managing large amounts of regular, deadline-driven layout work are likely to get very enthused about upending their entire workflow. Adobe's management knows this. As much as I love the idea of the Affinity collection (or Pixelmator or Acorn or Sketch) making a sizable dent in Adobe's market dominance (outside the population of individuals who aren't freelancing for corporate clients), we'd first need to see Adobe fail badly enough to make potential corporate switchers see it as a bigger liability.
I'm a survivor of the Quark Collapse and the hungering for Adobe (then, the good guy on the block) to come in and rescue us. It wasn't just the instability of Quark, it was the company's hostile attitude towards its customer base, as those who tried to deal with tech support can attest. ("Gee, if this is what it's like to be a customer of the company, I wonder what it's like to actually work there!") No wonder they just couldn't seem to fix the myriad issues.

So, institutional arrogance is the driver. Then it's the independent designers and freelancers who make the switch. The big corporate design departments will be the last. Adobe surely thinks they've got them by the cojones, because the corporations love the subscription model; it's just another monthly expense. Buying software is often treated as a capital acquisition, and goes through a whole different and slower process. Now that Adobe is increasing subscription rates (doubling the photo plan from $10/mo to $20), the writing is on the wall.
 


So, institutional arrogance is the driver. Then it's the independent designers and freelancers who make the switch. The big corporate design departments will be the last. Adobe surely thinks they've got them by the cojones, because the corporations love the subscription model; it's just another monthly expense. Buying software is often treated as a capital acquisition, and goes through a whole different and slower process. Now that Adobe is increasing subscription rates (doubling the photo plan from $10/mo to $20), the writing is on the wall.
I agree with you, but large corporate users aren't immediately going to abandon a sinking ship without seeing another fully-functional ship to jump to.
 


I'm mostly retired these days but have used Adobe and Quark products since their beginnings. I remember when there were lots of different software programs, and we designers would routinely switch to different programs as needs changed. So the idea that "muscle memory" is too much of a burden to overcome is foreign to me, although I understand the problem (limited time for a project).

Now that I'm not earning a full-time income, I have switched to the Affinity apps for my work. Yes, there are problems with switching, but you gain a lot, too. The Affinity apps are faster than Adobe's, and you can have unlimited undos. Not every feature is there, but in the old days we found workarounds, and I have been able to do that with the Affinity apps as well.

Not only does Affinity offer a newer, tighter codebase, but they have taken a fresh look at how things should be done, and I have found that many of the changes are improvements to How Things Have Always Been Done. Lastly, there are features in the Affinity products that Adobe doesn't have and, because of their bloated codebase, never will.

There is always pain with switching programs, but for most of us, it will be worthwhile in the end.
 


Had Adobe launched InDesign in 1999 with monthly pricing, we Quark-switchers would have shelled out over $10K through today, and lose access to our work upon non-payment. Adobe is pushing many into Affinity's welcoming arms. And I really needed a hug after the cloudy years with Adobe.
 


I downloaded Affinity Publisher, hoping it might have a set of template pages that I might use for photo album pages. I really didn't find anything that was fully fleshed out enough for my needs, although if someone decided to make a bunch of template pages so it might be used as a replacement for something like iPhotos Books, I'd probably buy Publisher just for that.

But I did find an unexpected bonus (totally documented, but I had not read it at that point), and that was the ability to open and edit unprotected PDF files. I actually did have such a need, and the demo did the job for me. That was impressive and might be worth the price of admission.
 


...And I really needed a hug after the cloudy years with Adobe.
Affinity just earned a hug from me. I was noodling in Catalina with Activity Monitor in a corner and noticed that Affinity Photo actually lit up the second GPU on my 2013 Mac Pro. I have never found another app that uses it. I've never even seen the OS touch it.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... if someone decided to make a bunch of template pages so it might be used as a replacement for something like iPhotos Books, I'd probably buy Publisher just for that. But I did find an unexpected bonus (totally documented, but I had not read it at that point), and that was the ability to open and edit unprotected PDF files.
If you have an existing iPhoto book PDF (or could still make one), maybe that could serve as your template in Affinity Publisher?
 


If you have an existing iPhoto book PDF (or could still make one), maybe that could serve as your template in Affinity Publisher?
Great idea, Ric! I have a few I crafted in iPhoto then converted to individual JPEG pages which I dropped into place in one of Shutterfly's online books. I'll have to give that a try. Thanks!
 


But I did find an unexpected bonus (totally documented, but I had not read it at that point), and that was the ability to open and edit unprotected PDF files.
After seeing your post I searched for the documentation and all I found is the Affinity video tutorials. Does Affinity provide other documentation available without installing Publisher? Could you add more about this capability?
 



After seeing your post I searched for the documentation and all I found is the Affinity video tutorials. Does Affinity provide other documentation available without installing Publisher? Could you add more about this capability?
Sorry, George; I don't have anything other than what I've been reading here and some videos along with my experience playing with that pdf file.
 



I've had my first look at Affinity Designer and Photo and have been impressed, especially with Designer. It opened an Adobe Illustrator CS6 file with all layers intact, including their names, and the artwork seems to be completely editable. First time I've ever seen a program that can do that, other than Illustrator, of course.
 


So, I was interested in downloading the demo... but to do so, I must create an account with email, name, and password. Did I miss something here?
I already hold a license, so I have no need of a trial version, but your post did make me curious: I cannot see how to go about downloading a trial should I wish to recommend that someone else do so. They have scads of information about Publisher features on their site, and a rather prominent Buy Now button at the bottom, but trials are not obvious. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps they regard trials as a free "purchase" that you are making.

