Starting with the latter, DxO has added five new types of classic colour films to Color Efex Pro 4 and — ta-da — re-designed Nik Collection to be compatible with the latest version of Affinity Photo. Yes, you read that right, the NIK Collection is finally coming to Affinity Photo without having to resort to workarounds that don’t work most of the time. While Affinity Photo is great by itself, it will be greater even with the Nik Collection at hand.
Nik Collection 2.5 by DxO has added five new film types simulating colour films that have left their mark on the history of analog photography: Agfa Precisa CT 100; Fujifilm FP-100C, Instax, and Fujichrome Provia 400X; and Lomography Redscale 100.
Dan Hughes was entrusted with designing all of the software’s films. Hughes is a lecturer in photography science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, a former Nik Software trainer, and the creator of the 42 “En Vogue” styles included in the Nik Collection 2 by DxO.
Serif has pretty exciting news too. Affinity Publisher, for example, can now import InDesign IDML files, including all text styles, master pages, guides, pinned objects and more. People who are fed up with Adobe’s insistence on dumping loads of processes and “services” running in the background and all calling back to Adobe HQ, can now enjoy a fantastic layout editor without losing the work they did in InDesign before they switched to Affinity Publisher.
Another Affinity Publisher improvement is that you can now customise the new Preflight panel to receive live warnings about possible errors in your document, including poor image resolution, bleed hazards, overflowing text, spelling errors, missing images or font resources, and more.
Affinity Publisher now lets you migrate edited content from any page to a new master page layout with a single click, organise all your image resources into a single folder location and share them with others in your network. Also quite important and more user-friendly is that you can now import spreadsheet data into Affinity Publisher from Excel, Apple Numbers or LibreOffice in XLSX format as a standalone table or inline with your text frames.
Finally, Publisher can now merge multiple documents together into a single Affinity Publisher file.
All Affinity apps have been updated. For example, any smart object included in PSD files can now be imported as embedded documents, allowing you to easily edit layers within any smart object. It even works on the iPad. And yes, it works across all three apps. And if you use a keyboard attachment for iPad, you can now create your own shortcuts in Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo.
Another new feature that makes the update more like an upgrade is that you can now save documents as template files. Let’s be honest, this one is a little overdue, but at least it’s here now and who’s complaining anyway with a software suite that has already received numerous updates without charging an extra cent?
The Affinity suite wouldn’t be the Affinity suite if templates couldn’t be shared across all apps and across multiple devices if you use cloud storage (Dropbox, iCloud Drive, Box, etc).
Affinity Designer gets love too in the form of strokes with even more accurate results using far fewer nodes than before.
Affinity Photo not just gets better plug-in support but Canon CR3 RAW support as well. As a metadata freak myself, I find the new support in Affinity Photo for user-editable fields, including the very important IPTC standard for copyright, a great improvement. In addition, you can now save and import metadata files (XMP), batch whole folders of images and tag with appropriate ownership info, and more.
There’s still more, but the above are the most important new and improved features in my opinion.