Affinity Suite Version 1.8 Review

Affinity Suite Version 1.8 Review
With the latest update (version 1.8), the Affinity Suite of apps, Photo, Designer and Publisher, have new professional features that will make the Suite even more competitive with Adobe Creative Cloud. But the best part is there still is no high-priced monthly fee, as each of the three professional-grade design apps are still a one-time, reasonably priced purchase. They must have read our minds, because many of the updates in version 1.8 are just what we needed.

Suite Updates
Let’s start with the new updates across all three apps, such as the unified toolbar and bigger workspace. The one update that I have been waiting for is the new Template feature. You can now save a document as a template (.aftemplate), which can be opened in to any of the three apps, including the iPad versions. You will see a new Export as Template option in the File menu (see screenshot) and a new Templates section in the New Document dialog (see screenshot). You will also notice other changes to the New Doc dialog, including better Presets support (see screenshot).

Another life saver for me is the new IDML InDesign import option. I have used InDesign CS6 to create each issue of our MUSED Literary Review. As Adobe has stopped updating CS6, I can’t even open those files. Now, I can open them in Publisher and more of the content is maintained, which makes converting those old files to Publisher files much easier. There is also new support for importing Excel (xlsx) files.

Another improvement is the new live Preflight panel (see screenshot) which shows errors such as missing or poor resolution images, spelling errors and overflow text and font resources. The new Smart Master Pages makes it easy to maintain content on a document page when switching master pages and with smart merge, you can merge multiple documents, or just pages from multiple documents, into a new document.

Designer and Photo
Do you enjoy the Stock panel in Publisher? You will be happy about the new Stock panel (see screenshot) in Designer, for downloading royalty free stock from Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay. Designer also has stroke improvements resulting in more accuracy, less nodes and better boolean operations. Photo now has PSD file import that supports Photoshop smart objects which become editable embedded files. Photo also has improvements in plugin and metadata support. Finally, both iPad versions of Designer and Photo now have support for custom shortcuts in the Preferences dialog.

Welcome to Affinity 1.8

Screenshots used by permission of Serif (Europe) Ltd. This article is not endorsed by Serif Ltd.

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