I do recall having to log into my account to download the Publisher beta, but I assumed that was because it was a beta.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I cannot see how to go about downloading a trial should I wish to recommend that someone else do so. They have scads of information about Publisher features on their site, and a rather prominent Buy Now button at the bottom, but trials are not obvious.
It might be worth contacting them about it, because they do have an Affinity Photo trial and one for Affinity Designer, but I don't see one for Publisher.

Oh, here's a note:
Affinity Forum said:
Affinity Publisher - Is trial available at the moment?

The trial isn't available right now, you could purchase the app and then you would have 14 days to return it for a refund if you find it isn't for you.

Thanks
Callum
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Off I went in search of such a demo.
I don't know about Barry, but I downloaded the Publisher beta, free of charge (though I had previously bought Affinity Photo). I didn't do much with the beta, but the price was so reasonable (especially on sale) that I just went ahead and purchased Publisher, too (as I'd done with Affinity Photo and Designer).
 


I just went ahead and purchased Publisher, too (as I'd done with Affinity Photo and Designer).
My experience mirrors yours, Ric, beta and all. Thanks for the clarification. Can't wait for the Publisher workbook to come out. I'll be buying that to complete the set. They say they're just getting started, but I can't imagine where they'll go next. That's a good kind of anticipation. And in this age where a sea of subscription software is now considered "normal", that's a great feeling to have.
 


I haven't noticed this mentioned anywhere else, so just in case others haven't seen it:

I'm running a Sierra Mac Mini with the current version of Affinity Photo and also using Apple Photos as my DAM.

When in Apple Photos, if I take an image and select the adjustment tab, all the usual tools come up (as would be expected). If I then select the extensions tab in the tool selector, there are 6 Affinity tools listed to use in Apple Photos, plus the option to edit the image in Affinity Photo. I've been using the Haze Reduction tool.
 


A question for those who are using Affinity Photo as a replacement for Lightroom - what are you using for a DAM? I asked Affinity about this in January 2018 and they replied they were starting to look at asset management, but it was early days and they could give no time frame for when they might offer a solution that would integrate with Affinity Photo.
 


Something missed is that we have to have the likes of Affinity apps, along with Quark and CorelDraw suite (yup... those two are still around). Otherwise, Adobe would be a monopoly.
My real worry is that someone will make an offer to Affinity for their intellectual property.
 


Re: Affinity Publisher and PDF (understanding that fill-in forms aren't magazines or newsletters):
  • What happens when a fill-in Acrobat form (e.g., 1040 form from IRS) is opened in Publisher?
  • If it is possible to create fill-in PDF forms in Affinity Publisher?
 


My real worry is that someone will make an offer to Affinity for their intellectual property.
Of course, as nothing more than a satisfied customer, I can't speak for them, but I'm not sure how likely that would be. Sure, someone could make an offer, but it doesn't mean they would necessarily accept it.

They've been around (as Serif) for a very long time, with a successful line of software. They dared to basically reinvent themselves while staying true to their legacy, trumpeting to all who will listen their distaste for subscription software. They've invested a lot of time and energy into their current trilogy and the StudioLink integration.

With all that hard work, I just don't see them wanting to sell out and walk away anytime soon.
 


Re: Affinity Publisher and PDF (understanding that fill-in forms aren't magazines or newsletters):
  • What happens when a fill-in Acrobat form (e.g., 1040 form from IRS) is opened in Publisher?
  • If it is possible to create fill-in PDF forms in Affinity Publisher?
PDFpenPro creates PDF fill-in forms with one click. It includes multiple other capabilities like digitized signatures, OCR conversion of any PDF, and digital signatures.
 


Re: Affinity Publisher and PDF…:
  • What happens when a fill-in Acrobat form (e.g., 1040 form from IRS) is opened in Publisher?
  • If it is possible to create fill-in PDF forms in Affinity Publisher?
I opened an IRS W-9 form, and all the underlying text is there. The fill-in form boxes are a hodgepodge whereby the box for items 1 and 2 is one box versus separate boxes, no check boxes, no fill-in boxes for the optional items, and the box for tax ID number is not wide enough.

Anyway, I exported the APub version to PDF, opened that in Acrobat Pro, which resulted in no fill-in fields. Then I used Acrobat's Create Form tool, which created most of the form field boxes.

In Affinity's forum, a user posed the question, Any plans for PDF form editing? to which moderator Dave Harris wrote that form creation is not a feature of the release version but might be in a future version.
 


PDFpenPro creates PDF fill-in forms with one click. It includes multiple other capabilities like digitized signatures, OCR conversion of any PDF, and digital signatures.
Is that still traditionally licensed software? I ask because the same developer had a very highly regarded text shortcut utility (TextExpander), and they decided to go subscription-only with it from version 6 onward. In my opinion, it seems like a very greedy move. Needless to say, I am no longer interested in it.

I would hate to have them pull the same switcheroo with that product as well. That has me wary and is something worth considering if, like me (and many Affinity customers), you are averse to subscription software.
 


Is that still traditionally licensed software? I ask because the same developer had a very highly regarded text shortcut utility (TextExpander), and they decided to go subscription-only with it from version 6 onward. In my opinion, it seems like a very greedy move. Needless to say, I am no longer interested in it.
No chatter about subscription switcheroo with this particular product at this point. But you never know.

From what I understand, PDFpenPro offered on the Mac App Store does not provide any type of upgrade. A new version gets released, and you have to pay full price all over again. This is a common complaint about apps in the Mac App Store.... I wonder if Apple will ever offer a solution.

If you purchase PDFpenPro directly from the developer, they do extend reasonable upgrade pricing:
 


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