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Affinity Publisher first review

If you’re an ElectricNews follower, you certainly know that we like Affinity softwares.

This new company is a major competitor, in the digital world… With a real affordable and different business model than the others.

We discovered Affinity first with Designer, a great vector drawing software, modern, with nice colors and visual rendering, with great and useful features. And compatible with .Ai files… There’s also an exciting iPad version, witch received several Awards.

Next, we had Affinity Photo, digital photo editing tool, very similar to Photo-thing.  Nothing is almost missing (except SmartObjects), so very easy to learn and use. And PSD compatible ! With great filters, effects, etc…

We only needed a serious Layout design program, to have the Holly Trinity of the Desktop-publishing solutions. Et voilà ! Affinity Designer is born, after a long digital pregnancy… And the baby’s looking good ! Bravo !

For the moment it’s a Beta version, but everybody can download and install it.

I give you my first impressions

Nice graphic user interface, UI, modern, great designed, comfortable. It’s easy to understand, and we’re able to work quickly after the first clics. We’re not lost, and we find our old tricks, shortcuts, workspaces…

  • We can choose an icc profile since the creation of a new document. RGB or CMYK. All icc profiles are immediately embedded. Very pro.

  • Nice typographic quality and precision. We have complete text and typographic tools.

  • Color wheel, color creation tools, swatches, picker tool… : great ! modern, useful, like with Affinity Photo and Designer

  • PSD direct importation. 2 clics on it, and you directly open it like a SmartObject, directly in Publisher. Not only to shaw or hide layers, but you can EDIT psd Adjustment Layers !!
    Bravo again !

  • Graphic speed and fluidity, great graphic engine.

  • Transparencies, opacities, opacity gradients, visual effects and blend modes… we can edit an image directly in Publisher.

  • Possible to OPEN a picture file : Publisher creates a New document, and place the picture on it.

  • Double clic on an .Ai placed file opens it like a SmartObject, and you can select and edit all the objects, path and drawings !!

  • To move an image into it’s frame, you must use a Cropping tool. Very different…a little bit strange.

  • Many file formats Exportation. And PSD exportation, editable with layers (but pixelised)

  • Very professional PDF print exportation

  • Dynamic snapping alignments guides

  • Because you’re nice to have read me… these useful shortcuts 😉 :

    • Hide the bleed : Alt + Shift + /

    • Hide guides : Ctrl W

  • Surprising but good idea : if a text overflows it’s frame, it’s not cropped, you can see it. Or hide it with an eye icon.

  • Great : a double circle handle icon allows to transform all the item, the frame and what’s inside.

  • An History Panel !! (it’s one of the most requested feature in InDesign… since decades…)

  • User Object Library. Offered with many visuals icons, logos, UI assets. Sweeet.

And now, the dark side…

  • For the moment, impossible to Export an IDML file, and to open one IDML. It’s a real problem, for us, professionals, and I really hope that it will be possible in next versions. It’s what Affinity promised us…
  • No HTML or ePub or digital exportation. But you know what? I’m sure it’s coming…

  • Some text, paragraph and typographic lacking features. Some UI problems or bugs. But it’s a beta-version and the Forum is cut out for it… I just hope that Affinity will listen our feedbacks and our features requests…

  • No GREP or advanced Search/Replace fonction
  • No complex embedded Style sheets…

In conclusion, even if Affinity Trilogy is not as deep and as ultra-professional as Adobe CC, it’s a good news, a real nice and serious alternative solution.

I’ll certainly continue with Adobe CC, but Adobe is not alone, now, there’s a challenger, and competition is a good thing for us, users. If not, be careful that the little padawan doesn’t surpass the Master… (Quark syndrome…)

It’s only the beginning for Affinity, and it promises interesting things to come…

They just did it !! Bravo les gars !

Affinity Publisher is an ElectricNews #2018Choice

Vincent Suzat

Conseil en développement de projets print & Digital. Formateur Digital et print chez Ziggourat Formation, Esten Sup'Edition, Ecole des Gobelins. Rédacteur et co-fondateur d'ElectricNews.

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