Affinity Publisher 2 Review

The last app in the Affinity V2 bundle is Affinity Publisher 2. New features in this app include the ability to create books in a simple manner, add footnotes, endnotes and sidenotes to your document, and Auto-flow.

Create a book the easy way

I didn’t try this out for myself but the YouTube video Serif’s people made of the new features in Affinity Publisher 2 shows how simple it is to create a book from existing Publisher files. Separate Publisher documents from possibly different authors come together as chapters to create one long publication with automatically synchronised page numbers, a table of contents, indexes and styles throughout.

It makes Affinity Publisher 2 especially useful for collaboration, as contributors can work on their own sections individually before bringing it all together. As there is an iPadOS version of Affinity Publisher now as well, there is one limitation: it works only with the desktop version.

Rule Affinity Photo and Designer from within Affinity Publisher 2

It’s perhaps easily overlooked, but you can use the full power of Affinity Photo and Designer 2 from within Affinity Publisher 2. The full “engines” of these two other apps are a click on an icon away. It’s one of those features that make the Affinity creative suite stand out.

Footnotes, endnotes and sidenotes

Adding academic style notes or references to sections of text is incredibly easy. With Affinity Publisher 2, this task is as easy as deciding where you want to put the note, add the note’s reference mark next to the text you’re adding it to and Publisher does the rest. It automatically adds the layers for you and all you need to do next is format the lot.

Place Auto-flow

Place Auto-flow is a fantastic new feature that lets you create a single layout that automatically repeats across your document until all desired images or text boxes are accommodated. If you’re making business cards, you can set a repeat count and advanced templates so that in the future you can instantly produce multiple variants in only a few clicks.

Linked File Layer Visibility Override

You can now turn any layers on or off from within placed files, including PSD, PDF, DWG, DXF and other Affinity documents without losing the integrity of the link. Even if the source file is changed, the layer visibility settings will be maintained.

Other niceties

Useful for architects and urban design firms, you can now place DXF or DWG files into an Affinity Publisher 2 publication.

As with Affinity Designer 2, you can pick style of any object or text on your page and drop it onto any other objects or passages of text easily. As with the Book functionality, this only works in the desktop version.

Finally, the handling of memory for large documents, particularly with lots of large placed files and images, has been reengineered, resulting in significant performance improvements.

Verdict

With a perpetual licence price of £144.99 / USD$169.99 / EUR 199,99 for all three upgraded apps, the Affinity creative suite is not exactly a deal breaker, but you can still buy the Affinity apps individually. For a limited time, though, Serif offers a 40% launch discount, making the whole V2 suite available for £89.99 / USD$99.99 / EUR 119.99, a one-off cost with no subscription.

Both price-wise and functionality-wise, Affinity Publisher 2 — and Photo and Designer — is a bargain for a very powerful layout design app. The whole suite is carefully synchronised to have every app offering all the power you need with a level of flexibility that allows you to make it fit your workflow exactly.

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