Affinity Publisher Beta

Quickie sample design created using Affinity Publisher Beta and SkyFonts.

This update is late in coming due a bit of an illness. Bad juju, life telling me that I reopened a door that I should have left closed. But during that time, Affinity has released a second beta for Affinity Publisher which has become one of my most anticipated applications of 2019. For the uninitiated, what is Affinity Publisher? It's a desktop publishing application along the lines of Quark Xpress or Adobe Indesign. These types of applications allow for the creation of magazine page layouts, book layouts, packaging designs, business card creation, basically any layout that needs to go to print and some designs that need to go on the web.

I've used Quark and Indesign for many years and know them well. But Adobe lost me completely when their creative suite went subscription based resulting in totally losing my support. Quark Xpress 2016 and 2017 were purchased and used for many freelance projects for a few years and I still use the 2017 version today (until Affinity Publisher comes out of beta). However, Quark Xpress feels sloppy on Windows 10. There are glitches in the UI and performance has never been lag free on the SurfaceBook 2 or the Surface Studio. It's still possible to create full featured layouts with all the bells and whistles one would expect from a professional level product but it requires a level of patience that may be unreasonable for many. That's where Affinity Publisher comes in.

Affinity Publisher even in beta is already a much better user experience than Quark Xpress 2017. It runs very smoothly on the SurfaceBook 2 and Surface Studio with a very clean, very well thought out UI. Affinity doesn't require a subscription to use any of their applications which is a huge plus over Adobe Creative Suite. In terms of features, the Affinity Publisher beta supports standards such are paragraph styles, character styles, text styles, layers, Master Page/Page layout creation and manipulation, template creation, font management, image import, various export options and more. Even in its current state, Affinity Publisher could replace Quark Xpress 2017 for most of my design needs. The only problem I've found so far is with importing images. Initially, it's very easy to do, but the application crashed when trying to import a different image into a pre-existing image box. Also, I haven't found a way to make adjustments to a imported image after it's been placed. Affinity Publisher seems to automatically crop the image after placement forcing the image to be imported a second time to make changes. This hurdle could be my lack of understanding of the import image tool, but that is the one area that seems to be more complicated than it needs to be at the moment.

I'll post a follow up once more time is spent with Affinity Publisher and more content is created with it.

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