Affinity Publisher!

Serif has released Affinity Publisher and it’s pretty fantastic. I’ve been using their iPad and Mac apps, Photo and Designer, since each was released. I’ve been very happy with their apps and happily no longer use Photoshop or Illustrator. InDesign is my last Adobe app in use and now that will be getting phased out as well.

So, to gush a little more about what I love about these Affinity Apps. First, the file format is exactly the same across all three apps and compatible between platforms with no feature loss. I can start a project on Photo on the iPad. Drop it into Designer. Send it to the Mac and work in Publisher. Bring it back to iPad and work again in Designer. This is not exporting… this is just the native file being bounced around between devices and apps. And an iPad version of Publisher is coming in 2020. Until then, thanks to updates released yesterday for the two iPad apps I can actually open up up Publisher files (again, same exact file format) on the iPad apps and they work as expected. Even features not fully on the iPad apps are supported. Multiple page documents, text flow around objects and such all work in the updated iPad apps. It’s kinda bananas.

One last thing that Affinity surprised people with yesterday was an unannounced feature called StudioLink. If I’m working on a document in Publisher, say a newsletter. I’ve probably added some images and possibly vector work, as linked assets in my project folder. I decide I need to edit the photo with some adjustments. No need to open the file in another app. I select the photo in the document and click the Affinity Photo icon in the corner of my window and instantly I now have the toolbars and features I’d expect if I’d actually switched to the Affinity Photo app. Same for Designer if I were to click that icon. Now, those apps have NOT actually opened up separately. I’m still in Publisher but I now have the interface of the other app and can work on my image or vector asset as though I had switched apps. I make my changes to the asset and tap back to the Publisher icon and continue working on the project. The changes are non-destructive to the original asset. StudioLink does require that you have all three apps installed to work but again, it’s not actually opening the other app separately. It just instantly switches modes to that other app.

Anyone familiar with these apps probably already knows this but they are one-time purchases not subscriptions. Normally around $50 each on the Mac or Windows, and I think $20 for the iPad. And often on sale as they are now 20% off.

A note regarding compatibility with InDesign, import/export. Currently Publisher does not import or export from/to InDesign. It does an excellent job of opening PDFs created with InDesign though. IDML import is coming with an update. I’ve not read anything about the addition of export to IDML.


I have used Affinity Designer and Photo since they came out. I have always liked Designer more than Illustrator - the workflow just fits me better. Even though i have no use for Publisher, i am tempted to purchase it anyway because it is so well put together. Serrif is doing a lot of good with this applications.

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Agreed. The Affinity software is amazing. I really love that its a once off purchase for such a solid product. I’m surprised that I don’t hear too much talk about AD and AP on MPU. Maybe its bigger in the design world than I am aware of.
Also tempted for publisher but not sure I have that exact need that design cant handle.

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I have been using affinity publisher since the beta came out, and have been delighted with it. As there is a PC version of it, I can work in company with a member of staff who is still, sadly, in that world. I agree with you that it is excellent and encourage people to have a look.
It is good value as well.
On the back of the launch video yesterday, I purchased affinity photo on my iPad, and now I can see publisher documents on my iPad. This has never been possible for me before using any other affordable desktop publishing format. Happy days.

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Yeah, what Publisher is really for is multipage documents. Newsletters, annual reports, etc. I’ll continue to use Designer and Photo for logos, postcards or any other single page or 2 page designs such as tri-fold brochures. But it would start to get clunky beyond that. So happy I’ll be able to retire InDesign!

@Denny, as an InDesign user since v1 and coming from Quark Xpress at the time. I have watched the Serif’s keynote yesterday and I was really intrigued with Publisher and the surprise announcement with Studiolink, which looks amazing! BUT, since I use InDesign for all sorts of document, I see that Publisher is like ID in it’s first version, it lacks a lot of things that I use every day. Yeah you could probably find ways around some of the problems, but since InDesign does all that already, and I’m already paying for it, why change? At least Adobe doesn’t tell designer it will not support the new processor from Apple like Quark did at the time and I think they (Adobe) are still trying to inovate to some level, but with all the old code they have, bringing new technology (like Metal) to an old app most be pretty daunting. Anyway, glad you like it and I will keep an eye on it as well.

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I’ve been looking forward to this release.

Despite my work giving me a free Creative Cloud subscription I much prefer to use the Serif applications because they run so much faster on my MacBook. Using the Adobe equivalent feels like having a downgraded computer! I’ve also got used to the interfaces and prefer the workflows.

I’m not a big user of desktop publishing software but I’ll be picking this up while there’s a discount anyway. I occasionally have to produce newsletters and InDesign runs slowly for me. Hopefully, this will be as snappy as the other Serif products.

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@Denny I just looked at the StudioLink feature and I can’t make it do what you say it does. If I edit a photo in Affinity Photo, then place that in Publisher, make another edit by going to the Photo persona, if I go back to the saved Photo file, the edits are not there. So if you do project which uses the same picture in different document, you would still need to edit the Affinity photo file if you want your edit reflected in all document, which is pretty much what we have with Photoshop and InDesign at the moment. Or did I miss something?

Agreed! These apps are so fast, even on older hardware. And yes, Publisher seems to be as fast as Photo and Designer.

Ah, yes, I see. No, it is non-destructive to the original file. Which is to say, your original file will remain the same. But all the changes you make in Publisher, via the Affinity Photo or Designer personas record the changes in the Publisher file only. The original file is left untouched. If you want to actually change that file so that it will be changed in other documents you would need to open the file using the actual apps, Photo or Designer, as needed.

Is it possible to save a copy of the photo that you edited in Affinity Publisher into Affinity Photo so that you would have the original and the edited copy in Affinity Photo?

I don’t think that is possible.

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