07 March 2020

Affinity suite 1.81 (photo/designer/publisher)

While at first glance, this update does not seem like more than a small update and that is true concerning the Photo and Designer apps. Both did get some nice new interface updates and a couple new features but Publisher got its first real update since its release in the summer and the additions to that are amazing.

I started using Publisher in my professional work a few months back after consulting with the print houses my clients use and doing a couple test projects. While it wasn't flush with features I found that I stopped using Indesign right away and haven't touched it much since. This update really makes the idea of going back seem even less likely.

Affinity listened to what people were after and did a good job fulfilling their desires in this release. The big addition is .idml import of Indesign project files, something many designers  found crucial before switching as access to old projects is key for keeping some clients. Quark Xpress added this function not too long ago but that was about the only good thing I could say about that application.  The new open dialog which allows you to save projects as templates that can be used across the suite  and saved to the cloud for easy access if you are caught out of the studio and need to create something before you can get back. I plan to use use templates quite a bit for my regular clients. There is also anew ability to merge documents into one which combines the master pages and table of contents which will be great for complicated projects like magazines which could now be worked on in sections, then combined to a final version later.

Photoshop smart objects are now imported and translated to Affinity Photo pretty seamlessly making cross application work much easier and crosses off another big Photoshop feature the Affinity was lacking.

There really isn't much reason to not switch to Affinity if you have been waiting to do that and I suspect when the iPad version of Publisher is released, having the suite will be essential for  graphic artists.

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